Men’s adventure magazines were a popular form of periodical literature. They were mostly published from the 1940s to the 1970s, with some lasting longer than others. Men’s adventure magazines featured stories about places and events around the world that are typically considered dangerous or risky: war, exploration, sport fishing and hunting, crime reporting, and even daredevils. Their contents were meant to inspire readers’ sense of adventure by giving them vicarious experiences about adventures in far-flung locations across the globe.
The men’s adventure magazine genre got its start in the 1940s, with True Adventure being first to the party. The magazine was a spin-off of True Detective and True Detective Mysteries magazines, both of which were published from 1924 through 1932. The original idea behind this type of publication was to provide escapism for readers. While men’s adventure magazines were popular at first, their popularity began declining after World War II ended.
The format of men’s adventure magazines varied from one to the next. Some were in the form of a comic book, with several stories told in each issue. Some were in novel form and featured one long story per issue. And some were magazine-length, with a variety of shorter pieces included within each issue.
Men’s adventure magazines were filled with articles about a variety of topics. Some focused on travel, hunting, and fishing while others focused on cars, motorcycles and trucks. Some even covered guns and knives as well as adventures and survival in the wilderness. Some of these publications also covered military history as well as famous people such as John Wayne or Ernest Hemingway
The most popular fiction format in men’s adventure magazines was the serial. There were also some short stories and novelettes. The fiction in men’s adventure magazines varied from a few thousand words to several tens of thousands of words.
The serials were often quite long, with dozens of installments published over many months or even years. These were typically adventure tales about explorers, soldiers, and other masculine heroes having exciting adventures along the way. Most serials were set in exotic locales such as Africa or South America, but they occasionally included stories with more domestic settings like New York City or London.
The serials tended to be formulaic. Each story followed basically the same plot outline as other serials written by that author. This repetition made it easy for readers
Illustrations were a huge part of the appeal of men’s adventure magazines. They were usually in color and often featured scantily clad women, though they also sometimes depicted women in bondage or chains. The heros were always depicted as larger than life and something to aspire to.
Men’s Adventure Magazine Titles
Men’s adventure magazines were a big part of men’s popular culture in the first half of the 20th century. They contained articles, features and columns about nature, travel and exploration; how-to articles; serialized fiction and poetry; cartoons; puzzles and games.
Some of the most popular men’s adventure magazines included:
- Blue Book
- Short Stories
- And many, many more…
Read a Men’s Adventure Magazine Today!
The magazines of the past were a snapshot of their times and often contained stories, illustrations and articles that could only be found in these publications. If you enjoy reading old books or magazines, then you’ll love the 40s-70s men’s adventure magazines.