The Rod Squad
San Diego: Surrey House, Inc., 1974. 1st Edition. 12mo, publisher's stiff illustrated paper wraps.
1970s gay pulp paperback, issued as number 81 in Surrey House’s HIS 69 series. Housed in San Diego, the sleaze capital of the 1960s and 1970s, the short-lived Surrey House was founded by Hugo Award-winner Earl Kemp after he fell out with William Hamling of Greenleaf Classics. The two forged a bond in the scifi pulp trenches of their native Chicago, with Kemp replacing Harlan Ellison as lead editor for Greenleaf and affiliated men’s magazine Rogue. Their several erotica imprints (including Phenix Publishers) employed euphemistic titles and author pen names in order to skirt lawsuits and vice raids. When Kemp and Hamling faced charges for "conspiracy to mail obscene material," the friendship effectively ended and Kemp left for more prurient pastures. More "hardcore" than Greenleaf, smaller pulp house Surrey produced hundreds of deviant titles and established numerous gay erotica imprints, including Manhard, Blueboy, and HIS 69. The house’s name was an ode to Charles Skilton, founder of underground porn publishing empire Luxor Press. In Kemp’s memoir, he describes being inspired after taking a tour of Skilton’s countryside manor in Surrey, which included secret doors, sliding panels, and peep-holes. Light rubbing and edgewear to wraps. Very good. Item #5999