Bizarre magazine | John Willie, 1946-59

Bizarre #1                                                                                                                     Bizarre #2
Bizarre #4                                                                                                                   Bizarre #5
Bizarre #6                                                                                                              Bizarre #7


"Bizarre. The magazine for pleasant optimists who frown on convention. The magazine of fashions and fantasies fantastic! Innumerable journals deal with ideas for the majority. Must all sheeplike follow in their wake? Bizarre is for those who have the courage of their own convictions. Conservative? —Old fashioned? —Not by any means! Where does a complete circle begin or end? And doesn't fashion move in a circle? Futuristic? Not even that—there is nothing new in fashion, it is only for the application of new materials—new ornaments—a new process of making—coupled with the taste and ability to create the unusual and unorthodox to the trend of the moment."

Bizarre no. 3, 1946


Bizarre #8                                                                                                                Bizarre #9

Bizarre #10
Bizarre #14

Bizarre #13                                                                                                  Bizarre #17

Bizarre was published at somewhat irregular intervals, from 1946 to 1959 by John Alexander Scott Coutts, aka John Willie (English Slang for penis) in 1946. He was an artist, photographer, writer, publisher and banjo player. The magazine included many photographs, often of Willie's wife (Holly Anna Faram), and drawings of costume designs, some based on ideas from readers. The original Bizarre Magazine was sold purely by mail order. There were also many letters from readers; he was accused of inventing these but insisted that they were genuine. The letters covered interests such as high heels, bondage, amputee fetishism, sadomasochism, transvestism, corsets, and body modification.


Bizarre #18                                                                                                             Bizarre #19
Bizarre #20                                                                                                  Bizarre #22
Bizarre #24                                                                                                      Bizarre #25

The magazine was suspended completely from 1947 to 1951 because of paper shortages and other lasting effects of the Second World War. By 1956 Coutts was ready to give up the magazine, and that year he sold it to someone described only as R.E.B., who published six more issues before "Bizarre" finally folded in 1959.



The g-string tie method of bondage was popularised by John Willie. He regarded it as exceptionally difficult to escape from, 
claiming that even Harry Houdini did not like trying to escape from it.

Bizarre magazine                                                                                            Miss Houdini



"I've tried a corset on myself and it was nothing else but damned uncomfortable. It gives a women a beautiful shape which I like but I shall get 
double pleasure out of using it as an 'instrument of correction'...I don't like extreme cruelty, I simply apply as much as is needed to correct disobedience."

John Willie

Photos from Bizarre magazine

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  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogypBUCb7DA
    X-Ray Spex / Oh Bondage! Up Yours! / 1977

    .

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