Vamp magazine is out

I’m thrilled to say that now you can get the first edition of Vamp. The magazine is the pride of editor Phideaux Mayo and Echo Underwood, and it’s about everything retro, from the swinging flapper girls of the 20’s to the birth of rock’n’roll. It has pin-ups, fashion spreads, and an article signed yours truly.

The article tells the story of Helen Kane – The Vaudeville Princess – and Clara Bow – The “It” Girl. They were both important in the song and film industry of the era, both of them served as role models for the Betty Boop cartoon character, but their lives were tainted by tragedies and misfortunes. Here’s a small excerpt:

”Helen Kane was born Helen Scroeder on August 4th 1903 (some sources indicate 1904). Daughter of a German father and Irish mother, she grew up in the Bronx in New York City. They were a poor family: Her mother reluctantly contributed $3 for her costume as a queen in her first theatrical role at school.

By the time she was 15, she worked onstage professionally, touring with no others than the Marx Brothers. Later, she worked in vaudeville as a singer and kickline dancer, and started on Broadway in 1922. Her big break came in 1927. At the Paramount Theatre on Times Square, she sang the popular song “That’s My Weakness Now” when she interpolated the scat lyrics “boop-oop-a-doop”. The rather odd gamble paid off, resonating with the flapper culture and, four days later, Helen Kane’s name went up in lights.

Clara Bow was a few years younger, born September 27, 1907. Like Helen, she too came from a poor family, but one that was also afflicted with mental illness and physical and emotional abuse. Her mother was an occasional prostitute who suffered from mental illness and epilepsy. Her father was rarely present, which might have been as well: At home, he was verbally and physically abusive to both wife and daughter. He molested his daughter when she was between 15 and 16 years old.

As a child, Clara was a tomboy and played games such as baseball in the streets with boys. Her only true friend, Johnny, was severely burned and died in her arms when she was nine.


In 1927, Clara reached the heights of her popularity with the film “It”, which made her the first and original “It” girl – “It” commonly understood to mean sex appeal. Which she had plenty of.”

To get your copy of Vamp, my advice is to drop by the fine club Flashmans and use the vendor there.


~ by theresecarfagno on October 7, 2008.

9 Responses to “Vamp magazine is out”

  1. Clara is one of the charming beauty. Is there any online edition of Vamp?

  2. I’m afraid there isn’t, Lightning. It has to be read in-world.

  3. Hi,
    Is this magazine going to be available all over the US? I live in WI and I don’t know where to begin to look for it here.
    Thank you so much. :)

  4. Wow, you’re a fan of Jean Harlow :-) The answer is sort of yes. If you go to and create an account (it’s free), you will get an avatar and be a part of Second Life where you can read Vamp.

  5. Yes I am, I absolutely love her.There were so many great stars of the 20s and 30s. Thank you, I will go sign up! I appreciate the info.

  6. I had no idea what it was until I went to the website. : /
    Thank you for the information. :)

  7. Hello darlings, Phi here . Good news. VAMP will indeed be available online as an publication. More to come!

  8. YES… working on re-formatting it as a single proper PDF file as we speak. Anyone looking for a copy can get on at Issuu.. drop me a line and I can let you know when it’s up.

  9. Hi,

    Love the post about Clara Bow, I was just wondering if you new what the picture is called?

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