MODERNISMO Publications

Modernismo Publications, Ltd. (MP) were publishers of Mandate, Honcho, and Playguy, popular gay men’s magazines. MP was founded in 1974 by George Mavety with the publication of Dilettante, which folded in March 1975. The following month, its successor, Mandate, appeared on the newsstands under the editorship of John Devere.

Mandate was conceived as a magazine of erotica, news and entertainment for gay men. Each monthly issue, in addition to exhibiting artistic displays of male nudes and erotic fiction, contained reviews of books, motion pictures and sound recordings of interest to the gay community and reported on social, political and cultural events related to the movement for gay liberation.

Joseph Arsenault succeeded Devere as editor. By the time Sam Staggs succeeded to its editorship, following Arsenault, Mandate claimed a circulation of over 100,000 and enjoyed a reputation as the most important gay men’s magazine in America. Staggs’ dream was to make it the gay equivalent of Playboy.

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