In the October 1974 (Pubescence) issue, the descriptive text about the cover on the Editorial page (page 17) reads:
“COVER: The usual fuck-ups. Hendra, Kelly, and McConnachie thought the original model looked too old, so we—continued on page 84″
In every issue I’ve seen (until now), page 84 was a full-page ad. I always assumed this was an intentional joke. Considering that the gender of the cover model has been called into question almost since the issue hit the stands (alluded to on the Editorial page of the December 1974 issue), it’s not hard to imagine that it was done on purpose, just to mess with readers.
Except… there really was a page 84. Reader Jeff Goodman alerted me to a discussion on the CGC comic book collectors’ forum regarding the gender of the model on the cover. It’s kind of amazing that people are still discussing this after all these years. On the other hand, I’ve never been totally sure one way or the other myself.
Anyway, one of the participants (OtherEric) said that his copy did have the rest of the text—not an ad—and he even posted a scan of the rest of the cover description:
“—reshot with the very lovely young lady you see before you. Or would see if you were’t wasting your valuable time (and mine) reading this. Also, the Editors would like to thank the very lovely people who helped make this cover possible, including Michael Stevens of Superhair (hairstyling), Laura Singer and Marjorie (stylists), the Liberty Ice Cream Concern (43 W. 63rd, next door to The Ginger Man), Chris Callis (photographer), and Vincent Nasso (makeup).”
I joined the discussion and asked him to post a scan of the entire page, which he did (click on the image above to see it). Not only does it contain the rest of the cover description, it also includes an errata concerning the 1964 High School Yearbook parody and the rest of the Letters From the Editor column, which was also cut off with a “continued on page 84” slug, and a different half-page ad.
My guess is that the full page ad was either a last minute addition or had been accidentally left out of the issue and was a big enough deal that they stopped the press run to get it into the issue, dropping the original page 84, including a smaller ad. I used to work in the magazine business, and I can vouch that these things do sometimes happen. Considering the fact that it has taken so long to discover this fact, I would also guess that issues with the original page 84 are not common, which would mean that they made the change early in the print run.
Thanks to OtherEric and Jeff for their part in uncovering this missing bit of NatLamp history. I just feel bad for Robert Pakter.