Very few of the artists who drew the notorious "8-pagers" or "Tijuana Bibles" of the 1930s and 1940s have been identified. Even the few attributed works are tentative, but there is no question one man did over 100 of them...the legendary "Mr. Prolific" who was tagged with that moniker by Donald Gilmore in his book Sex in Comics. Art Spiegelman praises him in Tijuana Bibles (linked at right) as the "seminal influence on the genre...by far its most competent draftsman, drawing credible likenesses in complex entangled poses with graceful steel-pen strokes." Maybe if he knew how good he was, he would have identified his work with a signature, but then I don't think he put these minuscule masterpieces on his resume.
Mr. Prolific was subsequently identified as one "Doc" Rankin, a World War One vet who later worked for Larch Publications drawing girlie cartoons. Doc was Ainsworth H. Rankin, and writer Gershon Legman (yes, his real name, and himself a pretty darn interesting fellow...) claimed to have met Doc the dirty little drawer in a Pennsylvania bookstore. I assume Doc was paid cash for his tiny stories, and as it has been rumored certain unsavory characters of a certain ethnic heritage were profiting from sales of the lewd little booklets, having old Doc fess up is quite an accomplishment, if true. Lets call Doc Unsung, but no longer Unidentified. Doc did draw legit...he was the editorial page cartoonist for the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper for many years.
Cropped pages from an untitled and unusual TWELVE page 8-pager, collection Victor Minx
The Tijuana Bible History Series by Jim Linderman Runs once a week or so...make sure to bookmark to enjoy future (and past) posts. Some groundbreaking original research, government documents and rare examples.
Dull Tool Dim Bulb / Vintage Sleaze Book Catalog
This is number like 10 or so of my Tijuana Bibles series. See others HERE