The group of blogs under the Dull Tool Dim Bulb umbrella, of which Vintage Sleaze is one, will reach 500,000 hits this weekend. The counter was installed August 9, 2009.
Anonymous Snapshot, circa 1950 Collection Jim Linderman
A 1962 ad for the Strippers School Book, in which Venus and her friends, including the talented "Patti Waggin" teach others how to take off their clothes. As you can see, this activity was carried out under the watchful eyes of Uncle Sam (excerpt from House Testimony 3 years later)
I wonder if Sam sat in the front row!
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Two drawings here by George Morrice, a British artist who sold work to Humorama digests in the 1950s and possibly later in the 1980s through the "Visual Varieties" Popular Jokes rag shown below. The byline of Popular Jokes was "Man Size Entertainment" which referred to the magazine size...by then, fans of gag books were used to the digest format, easily slipped into a briefcase and hid from the wife. But the 1980's girly mags had porno, not pinups...and by then the photographs which used to accompany the cartoons had taken over...entire pages of "spreads" had edged the art to tiny little corners of the page. They still claimed to be humor magazines, but it was the grainy, frankly skeezy women models who received most of the attention. And unlike the somewhat glamorous models of the Fifties, it wasn't their faces receiving the attention.
It is a kick to see some in color on the cover, but this was more of an attempt to attract attention from the more desirable dames of Penthouse, Playboy and all the other Skin Mags now capable of producing sharp, crisp sleaze and dominating the top row at the newsstand. Certainly the artists didn't supervise. Consequently, cartoons were reused over and over again, reduced in size and loosing some punch.
As we see here, even the cartoonists were getting tired. Morrice obviously had mastered the "extreme upskirt" and used it repeatedly.
George W. Morrice Drawing for Humorama, 1956 Collection Victor Minx
World's Fairs today are no more than showcases for global brands, but at one time they were gigundo carnivals from hell, and the 1939 one in New York was the biggest of them all. Rusty remnants of it still sit in Queens attracting old timers and tourists. It also attracted comic books, crime and sleaze!
No less than Superman attended, So did Lois, where she unfailingly screwed up. Why Superman bleached his forehead curl yellow for the cover is a mystery to me. A few other minor comic characters showed up as well, including "Slam Bradley!" as the gunsel on the right makes sure we understand. (If you've got a great name, flaunt it.) The story of this comic, in the most excruciating detail, is provided on the Comic Treadmill.
Who else attended? A bunch of junior mobsters selling doodled pornography created by Bazooka Joe cartoonist Wesley Morse. Now THAT is a tale created in Vintage Sleaze heaven, so let's have a look. (Meet me over by the Trylon and Perisphere)
The fair was plagued with mob-run unions. Yes, even as early as the late 1930s, while Scarface was rotting in a big house 48 states away. You do business in New York, you pay the skim, and you also allocate a certain percent of your budget for "No-Show Jobs" (a cute term for the guys you cut a check to but never seem to see around the shop.) New York had five boroughs, but it also had five families, and they owned the docks and just about everything else. After all, it wasn't Hoover and the FBI who kept saboteurs out of the harbor during the war... it was the made men, turned temporarily patriotic, and if you don't believe me, look it up.
No less than Will Eisner remembered being recruited to draw Tijuana Bibles for three bucks a page by a mobster who claimed "exclusive distribution rights for alla Brooklyn." Eisner turned him down...Wesley didn't. The three splendid examples above were all drawn by Bazooka Joe creator Wesley Morse, and I am sure they were quite popular at the fair. Junior could rest his feet with Superman, but his older brother would circulate through the crowd shilling hot 8-pagers to the hoards. 250,000 people a day was a dream come true for the purveyors, way too much action to ignore. And like nearly everything we weren't supposed to have (from hootch in the 20s to cootch in the 50s) I suspect the purveyors were feeding some of the 25 cents each they squeezed from visiting rubes upward to the same fellows who were running the hookers nearby and loaning money at exorbitant rates to small businessmen who needed a little help setting up their stores in time for the tourists. After all, do you want cheese in your calzone?
Do I have proof the mob ran the 8-pager business? Nah...but I know the score. You can google up Tijuana Bibles and read over and over again about tentative rumored suspected unproven possible likely involvement of organized crime with these little gems. I'm here to say, DUH! They were sold by the hundreds of thousands. Does anyone think the printing presses in Newark spurting them out after hours were owned by "Mom and Pop Legit?" Please. The boys got a piece of nearly everything, from the clothes in the garment district to the cement holding up the skyscrapers, and somewhere there is a scrawled book entry for a few dozen cases of these little books. If the fair hawkers who sold them weren't such "stand-up guys" we might have proof.
As for Wesley, He certainly had more success with Bazooka Joe than he did with his 8 pagers. These didn't come with gum.
by Jim Linderman
World's Fair Tijuana Bibles, circa 1939 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
Truly, does it ever get any better than this? YEP! The fellow who invented, or at least printed and sold the above "Teaseroooo"...are you ready? Invented the BUG IN AN ICE CUBE Too! I am truly in awe. Not only that, he invented Sneezing Powder, the Exploding cigarette box, and the Dribble glass!
S. S. Adams was, needless to say, a millionaire. His 1932 copyright on the hand buzzer (yep...that too) probably earned him his first big chunk of change. He also invented the Stink Bomb, the Squirting Nickel and more, all during the great depression when folks needed a laugh. Adams was there to provide them!
"There" was Ashbury Park. Right on the same Jersey Shore which brought us Bruce and his boys, the hardest working man in show business ( Officially...now that James Brown can no longer "Get Up, Like a Sex Machine" and his wives are fighting over the spoils.) S. S. stood for Soren Sorenson Adams. Two S initials weren't enough, so he added "Sam" thus making his real name, I guess, S. S. S. Adams. He earned every S.
The Flip Strip Can Can Girl Teaseroooo was probably a big seller at the carnival boardwalk at Ashbury Park. However, few exist today as angry wives would hide them in the sand before the family went home. "Honey? Have you seen my Teaseroooo?" It was right near the Blanket"
I am leaving out last page...why? Because I'm a Teaseroooo!
Flip Strip Celluloid Film Can-Can Girl 1945 Collection Victor Minx
IN THE LATE 1960s, A VIRGINIA COLLEGE STUDENT FOUND A SCRAPBOOK IN A DUMPSTER. Dumpster diving was nothing new, people have been digging through other people’s trash for centuries. What he found was no ordinary family scrapbook, but the personal collection of someone’s personal stash of scantily-clad women. Cut from vintage men’s magazines of the 1950s, the anonymous collector used scissors and tape to arrange his private soft porn collection taped to the pages of a commercially bought scrapbook. Perhaps the creator’s wife found them and tossed them out, perhaps he passed away or maybe he found Jesus. Whatever the reason, they ended up in that dumpster and today are the subject of a new book called Gals Gams Garters by Victor Minx. Victor Minx is the pseudonym of Jim Linderman, a longtime collector and blues music expert. Delve into the personal archive of an anonymous aficionado of legs and garters.
As a designer, these pages are beautiful, almost randomly arranged clippings, where the yellowed tape becomes an integral part of the composition. Random colors from the magazine and the spaces between the clippings work together to build a solid page—one man’s private fantasy made public. Review by John Foster Accidental Mysteries.
Order your copy of Gals Gams Garters here.
And while you are at it, check out the other Jim Linderman blog — Dull Tool Dim Bulb.
A rare and rather stylish advertisement from photographer Irving Klaw, pre-Bettie. This was published in the July 1950 issue of Real Detective Magazine. He couldn't show the babes, but he managed to get a pair of shoes in. Eric Stanton was working for Klaw at this time, he joined the studio in 1947, but I can't be sure he did the work for this ad.
Irving Klaw "Send For Me" Ad Real Detective Magazine July 1950
What little I know about Pete Wyma comes from scrutiny of web sources, none of them complete. Wyma is another of those artists who never quite got out of the 1950s - 1960s comic underground, though apparently he is well- known among his peers. He is just on the cusp of familiarity (which means just before the web) Let's call information on the sketcher sketchy.
Here are some bits and pieces of Peter Edward Wyma.
Wyma was born in Chicago in 1922. He attended the Billy Hon School of Cartooning, also known as the Western School of Cartooning. While the institution no longer exists, it was at one time the most famous cartoon classroom around. Billy Hon, by all accounts, was a hard drinking and drawing guy who at one time lived with Bud Fisher, creator of Mutt and Jeff. He ran ads for his school in several newspapers and magazines during the 1940s. (Billy Hon was a pseudonym for Wilfred Honigsberg) Billy also published "Billy Hon's Famous Cartoon Book: A complete course in Cartooning" in 1927. Obviously, Hon and his school would seem to be a natural article for someone out in Los Angeles to research. Get to it Angelos.
Roy Delgado, a prominent cartoonist attended the school and provides some information, as well as showing a nice flyer for the school. Roy also shows an early work from 1953 by Wyma published in the Saturday Evening Post and claims "Peter Wyma probably influenced more cartoonists than anyone at that time." I've found several more ads for the defunct school and one of Billy's own drawings from a tire ad with an Olympian theme.
I am not sure what years Wyma attended, but by 1954 he was working on a comic strip with Helen Glynn in the Detroit Times, and the January 18, 1954 issue of Life Magazine has an ad he drew for Sanforized Cotton. His later work in the 1960s included stories for Monster Howls including Hannibal the Horrible Cannibal, and some covers for the digest Army Laughs. In 1966 a compilation book "I'm a Nut for Wyma" was published by SRI and a book entitled "More Race Riots: An anthology of Ethnic Insults" by Kanrom Books in 1973. (Maybe that ad for the Billy Hon School was useful here, though the book contains jabs at the Irish, Polish, Puerto Rican, Scots Jews and Gays as well!) Wyma had work published (and did the cover) for Broadway Laughs in December 1964.
Later work, of which the examples here are typical, was published in Sex to Sexty. Pretty funny work, but then I get the idea he was no Billy Hon.
Group of Original Illustrations by Peter Wyma Collection Jim Linderman
The World's Most Humorous Booklet? I think not. In fact, I think not even close. Despite the come-on touting the appearance of "World Famous Zito" this racist, childish, cheap and just plain odd little booklet is actually the second copy of a Bust with Humor book I've had.
Who was ZITO? Well, according to at least one "dog collectibles" website, Zito's "fame as a caricaturist was well established when he first began to sketch dogs in idle moments as an escape from his work in drawing the world's most beautiful women and the world's most famous men. His humor and understanding of dogs is just delightful." Hmmm...since the piece being described is a typical "dog peeing on a tree"gag, probably the single most common theme for cheap cartoonists and bad postcard artists, i'll let you check out to see if he measures up to other masters. In fact, check a few! Zito favored the raised leg/fire hydrant theme frequently!
So we know Zito did dogs...but what else? Sports illustrations. A set of four from 1934 sold at Sotheby's in 2004.
Chasing the dog trail, I sniff out a real bone! A biography of ZITO from 1937! Advice to young artists? Try to be a little less "debonair" when doing a drawing about "de boner"
"Bust with Humor" pamphlet circa 1950 Collection Victor Minx
My third post in a year on Bill Wenzel. (Here and Here) Never achieving the fame of Bill Ward or Eric Stanton, primarily because he avoided fetishistic imagery and catering to that market, he was nonetheless as prolific and probably more so. Be refusing to "work blue" either by choice or nature, his thousands upon thousands of drawings are far more common than other racy artists, but not nearly as familiar or widespread. The 2005 Fantagraphics book by Alex Chun (linked at right) is a good place to start, but it only cracks the surface. A group of obscure covers here compiled by Good Girl Art. These are laugh digests, but Wenzel also did a number of traditional paperback cover illustrations, both for collections of his own work and that of others.
Double-Glo was a paper novelty company based in both Stamford, Connecticut and Toronto, Canada. Although their primary business line seems to have been Christmas "icicles" and other seasonal glittery gimmicks for the tree. They made a number of valentines for kids and this racy little booklet. A "Get Well" card posing as a cad's little black book!. Hot babes with clever names...no icicles here! Minor celebrity and professional game show player Arlene Francis was their spokesperson for a while. I don't see that they are in business anymore...perhaps because their fake Christmas "snow" was made of ASBESTOS. Umm...kids? You go sweep up around the tree, Daddy is going to read his Get Well card.
Some Swell Addresses Get Well Card, circa 1955 Collection Victor Minx