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Zahira Kelly Artist, Photographer and Color Pin ups Women of COLOR pin up art Contemporary Vintage Sleaze #7 of the Series

Zahira Kelly. Contemporary Vintage Sleaze #7 was a pleasure to put together. Appropriately, the artist has created a vintage pinup magazine cover of her own...could you pass this by if you saw it at the checkout counter?

Zahira Kelly is a FAR too modest subject. Each step of the research here revealed yet more talent. You shall see!

Zahira is an artist on a mission. Searching for vintage pin ups depicting women of color and finding zilch (like my own hunt which has resulted in the Black Pinup Afro-Antics series) she decided to make her own. She sets upon this challenge with a large bag of tools. Permit me to have Zahira do some talking here.

"It all came about naturally and kind of unexpectedly, if that makes any sense...My mother and aunt are fashion designers/jacks of all trades so I was drawing women and designing stuff before I could speak correctly....except I never drew them correctly for fashion--they were always really curvy because I liked them better that way and I was imitating what I saw in the Condorito comics. In the U.S. those kinds of publications are passe but in Latin America that one in particular never left. Anyone who knew me at school as a kid or teen probably only knew me for drawing girls really well. I didn't even know it was a whole separate vein of art until I hit my 20's which is when it all clicked. I wanted to get a pin up tattooed on my forearm but couldn't fathom putting a blond, blue eyed girl on my arm when I knew good and well I could draw one who looked more like me. So I did...and I dunno...turns out I get to use a lot of my random talents for this one thing."

For the record, Condorito is the comic strip created by the late Rene Rios, AKA Pepo. He would have been proud of his young student.

And further, "Hailing from The Bronx, NY and with roots in the Dominican Republic, Miami-based pin up artist Zahira Kelly was unable to find pin ups that resembled her. A lover of classic Americana she soon found herself on a mission to create her own pin ups featuring women of color in a variety of mediums (illustrated, painted, photographed and more), carefully crafting every last detail including fashion, hair and makeup styling. Her images are inspired by beauty icons of yesteryear, pop art and street style. Numerous commissions later, in addition to an art gallery exhibition and features in some of the more popular pin up lifestyle blogs, she is gaining ground with a steadily growing fan base. Stay tuned for an upcoming published collection of works, merchandise and more."

OK...my turn.

Zahira Kelly is multi-talented to say the least. The VERY least. As modest as I am not, here is one more quote from the artist "Ever since I can remember everyone knew me as "the girl who draws women really well." Little did I know what I created day in, day out, had a name: pin up art." Once I realized this I began studying Vargas, Elvgren and the greats."

Now I suppose if one needs labels "Digital Artist, Photographer, Graphic Designer" works, but Zahira Kelly is far more. Painter, Make-up Artist, Cartoonist, Pin-up Girl, Photographer (of considerable, CONSIDERABLE skill and talent) Set designer, Freelancer.

Just watch the Video here as the artist runs through a pin-up shoot with a model. Well, more accurately, WATCH AS THE ARTIST RECREATES AN ENTIRE ERA OF GLAMOR WHICH NEVER REALLY EXISTED BUT SHOULD HAVE.

Now imagine the joy one of her clients has bringing her photo or pin up home. Talk about an auteur...Zahira Kelly is is one talented Chica.

You can reach Zahira Kelly at kellysdolls@gmail.com

The Artist's website is HERE

Now all you artists and cartoonists get cracking...send your submissions of pinup and sleaze influenced art to j.winkel4@gmail. As this blog is rapidly approaching one million hits, you will probably receive mega in return, and I'll get to feel like a big shot. A win/win!

"Contemporary Vintage Sleaze" is a weekly series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today. All art is copyrighted by the respective creator, distributor or publisher and therefore should not be reproduced WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST. NO cribbing and I ain't fibbing! Each and every post in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series will link to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. You need only ask! Serious artists are contributing to this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Astrid Daley, Antonio LaponeIf you are a cartoonist and/or artist and would like to participate in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series, submit work to: j.winkel4@gmail.com


Prostitutes of the West and Mr. Moynahan's Obsession vintage sleaze

Bob Dylan once sang/wrote "Inside the museum, infinity goes up on trial" which is a good line. I have always thought it is collectors who do the work...and decades later the museums catch up. Case in point is folk art collector Herbert Hemphill, a major influence on my life. The things he collected even came to be known as "A Hemphill thing" for lack of a better description...now the Smithsonian owns them and they help define the American experience.

My point is not to detract from the work of curators, historians and scientists who work in lauded museums at all...just that they sometimes take forever to get things done. With history counting on them, they don't have the luxury of being flippant or smarmy, as I do...and accuracy really isn't my forte either, I will confess. They have to be.

But it is truly the individual collector, the independent researcher, the hobbyist and the local historian who do the serious ground work. They have the drive, the obsession and the gumption to break ground, put disparate objects together for the first time and in many cases even create a genre.

A case in point is Mr. Jay Moynahan of Spokane, Washington. I happened upon one of his books while doing some research for my Vintage Sleaze blog. "Oh..so you were RESEARCHING prostitution?" Yes, actually, I was!

Mr. Moynahan appears to be quite a story. By my count, which stopped when I reached double-digits, Moynahan has researched, written and published some TWENTY FIVE BOOKS on prostitutes. Mostly prostitutes of the the American West, which he calls "soiled doves." I truly am afraid to read one...not because I am in the least bit prudish...because I am afraid I will like it and be hooked. No pun intended. With spring gardening coming up, can I really afford to go on a 25 long book jag of Moynahan's ladies of the night?

I am truly in awe. Now I must confess most of my own personal knowledge of the role played by working women in the West comes from the Larry McMurtry books...Lonesome Dove and the like. He often has a female character, superbly
defined and described, by the way....who turns tricks for the men and acts as a sounding board. Honest, hard-working, trustworthy women who happen to work in the sex industry. So although I dabbled in Native American Art for a time, I really have no first hand knowledge of Western lore. For all I know, Jay Moynahan is well known in that community and his books sell like the soiled doves themselves after the round-up was over and the pockets were jingling. But he was certainly new to me.

Mr. Moynahan is retired Professor Emeritus at Eastern Washington University in Criminal Justice. He happened to learn of a distant relative who ran a bordello in a mining town in the 1870s. Some folks doing their genealogy might be tempted to overlook such a find...Moynahan only dug deeper.

What an accomplishment! Not only for the accuracy of history and for the appreciation of the role women played in settling the west, but an accomplishment for all interested hobbyists, amateur researchers, writers and future museum curators. This is a man who has documented and created a previously ignored and shunned part of history, and I for one intend not only to read one, but I suspect many. Some of his books consist of reprinted material he has located and assembled, some are collections of photographs...Just browse the inventory and you will be as impressed as I.

Mr. Moynahan HERE.
A complete list of Moynahan books and ordering information is HERE.

If I were involved in any way with an institution of higher learning, a museum or an archive, I would be fetting Jay big time. This appears to be one serious chunk of history compiled and written by one man with a mission, and I suspect historians will recognize it for decades and decades to come.

Photographs collection of Jay Moynahan.

Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books HERE

Taboo the Tijuana Bibles REALLY from Tijuana! Tijuana Bible Series #15 on Vintage Sleaze

Taboo the magazine! As primitive as a hand hewn tool and printed in Tijuana, just across the border (in sequence and in individually numbered editions) for tourists to carry back slipped amongst the maps in the glove box. Now I don't know if any young bucks crossed the border just to find the latest issue, but some might have picked one up after spending their ranch money on a "growin' up" experience down there and thought a mimeo reminder of their visit was a good way to celebrate the accomplishment.

Now I have pointed out earlier in the series that Tijuana Bibles didn't come from Tijuana, they came from puny wise-guys in Pittsburgh (according to a document I printed here in full) I have also read they were produced in LA by free-lancing illustrators from the cartoon studios of Hollywood...and the suitcase boys paid more than Uncle Walt! Eh...we'll never know and i'll never stop trying to find out.

According to the folks at Alta-Glamour books, and they should know...Taboo actually WAS printed in Tijuana by George B. Leonard, publisher of the Esoterica Press , a tiny operation with a prodigious output. I am doing some research, but as these booklets are dated 1954 and record-keeping was slack...we'll see. One reads "copyright 1954, under Pan-A. C. Treaty" (!) so I suppose the radical right will try to blame these on FDR, who signed the Pan American treaty in 1935) How come we haven't had a flood of good smut since NAFTA?

Taboo was a real magazine (or aspired to be)...a feature story, some brief attempts at humor, pitches for upcoming product. Filthy, but interestingly censoring their own vernacular words for female anatomy (two in particular and you can guess them, one with a C and one with a P) They also "implied" another of George Carlin's words...who were they afraid of?

They were half the size of a piece of typewriter paper, and I've shown one here next to "She Got the Job" (a real eight-pager which was drawn by the same fellow who drew Bazooka Joe) for size comparison.

It is a shame the American unquenchable thirst for illegal drugs has the splendid country of Mexico in a murderous turmoil. Things were much more simple when it was their erotica we consumed, not their dope. And I am also sure the parents would rather have their Ninos running little printing presses for the Gringos, not guns and dope.

(Let me make that as clear as I can. WE send the guns DOWN and WE use the drugs UP. I call THAT obscene, and I will do it without censoring my own words)

#15 of a series on Tijuana Bibles by Jim Linderman, The rest HERE sorta...my free blog host has indexing skills lacking precision...just keep clicking the tiny "older posts" tag)

Two issues of "Taboo" magazine. 1954. Collection Victor Minx


The Making of Veronica BOOK REVIEW? The BILBREW cover? You MUST be Kidding. Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks

Kid you not. Pretty hard to believe...From the July 21 1968 issue of The Candid Press (one of those underground rags of newsprint cashing in on the new thing, baby, you know.)

It's really more of a book report than a book review...but still was enough to give the wise guys a giggle, I am sure. Maybe they owned the Candid Press too...I'll look it up. I guess not...but I sure find it hard a young woman would take the time to REVIEW this Russ Trainer clunker without being told to by SOME boss.

The making of Veronica was a Bilbrew drawn paperback cover done for Foremost/Connoisseur Publications, Joe Sturman's line distributed by World Wide News Co. which was Reuben Sturman's part of the operation. Don't bother reading the review. Don't bother reading the BOOK. With an Wizard imprint, not too difficult to find.

Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books HERE

old time religion, Editor's Notes, ONE MILLION PAGE VIEWS and a Good Old Fashioned SHILL vintage sleaze

No one trick pony, your faithful reporter who dares ask the clerk for that cellophane wrapped book under the counter has compiled a NEW BOOK, his tenth self-published...and despite the "Saturday Night / Sunday Morning" thing, trust not that it is a religious screed. On the contrary!

old-time-religion not only continues my unschooled rules of capitalization, it compiles over 200 of the oddest, strangest and just plain wrongest examples of right wing religious fervor gone mad from the last 100 years. It is quite a collection...as colorful as the frolics here, but with a different message. And the message is? You call it....no text in this book, the graphics and tracts speak for themselves. Hey, if a "faith-healer" wants to open a radio station across the border and solicit "donations" for his "cures" who am I to question it?

Printing your own books is expensive and a no return game...but from the buyer's point especially, considering the economy and the market for books. If it weren't for celebrity authors like, oh...Hulk Hogan and the Situation (coming soon) no one would go to bookstores at all! So a generous free preview is available HERE.

Back to the Smut Tomorrow!

Editors Note...we are rapidly approaching ONE MILLION HITS. Not bad for a kid who got Ds all the way through school.

Make sure to tell your more "correct" friends about old-time religion...you can snicker while imagining them turning the pages! Irony Rules! The true heritage of the tea party is to be
found within this book...and it ain't always pious or pretty.

"200 miracles from the collection of Jim Linderman! Linderman is called"The King of Internet Ephemera" for his series of odd art blogs under the "Dull Tool Dim Bulb" umbrella. Now comes this new book of bold obscure graphics, tracts, pamphlets, screeds, photographs and more from the last 100 years of Bible Thumpers and Evangelists. The True Heritage of the Religious Right! Linderman lovingly preserves and presents these dopey artifacts because no one else does. Astounding, frightening and hilarious at the same time. Get down on your sinful knees! Is the Apocalypse coming? YES, and it has been for the last 100 years!"

Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books

Humorama History is Made. Humorama Number ONE April 1957 Vintage Sleaze

April 1957 and sleazy history is made! Volume one Number one of Humorama! Looks like they are off to a...oh oh...I see issue number one is already marked down from 35 cents to a quarter by Charlie the operator who got tired of putting the mag back up on the top shelf...Damn Kids.

Although the format was pretty much established with number one, it was bigger (the more familiar digest size came later) and because they seemingly weren't sure the public would open the pages, they crammed as many gag cartoons on the cover as would fit. but same pinups, same artists. The premier issue managed to round up Dan DeCarlo of Archie fame, Jefferson Machamer...and of course some Massive mammary contributions by Bill Ward.

Guess what else? Photographer Bunny Yeager, later to gain fame and fortune as a photographer of Bettie Page...As a MODEL. Here's Bunny...taking some sun in Florida! She must have buried the shutter release in the sand. And there is her muse, a few pages later. Betty with a Y but who is complaining?

The only low point is the title page, where one "Muriel Feltman" (I'm sure she did) is posed...but her eyebrows are thick enough to scare me into putting the mag back on the rack. It does, even at this stage, provide what would become a trademark...the stupid caption. "Caught in an ungartered moment."

As usual Ward rules the waves simply by virtue of his gargamazoombas. All in all a pretty good start. They promise to publish quarterly.


Humorama Volume one Number one April 1957 Collection Victor Minx

See Dull Tool Dim Bulb / Vintage Sleaze Books in Print HERE

Paul Swartz for Vintage Sleaze Contemporary #6 in the Series Contemporary Vintage Sleaze

New World Nude Revue by Paul Swartz 2011 for Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Click to Enlarge

Cartoonist Paul Swartz contributes his version of "Contemporary Vintage Sleaze" with an international flair and the TRUE pursuit of happiness...a DAME!

Paul Swartz is off to a strong start. A young MFA student, he has already done considerable work and is well immersed in the comics community. Frontal positions and extreme color are his obvious strengths, but more so is his world view...comics are universal, and why shouldn't a cartoonist be the same?

His clever comic "A Vanishing Act" tells the story of a vaudeville performer with one talent...mimicry. A good story well reviewed in The Comics Journal by Rob Cough HERE. The tough audience here is a draft which didn't make the story, but you can see the final version HERE.

The full novel is up on the Paul Swartz Website "The People's Republic of Paul"

Parts of "The Jaws of Defeat" are also shown as well as a number of one-offs, stickers and more.

When asked to contribute to the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series (on the basis of the tiny little red dames celebrating below) Mr Swartz applies his world view in a massive way in "New World Nude Revue'...these "tired and poor" are being tempted with the tease of Miss Liberty. Any man's dream and certainly worth the travel.

Learn more about Paul Swartz HERE
His newest work "Meet the Monsters: The Quirks of Creatures A to Z will debut at MoCCA in NYC on April 9-10.

Now all you artists and cartoonists get cracking...send your submissions of pinup and sleaze influenced art to j.winkel4@gmail. As this blog is rapidly approaching one million hits, you will probably receive mega in return, and I'll get to feel like a big shot. A win/win!

"Contemporary Vintage Sleaze" is a weekly series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today. All art is copyrighted by the respective creator, distributor or publisher and therefore should not be reproduced WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST. NO cribbing and I ain't fibbing! Each and every post in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series will link to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. You need only ask! Serious artists are contributing to this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Astrid Daley, Antonio Lapone

If you are a cartoonist and/or artist and would like to participate in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series, submit work to: j.winkel4@gmail.com


The Rare Digests #6 Silken Nugget and Model Agency by Norman Reed

The Rare Digests #6 post is yet another Eddie Mishkin book from the days of softer than soft-core sleaze. The book contains two novelettes, one Silken Nugget, the other Model Agency, both by Norman Reed. "A Sensual Publication" which is "Fully Illustrated" with unconvincing (and unattractive) D-grade drawings by one "POL" who has not yet been identified to my knowledge. No wonder.

Check out the mug on the follow spreading money on the floor in the third pic here...he looks like Humphrey Bogart from "The Petrified Forest" days. Plus the figures are all head! If the head-size is measured and extended to the torsos, these romantic gunsels are each 4 feet tall! I guess you could say they have a slightly askew appeal.

By the way, the seemingly primary title of this book "Sex Fashions" does not appear as a story, nor is their any indication why the words were placed on the cover. There is no real cover page, the book starts right out with Silken Nugget. Maybe the novelettes were part of Norman's "Sex Fashion" series.

From "Tele-Foto" which also published much finer product, Including Black Lace which I have already discussed.

Norman Reed wrote both novelettes, and the order form on the last page indicates the next book will be his as well... "Girl on the Loose" which I have never seen.

Silken Nugget was reprinted in 1965 by an equally suspect company called "Darte Distributors" in what I presume was an unauthorized edition but the drawings were replaced with photographs. A good idea.

There is an entry on Amazon" of an additional reprint with cover art by Eric Stanton but it could mistakenly refer to this volume.

Sex Fashions (?) Silken Nugget and Model Agency by Norman Reed. Tele-Foto Publishing Corp. circa 1958 Collection Victor Minx

Number Five in the Vintage Sleaze Series The Rare Digests
Dull Tool Dim Bulb / Vintage Sleaze Books HERE

Pure Products of America Go Crazy Busty and the Disgusting Whisky Bottle Cover Vintage Sleaze Consumer Culture

Well folks, as I have posted 385 entries on this site with absolutely no problem finding things to make fun of, it must be an indication of how pervasive and persistent the foibles of man are when it comes to representations of the female form...but this HAS to be the most disturbing, disgusting and strange "thing" ever placed on the site (and ever invented.)
"Busty" was a really creepy thick rubber sleeve to be placed over your whiskey bottle, which I have done here for all you fans. It was not a pleasant endeavor.

Busty is composed of some strange nearly lubricious goo invented in a demented scientist's liar.
Spongy and decidedly NOT pleasant to touch (or stretch...which I had to do to get it over the Jim Beam bottle here...I didn't read the instruction which indicates lube is recommended.) That no manufacturer is indicated on the box or the, um..."effigy" indicates the folks responsible were ashamed too.

I have been sober now some 15 years, and this was one of the only times I have touched a bottle since. Trust it was damn hard not to take a swig after sullying my hands with Ms. Busty.

William Carlos Williams "The pure products of America Go Crazy." I have thought of the phrase my entire life when appraising consumer culture and what Americans have done with their disposable income instead of things meaningful.

This "thing" certainly qualifies as a crazy pure American product. If this doesn't make you fellas out there realize the terror of being a woman in the sexist 1950s...Imagine sitting in the "basement bar" while several smoking, poker-playing beer-belly burly buffoons guffaw as the bottle is passed around. Har Har indeed. If you think I am exaggerating, you haven't felt this thing.

"Busty" Whiskey Bottle Cover. Circa 1950? Collection Victor Minx

Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books HERE

Black Pinups Afro-Antics #3 Howard Morehead Unsung Hero of Photography Black Pinup Vintage Sleaze

Want to read one of the saddest and now most pathetic paragraphs you will read in quite a while? Right here.

This was written in 1964. In my lifetime, and likely in that of many reading this. How could we have been so backward, so racist?

Howard Morehead was one photographer ahead of his time, even though his time was not very fair to him or his models. Mr. Morehead not only found the African-American figure beautiful, he took it upon himself to prove it to others. From small beginnings organizing the "Miss Los Angeles Bronze Beauty contest" in 1958 to his calendar line and his extensive work for Jet and Ebony Magazine, Mr. Morehead had not only racist perceptions about his those he took pictures of, but racism himself to deal with. The first West Coast Staff Photographer for Ebony Magazine, Morhead took a now famous photograph of Ray Charles as well as countless splendid pictures of Black Women in all their glory.

Howard Morehead was born in Kansas in 1927 and moved to Los Angeles as a young man. During his lifetime, he suffered the mixed compliment of being "one of the top photographers of his race" I am sure with dignity and grace.
The fantastic body of work was fortunately deposited in the California African American Museum which features many of Morehead's images (including Ray Charles, Billie Holiday and Paul Robeson) and a scarce Image of one of his calendars.

Shortly after his death, the museum mounted the exhibition "I Shot Ray Charles" which I hope they will recreate one day.

The scarce book "Gentlemen Prefer Bronze" shown above collects over fifty of Morehead's beautiful photographs of Black Pinups and Fashion photographs. Published in 1964, it is a hard volume to find but belongs in every photography library. I am sure the publisher "Sherbourne Press" no longer exists, and I have not found another copy of this book listed. It is well worth searching for.

See others in the Series "UNSUNG HERO OF PHOTOGRAPHY"

See others in the Series "BLACK PINUPS AFRO-ANTICS"

Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books HERE

Images from "Gentleman Prefer Bronze" Sherbourne Press 1964 Los Angeles Collection Victor Minx


Star from Seinfeld and her Sleazy STAG FILM Vintage Sleaze

Did you ever get the feeling you've been had? Imagine shelling out 5 GRAND only to receive the following in a brown paper bag.

Sheree North was, well...it doesn't matter...Wait...OH MY GOD!


"Barbara "Babs" Kramer (played by Sheree North): Cosmo Kramer's mother. She used to be a matron in the women's restroom at a restaurant, but was persuaded by Kramer to resign from that job and pursue an undefined venture with him. Although first mentioned in "The Nose Job," her first on-screen appearance is in "The Switch", where she also unintentionally reveals Kramer's first name to be Cosmo and has a sexual encounter with Newman."