Yes, that is the REAL Tirza above. Tirza Du Val. Tirza traveled with a contraption of pipes and pumps full of wine, and the show was a real corker!
Retro- recreators at "Burlesque at the Beach" on Coney Island thought they could replicate the show with no regard to Tirza's rights. As reported in the New York Post of August 13, 2001, a Chicago lawyer representing Tirza sent a "cease and desist" to the folks who were bringing back the wine bath...Tirza retained the rights to the show! Sorry, hipsters! There is only ONE Tirza, and she is testy!
Tempest Storm turns 84 today. Pic here is from promotional stills for her Irving Klaw film Teaserama. SEE MORE HERE
Tales dug from the retro grave of vintage smut, Vintage Sleaze the Blog posts a story every day. Mobsters, Pin-up Girls, Speed-Freak Writers, Dirty Shutterbugs, Sleazy Strip Joints, Scratchy Stag Films and most important, Misguided attempts to censor the material by inept politicians, cops, judges and moms! The True Story of Smut in America. Every darn word true. OVER TEN THOUSAND FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS!
Rosa Carlo Rosalyn Drexler Pop Art and Wrestling with a Fetish. Ultra Digest Cribs a Photo of The Mexican Spitfire
Although it has not been documented as far as I can tell, I suspect the publishing house of "H. Zucca" was Leonard Burtman and friends operating out of an address at 1158 Broadway under the bogus company name of Ultra Sports. They produced two issues of "Ultra" digest. Dated 1957, the books were aimed at a market who liked wrestling women. The subscription form on the back claims "Ultra is the only publication of Girl Wrestling" and they would know. Ten issues was $15.00, but I really don't think it lasted much further than this issue.
Whoever published it, they were confident enough in the potential market to commission a serial cartoon called "Mat Girls" by Gene Bilbrew, who is up to his typical hard-boiled high-heels standards. How one was supposed to believe the wrestlers were able to perform a Half Nelson in stilettos is beyond me, but who am I to judge. Or rather to referee.
Stanton appears too, of course, under his "Savage" pseudonym, and there are a dozen grainy photos of female grunts posing and flexing as well, including this extraordinary picture of Rosa Carlo, the Mexican Spitfire getting ready to pin Mae Young to the mat (!)
Rosa is a story. Rosa is a BIG story, and it is one you would not believe. For starters, to know Warhol did a series of paintings of her in her wrestling duds will suffice for this post. Rosa was Rosalyn Drexler, Pop artist, writer...and on and on and on.
Televised matches showing MEN rolling on the mat had started only a decade earlier, and it wasn't long before the "sport" had as many comic book characters as Marvel. I can't find the first example of a women's wrestling match being broadcast. The fact exists buried under the mat.
There is legit wrestling, even for women. The first Olympic gold medal for Women's wrestling was awarded in 2004, and they will include Women's boxing this year. The less legit Women's wrestling (as in pumped up females who fake it just like pumped up men) may have been a fad...and their pecs were boobs...I think.)
Ultra Digest Number 2 1957 "Zucca" Publishers, New York Doing Business as Ultra Sports 1158 Broadway NYC Collection Victor Minx
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Royal Magic Novelty Company provides some hooked bait for the tired old "reel in a fella" gag, 1949.
Adult "Bait for Male Fish" Novelty Gag, Royal Magic Novelty Company 1949 Collection Victor Minx
When William Wenzel Was Working as PICO the Pinup Artist Bill Wenzel Gag Cartoons Pseudonym Vintage Sleaze
When Wenzel was Pico
Why did Bill Wenzel publish some of his early work signed by PICO? No one knows including me. I will offer a guess though. Too much exposure?
Even as early as 1948, which is when Wenzel works such as these date...the artist was on fire. Hundreds, nay THOUSANDS of cartoons! I have even seen "PICO" works in the same magazine as some signed Wenzel.
Even if all I can do is hazard a guess, it is nice to add to comic lore...Yes, Wenzel worked under a pseudonym and it was Pico. Another early work by Wenzel which predates his glob of work for Humorama is HERE.
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An issue of Good Times, 1955, edited by convicted publisher of redeeming social value Samuel Roth. Roth's resume follows:
• 1928: 3 months in New York "workhouse" for possessing indecent materials with intent to sell
• 1929: 6 months imprisonment in "Detention Headquarters, NYC" for violation of parole: occurred after NY Society for the Suppression of Vice raided Roth's warehouse and found copies of Lady Chatterley's Lover, Ulysses, Fanny Hill, other titles and pictures
• 1930: 2 months in Moyemensing Prison, remanded after serving time in New York for selling obscene books (including Ulysses) in Philadelphia
• 1934: $100 fine (otherwise 20 days in jail) • 1957-1961: incarceration at Lewisburg penitentiary
Oh...and 1957-1961: incarceration at Lewisburg penitentiary
The Samuel Roth papers, which detail the extraordinary lengths to which your tax dollars were used to prevent him from publishing books you can now find in any library are HERE at Columbia University.
More information about Roth is HERE which details his case before the Supreme Court.
Good Times Volume 2, Number 17 1955 "New York Issue" Edited by Samuel Roth Picadilly Press NYC Collection Victor Minx
THIS IS NUMBER TWENTY FIVE IN THE SERIES 'THE RARE DIGESTS' Small essays on hopelessly obscure and scarce soft-core publications of the 1950s. Enjoy them All!
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Glanzman the Lensman has his Assets Froze Bettie Page the Post Office and Mail Order Madness Vintage Sleaze
Name the photographer who put Bettie Page in a motion picture wearing an Indian headdress and had his finances frozen like a despot for doing it!
Willliam Glanzman, famous photographer and sleaze.
Glanzman photographed Ms. Page several times. They are among the least seen and least familiar photographs of the icon and many are in color. Not only that, he produced and sold a short stag film of the actress back in 1955.
While Glanzman's work was goofy, putting the model among fake palm fronds and giving her stupid props, they were tasteful...although topless, there is no full frontal nudity and no implied bondage. (You know...the things other photographers were paying the model for.)
While Ms. Page (who was spelled "Paige" on his reel of film) was not Glanzman's only model, she was his best. Ganzman also shot, and sold, slides and photographs of Gypsy Palmer, Tamar Benamy, Judy O'Neil and others. Again, no hardcore. Figure studies.
Still, Ganzman was prosecuted. The brochure above is what got him in trouble. Doing business as "Bowery Enterprises" he mailed them with less discretion than he should have. At least the New York postmaster thought so. They decided to put a freeze on all money orders and ordered all his mail returned to the sender! Why? Because he was selling, (quoting from the legal jargon used to deny him making a living off Bettie's bangs ) "obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecent, filthy... vile article(s), matter, thing, device, or substance..."
Personally, I am of the opinion that Bettie Page was not obscene. She was obscenely beautiful...but obscene?
It was 1955...I might agree if some cub scout's mom received this brochure because Glanzman swiped the Boy's Life mailing list she might have been a bit upset. I'll grant you that, postal forces who know better than I what I should see...but you will never get me to admit she was a vile article.
Did the fellow who so anxiously checked his mailbox everyday before his wife came home receive his film and pictures ordered above? I hope so, but I don't think so. As he dated his note, the order clearly fell within the window when Glanzman's money was being returned to sender. A shame. How many poor saps out there with $16.00 to blow on smut had to make do with the Sears catalog? We will never know.
Read Ganzman's tale of woe HERE. So I don't suffer Glanzman's fate, I've blanked out the parts of Ms. Page which presumably offended the post office.
Original Brochure from William Glanzman and "Bowery Enterprises" 1955. Original note from purchaser handwritten on one side. Collection Victor Minx
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A sleaze comic publication purportedly about sexy cartoons with an automotive theme, the editors ran out of car gags halfway through and started throwing in public domain clip art and wheezy old film stills to which they provided their own "hilarious" captions. Typical of the crud foisted on the humor-deprived American public during the constitutional lawless Nixon reign. (Shudder...how anyone can aspire or claim to being a republican after Nixon is truly, truly beyond me...but I try to avoid political controversy here unless it involves some pinheads trying to censor what you choose to spend your 75 cents on... MEESE!)
Anyway, this appears to be a one-shot grab for the coin. It says "August" but I've never seen another, and the only indication of a publisher is the tiny "CC" near the price. It does contain a dozen or so quite remarkable Bill Ward drawings (as well as one the cover) but unless you go for "headlights" jokes I'd say pass.
Wheely Nutz August No Year Circa 1970? Collection Victor Minx
For other Bill Ward Gag Cartoons, look at ANY Men's Magazine from 1965 to 1980.
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PHOTO BY ADAM BIRD FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDESHOW from "Mining the Margins of Pop Culture" profile article by John Strausbaugh from the New York Times February 12, 2012
5 Years in Leavenworth for Selling Boob McNutt (Ira O'Neal, Black Man convicted) History of Eight-Pagers # 25
Ira O'Neal was a "colored" man, according to the Chicago Tribune in 1932, a former policeman...and he goes down in history as being the only person sentenced to 5 years in Leavenworth prison for selling Tijuana Bibles. He called them "carts (short for Cartoon books) and he was actually convicted not for selling them, but for mailing a letter OFFERING to sell them. 5 years.
Ouch. I wonder if the fact that he was using the pseudonym "Balzac" had anything to do with it? (True...)
The Chicago Tribune report ("Ex-Policeman Gets Five Years on Smut Charge" February 21, 1932) not only mentions Ira's race, but reports Ira's wife Viola was given a year for helping.
Actually, Mr. O'Neal was offering more than 8-pagers, but as this entry is for the Tijuana Bible series here on Vintage sleaze, that shall be our concern. (Among the other items being offered were "The most beautiful Photos in the world of Girls and Men together, posed in Action, and boy are they a Wow at $5.00 per dozen" and "Single Photos post card size of girls alone, $3.00 per dozen, Beautiful." but as these were 1932 post cards, I don't think they would cause too much concern today.
But back to the comics!
Quoting from Ira's original letter, once a pitch, now evidence: "Last but not least, `Carts' Short for Cartoon Books. I have Tillie and Mac, Jiggs, Boob, Moon, Dumb Dora and others. These Books are put up and longer and contain more than usual. Also larger and they are not the cheap variety. Price $1.00 each; $10.00 per dozen." (sic)
Not cheap indeed. A buck each? Pfffft!
The "Boob" which Mr. O'Neal refers to is shown above. It satirized the Rube Goldberg character. In the filthy little book, we learn why the word "Jazz" has a sexual connotation while Boob learns quite a bit more. Um...do they know that up at Lincoln Center? We also see an early reference to "Shag"...I always thought Austin Powers made up that word.
I was alerted to this story by none other than the slightly pig-faced conservative author James J. Kilpatrick, failed talking head (briefly, for 60 minutes...) and segregationist. What? No WONDER he was pissed at Ira's dirty comics! He was a racist buffoon, but at least he provided good footnotes in his book "The Smut Peddlers" which is not on kindle yet.
Those of you who have read this far and would like to see the transcript putting Ira O'Neal into jail can go HERE.
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.
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Google wants to be your restaurant finder more than your guide to vintage sexist sleaze, so if you search these cocktail napkins up in the image search, it will correct you and provide EXTRA spicy. Thanks, but I can find my own heartburn. Although Bill Wenzel is on the box cover, only one napkin inside is by the master of the curvy cutie...the rest are by a B-list bunch of cartoonists more appropriate for wiping up spills. Interestingly, each napkin has an artist's palette covering the cartoon. And I thought I was the only one who considered these guys artists!
Sextra Spicy Cocktail Napkins 1956 "Magic Wand" Novelty company Pasadena, CA
Collection Victor Minx
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Whipped into an uncontrollable lust crazed frenzy of lewd spasms and primal sexual gyrations, a smut-crazed stripper, name withheld, abandons all modesty and leaps from the stage bathed in a burning white hot heat of abandon and passion.
Original Snapshot circa 1965 Collection Victor Minx
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Crow Editions was a cheap, lousy Canadian imprint consisting of cropped and chopped bastardized versions of earlier novels which were reprinted, sometimes with entire chapters missing. I don't care, I don't read them. But I love primitive, lurid covers...and in at least one case, Crow actually used a painter to render an even MORE primitive copy of the same cover! Great Stuff!
Crow also used the cheapest of cheap Canadian paper, both inside and out. One read creased the cover for good, and after it was passed around the cabin a few times, they took on the look of a worn leather wallet...as you see on my copies here. You CAN find mint ones, but I'd rather not spend the money. They are lovely though, and certainly off the radar. It is about time someone helps add them to the canon of collectible vintage sleaze, even if they were Canadian. Bring your passport and be prepared to get wet feet...as you can see my copies must have been soaking on the floor of the cabin for decades.
Harmon Bellamy may have been the best known writer in the bunch. He did some detective pulp fiction, and his books have turned up with numerous publishers. He was a friend of Jack Woodford and worked in Hollywood. He also used the names H. I. Bloom or Herman Bloom as well as William E. Gordon. A real old- timer, he had work published in Boy's Life back in 1935.
Likewise James Clayford, a prolific writer with many pulps under his/her belt. James was one Peggy Gaddis, among others, there are tons of books by her. I mean tons. Peggy Gaddis was Peggy Dern and more, but the real name was Erolie Pearly Gaddis Dern.
So here is my modest and musty collection of Crow Editions. In all, I believe there were 24 of them and all were published from 1949 to 1950. "Sideshow Girl" is probably the cover seen most often (which shows the Coney Island Odditorium(!) and "Desirable" has a great use of space...I would have bought either from a revolving rack if I were traveling in the Canadian winter in the 1950s, but I would not have stuck my tongue to the metal. All are fairly slight little things....the 12 copies I have create a stack only four inches tall!
What little is known about Crow Editions of Canada has been painstakingly learned and shared by "Bowdler" at Fly - By - Night, a quiet but outstanding site which attacks the pulp novels of Canada with precision. I collect them, but Bowdler studies them.
Group of Crow Editions Paperbacks, 1949-1950 Collection Victor Minx
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When did Leonard Burtman's more mundane cheesecake magazines (which I believe began far earlier than most published accounts, starting with a slew of standard "girly" digests with fairly bland, routine black and white photographs of burlesque dancers, camera club girls and buxom bosomy beauties) start to appeal to MEN dressing as cheescake? Certainly by 1963, when High Heels magazine published this drawing by Gene Bilbrew of a Bettie Page wig, some shapely gams and a curious corset? There is no indication this was a Halloween issue.
Burtman had been in business some ten years when this issue was published.
Gene Bilbrew illustration from High Heels Magazine 1963 (Volume 2 Number 6) Collection Victor Minx
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At some point in their short and slightly illegal lifetime, the Wee Hours line of paperbacks produced by Stanley Malkin and Edward Mishkin underwent a transformation. Gone were the now familiar, vibrant and goofy covers done by Eric Stanton, Gene Bilbrew, Bill Alexander and Bill Ward. They were replaced by these trippy, acid-induced line drawings with nightmare dungeon themes and shadow blobs. What happened? Where's the fun? Maybe the times, I guess...Bad psychedelics. Gone also was AMD the original distributor, replaced by EMD. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. They still claimed to be out of Buffalo, New York, but the earlier address in the Prudential Building was now the Market Arcade on Main Street. I don't know what happened...but the series petered out in 1968.
Three later (1968) " Wee Hours Special" and "Original" Wee Hours Books # 565, #570, #572 Collection Victor Minx
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In 1957, Bill Ward, master of the risque gag comic did a series of drawings for Duke Magazine, a short-lived upscale magazine aimed at the African-American market. Duke was the creation of Dan Burley, profiled HERE. Ward drew his gags exactly as he did for dozens of men's magazines for the dominant Caucasian market, but the "Black Bills" were different. Not much different, as the over-developed women he drew differed only by the use of a slightly darker color shade, but his contribution was noteworthy and noble nonetheless.
Drawn under the pseudonym "McCartney" a few are shown here from the October 1957 issue of Duke. Other work for the magazine is shown HERE.
Bill Ward cartoons for Duke 1957
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