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Basil Merrett obsessive drawings circa 1945



Basil Merrett was institutionalized at Bethlem Royal Hospital in London as a psychiatric patient.  These drawings, each approximately 4" x 6" were done circa 1945-1950.  They are a sampling of the some 1,000 works he created of this size, each heavily filled with handwritten text on the reverse.  The work was created in series, each numbered, and included authors, musicians, religious images and prominent figures from history. 

Basil Merrett Drawings Collection Jim Linderman
Posted by Jim Linderman on 9/12 | tags: art brut outsider art Visionary British Collection Jim Linderman drawing

Jay Jackson African-American Illustrator and Cartoonist by Jim Linderman

Jay Jackson isn't best known for superheroes, but he certainly was one.  He was also fearless.  Who but a hero would draw this image at a time when integration was unheard of, segregation was the unwritten law and yes, African-Americans were still being beaten when they dared to say the races should get along.  Much less that they might interact in skimpy attire.  At the time this postcard was drawn by Mr. Jackson, swimming pools were segregated.  If you watch the news, you know we still have a long way to go.

Jay Jackson was Black cartoonist who drew white pinups, but he did much more.  He spent most of his life encouraging understanding between the races and teaching valuable lessons with humor and insight in his comics.  

One would think the simple risqué "girly" postcards would be as disposable as the one cent stamp used to mail them in the 1940s, but the splendid HERE IS IS !! IN BLACK AND WHITE postcard was found in no less than Langston Hughes archives after he passed.   It was that notable.  Langston Hughes saved the postcard.

So am I.  It comes up on ebay once in a while, and it is just about the best way you can spend ten bucks.

Why did Jackson draw white pinups?  Because in 1945, even a penny postcard required expendable income for the members of his own race.  Like all commercial artists, he drew to sell. So most of his risqué postcards were of white glamor girls.   Here it Is in Black and White was a piece of 3 x 5 courage and one which resonates still today.    
Jay Jackson, the artist (and he was an artist, despite the ephemeral nature of postcards) passed away at the age of 48.  Jet Magazine ran an obituary for him in 1954. His work appeared in African-American newspapers and magazines.  He also ran an art clearinghouse for advertisers and publishers.  He drew the Pepsi advertisements which appeared in Ebony, a story in itself.  He did posters for War bonds during World War Two.  Our friends at The Museum of Uncut Funk have made available entire serial works of the Speed Jaxon syndicated series he drew for the Chicago Defender HERE and he also did a series of patriotic posters during World War Two.  An essay on the artist by Amy Mooney appears HERE.


Jay Jackson was one of four artists who drew the "Bungleton Green" series, a newspaper comic strip for African-American readers in the Chicago Defender from 1920 to 1963.  He is probably best known for his "As Others See Us" comics which did just that…and  both African-American and White readers laughed while they learned. 

A scrap of paper on the reverse of one of his drawings written in the artist's hand indicates his income  during the years from 1944 to 1947, from when the postcards were drawn, as going over 10,000 a year only once.


What is the hallmark of a Jay Jackson Pinup postcard?  Red cheeks on the women and a loose spinal column on the man.  The cards were printed in cheap lithograph form by  Colourpicture Publishers on Newbury Street in Boston.  The images he drew as postcards are not identified in the Colourpicture catalog as being by an African American, and I do not see the most notable one in the catalog.  Likely not a mistake, as it was not only hot, but incendiary at the time.  Few postcards transcend the genre.  This one does.  In the book  "Zoot Suit:  The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style" by Kathy Peiss, Mr. Jackson's male characters are discussed as women-chasing wolves.  Ain't we all?

The original sketch drawings, postcards and Colourpicture catalog are collection Jim Linderman.  The pages from Jay Jackson's Sketchbook are collection Jim Linderman  PAGES FROM THE JAY JACKSON SKETCHBOOK will be published by DULL TOOL DIM BULB BOOKS in 2015

Posted by Jim Linderman on 8/18

B. E. Riddick Big in Back





Well, you have to say he had a unique, consistent vision, which is the hallmark of a great artist.  B.E. Riddick worked in the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, and most his several hundred works were created on the flattened paper of shopping bags.  That isn't unusual for "outsider artists" who often work on found materials or whatever is available.  Certainly African-American, which is of interest, but also certainly obsessed and driven.

B. E. Riddick, presumed passed away until we learn otherwise, worked in the low country of Virginia.  Maybe Newport News, or Richmond?  The details are sketchy as his sketches.  Each work is large in both scale and subject…Mr. Riddick liked big bottoms.

He aspired to cartoon work and illustration.  In his body of work are Amazon like superwomen in costume as well as extremely pornographic drawings...but also, shall we say, of "ample" figures. 

Comparable to the work of other fetish artists, it is hard to say he was "following in a tradition" as the work is far too unique to say it has precedent, but still quite curious and downright amazing.

Works by B. E. Riddick circa 1975- 1980 on shopping bag paper.  Collection Victor Minx.

Posted by Jim Linderman on 3/8 | tags: outsider-art folk-art obsessive erotic erotica african-american drawing pop graffiti/street-art

Joe Shuster of Superman Fame Bondage Illustration PRINT Available
 Poster size high quality prints of a drawing by Joe Shuster from Vintage Sleaze the Blog!  Just in time for a "super" Black Sunday!  ORDER TODAY!

An original illustration by Superman co-creator Joe Shuster, who after selling the rights to his creation was forced to sell work to a minor member of organized crime to pay the rent!  Shuster created bondage and S&M works to illustrated pornographic digest publications during the early 1950s.  This image has not been seen since the book, House of Tears, was published in a edition of some 1,000 copies, nearly all of which have been destroyed.  A beautiful representation of a women bound, in "shades of grey" of course,  now over 50 years old but still looking contemporary and stylish, not to mention quite a conversation piece.  Available from Dull Tool Dim Bulb Editions as indicated here, in several sizes, on high quality paper and print.  Prices range from less than $100 to $300 depending on size, and you can even select professional framing too! 

See all the works available from Dull Dull Dim Bulb Edition on Artslant!  There are over a dozen images available, all affordable and all extraordinary.   
Posted by Jim Linderman on 11/16/13

19th Century American Landscape Painters on TIN




Tintype studio backdrops try to overpower the sitters in this little photo essay of staying dry while visiting the falls.  These all appear in my book The Painted Backdrop but it is too expensive now.  So if you are interested, buy the ebook instead.

The Painted Backdrop (EBOOK version) is HERE

Group of Tintype Photographs, circa 1870 - 1890 Collection Jim Linderman

Posted by Jim Linderman on 8/16/13 | tags: 19th century american painting folk art photography studios props backdrop History of Photography American Painters Tintypes photography

Nyla Gladine Thompson Mouth Painter of Texas

Original Paintings by Nyla Gladine Thompson by Mouth Polio Survivor Painter Collection Jim Linderman

 Nyla Gladine Thompson Mouth Painter

Small hand-painted works by a remarkable artist.  I've been collecting her original works for a few years, and always try to purchase them when I find them.  Do not be confused by reproduction postcards, which the artist also sold…these are all small oil paintings by a woman who painted with her mouth.

Ms. Thompson painted flowers, landscapes, animals and more.  A family genealogical site speculates she also painted (in sections at a time) decorations for a "Tee Pee" restaurant in Texas, this would likely be the Tee Pee Motel which was recently restored and put back to service by a lottery winner (!) but I can find no photographs of the decorations on the standing buildings.  They were certainly painted over or cleaned over the years.

That the artist manages to fully realize a recognizable, personal vision in her work is amazing considering her physical handicap.  The detail is extraordinary.  One distinguishing mark of her work is the countless specks she applies one at a time.  A primitive pointillist.   In the earliest work here, she has even decorated and signed the painting on the reverse to create a traditional postcard.
The best biographical material on the artist comes from Annette Patterson's website HERE.  Ms. Patterson has done a wonderful job tracing information on her extended Texas family, and has also written a book with several pages on Nyla.  Family photographs of the artist appear on the site.

Ms. Thompson was fairly well-known during her time.  The website shows letters she received from  both President Franklin Roosevelt (another polio survivor) and Lady Bird Johnson (a Texan who certainly loved flowers as much as Nyla.)  As such, it is odd that she has not been included in the many books published in the last 40 years or so on "outsider" artists.  She would seem to be right up Herbert Hemphill's alley, but I do not recall seeing her work in print.  I sold my Texas Folk Art books years ago, maybe someone can help here.

Nyla Gladine Thompson Paintings, each 4" x 6" circa 1940 - 1965 All Collection Jim Linderman
See Books and $5.99 Ebooks by Jim Linderman HERE

Posted by Jim Linderman on 6/24/13 | tags: disabled Texas Artists outsider art Outsider Artist Collection Jim Linderman folk art

REBUS ! The Victorian Puzzle Drawings of Anonymous Book

The newest book from DULL TOOL DIM BULB (!)  The Cryptic Rebus Drawings of Anonymous  19th Century Picture Word Games from the Collection of Jim Linderman

A modest little 40 page book for children or adults, a reproduction of miniature picture word puzzles from the Victorian age by an anonymous hand.  Available as an affordable ebook or in print. A remarkable collection of 19th Century original, hand drawn Rebus puzzles by anonymous! The practice of using pictures to represent words, this group of antique puzzles will stump everyone! Can YOU figure out the intricate, complex, cryptic rebus drawings of anonymous? Another obscure art book from the collection of Jim Linderman and Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books.  Print Edition HERE and affordable ebook (only $5.99) HERE

Posted by Jim Linderman on 4/25/13 | tags: victoriana Jim Linderman Book Art Book folk art antique puzzles Dull Tool Dim Bulb Rebus humor

Secret Erotic Drawings of D.H. Erotic Primitive Folk Artist

Often the artistic quality of an artist means far less than the story.

This is an example, though I find the paintings, of which there are hundreds and hundreds, charming and accomplished in a perverted enough way. Yes, they are severely cropped here. I'm showing mostly the heads (when I can isolate them among the morass of limbs, hands and other body parts, most rendered WAY out of proportion) including enormous, almost comical huge erect phalluses. Trust they are, well...creative. All are unsigned, but I have the artist's name. The best have a chalky white quality which looks like shoe polish, but I am afraid you won't be able to tell from these details.

D.H. produced huge stacks of these watercolors in his summer cottage. I suppose the family thought he was fishing, but when he passed away nearly a centurian, they were found hidden among a big box of Life magazines in the attic. An old story for fans of outsider art, but it never gets tired for me. A fevered brow, a driven eccentricity and a paintbrush gets me every time. Something about a family happening upon a huge body of unknown work is fascinating...and when it reveals Great-Gramp's secret obsession, all the better.

Some of the work was destroyed, and I also know why. At the least, he had a delicate and consistent vision, you can recognize his work from across the room...and all are marked with a playful, well-rendered eroticism. In some the participants are sprawled over poorly drawn modern furniture. They aren't primitive, but he certainly followed the adage most primitives do, that is that the most important part of a painting is made the largest. I am hiding the artist's name as that's the way the family wants it.

They were done in the early 1970's for the most part...but one of mine has a hand written tally sheet on the reverse tracking the results of the Mondale election. Fritz lost. All and every manner of partnering up you can imagine is there. The artist made no distinction between gender in the least, and if there is a personal preference, I sure can't find it.

So there you go. Another tale of a reclusive artist, painting for his own pleasure and piling up the work without a single sale or concern that it will. My kind of art.
I did do a little research...the last line of his obit reads "he loved to carve and draw."

Group of watercolors by "D.H." c. 1970. Collection Jim Linderman  Dull Tool Dim Bulb the Blog

Posted by Jim Linderman on 4/5/13 | tags: erotic erotica vintage homoerotica taboo nudes outsider art fetish lesbian gay Erotic Artists figurative

Ryan Heshka Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Profile #34

Ryan Heshka

We are pleased to have the participation of modern pulp painter Ryan Heshka for the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary series. Ryan is Number 34!  A noted illustrator who has worked his way into a most successful art career.  As you see, he is an artist who combines popular culture influences and artifacts which fit the esthetic values of the blog here so well.    

It is fantastical work which manages to be challenging as well as entertaining.  Children love it (he has produced two children's books) and demented, jaded popular culture historians love it even more!  This is an accomplishment.

Ryan Heshka is an artist who paints an oxymoron.  An imaginary futuristic past!   But he does it today, and he adds visual references from the slightly askew lurid world from before television.  Robots, Gats and Gunsels, Deadpan babes in tight rubber dresses…an imaginary but consistent world which never existed (then OR now) but helped sell pulp by the pound. All in colors which used draw customers to the newsstand racks, but increasingly now draw patrons to the white walls of galleries, and of late even to the Apps available of his work.

Comic books, romance magazines, pin ups and gangsters, glowing monsters, deviant scientists.  There are a few recurring characters likely of most interest to those here...the pale and pouty "Fashion Police" in heels.  He often finishes the paintings with found frames and titles them with scraps of text from the real thing.     

The most similar work I can think of is that of Jerome George Rozen and George Jerome Rozen.  A pair of curiously named twins who created bulbous imaginary transportation vessels for Modern Mechanix Magazine back in the 1930s.  But Heshke would add "contemporary vintage" flourishes like fetishy females fighting the future or heroes which look like the earliest square jaw drawings of Marvel's Sub-Mariner.  These pop-culture comparisons are only an attempt to understand the work.  Heshka has been called a surrealist pop painter, but labels hardly work here.  Good enough to say great.

Ryan Heshka answers our questions and reveals some of his influences in the interview.

On your webpage, you indicate your influences are "too numerous to list.."  Can you try for our readers a bit?

My overall influences include comics, pulp art, film (especially B-movies), vintage graphic design, architecture and industrial design, and natural history.

Specifically, my comic gods growing up were Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Basil Wolverton, Bill Everett... the real comic artists of the early golden age.  On the flipside, I love the very odd and obscure comic work of Fletcher Hanks, Tarpe Mills, and Paul Gustavson.  My all time favorite pulp artist is Frank R. Paul, the grand father of science fiction art.  Also up there is Norm Saunders (best known for his "Mars Attacks" cards) and H.J. Ward. Although not a comic or pulp artist, Dr. Seuss is one of my heroes.

I enjoy films of all eras, but I guess most evident in my work would be the B-movie influences... rubber monsters, hub-cap flying saucers and BEM's (Bug Eyed Monsters).  Maybe less evident are exploitation/cult film makers like Ed Wood Jr. and Dwain Esper, and the work of director Fritz Lang.  The stop Motion work of Willis O'Brien (King Kong, 1933) and Ray Harryhausen were also pivotal to my creative career.

As much as I admire super polished work in all artistic mediums, I REALLY like the crude, the "art brut"-style of innovators who were jumping into new territory, discovering and experimenting...  the most honest and interesting works develop out of that sort of situation.

I've told friends your work has "the look" and by that I mean coming from my own personal jumble of imagery from 1950's obscure fetish and bondage material.  I use those terms in broad sense.  Mass media images of what could be termed "women in distress" illustration.  Although now taboo for their undefined, vaguely obscene and sexist nature, do the notable fetish illustrators of John Willie, Eric Stanton and such influence you?  Not necessarily of a personal predilection, but visually?

I am certainly aware of the type of fetish art you mention, and definitely there are elements that have crept into my work ... bondage, and very shiny high heeled shoes among other things.  I group this sort of material in the same family as the "weird menace pulps" as they were called... pulps from the 1930' s that featured supernatural/horror-oriented stories, with a damsel/damsels in distress at the middle of the tales, trying to keep their clothes and their virtue.  Not exactly politically correct, but I really enjoy riffing on this sort of theme, in a non-pornographic way. Those genres have a certain dark, sexy humor to them visually that I try to emulate in my own art, without (hopefully) being too obvious.

Illustrations like your paintings used to rule the magazine racks, but when photography came along, or rather affordable printing processes for photography reproduction on magazine covers, the commercial pulp artist was out of work.  Do you see your work as nostalgic or harking back to an earlier time?
Most definitely, and I'm not really shy about hiding it either. However, I think I lean less now on the obvious inspiration sources I used to, like rocket ships, spacemen, pin up girls, cartoons and comic book covers.  These days, I have taken to exaggerating and pushing those sources further, and mashing inspirations together to form a more unique, abstract visual language.

My work can't help but have a nostalgic feel to it... the colors, the softness, the costumes... its all rooted in the 1930's to the 1950's, which I have been obsessed with every since I was a little kid.  However, I am always experimenting, attempting to put a fresh spin on these age-old themes to keep my work current, and to keep me from getting bored of  my own work.

What comics did you read as a young boy in Canada?

I started with Batman, but quickly got into the Fantastic Four (the Jack Kirby years), and some Steve Ditko and EC comics as well.  As a kid, I loved the old MAD inserts, reprints of the early comics
issues.  When I found out about the golden age of comics and located a local comic book store, I got deep into the more historic comics and artists.  

There is an enormous community of artists, illustrators and collectors who crowd the annual "Comic-Con" shows.  Do you feel a part of that community?  As your work is being shown in contemporary art galleries, is there a distinction between "fine art" and "commercial art" you struggle with, and do those definitions matter to you.


Less and less I worry about fitting into the "fine art" world, and concentrate on just doing the work I do.  The playing field for the creative world is changing, and I think that distinction between commercial and fine art is a somewhat prehistoric way of thinking. I look to David Lynch as a model:  he made art, films, furniture, music, designed a bar in Paris, has written books... why not tackle everything that interests and fascinates you?  I can't wait to design a piece of furniture one day, or finish a short film, or do another children's book.  One project usually inspires another, and that is how my work has grown organically.

For sure I feel that I am a part of the community you mentioned... although I have yet to attend a comic con on a professional level. But I feel a kinship with the other artists out there who cross over into different forms of media. I admire those creators, and strive to keep up with them.
Can a "fine" artist incorporate humor, science fiction, pulp kitsch and such into a canvas and still be considered serious by the small, incestuous and insular "serious" art market? 
 Well, that's a big question I ask too, and I'm still waiting to hear the verdict.   I think that content can be considered serious if there is some sort of value to the message, and I'm still sorting that out in my own work.  But for now, I don't want to get too caught up trying to fit my work into that fine art pigeon hole... better just to do strong work, than dilute it down for an imagined market.

There is such a consistent vision in your work.  A somewhat demented, or maybe I should say deviant consistency which seems to arise just a bit from the outside of the popular culture illustrators of the 1940s and 1950s.  I might even say twisted.  Do you see your work as either demented, deviant or twisted?

Guilty of all three, but in the nicest way possible.  I'm a really normal person, and somewhat reserved, but I let the freak flag fly in my work.  Definitely this vision derives partly, as you guessed, from the edge of visual popular culture from a bygone age.  To me, main stream culture now as then tends to be watered down... I have always gravitated towards the underdog, the rebel, the weirdo, the visionary.  What's fun and interesting about being perfect?  Screw Superman, give me his imitator, Amazing Man, who stopped villains by jabbing scissors into their chests!  Now there's style!

Do you collect pulp fiction and what we call here "vintage sleaze" yourself?

  Pulp fiction yes, vintage sleaze no.  Its not a moral issue, its more of a money issue... I can't collect everything.  But I do have an appreciation for sleaze of the past, especially in the form of pin up art and exploitation posters.  Last year a friend of mine showed me some of his vintage sleaze movie posters, and I'd rather look at those than a million-dollar abstract painting.

You've done a children's book. Is the young market different than the adult?

  Never having been involved in the adult book market directly, I would have to guess that it is.  I'm still new to the children's book world, and its a continuous education figuring out how it works!  Luckily, I have a great editor who helps mold my work into the right sort of feel for the targeted market.  I think all the book markets are up in the air right now, waiting to see where the chips fall. The landscape has changed rapidly.

Ryan Heshka WEB SITE is HERE

Ryan Heshka STORE HERE

Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea Milan HERE and an installation view HERE
Ryan Heshka Children's Books HERE
Interview with the Artist from Sunrise Artists HERE
New York Times on the Artist HERE
VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY is a series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today who have been influenced by vintage sleaze. 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 links to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. EACH POST IN THE VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY SERIES WAS CREATED WITH THE ARTIST'S PERMISSION AND CONTRIBUTIONS. Serious artists are participating in this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Marty Winters  Annabelle Baxter  Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Jane Dickson, Hudson Marquez Astrid Daley, Antonio Lapone, Leslie Cabarga, Trevor Alixopulus, Paul Swartz, Rebecca Whitaker, Denis St. John, Zahira Kelly, Fairfax and Emery, Elizabeth Watasin, Stephen Adams  Jane Dickson, Mala Mastroberte  William Schmidt  Darlene MacNeil Lila Rees Honey LuLu  Tony Fitzpatrick Ryan Heshka (ABOVE) and many more. If your work is influenced by the girlie cartoons or pinup models of the past, we would love to see your work.

Posted by Jim Linderman on 4/1/13 | tags: Ryan Heshka Vintage Sleaze Vintage Sleaze Contemporary artist profiles interview pop surrealism

Comic Foreground Photographs from Argentina? New Vernacular Photography Book

Argentina Tintamarresque!  Comic Foreground Vintage Photographs.  The newest Book from House of Dull Tool Dim Bulb, and it is only $5.99 in Ebook form, and $21.95 in paperback.  66 pages of fun!  AVAILABLE NOW!

Cutout novelty photographs were invented by the same guy who first painted dogs playing poker. That astounding fact may just be enough for you to purchase this, the most curious of books, but I will throw in a few more encouragements. One, all the photographs included in the book predate 1930, and two, all are from Argentina. Cassius Marcellus Coolidge is credited with creating "comic foregrounds" which put a sitter behind a caricatured painting. Staple of carnivals, "just off the exit" rest stops and anywhere one wants to have fun looking stupid. Argentina Tintamarresque, as odd as it may seem, collects tons of them.  Why?  Why NOT?

Most are real photo postcards, but there are snapshots.  Not only are the futuristic modes of transportation all wrong, the folks perched behind them seldom smile, as these are so old folks still thought you had to refrain from moving.  In glorious South American sepia, each a little gem.

Argentina Tintamarresque is just the newest of art and photography books available under the Dull Tool Dim Bulb imprint from Blurb.  See them all HERE. 

Posted by Jim Linderman on 3/5/13 | tags: Vernacular Photography Jim Linderman Dull Tool Dim Bulb humor History Vintage Photographs south america Photography History photography

Story of Candid Charlie and artist B. Gordon Guth by Jim Linderman

Comic Book Photographica  and the first paparazzi Candid Charlie of Target Comics!

For the record, I do not collect comic books, and I do not own those shown above.  For this post, I defer to the experts Steven Thompson and My Comic Shop, though in this case even they don't know too much.  Both are linked below.  Let's call this a query.  Who the hell was B. Gordon Guth, the artist who conjured up "Candid Charlie" a red-headed kid with camera?
Every boy with a handheld is Candid Charlie now, but back when these came out, one had to lug it around their neck.  I guess the stereotype of Japanese tourists snapping photos is finally retired too…now that we all take too many pictures with our cellphones.  But back then, a shutterbug was nerdy and with thick glasses to go with his hobby.

By far the best place to find anything about Guth is Steven Thompson's blog Four Color Shadows.  Mr. Thompson is the expert (truly) be even he seems stumped. He does reproduce an entire story HERE
Candid Charlie appeared in Target Comics, sometimes as a cover model, and the rest of the time within.  Some of the covers of Target are so cool they almost make me wish I collected them…but not all were done by B. Gordon Guth.  In fact, it looks like once in a while (for "composite" covers) Candid Charlie was drawn by another artist…unless the ginger head bespeckled hero of B. Guth was a generic type.  Note no camera on Charlie on the cover of "4 Most Comics" as he, or his look-a-like is hurled to the sand.
In one issue, a three-headed Charlie has to decide between a dame and his Brownie.  Take the dame Charlie.

There is another Charlie looking dude slumped down after sniffing ether too, but it is drawn by Nina Albright.  Nina was super cool.  Check out this issue of Target with Kit Carter obfuscating the eyes of the bad guy with his sand wedge!
Another Guth cover shows a seemingly now grown-up Candid Charlie shooting a shark while the world's smallest one-man speedboat heads towards shore.

The census lists a B. Gordon Guth of the Bronx born 1910.  I reckon that would be him.

As I said, I'm no comic historian, but Guth seems to have been hooked up with L. B. Cole, who I wrote about HERE and Art Helfant, like Nina both far better known.

Steven Thompson's fantastic comic book site Four Color Shadows is HERE
My Comic Shop (which has a few of these in stock) is HERE

Books and affordable ebooks by Jim Linderman are available HERE

Posted by Jim Linderman on 2/28/13 | tags: drawings Illustration comic comic-book Jim Linderman photography

Sunny Buick Artist and Tattooist for Vintage Sleaze Contemporary

Sunny Buick Artist and Tattooist for Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Number 33 in the Series

Artist Sunny Buick is a world traveler, a dice collector and a considerable canvas of her own.  Sunny would have been called a "triple threat" during the days men stupidly thought they were superior.  She juggles art forms like nobody's business…and ALL are in bright, living, peacock color and then some. (There is a peacock way down here which Sunny would love to tattoo on you.)  Ms. Buick walks the walk, talks the talk and creates beauty in an astounding whirlwind which encompasses her completely.  I admire a consistent vision and authenticity.  I admire Sunny Buick a great, great deal.

Sunny Buick is a serious tattooist, but also a painter.  She tells me "I think the woman's body is the most interesting thing to draw, paint or look at."  and that is all we need know to add her to the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary wing.  It is an honor!  Sunny Buick is number 33 in the series.

Ms. Buick served six years as an apprentice to become a tattooist
(with Henry Goldfield) but she also does paintings heavily influenced by the pulp fiction covers and circus posters she loves.  Seldom will you find as congruous and coherent an artist…a vintage aficionado in all respects.  Sunny also claims to be a post-modernist, yet is afraid of the future.  She took some art classes and loves the surrealists, but I'd say she is following her own muse as well as following a noble tradition.  Like I said…she does it all.  The fantasy and rich imagination in her work only begins to show the extraordinary world she sees through her eyes.  You can share it through the links.

Born a Canadian, Ms. Buick has lived in San Francisco and Paris.  Her work has been published widely, she has written for Juxtapoz and other magazines and has given numerous interviews.  She has curated shows for others.  She was also herself photographed by French artists Pierre et Gilles (which is an incredible photograph I could only show here if I cropped it, and I simply will not do that…it is beyond sublime.)

There is an extraordinary amount of work documented on her sites and links here.  Given free reign, I've roped up only a few of my favorites, but you will  find yours.  This woman has created a serious body of work which works.

She has even done what I would call a "Skeleton Weegee" holding his speed graphic camera which has ME pondering ink, and I have always said all my body marks will come though surgery.  But I would put one of Sunny Buick's works on me or my wall.

Sunny Buick has several places to view her work, and all are staggering.  Fortunately, she also makes prints and on occasion original paintings available on her highly recommended store HERE Place an order and ask if she will send you a jpeg of the Pierre et Gilles photo. 

Thank you Sunny!

Sunny Buick's website is being updated, but the links work HERE  

Sunny Buick on Facebook is HERE 
The Sunny Buick Shop is HERE 
Sunny Buick blog HERE

VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY is a series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today who have been influenced by vintage sleaze. 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 links to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. EACH POST IN THE VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY SERIES WAS CREATED WITH THE ARTIST'S PERMISSION AND CONTRIBUTIONS. Serious artists are participating in this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Marty Winters  Annabelle Baxter  Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Jane Dickson, Hudson Marquez Astrid Daley, Antonio Lapone, Leslie Cabarga, Trevor Alixopulus, Paul Swartz, Rebecca Whitaker, Denis St. John, Zahira Kelly, Fairfax and Emery, Elizabeth Watasin, Stephen Adams  Jane Dickson, Mala Mastroberte  William Schmidt  Darlene MacNeil Lila Rees Honey LuLu  Tony Fitzpatrick and many more. If your work is influenced by the girlie cartoons or pinup models of the past, we would love to see your work.


Posted by Jim Linderman on 2/19/13 | tags: Tattoos Vintage Sleaze the Art Blog Jim Linderman Vintage Sleaze Contemporary mixed-media pop

Tony Fitzpatrick for Vintage Sleaze Contemporary

Tony Fitzpatrick for Vintage Sleaze Contemporary 13 minutes with Tony Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Number 32

Tony Fitzpatrick is a pit bull, but all dogs are welcome here.   We are pleased to have Chicago's favorite son participating in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series!  Tony is number 32.

There has been much written about Mr. Fitzpatrick, so I will let him speak for himself…except to say a chalkboard portrait he did of Bettie Page in 1988 first made me love them both.  Bettie is now in a private collection.  Tony is HERE.

Tony will like the pit bull analogy as he loves dogs.  He loves everything, though he won't let you know it.  From Studs Terkel to Bettie Page, let's find out what makes the second city's alpha dog bark AND bite. I HAD questions, but they are superfluous, and Tony suffers no fools.  Mr. Fitzpatrick discusses his work here in 13 minutes.


I knew Studs for 31 years -- he was and is my hero -- he was our city's moral compass as a society--at every juncture in his 96 years he was on the right side of history--and his principles cost him dearly -- he didn't work for over a decade after being black-listed...he traveled with the freedom riders, and was a staunch proponent of labor and working people-- he had immense courage and he never took himself too seriously--I miss him every day....


I start work about a quarter to 6 every morning -- usually this is the best time to write -- it's quiet and I can write in my diary or make notes and have coffee.
When the sun comes up I start drawing and making the day's work ready.... I usually work on etchings in progress first--then make Drawings and Drawing/collages--Around 10 I go to the gym and swim my laps.
I rarely go out for lunch -- about once a week -- it's usually business related and it's quick.
from about 1 to 9 pm I work--sometimes in the late afternoon I nap-- but mostly wait til work is over and them I read, or write if I've finished something. I work for myself, so I have the luxury of marshaling my own time-- I have a housekeeper and some assistants -- who answer the phone and discourage any interruptions.


In 1988 -- I was beginning to have a real career -- at the end of 88 I did an album cover for the Neville Brothers-- and never worked for anyone else again--the Bettie page was one of many I made of her because she was the sexual icon you could bring home to Mom-- there was something ....wholesome about her --even in Spank pictures--she was having fun....she gave a wink that let you know even nice girls liked sex...   


hope these help Jim -- sorry I'm so tardy in getting to these-- i've been up to my sack in work....

Tony Fitzpatrick on Facebook

Tony Fitzpatrick's WEBSITE

Tony Fitzpatrick on WIKI

VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY is a series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today who have been influenced by vintage sleaze. 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 links to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. EACH POST IN THE VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY SERIES WAS CREATED WITH THE ARTIST'S PERMISSION AND CONTRIBUTIONS. Serious artists are participating in this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Marty Winters  Annabelle Baxter  Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Jane Dickson, Hudson Marquez Astrid Daley, Antonio Lapone, Leslie Cabarga, Trevor Alixopulus, Paul Swartz, Rebecca Whitaker, Denis St. John, Zahira Kelly, Fairfax and Emery, Elizabeth Watasin, Stephen Adams  Jane Dickson, Mala Mastroberte  William Schmidt  Darlene MacNeil Lila Rees Honey LuLu and many more. If your work is influenced by the girlie cartoons or pinup models of the past, we would love to see your work.

Posted by Jim Linderman on 2/9/13 | tags: pop art Tony Fitzpatrick Jim Linderman Vintage Sleaze the Blog Vintage Sleaze Contemporary mixed-media

Hudson Marquez for Vintage Sleaze Contemporary

Hudson Marquez Artist Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Number 31

I believe Hudson Marquez is the first participant in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary series to have been voted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, but I first knew of his work without even knowing it…through familiarity with the Cadillac Ranch and the work of the Ant Farm Collective.  Cadillac Ranch is off the scale as far as environmental art goes…one of the most famous art installations in history, and one which makes the late windbag Christo seem as profound as Leroy Neiman.  There are plenty of contemporary artists making large scale environmental sculpture and installations, but the Cadillac Ranch is the effing mother tailfin of them all.
Which is why we are thrilled not only to have Mr. Marquez as a fan of Vintage Sleaze, but now a willing participant in the series.  As is the case of most notables, Hudson is modest and self-effacing.   Following is his entire autobiography, dutifully pecked into his cellphone especially for us on request.

 "Hudson Marquez Was born in New Orleans Louisiana. He got out as soon as possible.  His travels finally led him to San Francisco where he helped found the Ant Farm, and arts collective that was very active in the late 60s early 70s. He became addicted to video and in 1972 Started the video group TVTV. This group of small format video pioneers had a great run, Producing a number of award winning documentaries for PBS. In 74 he created the Cadillac Ranch sculpture in Amarillo, Texas. Now living in Los Angeles, ex- pornographer Marquez splits his time between writing and painting pictures of cars and girls."
Well, with all respect, we can do better than that.

Marquez has been a provocateur his entire life.  A story teller as much as a person who lived to tell the tales… and considerable tales there are.  Like being with Led Zeppelin tales.  Like meeting Charlie Manson tales.  Like Canned Heat (look them up. listen and learn kids) tales and, well…pussy tails.  Hudson likes women and it shows.  He also once said all women should drive in high heels, a quote not only tailor made for this site, but one which could be pondered and debated in many circles.

Anyone who makes it through the decades as active, as political, as involved and as talented as Mr. Marquez deserves kudos.  That he has survived it with a glorious sense of humor and irony is admirable.  Trust it was not easy for smart people to live through the 1960s and 1970s.  Hudson is cracker-smack smart and he survived it.

A mere dip into the world of Hudson Marquez is to have the major cultural high and low points of several decades circle you like a tornado.

Mr. Marquez has work showing now at the La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Angeles. 

Hudson's work is Acrylic and Ink on canvas now.  Big ones. With big roots from New Orleans.  Hudson is one of the few folks around who can put Professor Longhair across the table from Jayne Mansfield and make it work.  Hudson knows without Ike Turner, Tina would still be Anna Mae Bullock from Nutbush, Tennessee and if he were looking over my shoulder as I write,  I would proudly tell him I saw Ike and Tina from the first row in a gymnasium in 1971 blowing smoke right up the Ikettes skirts the entire show.  In fact, I love Hudson so much, I am putting a teeny cribbed photo of my vantage just for him.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the post here OR Hudson, but I think he'll like it.

Although above, Hudson says he was glad to get out of New Orleans, it stayed with him.  There is nothing more valuable for a contemporary artist to have in his blood than some New Orleans, and the ghosts of the city meet an amazing crew of icons in his paintings.

A fabulous, essential, hilarious interview with Hudson Marquez is HERE

The work in his La Lus De Jesus Gallery show, along with more information is HERE.

Essential reading on Cadilac Ranch is HERE

"Contemporary Vintage Sleaze" is a series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today who have been influenced by vintage sleaze. 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 links to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. EACH POST IN THE VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY SERIES WAS CREATED WITH THE ARTIST'S PERMISSION AND CONTRIBUTIONS. Serious artists are participating in this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Marty Winters  Annabelle Baxter  Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Jane Dickson, Astrid Daley, Antonio Lapone, Leslie Cabarga, Trevor Alixopulus, Paul Swartz, Rebecca Whitaker, Denis St. John, Zahira Kelly, Fairfax and Emery, Elizabeth Watasin, Stephen Adams  Jane Dickson, Mala Mastroberte  William Schmidt  Darlene MacNeil Lila Rees Honey LuLu and many more. If your work is influenced by the girlie cartoons or pinup models of the past, we would love to see your work.

Posted by Jim Linderman on 2/9/13

Modern Fashion Photography Origins in the Camera Clubs of New York CIty

They may look tame today, even odd, but the photographs which came from the original “Camera Club Sessions” in New York City during the early 1950s not only mark the beginning of modern day erotic photography, from them emerged an unlikely fashion icon and star, Bettie Page.

Nude photography in the United States was taboo and virtually unknown in the 1950s. Of course, there are some exceptions. The six photo “strip sets” sold in the back of men’s magazines and from under the counter in Times Square, “French” postcards and the occasional “art” photograph. But the first real erotic photography which led to the smut explosion of the 1970s and what we consider nude photography today started in the 1950s with a small, informal group of shutterbugs who have come to be known as the camera clubs.

Certainly the most eccentric of the camera club participants was Rudolph Rossi, and we know this only by the work he left behind. Discovered fifty years after they were taken, some 150 photographs were found, the majority being 8″ x 10″ and remarkably, each meticulously hand-painted by the artist.

Rossi took the photographs using black and white film and developed them himself. Few amateur camera hobbyists had the technology to develop color film in the 1950s when these were taken, so in isolation Rossi created his own erotic world of color.

collection: Jim Linderman

There were photographs of Bettie Page, who deserves every ounce of acclaim she receives today, but as important are the dozens of assorted anonymous models who participated in the camera club outings and indoor shoots. A somewhat motley group of aspiring actresses and working girls, each willing to undress for an hourly fee ranging from ten to twenty five dollars. Even more remarkable is that the group was interracial at a time when there was little interaction between the races, especially in the nude.

Much of the credit, if you will, goes to Cass Carr, the organizer of the camera club outings. A Harlem jazz musician and sometime photographer, he realized there was a need for nude photography models and that there were plenty of amateurs willing to pay for the privilege. In fact, among the photographers who participated were such notables as Weegee, the famed crime photographer who knew Bettie Page as a friend and neighbor. Others of note include Art Amsie, Arnold Kovacks, Don Baida, Robert Collins, Morris Glassman, Robert Stanton, Sam Menning, Arnold Kovacks and even at least one unknown woman who appears in a Weegee photograph of a session, camera in hand!

During one outing in upstate New York, the entire group was arrested, a debacle depicted in the film “The Notorious Bettie Page” and reported in Jet Magazine in 1952. Jet was aghast and accused Carr of taking advantage of “negro chorus girls and singers down on their luck” but from all other accounts, the sessions were congenial and friendly, Certainly in the Rossi photographs, it all appears to be harmless fun. Carr paid his fine, the girls were set free.

In retrospect, and with the considerable passage of time, this harmless fun now becomes legendary. Not only for the participants, who were challenging convention and the strict values of the Eisenhower years in a manner just significant as that of the beat writers and jazz musicians of the decade, but for all the erotic photographers who have followed and can now work in a far less controlled and threatening environment.

Rossi’s original photographs have never been shown publicly, but they will have their first exhibit in November 2011, appropriately at a gallery associated with the erotic boutique Au Boudoir in Santa Fe. Some 30 of the photographs will be shown.

The full story of the Camera Clubs is told in the book Camera Club Girls – Bettie Page and her Friends: The Work of Rudolph Rossi by Jim Linderman. Over 100 of Rossi’s photographs are shown along with numerous historical images and ephemera from the time, the book is available from

The book is available as a $5.99 download for iPad HERE

Jim Linderman edits the daily site vintage sleaze which tells true stories from the forgotten era of smut. He is a Grammy-nominated collector, writer, artist and scholar. More information is available at his website and also on the art and photography site dull tool dim bulb.

Posted by Jim Linderman on 9/7/12 | tags: Bettie Page Camera Clubs New York 1950s nudes fashion glamour photography

Secret Nudes from Amateur Photographers The Vintage Early Photographs

Vintage Vernacular Erotic Photographs

By Jim Linderman
2 December 2011 9,907 views No Comment

Shy Shamed Secret Shadowed Hidden SSSSH! – Vintage Vernacular Erotic Photography
By Victor Minx with Jim Linderman
Format: paperback or iPhone download.  EBOOK DOWNLOAD FOR IPAD ($5.99)   HERE
Available from:

Alliteration has been used before to describe exposed women. Think “Va Va Voom” from a 1950′s film as a walk-on looker passes by. In this case, it applies and forms an acronym of uncanny relevance. Shy Shamed Secret Shadowed Hidden, or SSSSH! as the collection is known, covers the photos within perfectly. All the photographs are anonymous and from virtually every photographic technique which reached the popular masses. That many were tucked carefully into wallets or hidden safely in a shoebox gives an indication of their importance to the owners. That each and every one depicts a woman hiding herself gives fodder for thought.

Who do we see here? Certainly not glamor photography. Not Bruno of Hollywood or even inept figure studies. When lucky, the studio is a 50 watt bulb on a frayed cord. The spouse on occasion, but those are the “gotcha” shots…in the tub, slamming the door, bent-over at the wrong time. Pratfalls of pulchritude. More often, these are the girl next door who could keep a secret. The paid escort who snuck into the hotel. The b-girl who just didn’t mind, or needed something in return. A woman forced into it by circumstance or need. A woman choosing her own circumstance or need. Someone’s sister, mother, relative, girlfriend, lover, plaything, victim paramour or drinking companion. A human being seeking love, favor, excitement, titillation, rewards. An amateur clutching a shirt to her face, or a former novice wearing a provided mask. Intoxicated, drugged or completely in charge. There is no end to justifications or motivations…just as there is no end to the photographs. We are human, we have needs, we scheme, manipulate, tease and flaunt in equal measure. These photos do not depict games or gamers, they depict life in the most immediate, intimate and possibly, illegal moments. They depict secrecy at the most basic, intimate core.

Hapless models, often as bent and bruised as the photos. “Pristine” applies to neither. But each and every one is real, authentic as the highway is straight. Pretty? Seldom. Alluring? Again, often not. But then, both a certain humanity and glimmers of genuine beauty emerge. An accidental turn, a playful smile, a conspiring laugh. Shared moments of genuine pleasure or quirky partnership, even if fleeting, furtive and gone. The start of a long friendship or lasting love but just as likely a brief moment of social intercourse preserved only in the emulsion on yellowing paper. Strong fodder for thought. Who are these women, these neighbors, these victims or libertines?

The “models” themselves are often bent and bruised like the photographs, but there is a massive dose of humanity in this collection. That they were intended to be a secret adds to their honesty and authenticity. Scarce images to be sure, but that is because they were hidden…and if found tossed away in horror. No one would understand but the participants now long gone, or the secretive owner.

Such images are far, far more common now, and slightly less daring. Women and men post similar photos of themselves on dating sites, risque or not, but their features are hidden by digital masks. Young boys call them “sexting” and snatch them in the hallway before sending them along the cyber-trail. But in physical form like these? There may be some at the next estate sale, if the relatives didn’t look too close.

SSSSH! is a historic collection of extraordinary vernacular erotic photographs from the earliest days of photography to the snapshot. Included are struggling camera club models, furtive photos of spouses and one-night stands, amateur Polaroid pictures and more, all displaying the characteristics hinted at by the title. Frequently beautiful but often not even alluring, what emerges is a collective authenticity and humanity which cuts through the artifice of contemporary notions of beauty. The photographs (and on occasion the hapless models) are often bent and bruised, but they exhibit a raw authenticity seldom seen in any context. All anonymous and unattributed, the collection is thought provoking, disturbing and ultimately entertaining in a manner never before seen.

It consists of approximately 100 original photographs Assembled by Victor Minx, the pseudonym of a prominent collector and writer. All he photographs pre-date the digital age. That is, all are unique, original, vintage photographs printed on paper and taken at or near their being taken. Most date from the 1920s to the 1960s though a few, for example Polaroids, may be a bit later. A few may have been taken and “sold under the counter” or from the back pages of men’s magazines by virtual amateurs. They were selected for inclusion on the basis of pathos, artistic quality (or lack of it) historical interest and most of all, their authenticity.

Each photograph has something to say about the relationship between women and men, sexuality, how we define lust, legitimacy, desire, intimacy and allure. In some, the matter of commerce enters the picture.

Each photo depicts an individual, or several on occasion, engaging in behavior which was not intended to be shared in proper company, yet each wast taken, preserved and exists nonetheless, regardless of convention and acceptable standards of the time. There was no after shot trickery…what the camera could do was done. If any look professional, it was and accident.

If a part of the picture is missing, it was the photographers fault, but it might have been a request from the poser. “Hidden” may be created by the model or an inept cameraman. “Don’t worry, I won’t show your face.” Shadowed could be attributed to either. Shy, secret and shamed are complicated human emotions for which we must let the photos speak for themselves. They are so loaded with psychological and even biological implications that the participants and the collector are unqualified to discuss them. Each single picture could create emotions as wide ranging as fear, satisfaction, embarrassment, reluctance…sexual freedom, sexual repression, financial considerations, legal restraints, control or a loss of control, morality or a lack of morality, a fear of exposure or a sexual urge to do so. Who are we to judge?

The earliest photograph in the book is a cartes de visite which dates to 1870 or so. Trust as soon as a camera could take a photograph of a naked woman, it did. The vast majority were taken around the same time as the stag film was invented, short films which were shown in smokers to “gentlemen” and became a right of passage for many a young man in the 1930s and beyond. The pictures here which appear to be “action” shots could have been taken simultaneously while the films were being made. At the time illegal, but no longer, they were distributed in as primitive a manner as they were created. That practice continued into the 1980s, as photographs for the box cover were taken while the film was being made.

The largest haul of illegal erotic photographs prior to 1970 took place in 1957, when oddly enough two women were arrested in New York with some 3,000 plates and 50,000 photos.  Even that number seems small when on considers the combined circulation of the top three men’s magazines a few years later topped 10 million.

Today, one adult dating service claims to have some 20 million subscribers. Virtually every one has posted a nude photo of themselves. In many cases, they are hiding their faces.

Ebook download of catalog For IPAD HERE ($5.99)

Jim Linderman is a Grammy-nominated collector, historian and author of Camera Club Girls and Shy Shamed Secret Shadowed Hidden. Both books are available from in print form or ebook downloads for iPad. Linderman maintains the noted blog vintage sleaze on a daily basis.

Posted by Jim Linderman on 9/7/12

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