BOBO AND THE TIJUANA BIBLES




Tijuana Bibles didn’t come from Tijuana…they came from small-time organized crime figures who wouldn’t even qualify as buffoons in a Jimmy Breslin book.  Think smaller and north of the border.   We know this because Senator Estes Kefauver and his legal eagle Mr. Bobo made it public record in the 1950s.

In this story, the good guys are no smarter than the bad guys.  Not only is Bobo’s name appropriate,  Kefauver is the politition who hated comic books so bad he nearly put them out of business. What kind of fellow investigates Comic Books?  Never mind  he was actually right..It turns out later plenty of the artists creating those degenerate “pre-code” comic books WERE drawing smut on the side, but that is beside the point.

As for Bobo, he was later chastised for stealing stag films from the senate investigative collection and screening them for fraternities in Georgia.  

Here is the setup:  A senate hearing room, Kefauver presiding, as his legal minions prepare to grill a major player in the Tijuana Bible business.  Your tax dollar steno errors intact. 

Mr. BoBo. When you speak of “Maggie and Jiggs” books, Mr. Chumbris, I think you should explain what a “Maggie and Jiggs” book is. 

Mr. Chumbris. Yes. I mentioned earlier, when I was explaining the different types of pornography, the “Maggie and Jiggs” books are two- by- fours, they are books 2 inches by 4 inches; they are also known as 8 pages, because it contained 8 thin pages. They are caricatures they are cartoons. They usually take people from the comic strips or famous movie stars, and they portray them in very lewd, perverted acts…Not only Maggie and Jiggs, but almost every known legal comic strip in the business, their characters are being stolen and placed into these filthy lewd books.”  


I couldn’t describe them better.  Except I would use the phrase Tijuana Bible or 8-pager, as no one younger than Estes Kefauver knows who the hell “Maggie and Jiggs”  were.  They were famous enough to be satirized in a filthy little book, many times and in every imaginable position, and that’s all we need to know. 

Clarence Meade Barnes is a 42 year old Pittsburg, PA worker for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation.  His garage was raided.   Clarence had been asked by Lew Saxton to store some of his stuff while he went to the Vet hospital (or the “Graybar Hotel”…it isn’t quite clear and it appears Saxton spent time in both.)

Okay, Mr. Bobo?  Bring in Mr. Barnes.

Q. Then did you go to the veteran’s hospital to see him? 
A. Twice.
Q. Explain your conversation there, and what he asked you to do in regards to this material.
A. He asked me to take it into my home and keep it there until he was released by the police. Also, to manufacture novelty named “Maggie and Jiggs” with no price given on manufacture. He said he would take care of me. That was the first visit, and on the second visit, he wanted me to manufacture French Ticklers, still no price given.
Q. Did you agree to do this?
A. Yeah.


There you go.  Purveyors of perversion caught  with the goods THAT CLOSE to turning the nation’s children into deviants.  By the way, French Ticklers didn’t come from France either. 

Later the committee goes on to discuss sums of money changing hands over the Saxton/Barnes transactions which amounted to $12.00 for one payment and the transfer of $40.00 for another.  

These Senate hearings were about  $52.00?  The committee hearings cost me more than the entire Saxton/Barnes transaction!

Little books, little figures, and just one true story from the annals of smut.

Tijuana Bibles are filthy.  Too filthy to show here or even on my blog Vintage Sleaze, so you know they have to be bad.  We are talking cartoon mouths stuffed with penises and cartoon pudendas with the same.   All rendered in primitive drawings which depict our most famous actors, sports figures, funny page characters and politicians.  (Including in one case a randy Mahatma Ghandi…and he clearly seems to have had enough protein to participate.)  See?  Filthy.  Even reading my not quite clinical description makes one cringe.

Eight-pagers were popular from the 1930s to the 1950s.  They were passed from hand to hand anywhere men and boys congregated.  

Remember Bazooka Joe bubble gum?  The little comics inside were drawn by Wesley Morse and so was the World’s Fair “fast ride” eight-pager shown here.  Most of the artists remain anonymous.  A shame, as so many men learned tricks from them.  Almost as many men learned satire from them.  

There is a young artist in the Midwest bringing them back.  Cre Hunter draws them exactly like the real thing but even filthier.  Do not search them up unless you are an adult wearing goggles and gloves.  The targets are now contemporary blowhards.  To date the artist has not drawn Ghandi.

The illustrations here come from the Victor Minx collection.  Selected are particularly grungy copies, as it illustrates their long life…passed from hand to hand much longer than the sanctioned “share” period on your Kindle.

by Jim Linderman



Jim Linderman of DULL TOOL DIM BULB is a Grammy-nominated collector, writer and historian.  He also writes about smut on Vintage Sleaze the blog. His forthcoming book “HEROES OF VINTAGE SLEAZE” will tell the untold history of smut in America.

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