Tijuana bible

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
The cover of a typical Tijuana bible; this one features Wimpy.

Tijuana bibles (also known as bluesies, eight-pagers, gray-backs, Jiggs-and-Maggie books, jo-jo books, Tillie-and-Mac books, two-by-fours[1] and fuck books[2]) were pornographic comic books produced in the United States from the 1920s to the early 1960s. Their popularity peaked during the Great Depression era. The typical "bible" is 4 by 6 inches (approx. 10 x 15 cm), with black printing on cheap white paper, and eight pages long. In most cases the artists, writers and publishers of these tracts are unknown. The quality of the artwork varied widely. The subject is explicit sexual escapades usually featuring well known cartoon characters, political figures or movie stars, invariably used without permission. Tijuana bibles repeated ethnic stereotypes found in popular culture at the time.[3]


[edit] History

People distributed Tijuana bibles "under the counter" in places such as schools, garages, barber shops, the hatches of station wagons, and from persons selling them on the street. In a 1997 Salon.com article Art Spiegelman, a cartoonist, said that little established data about Tijuana bibles exists. Spiegelman said that the term may have originated from slurs against Mexican people or the concept of the border towns being centers for vice.[1]

Typical punch line on the final page of a Tijuana bible.

Spiegelman says that records of prosecutions against publishers and artists for making Tijuana bibles "don't seem" to exist; the cartoonist added that on occasion authorities seized shipments and salespeople of Tijuana bibles. According to Spiegelman "it's not clear" whether mom and pop outfits or organized crime created Tijuana bibles. In some senses, Tijuana bibles were the first underground comix, and they featured original material at a time when legitimate American comic books were still exclusively reprinting material from newspaper strips. After World War II the popularity of the Tijuana bible began to decline.[1]

[edit] Further reading

  • Kripke, Madeline; Adelman, Bob; Spiegelman, Art; Merkin, Richard (1997). Tijuana bibles: art and wit in America's forbidden funnies, 1930s-1950s. New York: Simon & Schuster Editions. ISBN 0-684-83461-8. 

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c Spiegelman, A (1997-08-19). "Tijuana Bibles". Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/aug97/spieg2970819.html. Retrieved on 2009-02-24. 
  2. ^ Bright, S (1997-08-19). "Dogeared Style: Tijuana Bibles". Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/books/feature/1997/08/19/tijuana/index1.html. 
  3. ^ Heer, J (2002). "Tijuana Bibles". St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture (Gale Group). http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g1epc/is_tov/ai_2419101224. Retrieved on 2009-04-02. 

[edit] External links

Personal tools