Basil Wolverton and Monte Wolverton Comedy Magazine Poems and More







I write about cheesecake gag cartoonists on the sister site Vintage Sleaze, but for a time the much admired (and, now, finally, much respected) Basil Wolverton had his work printed in the line of Humorama (Timely Features, the forerunner of Marvel comics) pinup gag digests I study.  Far from cheesecake or pinup girls, as you can see, Wolverton's work must have been included in the Humorama magazines not because it was titillating, but because it was pretty damn good. 

Wolverton made up as many words as the characters he drew.  One panel here contains fourteen sound effects, and there have been entire articles based on the words he created. 

Monte Wolverton, the artist's son, fell so close to the tree he climbed up it!  A successful editorial cartoonist, sculptor and fine artist Monte is just as interesting as Dad.  His work appears in no less than 850 publications weekly and he regularly shows work in galleries around the country.  The Monte Wolverton website is delightful.  In addition to an up-to-date display of his work, the site is a tribute to the work of his father.  See some of his colorful work below (and on his site)
Monte Wolverton Installation View Peculiarium Gallery Portland
Monte's site lists available publications on his father's work along with a good sample of Basil's work, including the extraordinary apocalyptic drawings Basil did for Plain Truth magazine.  One is shown here...quiver! 
Basil Wolverton Image from The Apocalypse
The index provided on Wolverton's site omits the works from Comedy in the bibliography, so I do not know if they have been included in any of the anthologies.  ALL were taken from ONE issue of Comedy Magazine, the January 1953 issue, and there was much more.  In addition to these poems, there were several short pieces of multi-panel work in the same single issue. They represent just a miniscule amount of the work he produced.  The Monte Wolverton and Basil Wolverton Website is here.  Spend some time.

MONTE WOLVERTON WEBSITE is HERE








Magician The Great Virgil Wounds a Volunteer From the Audience Original Photograph Collection Jim Linderman


The Great Virgil was Virgil Harris Mulkey, born 1900 - Final disappearing act 1989.

Quite a magician and quite a show, one which could afford to have three buffoons stand around in clown heads.  Virgil's greatest trick, however, was marrying the lovely Julie Capriotti.  In 1929, the magician asked for a volunteer from the audience and young Julie stepped up.  The Great Virgil injured her on stage!  While visiting her in the hospital, they fell in love and married two years later.
 
They look happy here, don't they?  They were.  They were married 58 years...and THAT is no trick.

The Great Virgil Publicity Photograph, circa 1940  Collection Jim Linderman




Baby Adelina Cabinet Card by Frank Wendt Collection Jim Linderman

Baby Adelina Cabinet Card Photograph Collection Jim Linderman
Frank Wendt Carnival / Circus / Sideshow photograph of Baby Adelina, circa 1890  Cabinet Card Collection Jim Linderman


SEE CURRENT AUCTIONS HERE

Stunt with Chair RPPC Collection Jim Linderman

Real Photo Postcard circa 1920 Collection Jim Linderman
New book on the way soon (!)  It's looking good, should be done in a few weeks.  Until then, current available titles are HERE.

A Large Oak Split Basket with Shaped Handles and Beautiful Form Folk Art



A Large handmade basket, thick Oak strips with shaped handles.  30" long at top, 20" long at base, with a taper.  Circa 1920?  Collection Jim Linderman


THREE Big Pauls Paul Bunyan, a Beatle and a Friend with a Gun Me and Paul

One of the three most famous and deserving "Pauls" in the world, the other two being Sir Paul of Beatle and just plain Paul who played drums and carried the gun for Willie Nelson for 50 years. (The club owners who hired Willie were often slow to produce the night's receipts...Paul was there to make sure they did.)  If you are interested in Paul, the song "Me and Paul" tells the story.  You already know Sir Paul's story, and if you don't know Paul Bunyan's tale, you can read it HERE from several years ago, and see a bunch of his big effigies.

The Paul here was built by Cyril M. Dickinson and Jim Payton, in 1936, in Bemidji MN.

Paul Bunyan Real Photo Postcard circa 1936 Collection Jim Linderman
See the book IN SITU: American Folk Art in Place by Jim Linderman HERE
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Bud Stewart and his Crippled Critters Blood Red Wounded Fishing Lures


This is the true story of an unlikely gruesome genius, flesh hanging off hooks and people dredging a lake.

Bud Stewart has been called Michigan's Legendary Lure Maker (the title of a book as well) and Michigan is proud to claim him as their own. 

Michigan is a state surrounded by water, with even more dotting the interior, and for many fishing is art, skill, hobby and life.  As such, the state tends to bring out the best in carved fishing decoys and lures. 

Oscar Peterson was one carver, and his lovely ice fishing decoys from the 1920s and 1930s regularly sell for thousands of dollars. 

The other was Bud.

Bud's great invention, rather Bud's great concept, was the creation of the wounded lure.  That's right.  Wounded!  What attracts a predator to prey?  The weakest in the pack. The wounded. 

Bud's genius was to create the crippled lure.  His fishing lures were painted in places fish blood red, and often even WEIGHTED to appear wounded.  Bloody messes which would float on an angle, a seemingly easy gulp for a bigger fish.  Some, as this one, even had little plastic trails of blood. 

Bud Stewart's lures were literally killing machines.  Painted with deception in mind.  Trained to hunt.  They came out of the box ready to snare and snag any mouth (or finger) close enough to graze them.  It is said Bud's lures were the last factory made lures which were hand-painted.

Could fish see color? Apparently, although they haven't tested every species.  Do they sense the infirm among their brothers?  Who cares.  Fishing is a combination of superstition and luck.  If a crippled lure catches a fish, it will be used again. 

The lure above is more relic than art.  It was an earner...it provided many a fish dinner for a Michigan family.  Well-used and used well.  Amazingly, it has even been repaired!  Imagine repairing such a tiny, utilitarian object when so many efficient and modern replacements were so readily available.

Later in life, having been recognized by his peers and the collecting community, Stewart continued to make a few lures a year, but then for folk art aficionados as much as for fisherman.  They stayed on tiny pedestals rather than lines, and caught only the attention of other carvers.

Years ago, on a visit to Michigan, and having read about Bud, I went to the area he was best known and asked around to see if any were for sale.  Folks said nope.  I said maybe someone should dredge the lakes to see if any old ones were caught in the weeds.  Folks said they already had.



Bud Stewart Fishing Lure (Injured Minnow) Collection Jim Linderman

WAY out on a ledge Umbrella Rock RPPC collection Jim Linderman


Real Photo Postcard images of Umbrella Rock at Lookout Mountain are not uncommon, but few bring an intake of breath like this one.  What were these guys thinking?

Real Photo Postcard undated (circa 1900?) Collection Jim Linderman


The Last Levon Helm Tribute Pecks Drum and Lavon the Gentleman Percussionist

On my first of several visits to the magnificent Levon Helm rambles, which was the process by which one of the greatest singers in American history relearned to sing, I stopped Levon as he was headed to tinker with the drum kit.  Great mechanics take care of their machines, and Levon was one of the great mechanics of percussion.  I had a few brief things which were so important to me to say, and who knew at the time I would have several other chances to say it.

The lovely Barbara O'Brien, at the time Levon's manager and organizer of the Midnight Ramble at Levon's house, had somehow invited me.  I truly don't remember how or why, but I rented a car the same day and booked a room in Kingston, New York, a ten minute drive from Levon's place.  She told me to bring food to share, and sure enough it was potluck. 

Levon was in a pair of nylon pants, soft-sole black tennis shoes and a determined look.  If those drums needed tightening, even though the audience was to be some 50 people, they were going to be perfect. 

I asked Mr. Helm to pause.  "Mr. Helm, I would like to thank you for two things."  He grinned and looked me in the eye.  I continued.  "First, for inviting us into your house.  Second, for all that you have done for me over the years without knowing it." 

He reached out his hand, the right hand, a drummer's hand, and said "Thank you brother."

That night I don't remember who was playing, but in the barn we heard Levon's music the way it should be heard.  On a stage with no nails in the wood (!) Levon had insisted the place would be held together with wooden pegs rather than metal.  I was ten feet from the kit, and no one was more than five times that as they played all night. 

I was lucky enough to see a few more shows.  One particularly special evening turned out to be one of the last performances of Pinetop Perkins.  That's right.  Pinetop played all night, with the entire line-up of Muddy Water's band, the one which had backed Muddy on his album recorded at Levon's place years earlier and came to be known as Muddy's Woodstock album.  The whole band reunited just to play at Levon's.  At the time, Pinetop was maybe 95 years old.  He wore a purple suit and, I am not kidding, flirted with women and HE wasn't kidding.  He would have taken any women in the place.  The band came from afar and they were all there.

Remembrances, and there could be many more, are clogging the web.  It doesn't surprise me, as Levon (actually named Lavon as a child) was one of the true gentleman in a business full of creeps.  There was a bit of Paul McCartney in him...as in "if Levon asks, you do it" just like you would for a Beatle. He was that highly regarded as a man and a musician.

On the day I learned he was passing, I posted a recording he made with his band mates in 1961.  Further on Down the Road, a blues chestnut they put on a 45rpm when they were "Levon and the Hawks" and marveled all over again as I realized he had been playing over 50 years professionally.  The entire history of Rock and Roll.

What tribute can I leave online for Levon?  The following, courtesy of Elvis Costello and HIS tribute, from which I quote: 

"Peck Curtis" received a press roll and a cymbal smash that sounded like a round of applause but then Levon had purchased and preserved Mr. Curtis' hand painted kit from his days playing with Sonny Boy Williamson on the "King Biscuit Time" radio show on KFFA and put it on display in the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Arkansas."

I had always hoped to find that drum myself. 

Levon grew up listening to that drum on the radio.  He was born and raised ten miles from the studio.  It was a daily 15 minute program with Sonny Boy Williamson, and it obviously thrilled young Lavon.  That he was able to procure the drum is a mystery as beautiful as Kane's sled in my mind. 

Those of you who would like to know a but more about Levon and life itself should read his autobiography.  It is written as he speaks and you will learn phrases you will remember.  Including "like a horse pissing on a rock" which is not something you might expect from a gentleman like Levon, but makes perfect sense coming from a percussionist.
Jim Linderman 4/21/12

Paperboys from the Past Snapshot of Toledo Blade Boys Collection Jim Linderman

Click to Read Headline

Adult actions can have dire consequences on the kids...and though you would not suspect that truism has anything to do with this photo, click to enlarge, squint, and make out the headline.

What appears to be a circa 1935 snapshot of paperboys ( a now extinct profession) is fine enough, but they all seem to be smiling as if the war ended or their team won!  What's the headline? 

PEACE REACHED IN TRUCK STRIKE!  It looks like these hard workers are back to work, and Dad gets his morning paper.

Toledo Blade Paperboys, original snapshot collection Jim Linderman
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Wendell P. Loveless Three Children in a Furnace with Sound Effects RECORD STORE DAY!

THREE CHILDREN IN A FURNACE on HAPPY TIME RECORDS




Remember!  Record Store Day is APRIL 21, that is THIS SATURDAY.  ALL YOUR REAL FRIENDS WILL BE THERE!     

This one probably won't.... Evangelist Wendell. P. Loveless Three Children in a Furnace on Happy Time Records.  Collection Jim Linderman


Essential Exhibitions at the International Center of Photography 2012

"Jeff Davis and His Last Ditch" International Center of Photography

Jefferson Davis hikes his skirt in the upcoming exhibition "President in Petticoats!  Civil War Propaganda in Photographs" at the International Center of Photography in NYC.   Looks like a good show to me.  The Exhibit opens May 18, 2012 and runs until September 2, 2012.

Note also the Weegee show "Murder is my Business" runs until September 2. Other shows include Christer Stromholm and "A Short History of Photography" from the ICP collection honoring Willis E. Hartshorn.

More information is available at the ICP website




What's Better Than A Box Of Paints ? These Are! Blaisdell Pencil Box




What's better than a box of paints?  My box of Blaisdell Map Coloring Drawing Pencils!  They are encased in wood.

Blaisdell Colored Pencils No Date Collection Jim Linderman


Folk Art Sculpture Man with a Bowler c. 1900 Collection Jim Linderman




Man with a Bowler Hat Folk Art Sculpture, 15 inches tall, 27 inches around.  Circa 1900  Collection Jim Linderman

Linderman Books and eBooks for iPad HERE at Blurb.com.  Browse, Preview each, order.  Thanks!

TOP VALUE ! Looking for Top Value?


Looking for top value?  Shoot, who ain't?  Trading Stamps can stretch your dollar, and just look at the perfect, clean world they come from!  Look really, really close and you can see the Top Value mascot, "Toppie" the frugal elephant painted on the wall of the redemption center, all dressed up in his tartan frock to represent value.  Top Value was located in Canton, Ohio

Top Value Trading Stamps Booklet Top Value Enterprises 1966  Collection Jim Linderman

Etui Etui ??? Homemade Folk Art Needle Case

Etui   ???   Edui is another name for a needle case.  Well, sorta.  So let's just use needle case.  A handmade one, with felt, feedsack printed cotton, some trim...and a nice little tab of paper above from where this little lady once lived in a scrapbook but was torn out.  She has had a few lives.

An odd thing, as printed needle cases and needle books were literally given out free.  
SEE HERE  
Still, someone took the time to make it, the least I can do is scan it.

 

Depression Era handmade Needle Case  Collection Jim Linderman

Randal Levenson Photographer sends information on Cass Carr, Harlem Photographer and Bettie Page Promoter

Photograph copyright Randal Levenson No Reproduction without artist's permission


Master Photographer Randal Levenson was kind enough to get in touch and reveal some previously unknown information about Bettie Page photographer (and organizer of the infamous Camera Club outings in which she was discovered) Cass Carr.  As it has been well over 50 years now, and new information on early African-American photographers of the 1950s  (much less one central to Bettie Page's career)  is increasingly scarce and valued by scholars, I'm happy to share this snippet from Mr. Levenson...as well as crib one of his astounding photos.

"Re Camera Club Girls, I knew Cass Carr when he lived in the cellar of a building off 5th Ave in NYC and made his living buying GSA-auctioned photo equipment in DC and bringing it back to his cellar quarters, cramming the stuff in as best as possible and selling the stuff to eccentrics who would clamber all over it, looking for a 'find'. The place was also a sort of clubhouse for old timer photographers.  I made the DC trip myself a couple of times."

My book on Cass Carr and his Camera Club Outings is Here.

Randall Levenson is himself the outstanding photographer responsible for In Search of the Monkey Girl which was published by Aperture.  Levenson's work is represented by Joseph Bellows Gallery and Robert Klein Gallery. He further reports his current project is "chasing snake-handling ministers, chicken fighters, moonshiners and loggers in Tennesee, Alabama and Georgia." so I'd say much good work is forthcoming. 
 
The artist's website is HERE

BIG Gold Scam The Talk Show Host Gold Fraud Racket and Big Gold





You are probably better off buying gold from this fellow than an advertiser on your favorite conservative radio host's broadcast of unsubstantiated "reporting" for sure.  You don't have to look far to find rampant fraud.

Ask yourself this.  If you can make money on gold, why are the companies SELLING IT?  Are they doing you a FAVOR?  And if an "investment" in gold is the safest and best there is, what are the gold sellers buying with your money?  Snake Oil?

Sheesh...It is no crime to be stupid or to listen to putrid pundits on the radio...but bait and switch IS a crime and that's how those gold companies make THEIR money.  By tricking you into buying coins at inflated prices rather than bars at the going rate.  Once you call, your fears of global catastrophe ramped up to a feverish irrational scale by an overfed and over-rich talk show buffoon, you are prime meat to the bullion bilkers.  

Anyway, if those talk show hosts were as patriotic as they claim, they would tell you to invest in American T-bills rather than throwing your money away on scams.  Your country needs the support.

Photo: Collection Jim Linderman (Untitled, Anonymous Snapshot, No Date)

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Jean Lussier Balls the Falls ! Dapper Dry Debonair Devil of Dare




Jean Lussier balled the Niagara Falls only once, but he made a living off it for over 30 years.  As you can see here, he sold pictures of himself as a famous daredevil who defeated the mighty falls as a young man all the way into his old age.  He is looking pretty dapper in the last one, having apparently awarded himself some kind of "captainship" or something.  Dapper but dry as a bone...and dry a long time.


Lussier was smart enough to figure out a rubber ball was the way to survive the fall.  So he created a rubber raft inflated with inner tubes.  The round contraption with him inside went over in 1928.  The rubber beast is seen here poked with flags behind young Jean in the first photo, and it appears he has already started ripping sections out to sell as souvenirs.


I'm not kidding...Jean DID sell off his rubber, one patch at a time.  When he ran out, he sold random chunks of tires he purchased claiming they were historic!  He also toured the country giving lectures at special screenings of the film made while he bobbed and dropped.


After living off his 30 minute trip for 30 years, Lussier decided it was time to rekindle interest. He claimed he was planning another ball drop, this one three times as big around (no doubt to provide him with enough historic scraps to last him the rest of his life) but it never happened.  He passed away in a beat-up boarding house in Niagara Falls, New York.


COLLECTION OF THREE JEAN LUSSIER AUTOGRAPHED REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS circa 1928-1940  Collection JIM LINDERMAN


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Wegner's Garden of Prayer (Booking Weddings Now)

Act NOW to book your wedding at the Paul & Matilda Wegner Grotto and Garden of Prayer in Sparta Wisconsin.  Site is HERE


Real Photo Postcard circa 1935  Collection Jim Linderman  

See also In Situ: American Folk Art in Place HERE

Fred the Chain Man and his Carved Gun A True Crime Tale #2 by Jim Linderman



The Chain Man was found guilty October 19,1922 for kidnapping and sentenced to life in prison.  He stayed there three years.

The Chain Man earned his nickname for linking a few young women together in in a hole below his shack near Omaha, Nebraska.  He had tricked them by offering a ride to a nearby amusement park.  His victims were Jean Jenkins and Kathyryn McManaman. While his prisoners were chained to a cement block in the pit, Brown dug their graves nearby.  When H. E. Boyd tried to rescue the women,  Brown simply added him to the chains.

Chain Man was shot while being captured in Medicine Bow, Wyoming after a few days on the run.  He survived to face trial.

Chain Man's trial was delayed while the court decided what to do with hoards of high school girls who came to enjoy the show.  "We will continue the trial in the morning when the children are at their desks" decided the judge.

Brown didn't stay in prison long, unless you consider three years a long time.  He carved this dummy gun and used it in an escape attempt, but he was killed while trying. So was a prison guard.

Several years later, the skeleton of his apparent partner in the crime, Gus Grimes, was found buried near the shack Brown had held his victims.

There is at least one other example of this real photo postcard surviving.  There is no way to determine how many were developed, but the businessman who made them probably hoped to sell a few to the high school. 

Fred Brown's Dummy Gun "Azo" Real Photo Postcard 1925 Collection Jim Linderman

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Little Alvin Enck's Bible The Lord's Limousine and a Racy Poem


Little Alvin Enck is my kind of fellow.  On the first page of his Holy Bible he has marked his territory with a little drawing of the Lord's Limousine, but on the last page he has written what for the time would have been a most racy poem.  I think Alvin struggled with the same temptation we all did.  It was the depression...I hope this isn't the only thing Alvin got for Christmas that year...it looks like he was hoping for a toy car.)


( A Post on the daily blog old-time-religion as well)


Alvin Enck's embellished Holy Bible 1935 Collection Jim Linderman


BOOKS AND eBOOKS by Jim Linderman are HERE

Wait, Don't Leave! Here Come the Women of Rebekah Mistletoe #40 IOOF PARADE Collection Jim Linderman







 It's parade time and Rebekah has gone all out!  Mistletoe Rebekah Lodge Number 40


I AM A REBEKAH:
I believe in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of man, and the Sisterhood of woman.
I believe in the watch-words of our Order - Friendship, Love and Truth.
Friendship - is like a golden chain that ties our hearts together. Love - is one of our most precious gifts, the more you give, the more you receive. Truth - is the standard by which we value people. It is the foundation of our society.
I believe that my main concern should be my God, my family and my friends. Then I should reach out to my community and the World, for in God's eyes we are all brothers and sisters.
I AM A REBEKAH!


Group of original snapshots, no date (1920?) Rebekah Independent Order of Odd Fellows Parade float  COLLECTION JIM LINDERMAN

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