Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Convoluted Postcard! Drugstore Cowboy, Tad Dorgan, Las Vegas Kim, Gus Van Zant, James Fogle and the Great Train Robbery (Whew!)

A "Drugstore Cowboy" was a loafer in slicked-up in cowboy duds who hung around trying to pick up women. Decades later, Gus Van Zant popularized the phrase by filming the book of the same title by James Fogle (who spent 35 of his 53 years in prison) and now the term refers to one who gets high with purloined prescription drugs.

The phrase was actually invented by a cartoonist named Tad Dorgan, who was born in 1877. An accident at age 13 took three fingers off his right hand, but he overcompensated and learned to draw with his left so quickly he was hired as a newspaper cartoonist a year later at age 14! Soon Tad was the highest paid sports cartoonist in the country. Known as the "Saloon Sloganist" we can not only thank Tad for "Drugstore Cowboy" but "Dumb Dora" "Twenty-three Skidoo" "Cat's Meow" "Dumbbell" "Yes, we have no Bananas" and "Bonehead." That's plenty of hokum for one fellow to conjure up. I am damn jealous.

Unfortunately, we do NOT know anything about "Las Vegas Kim the Cowboy Artist" who drew this risque image in 1934. If I had to guess, Kim probably loitered around the drugstore coming up with ideas for his doodles while trying to pick up women. Here a drugstore cowboy in chaps he couldn't even walk in takes indecent rootin' tootin' liberty with a red dress.

The card is obviously a sexist parody of the old western cliche in which a cowboy fires his six-shooter at an hombre and orders him to dance. But where did THAT come from? It started with the Great Train Robbery! The now forgotten film from 1903 was the very first to depict a tenderfoot getting the treatment. Watch here at exactly 7:17. Scroll to it, you'll laugh like Gabby Hayes.

All that from one postcard, and I didn't even use a stamp.

Primitive postcard, 1934 by Las Vegas Kim Collection Jim Linderman


  1. great post!
    do you know much about the printing process used for this kind of thing?
    ps: that's Van Sant, not Zandt

  2. Indeed it is, thanks! Funny you ask about the printing on the card. I suspected it was hand-tinted, and look real close to make sure, but I was printed. There is no logo or company indicated.

  3. I picked up a few of Las Vegas Kims postcards very cool. Are they hard to find and is there a value to them?

  4. Oh, I don't know if they have any value, but I'd love to see them.