Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Manhattan Mapbacks! Dell Paperback Maps of the Big Apple New York City on the Back of a Book

All great fake crimes take place in Manhattan. Sure, some happen elsewhere, but except for a few genre-creating masterpieces set in Los Angeles (okay...maybe they can claim a few) the dark, scary corners of the West Side are still the best place to fictionally stab or shoot someone. Dump them in the Hudson and they won't float up until spring.

Maps are snoresville...GPS killed them, and piles of the once familiar gas station freebie now fill baskets at the flea market. All of us still have a few crumpled and stuffed in the back of the glove compartment, still as ungainly and unmanageable as ever. I once drove from Manhattan to Los Angeles, a trip everyone should do, not only to realize the scope of the country but to obtain major bragging rights. 6 days for me...and I traced every mile on my faithful USA road map until the Petrified Forest in Arizona, when a big wind grabbed it right out of the car. I watched it fly down an ancient ravine, just like a recent automobile commercial which has sullied my memory.

By far the coolest paperback books are the Dell Mapbacks which were published from 1943 to 1951. I recently disparaged them in a post about a more obscure publisher...but they remain most collectible, mostly affordable and mostly available. And they are cool. My father, who visited me in Manhattan annually, used to love reading them and he would shout "I was there" a few times in each volume. Most were hard-boiled mysteries, the greatest fictional genre EVER. Shown here are a dozen or so Dell Mapbacks located in Manhattan. I do not believe there is one placed in the Petrified Forest.

A complete directory to the Mapbacks in shown HERE. There were hundreds, and all are great...but the ones set in the Big Apple were always my dad's favorite.

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Big Giant Kachina and a Cigar Store Indian Authenticity Spirit Trade Sign and Antique American Indian Art

Many a young girl received a doll today, Merry Christmas, by the way. They may teach, but they aren't spirits.

Hopi and Zuni dolls are and were used to allow young women from the tribe to participate in sacred dances performed by the men. A rich, complicated cultural ritual I am not qualified to discuss, and I am not really sure anyone of European origin can, to tell the truth. We can "own" kachina dolls, but can we understand them? I guess as interlopers. There are some 400 identified, each with distinctive features represented by adornment and design.

Once you have an appreciation for cottonwood carvings from 1900 and before with flaking natural pigments, you may desire to own them as well. Not easy today, as the early ones, or what could be called "real" ones are for the most part tucked away. There are different levels for collectors...19th century, of which I have cribbed a few here from the catalog of an exhibition at the Galerie Flak in Paris from ten years ago (link here to the catalog) those from 1900 to before World War two, and those since. The later ones are purely decorative and produced for tourists, and although fine carvings are still produced by Native American artists they are far more elaborate in design and far less transcendent than the early ones.

The earliest kachinas were flat, simple, rudimentary wooden objects with sparse adornment but great magical power. The later ones can be beautiful but are more decorative, and it is quite common for dealers to date them earlier than they really are.
There are literally hundreds of identified and collected kachina carvers working today, and there are festivals and such to display their work. You can even take a bus tour right to the carvers, they don't have to set up outside train stations any more to sell to Paleface. (I am sorry to use what is now a derogatory, and likely Hollywood invented term, but after what we did to those who took care of our land before we got here, and what we have done to it since, let's face it...some of us have earned names worse.)

The photograph above is dated 1944 on the reverse. It is, of course, a Southwestern trading post with a symbolic gigantic Kachina out front. (A "Cigar Store Indian" as it were...another large sculptural object with racial and cultural baggage!) The rugs would indicate this is a shop of Navajo goods...I hope the women asked if they had any old Hopi or Zuni ones behind the counter, as the Navajo didn't make them then, but they do today. I understand now you can even find Kachinas carved in Korea. Ugh.

Snapshot 1944 Collection Jim Linderman

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Separated at Birth Brushcut Edition George Jones and Jim Carrey

Brushcut! George Jones and Jim Carrey meet in buzzy hell. Two masters, one haircut.

The NEXT Jim Linderman Book 2011 (Hopefully)

Okay, I don't want anyone to think all I write about (or care about) is smut...so here is the subject of my NEXT book. I'm not tipping my hand, as there are no other photos of him around, I found the archive and bought it. I'm not saying who he is either, but he is a good story. A DAMN good story! I might have to ask for help. Inquiries from grown-up real publishers welcome. Stay tuned. Until then, my current inventory HERE. The format "BOOK" isn't dead yet, it's just dying.

World's Largest Bird?

They say birds used to be dinosaurs... The Largest Pheasant in the World Postcard (Huron, South Dakota)

Best of Comic Art on Art Matters 12/19/2010 Jim Linderman Articles

Today EIGHT articles by Jim Linderman appear on the Art Matters BEST OF COMIC ART site! Shazam. The page is floating, so they might not be there tommorow. Links to the original articles follow. All appeared on my sister Vintage Sleaze site, so if material of a slightly risque manner scares you...pass. I believe the expression is "Not Safe for Work" but none will scar you permanently and none are anywhere near x-rated.

Stanley Rayon Cartoonist

Jim Linderman Interview

Kopeefun Copies

Lost Art of Tattoo Comics

Satan Press Bibliography and History

The Expert Man who was a Dame

Who is the Girl Next Door

Penny Smith

Hair Memento Folk Art 1850 Woven Love Tokens A Lost Art

An remarkable collected set of family hair weavings, mounted and presented as mementos, each dated 1850.

Human Hair and Ribbons woven and mounted, 1850 Collection Jim Linderman

Primrose Semon and Burlesque Dust Phantom Performers of the Past and what they Leave Behind A Cyclonic Sensation Lost

Primrose Semon, Cyclonic Sensation and Burlesque Dust This is by far the most detailed entry on one Primrose Semon you will find on the web. Primrose Semon was apparently a fast woman, excuse me, a fast soubrette, who performed as both a man and a woman. She had flaming red hair, and may have been "one of the seven wonders of the world" then, but she's dust now. A shame...she must have been something.

As late as 1950, Primrose was still hoofing it enough to get a mention in Billboard Magazine, performing as a comedienne for a two week engagement in Toronto. Quite a feat, 50 years earlier she was performing as Edna in Uncle Tom's Cabin. One site claims she sounded like Martha Raye but I won't hold that against her.

On January 4, 1943 Primrose escaped injury when the auto she was using to get from one gig to another crashed into the side of a bridge. No injuries. Songs she performed (and for which sheet music exists...most of them piled up in the corners of antique shops) include "Everybody's Doin' It Now" "Forgive Me" "I've Got the Finest Man" (which begins "Happy, happy, happy little bird I am")

That's all I've found and she is gone...but henceforth, when one searches her name, this will pop up, and maybe one day a curious relative will happen upon it and say hello. It has happened many times before. I have heard from a dozen relatives and such since I started digging up forgotten folks like Primrose.
I have heard from the offspring of singers, artists, cartoonists, strippers and more. The relatives of criminals don't write in for some reason. On occasion, some will ask me not to print their name, others encourage it. Some have offered to share more pictures and such...others are just glad to see someone took the time to appreciate their great-grandfather or long lost Aunt. Since there is no money in blogging, it is these little personal contacts I enjoy most.

If you know anything about Primrose Semon, say hello! I'll print your note.

The Burlesque Wonder Show Flyer (featuring Primrose Semon) 1918 Collection Jim Linderman



Talking Chalk and Talk Chalkers Glenn Beck Hijacks an Art Form to Line his Pockets Chalk Talk

The ill-informed and dangerous charlatan Glen Beck made me concerned enough to look into chalk talk. Before the millionaire fraud hijacked the former vaudeville trick and started using his chalkboard "skills" to foster corporate greed under the guise of patriotism (and convince many of his floundering middle-class audience to act against their own best interests) chalk talking was an art, a skill and for many a profession. Of course, Glenn has nowhere near the skill and talent of the old guys, especially since his accompanying patter is so vile and poorly researched.

Beck is just one more of the swindlers who have taken the all-too-trusting American public for a big money grab in our history, a buffoon and tool who takes advantage of confused and scared masses to line his own pockets. As such he falls squarely into the long line of snake-oil salesmen, carnival barkers, faith-healers and quacks who litter our history. Beck is pretty good at it...His income in 2009 is reported at $32 million dollars. As his viewership hovers around a million per televised episode, that's about thirty bucks each...money which might better applied to individual gold purchases (though that is another of his scams being investigated.)

I'm not sure he even uses the chalkboard any longer, as he has been so soundly ridiculed for it, but the craft was once a quite beautiful thing.
The examples here all come from the splendid book "Bright Beams from the Blackboard" by Hy Pickering. No date, but certainly approaching 100 years old. As you can see, Pickering fell into the "tell a good moral lesson" category of chalk talkers rather than, oh...I guess what you could call the "Amos and Andy logic out a financial transaction" chalk practice. You know..."take the 7 and deduct it from the 12...see? You owes me 50 dollars." A slightly racist example from vaudeville history, but still exactly what Beck does when he befuddles his audience with poorly drawn crud and poorly drawn conclusions.

Pickering, on the other hand, is presenting art of the highest order, and with practice, some slate and some chalk, an art available to anyone who can draw a straight line. (Like the straight line Glenn Beck makes right to the bank)

Rather than writing me, any Fox viewers who happen upon this post by mistake are referred HERE where Glenn's many mistakes are documented on a regular basis.

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Secrets of Box 2070! Flex-o-View Squeeze to Focus Synchromatic Pictures Optical Slide Viewer and the ACLU

This little "Flex-o-View" collapsible cardboard 35mm slide viewer from the Fifties is pretty hard to find today. Want to know where at least one resides? In box 2070 of the American Civil Liberties Union Records in the Audiovisual Materials collection being held at the Princeton University Library Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. What? For a simple "SQUEEZE to Focus" hand held slide viewer from Hollywood made in the early 1950s by Synchromatic Pictures? What possible interest could the nation's finest lawyers and civil rights watchdogs have in this little folded up optical device with a cheap plastic lens?

Someone on your payroll thought it inappropriate for you or anyone else to view naked women through it, or at least to use the public mails to get them to you. And so the little fellow the ACLU owns is indexed under "POST OFFICE - 1950 - BAN ON SLIDES OF NUDES" and it sits in the box with 5 racy examples.
Ridiculous? I can imagine the ACLU lawyer saying the same thing as he held this up in the courtroom.

Cardboard Folding "Squeeze to Focus" Optical slide viewer circa 1950 Collection Jim Linderman

Take Me to the Water at the International Center of Photography January 21-May 8, 2011


Religious rituals in America are not often public spectacles. A key exception was the tradition of river baptisms that flourished in the South and Midwest between 1880 and 1930. These outdoor communal rites were public displays of faith, practiced by thousands of Protestants, and witnessed by whole communities. A combination of economic depression and industrialization spurred religious fundamentalism in rural areas, and media-savvy preachers promoted mass revivals and encouraged a dialogue about religion in popular culture and media. Photographs of river baptisms were often disseminated as postcards, both by worshippers documenting their personal life-affirming experiences and by tourists noting exotic practices and vanishing folk traditions. This small exhibition of vintage postcards and a panorama is drawn from a unique archive of vernacular river baptism photographs in the collection of the International Center of Photography. This exhibition is organized by Erin Barnett, ICP Assistant Curator of Collections.

In addition, Curator Erin Barnett has posted an announcement about the upcoming Take Me to the Water exhibition of Real Photo Post Cards (along with numerous photographs) at the International Center of Photography blog Fans in a Flashbulb, as follows:

"In January, ICP will be presenting a small selection of postcards of river baptisms, drawn from a treasure trove of over 200 images, which was donated by collectors Janna Rosenkranz and Jim Linderman in 2007. Since there’s not enough room on the walls, here’s a peak at some of the wonderful images that won’t be in the show (but that can be found in the Grammy-nominated publication and CD Take Me to the Water."

The Grammy Nominated Book/CD Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950 by Luc Sante, Jim Linderman and Lance Ledbetter will be available at the Museum Bookstore.

Photograph collection International Center of Photography, Gift of Janna Rosenkranz and Jim Linderman

Miniature Sausage Grinder and the Urban Word of the Year At the Circus in Black and White #24

Click to enlarge, and you will see this handmade tiny circus even has a sausage grinder. (?) Now as the term has come to mean "a very aggressive and active female sex partner" according to the Urban Dictionary (One of my favorite sites, and a reminder now is the time to vote for your Urban Word of the Year ("Vatican Roulette" another name for the rhythm method or "Hit the Slide" to leave a job in a particularly dramatic manner are my favorites) I am wondering what the carver had in mind here...

MONKEY grinders, or ORGAN grinders were common at circus and carnival gatherings, but they were hand-turned musical instruments with a simian dancer, not meat makers. You have to cook sausage first, and this little guy doesn't appear to have sterno. Maybe he was selling dogs in buns.

Pair of original snapshots of a handmade miniature circus, date unknown Collection Jim Linderman

#24 in Series "At the Circus in Black and White" on Dull Tool Dim Bulb the Blog