Retrospace Big Book #1: Dirty Humor

Here's 375 pages of vintage saucy humor from the 1950s and 60s - the heyday of dirty jokes.  Indeed, all magazines aimed at gentlemen of leisure, Esquire, GQ, and Playboy, were chock full of adult comics. In fact, there were some popular rags like Gee Whiz, Stare, and Laugh It Up that specialized in it. Certain artists rose to the top - namely Dan DeCarlo, Bill Ward, and Doug Sneyd - and made a pretty good living at it.

Looking at these old comic panels some fifty years later, one can't help but notice a few things.  First, the humor is often sexist as all get out.  Also, most of the jokes don't translate well to 2011: we are far too desensitized to sexual matters.  They come off seeming a bit juvenile.  Our 21st century tastes in ribald humor has certainly ventured far into the gutter since these comics were published.

But, it is a treat to take a trip back when naughty humor didn't have to be X-rated.  Although, there is some nudity in these illustrations, it's still pretty tame (but just be forewarned before you share this joke book with your 8 year old).

I'll also mention a couple points before you go:

(1) I did include a few very early naughty postcard art from around the thirties and forties.  This brand of humor wasn't real common in magazines back then, but postcards were a popular venue for racy humor.

(2) I just learned how to create a PDF book. It was a learning experience: things like having all the pages the same size took me a while.... and it messed up the resolution on some of these pages. Also, a few pages of modern humor made it into the collection, near the end (shit!). But, I'm so sick of doing this, that I just left them in. So, I apologize up front.  My next book will hopefully go a lot smoother. I hope you enjoy it - and if you do, please stick a few bucks in the tip jar on the right sidebar.  That way I can somehow justify spending the time doing this sort of thing again.  Happy reading!

SAMPLE PAGES: click to enlarge


  1. These come across as far more erotic than I think even the creators imagined.

  2. I know this is a couple months late, but is it known who the artist was for the Gentleman Annual 'Superwoman' comic on page 84 of the pdf? That one just makes me happy.

    The art style is nice, and the way the woman is depicted seems weirdly complex and human for the genre (at least as run through my modern sensibilities).

    Most of the comics allow their female characters a grand total of three and a half emotions (horniness, jealousy, and annoyance, plus bubble-headed obliviousness if they're playing the straight man in a bit of forced innuendo). The 'Superwoman' comic, though, is a hell of a lot more sophisticated: She's obviously had a great time, she's satisfied and euphoric from her sexual adventures, and she's also proud and happy that she was able to make her partner feel the same way. And in the private, giddy moment of celebration we're seeing, she reveals herself to be a complete and utter dork.

    And it's adorable.