viernes, noviembre 21, 2008

La anárquica y profunda carga de lo Prohibido en aquellos pequeños sucios comics (sobre las Tijuana bibles)

Aquellos pequeños y sucios comics, las Tijuana Bibles, circularon en Estados Unidos a partir de los 30, los años de la depresión, hasta casi finales de los 50 (incluso en los 60 se pueden encontrar algunos ejemplares). Consistían en pequeñas historietas de más o menos 8 págs con contenido pornográfico y humorístico. Según este genial artículo de Art Spiegelman (sí, el célebre autor de la historieta Maus), se piensa que se han publicado entre 700 y 1.000 Tijuana Bibles diferentes, que circulaban, obviamente, de forma ilegal y sus autores quedaron, en su mayoría, en el anonimato. En una combinación de, por lo general, dibujos horribles, formatos pobres, chistes malos y una gramática desastrosa, las Tijuana Bibles (aka Fuck books, Jo-jo books, etc.) lograban detonar y derramar la sexualidad de diversos personajes de la época, imaginarios y reales, a través de una paleta pornográfica amplia.

Aquellos pequeños comics comprendían casi todo el muestrario sexual que una mente excitada pudiera imaginarse: sexo vaginal, sexo oral, sexo anal pero también zoofilia (The Pet), masturbación (The Shower), sadomasoquismo (Layla always gets her girl), etc.

Aquellos pequeños comics pervertían diversas figuras de comics famosos: Popeye, Blondie, Mutt and Jeff, Little Lulú, Terry and the pirates, Bringing up father, Archie, etc.

Aquellos comics, también, parodiaban y sexualizaban a estrellas cinematográficas del momento: Esther Williams (Esther Williams - Get a li'l like the fishes do); Robert Mitchum (Goof butts); John Dillinger (A hasty exit); William Powell y Myrna Loy (Nut to will hays), Clark Gabel (The sheik) etc.

Dejo algunos fragmentos que me parecieron interesantes del artículo de Spiegelman quien intenta dilucidar la importancia de las Tijuana Bibles como un producto de la cultura popular y como pretexto para los comics underground de los 60:

  • In any case, without the Tijuana Bibles there would never have been a Mad magazine -- which brought a new ironic attitude into the world of media that has since become pervasive -- and without Mad there would never have been any iconoclastic underground comix in the sixties.
  • The Fuck Books were not overtly political but were by their nature anti-authoritarian, a protest against what Freud called Civilization and Its Discontents. Here was a populist way to rebel against the mass media and advertising designed to titillate and manipulate, but never satisfy. Betty Boop, Greta Garbo, and Clara Bow all radiated sex appeal on screen, but they were cock-teasers, never quite delivering what they promised -- especially after 1934, when the Hollywood Hays office went into high gear.
  • A related impulse expresses itself on the Internet today, with newsgroups posting digitized JPEG images of Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast making what Shakespeare called "the beast with two backs," trading extended and explicit chain stories of the sex lives of the "Star Trek" crew, and -- thanks to the wizardry of Photoshop -- swapping naked pictures of the cast of "Gilligan's Island." The frisson in this high-tech version of Tijuana Bibles seems to have at least as much to do with the thrill of violating copyright and licensing law as with sexual need. In the thirties it was simply a tremendous relief to find out exactly what Blondie and Dagwood did between their daily stints in the newspaper that led to the birth of their Baby Dumpling.
  • The essential magic of comics is that a few simple words and marks can conjure up an entire world for a reader to enter and believe in. Presumably, this is true of erotic comics as well; how else can one explain the willingness to spend hard Depression-era currency to be aroused by a very primitively drawn Donald Duck schtupping an ineptly drawn Minnie Mouse? It's precisely this miraculous ability to suspend disbelief and temporarily blur Image and Reality that arouses the ire of those puritanical censors of the Left and Right who can confuse depictions of rape with actual rape. It's a profound confusion of categories as well as a scrambling of symptom and cause.
  • Though there are bound to be those who will loudly declaim that the Tijuana Blues demean women, I think it important to note that they demean everyone, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, or even species.
  • The Tijuana Bibles were the sex-education manuals of their time. In entertaining and easy-to-read cartoon diagrams, the Beavises and Buttheads of an earlier age could painlessly learn what to put where, and how to move it once they put it there. Significantly, these books spread the hot news that women actually enjoyed sex and that even fat people like Oliver Hardy and Kate Smith could be sexy. They taught that, despite the mortifying shame of it all, cunnilingus (in these books called "pearl fishing," "whistling in the whiskers," or "yodeling in the canyon") was fun. To understand how shameful oral sex was believed to be, class, you need only to turn to "Mussolini in Ethiopia" on page 124, a giddily primitive Eight-Pager drawn by Mr. Dyslexic's dad, with its memorable punch line: "You-like-to-have-your-pussy-sucked-I-get-Hitler-for-you."

Y para cerrar, siguiendo a Spiegelman, tal como decía una famosa Tijuana Bibles, los invito a que recorran esta página que recoge algunas decenas de éstas:

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