Sunday, 24 January 2010

361: Jim Osborne - Paul & Marlon in Bottoms Up

"Paul & Marlon in Bottoms Up" by Jim Osborne
in "Snatch Comics" #3, 1969

Jim Osborne’s intense cartoons alternated between depraved horror tales about psychopathic mutants and sideshow geeks inflicting mayhem that out-gore and out-puke-induce “Basket-Case” and the likes, and noir tales enacting perverse rumours of Hollywood Babylon in varied styles reminiscent of old “Weird Tales” (he was a major contributor to “Sleazy Scandals of the Silver Screen”). A small but distinct percentage of his work brushes with art or the sickest humour and some of it is an incitement to the vice squad. I recommend “D.O.A Comics” and a bucket.
It’s not some of his best drawing, so it’s not immediately obvious here that these are Paul Newman and Marlon Brando. This is an early bringing together of recurring innuendo about Newman and Brando. In the ‘70s Brando admitted to being bisexual. Gay rumours have regularly stuck to Newman, with the suggestion that his wife Joanne Woodward was just a beard. So in this strip these two long-rumoured homosexual film stars have special encounter - Brando/Newman slash for those who want it, with cocks aplenty. Particularly since Newman here is an absolute bottom.
“Flit” was a slang term for gays from the 1950s still used during the 1960s.
And the phrase “You’re so savage” crops up again. The same phrase made a camp appearance in the Bonzo Dog Band’s 1968 song “Trouser Press”, but it’s an improvised line from the transplanted Californian member of the group.

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