Saturday, May 29, 2010


Vintage Sleaze Drugstore Cowboy!


"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.