Bazooka Joe, by Wesley Morse

Wesley Morse was the artist of the famous 'Bazooka Joe and his Gang' comics, that was printed on the inside of the wrappers of Topp's Bazooka bubble gum. The company had done some earlier attempts to create a lasting advertising character for the gum, but none of them seemed to catch on. Morse was contacted by creative director Woody Gelman to work on a series of illustrated gum comics featuring a gang of kids. From 1954, Morse produced numerous comics featuring the characters, and the company released several series of 'Bazooka Joe' series each year throughout the 1950s. Wesley Morse drew the strip until the early 1960s, when he passed away.

Bazooka Joe, by Wesley Morse

Morse was born in Chicago. In the early stages of his career, he drew a comic strip called 'Switchboard Sally', and he did the artwork of Flo Zigfield's 'Zigfield Follies' in the 1920s. He had drawn cartoon features for the New York Graphic, but he somewhat disappeared from the scene in the 1930s. In the late 1930s, he created several so-called Eight-Pagers, also known as "Tijuana Bibles". These books contained pornographic comics in a time of widespread censorship. After that he went to work for the Blackstone Group, an advertising group. In the 1940s and into the 1950s, he did artwork for Lou Walter's Latin Quarter and the Copa Cabana. He created the Copa girl, which became the Copa Cabana logo.

Eightpager, by Wesley Morse

Morse's Tijuana Bibles

Last updated: 2008-03-14

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