Wesley Morse's Celebrity Tijuana Bibles

copyright© 2004, 2005 Tijuanabible.org


One of the most important contributors to the Tijuana Bible genre, Wesley Morse, is best known for his 1939 World's Fair eight pagers as well as a host of other delightful comics with lighthearted themes. Although many of these comics have been reprinted ad infinitum, there is a group that remains almost unknown. These are Morse's Celebrity comics!

Every major Tijuana Bible artist produced celebrity material, so it isn't a surprise that Morse was called upon to do the same, after all they were an eight pager staple. However, Wesley Morse stood apart from the other Tijuana Bible creators, he never parodied existing comic characters, always relying on his ability to create situational humor that anyone could relate to.

There are 10 celebrity eight pagers by Wesley Morse; "Position is Everything in Life" with Lew Lehr, "It Feels So Good" with Ben Blue, "The Plumbers Delight" with Marie Wilson, Patsy Kelly in "She Got Her Man", "She Found It" with Charles Butterworth, "A Lesson In Love" with Charlie McCarthy, "Arthur Treacher" in Breakfast in Bed, "3 Men in a Girl" with The Marx Bros, Laurel and Hardy in "The Girlfriend", and "She Loved It" with W.C.Fields. Read "It Feels So Good" with Ben Blue  in our online comics gallery.

There is an obvious contrast between these 10 comics and the rest of Morse's work, besides stylistically different cover art that sets them apart from his other comics, the interior art is simpler than usual, dropping the backgrounds in favor of filling the panel with the characters. A technique utilized for faster production. I've always found his choice of stars intriguing, no femme fatales or leading men, .... just comic actors, the least glamorous celebrities of all!

Donald H. Gilmore credits these books to a copycat artist, published in San Francisco, .. but that's absurd! This is certainly Morse, though they may have been drawn for a different "publisher". Much of Gilmore's observations are incorrect to the knowledgeable Tijuana Bible collector. He believes the body of Wesley Morse's work is the efforts of three women in queens, and credits  Mr. Prolific's output to at least 5 individual artists, ...  he doesn't have much of an eye for artistic style and is totally unfamiliar with the lexicon of comic creators.

all artwork and text copyright © 2004 2005 TijuanaBible.org