Sunday, July 5, 2020

July 5 is Bikini Day: Bolles has it (un)covered!

This isn't the first time we've celebrated our man Enoch's take on the Bikini, and it would be almost sinful to let this special day fade into the sunset without featuring a Bolles girl getting all the sun she can. This classy cover from a 1936 issue of Breezy Stories and it predates its official debut by exactly a decade. Granted, her Bikini bottom is on the demure side but keep in mind that in the 1930's the mere flash of a belly button would arouse the decency leagues. It was only the below the counter mags that flouted the 'naval blockade'.

And if you need additional evidence paste your peepers on an even earlier cover from 1934 Bolles painted for Tattle Tales. What do you think?  Did he invent the thong too? 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

June 18 is Bartender Day!

Our high spirited Bolles girl is showing off more than just her tulle!  She's got some serious moves with her Boston shaker. Bolles often borrowed props from the liquor cabinet, but it wasn't his. Not one for either the sauce or smokes, you have to wonder who his girls got all their bad habits from. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

May 6 is National Golf Day!

It's not just the eagle-eyed fans who appreciate this Bolles birdie teeing up. But while we all agree she certainly makes the cut, that outfit and shoes are going to handicap her from reaching par.  So let's give her kudos though for her ability keep that grip on the ball. I'd call that a real hat trick. And if there was a prize for pinup artists Enoch would win the Masters!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

April 15 is also World Art Day, as Enoch Bolles reminds us

We're back again with one of Enoch's sly visual jokes.  This was done in 1938 for Gay Parisienne. The next issue would feature his final cover for this magazine, and one of the last covers he completed before taking a year long break.  As many of you know, Enoch was hospitalized for psychological reasons brought about in part from the stress of overwork. He completed new covers for Film Fun beginning in December of 1939 but during his absence the pulp world had changed; Gay Parisenne had folded, as had Spicy Stories and the rest of the so-called smoosh mags.  There was only Film Fun and it would be brought down two years later by the Post Master General working under the dictates of the Catholic Decency league.  While Bolles' professional career ended with Film Fun, he continued painting for the rest of his years. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

February 7 is Wear Red Day! Bolles has her covered

In a letter Enoch wrote to his daughter and budding artist Lila, he passed along a word of advice he'd gotten decades earlier from a printer; "use any color as long as it is red!"   Surprisingly, he seldom followed it, but when he did the results popped.  You'd be hard pressed to find a nicer example than this cover from 1927. The contrasting color scheme on the car works nicely here. I've often wondered if Bolles ever did any illustrations for automobile manufacturers. 

There's something else very special about this painting, Notice the speed lines?  They were 'invented' by the French artist, .Ernest Montaut, but I think this is the first use of them in what we'd now call pinup art.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Not quite a mirror image

Now and again on this blog share examples of photos and paintings that bear a strong resemblance to a work by Bolles. Just as with the case from my previous post of a Bolles magazine cover and cover of Playboy, this connection can be serendipitous. But when the other magazine cover was a painting, it's almost always a swipe from Bolles. I've also discussed how the pinup paintings done by other illustrators were often almost exact of reference photos taken by the artists.
In particular, the pinup artists Moran and in particular, Elvgren were known for this.  As you can see below in the photo of the cover of a book on Elvgren, they even celebrated it. 

On the left you can see an example showing both the reference photo and final painting by Elvgren.  And below it you can see a very similar Bolles cover from 1935. It's the earliest example of this pose I've found so I'm giving credit to Bolles for originating it. Elvgren wasn't the only pinup artist who was inspired by this idea and by the time he did his version, he may have taken the idea from someone else than Bolles, because several other artists had swiped the idea, as you can see on this post about the fire pole girls.  

But I won't be one to criticize. As the old adage goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Or as the comic book artist Wally Wood aptly put it: 
1) Never draw what you can swipe 
2) Never swipe what you can trace 
3) Never trace what you can photocopy 
4) Never photocopy what you can clip and paste down

The illustrator Murray Tinklemann had his own ideas about the matter:: 
Influence is when you steal from dead guys.
Imitation is when you steal from living artists and
Plagiarism is when you steal from me.

It makes you wonder what our man Enoch would've had to say about the matter.


Thursday, November 14, 2019

November 14 is National Pickle Day-Enoch Bolles has it covered!

Is there any obscure holiday that our man Bolles hasn't covered?  This was painted by Grandpa Bolles for one of his grandchildren who happened to express a deep love for pickles.  I have to admit that this is exactly the type of unknown Bolles that I’ve saved for my book project but don’t fret, this is the only vegetarian example. It’s just goes to show  that he was an illustration omnivore!