Wednesday, May 8, 2019

W.C. Fields, Bolles Fan!

You have to believe that this famous Film Fun reading film star, comedian, and world class juggler was a Bolles fan. Certainly W.C.'s not perusing the pages for the jokes. Notice just how carefully he's holding the magazine, as not to get his fingerprints on the cover art. And regarding the cover art, I've made another version that gives us the Bolles girl in full color. Enjoy! 

Monday, April 29, 2019

April 27 was International Sculpture Day!

This magazine cover from 1935 gives a whole new meaning to how 'modeling clay' got its name. Enoch's sly sense of humor is evident here. Many of his magazine covers, particularly the smooshes, were chock full of visual puns or double entendres. Our Bolles girl is rightly proud of her well-sculpted figurine, but she's not the only one who took notice. 
As you can plainly see, to label this cover from New York Knights a swipe is to give stealing a bad name. The artist here, as many of you will recognize, is George Quintana. I think you could make a strong case that he owes his career as a cover artist to Bolles. He swiped so often and so thoroughly that his work is often misattributed to Bolles. Some of you may also know that I've written about the theory that George Quintana was a nom de plume of the artist, George Quaintance, famous for his muscle man magazine covers that predated Tom of Finland. I've shifted back and forth on my theory since then, and so for now I'll reserve judgement about who's who, but you can't ignore some similarities in their the styles and between their signatures (granted, Quintana played around with his more). Anyway if you are interested in making your own comparisons or learning more, here's a great web site on Quaintance by his biographer, Ken Furtado, who definitely comes down against the Quintana-Quaintance connection.  

But back to the swiping. Bolles was definitely aware of Quintana's covers, and so were the editors of Film Fun, who brought a law suit against Quintana's most visible publication
vehicle, Movie Humor. While the lawsuit was ongoing, Movie Humor went so far as to print disclaimers on the covers to allay any confusion in the weak-eyed reader.  The judge acknowledged similarities between the magazines he rejected the lawsuit. But Quintana wasn't the only artist who 'borrowed' from Enoch, and from time to time I've posted examples. I thought the theme was worth revisiting so I'll soon be starting a new series called "Cases from the Swipe Files".  So stay posted, my friends. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

March 5 is World Tennis Day!

Today I am serving up an overhead slam of a cover by our man Enoch.This 1935 cover for Spicy Stories was the first of only two tennis themed covers by Bolles.  It's a bit unusual because his Spicy Stories were generally not at all inclined toward sports. In fact by the mid-30's Enoch had pretty much departed from the sports themes so common in his earlier work. 

To our right is an original done for Breezy Stories that according to the amazing Galactic Central, magazine repository, appeared in 1941.I have to believe, however, she must have been on an earlier cover of the magazine. For one, after 1938 Bolles was only producing new works for Film Fun. And there's another clue. Around 1937-38 Enoch had begun leaving the unworked parts of the canvas raw and outlining the figure in a band of white, most likely to save on both time and money. Take a look at her shoes, you have to wonder if she skipped the match and went right to the lemonade stand!  

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Enjoying Valentine's Day, courtesy Enoch Bolles

This 1924 Film Fun cover is the earliest Bolles' reference to Valentine's day I've found. The helpless little men theme may come across as peculiar but during the mid-20's it was all the rage among illustrators who specialized in 'pretty-girl' art. In a future post I'll include every example that Bolles painted. This cover pose was reworked by Enoch five years later for a Spicy Stories cover, and he also did another variant used for an ad that ran in the same issue. The rendering of the later cover is so close I fear Enoch simply reworked the Film Fun painting, rather than start with a blank canvas.  Let's hope someone proves my theory wrong and comes up with both paintings. Now that would be some Valentine's Day present!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

John Buscema, Bolles fan?

I saw this panel from a 1993 Punisher comic drawn by the famed Marvel comics artist John Buschema and thought it had to be more than just coincidence. Take a look at the flipped cover from a 1934 Film Fun (I posted a long series on this painting several years back and and how I came to find the original).  What do you think? Was "Big John" a Bolles fan? 

Friday, February 1, 2019

February 1: Working Naked Day!

Not to worry, our man Bolles has this one (un)covered. Nuff said!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

One-Off Part Seven

It's fitting that our final entry in the One-Off series is likely the last painting Bolles did for a magazine. She appeared in 1943 on the inaugural issue of the problematically titled men's
magazine,Titter. Our reflective Bolles girl strongly resembles a cover he did for the December, 1941 issue of Film Fun. Curiously, however, these images were inspired by different photographs of different models. My guess is that our solo choir girl in the in the green opera gloves was done at the same time as the trio but didn't make the audition for Film Fun. So she was later repurposed for Titter. I'm even more sure the actual painting (if only it was still around!) faced left and was flipped for the magazine. The Film Fun painting was flipped for the cover and as you can see, the photo reference for the Titter cover-girl faces left.  More interesting is that the photo bears only a cursory resemblance to the Bolles girl in the painting.  As the late artist and collector, Francis Smith told me long ago, "Bolles was an interpreter". That he certainly was!