Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Soul Sisters?

The recent issue of Vanity Fair has a wonderful feature about the illustrator, Robert McGinnis, who at 91 is still making beautiful art of gorgeous women. I'm sure many of you are already well aware of his work from iconic movie posters such as the early James Bond films and Breakfast at Tiffany's, as well as his scores of fantastic paperback covers featuring women who would never be mistaken for the work of another artist.  If not, check out his official web site.  One of the interesting quotes in the article was by the author and editor-at-large of Vanity Fair, Cullen Murphy. In his description of the McGinnis woman he says she: 
"shed the shackles of her time period. You can’t say that about the work of illustrators from the 20s, 30s, or 40s, or even from the 70s or 80s. The women they depict can easily be slotted into the right era. But a McGinnis Woman? She could stroll the most fashionable precincts of New York or London and Paris today and turn heads—but as a living being, not as some throwback. Can Rubens say that?”
I couldn't agree more, and am looking forward to Murphy's upcoming book about his father (who drew Prince Valiant) and his illustrator pals. I feel that the timelessness of McGinnis's women is also due in part to the cool factor imbued in his work. His well honed sense for women's fashion (at least when they are wearing any) from his book cover work from he 60s and 70s certainly reinforces this. And his women are tall, tall, tall and shapely in a very modelish way (although I don't think she ever posed for him, the model who comes to mind is Veruschka).  Even the men in his book covers-usually lurking in the background-pass modern muster in their Mad Men suits. 

But-and you knew this was coming-I am obliged to take (mild) umbrage at Murphy's conclusions about artists of the past. In support of my argument I submit Exhibit A, my favorite among all Bolles' covers. She made her appearance on the April 1935 issue of Film Fun. One of the things that initially attracted me to Bolles was that his women seemed so modern, both in appearance and attitude. The fact that Bolles' kept his finger on the fluctuating pulse of fashion does mean his work can often be tagged to the year of its publication, Yet I often get the feeling she's a modern woman dressed in a period costume. So while I may have a fantasy of dating a Bolles girl, I know she'll never be dated, if you know what I'm saying. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

What? I missed National Puppy Day!

No way I could let this occasion pass without a post, especially because Enoch painted more covers with turtles than puppies.  On the cover of this 1930 issue of Pep Stories our Bolles girl giving her Pekingese first dibs in the bath, not that he looks particularly pleased about it. While you may rate this cover as lukewarm the interior of the magazine was so hot that it was yanked (briefly) from the newsstands. When it returned Bolles had moved on and soon Earle Bergey began his long run of covers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

This lovely cover, courtesy of my Bolles-pal Mark Forer, was published in 1928, is the only Valentine themed cover of all the hundreds of magazine covers Enoch painted (unless I missed one and Mark will be the first to know).  Enjoy!!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bolles Sunday!

Our man Bolles never may never have played football but over the years he recruited quite a squad of covergirls.  Here's our lovely Bolles girl getting ready to toss the pig skin on a 1932 cover of Film Fun. 

And take a look at how these other cover artists stole from Enoch's artistic playbook. This 1930 cover predates both the Annual and E.M. Jackson's 1937 cover for the Saturday Evening post. But in the case of Jackson he was exacting a bit of revenge for a swipe by Bolles. 

Here we have a rather provocative football cover from 1934, and on the right you can see how Enoch 'borrowed' the pose from an earlier cover painted by Jackson.  Clearly he was incensed enough to wait three years before swiping the ball back from Bolles. An artistic onside kick if there ever was one!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Another of Santa's Helpers

Consider her a belated Christmas present, a bit late but eager to spread some holiday cheer.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Santa's Favorite Helper!

That's mistletoe Santa's helper is standing under so you better give her some attention. As you've seen in recent posts, our man Enoch has 'presented' us with a a lot of classic Christmas cheer, and I think he deserves he deserves than he's gotten. Just yesterday on NPR there was a piece on how a marketing campaign by Coca-Cola in 1930 was largely responsible for ushering in red (Coca-Cola red, to be exact) and green as the official colors of Christmas, along with the red-cheeked Santa we all know and love. The artist--not identified in the segment--was the talented Haddon Sundblom (who spawned a generation of pinup artists, most notably Gil Elvgren).  But before him, others, including Enoch were already mining.  I'll share more in the coming days including a classic Santa image Bolles painted in 1924, and another that I think is the best Santa ever!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Holiday Cheer: Chapter Two

Today we have another example of Bolles' Christmas themed covers, this a charming example from 1926.  Sorry about its condition but Snappy's just don't hold up very well.  The covers were done on cheap paper, the magazine was thicker than most other pulps and the binding was often overglued.  But beat up or not I just love to see Bolles' Snappy Stories. work. These covers reveal a relaxed aspect to his painting which had already begun to disappear from Film Fun.  And there's a narrative that you rarely see in his magazine art.  I'm assuming this illustration has something do to with the story but I've never managed to to read far enough into one to figure it out one way or another.  The art may be fresh but the text has gone stale.