Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Penultimate Bolles?

Certainly one of the most kinetic pinups ever rendered, she ranks as the second most famous among the over 500 Bolles' girls, tailing just behind the Windy girl (you'll hear about her in a future post). Sadly, they both have been credited to other artists, as have many other Bolles works.

Originally Bolles paintings are quite rare, but I do know that four other Film Fun covers from 1934 still survive, the year this police girl roared onto the newsstands. Many cover paintings from this era were tossed out in the trash but you have to believe that someone took a shine to the original police woman. I know that another 1934 Film Fun cover was given to a city mayor simply because he asked for it (yet another post). Might this painting have been spared? One can only hope.

I should add, this issue was given to me by the esteemed Playboy artist and author, Francis "Smilby" Smith, whose "Stolen Sweets" remains the best of the books on the pinup. I had the honor of being a guest of Francis and his lovely and equally artistic wife, Pam a few years ago at their 16th century cottage in England, which was an eclectic museum filled with art, antiques and thousands of rare 78 jazz records. The time I spent with this gracious couple was the highlight of my entire trip to England.


marky4 said...

Hi, Jack:

Glad you're back up.
As you know, I've got a few of Smilby's personal Film Fun issues myself. It was 'way back in the '80s while I was working as an art director at Foote, Cone & Belding that I stumbled across a then brand new copy of "Stolen Sweets"...for eight bucks in the "Bargain Bin" of the Hennesey & Ingles art book store! Back then, there was no such thing as the internet or Ebay, and you had to "get them as you found them"--mostly "well loved" and dog-earred issues of Film Fun magazines found while "junking" in the many used book stores in Los Angeles. And the pickin's were sparse, to say the least (L.A. was NOT a Mecca for anything collectable--for THAT you had to go the Midwest... or the East)! It would be a few more years before I would amass a nearly complete run of Bolles Film Funs...not an easy task in any era (I'm still just a very few issues away from completion!)...but I can thank "Smilby" for jump starting me on my Film Fun collecting Odyssey. And I still have my "well-loved", well-thumbed and dog-earred copy of that vintage "Stolen Sweets" book to this day.

Jack R said...

Hi Mark,
Great to hear from you. The rest of us Film Fun'ers can only gawk at your run of the magazine. And with eBay going the way it is, it is less likely than ever I'll be able to fill in remaining gaps in my collection. There was a time when I was buying five to ten issues a month but no more! Your Stolen Sweets story is even better than mine. I got my issue on eBay only because the seller, bless his soul, spelled it "Stolen Sweats". This being the days before eBay so conveniently provided spell checkers and search suggestions and anonymous bidders and all the rest that has sucked the life out of the site.

I'll post a couple of photos from Smilby's cottage soon and maybe see if his wife Pam might be willing to make a post here. She is publishing a book on his cartoons. My other big effort will be to interview the fabulous pinup artist, Olivia de Berardinis. She's a big Bolles fan and a charming and gracious person.