Friday, March 6, 2009

Dos Sombreros!

The image on the left comes from a 1933 issue of Tattle Tales, and on the right is Joan Blondell from 1938. It's the only photo I've ever seen where she's a brunette. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not implying that the photo pose was swiped or even inspired by the Bolles image. After all there's five years between them and Tattle Tales could only be bought at smoke shops, pool halls or from a newsstand where you had a connection. You'd have to have been seriously moved by that image to have it stick in your mind for that long.
Yet on the other hand there is an undeniable resemblance. Was it that both Bolles and the photographer were tapping into the same cliche' or were they inspired by something they both saw? Certainly Joan had more than a little of the Bolles girl look about her. Who knows, but I see these sorts of connections all the time, and not just with vintage photos. And I keep searching because I have found examples that were undeniably swiped from Bolles. I'll be posting more of these in the future including one Bolles cover that was copied at least four times. Have you found any?


G.G. said...

Jack, as you know, I'm a fledgling Bolles collector. Is there any way you could do a post that gave tips on collecting Bolles, pretty please? The biggest barrier for me is that most of the covers he did are not signed and I'm not exactly sure of the time periods during which he illustrated for a given magazine. I've run across several of late which may or may not be Bolles and have hesitated buying because I'm not sure. How's about writing a beautiful, illustrated book on Bolles for us to buy? :)

Jack R said...

AOK, GG. I'll post a how-to primer on identifying Bolles illustrations. Half the challenge is that there were so many other illustrators who borrowed his compositions or simply expropriated his work outright. Honestly it took me a couple years before I got to the point to where I was confident and now and then there are still illustrations that throw me for a loop.