Sunday, April 12, 2009

Desperately hunting for an Easter egg

After the pain of pulling together today's post, it may be a long while before you have to endure another of my blathering entries where I preen about having found the just perfect the Bolles art to celebrate some obscure pseudoholiday. Truth be told I was completely stymied by Easter. Out of my 'collection' of over 530 Bolles magazine covers (alas, the vast majority are merely scans) I couldn't find a single suitable example. Even Hugh Ward did a cover that as a stretch could be considered more of an Easter theme, featuring a cute chick hatching out of her egg. Ok, so it's actually some bizarre take on celebrating the new year, and what's with her weird arm pose? (One more thing about this cover, the exposed navel and low bikini line are very provocative for 1937. No wonder this magazine could only be purchased in smoke shops and pool halls).
...
So the closest I could come was the cover to a 1937 issue of Spicy Stories. A very nice image to be sure but one that I had planned on saving for Magic Top Hat Day, Cartoon Bunnies Week or something of the like. To assuage my guilt and keep you from tuning out (if you haven't already) I'm sweetening this post by including something quite unusual, the original pencil sketch for the magazine cover. Alas, it is not in the best of shape but the drawing is quite revealing. For one the final painting is nearly an exact duplication of the sketch. The bunnies are even cuter and chubbier in the painting, and the top hat is larger, but that's about it. I've also included a swipe of the cover by Earle Bergey. He clearly had no trouble with the girl's anatomy (though the shoes should have gone back into the closet) but there is nothing nice that can be said about his Easter bunny, which looks more like an albino jack rabbit. She should stuff him back in the hat and try again.




5 comments:

The Old Nail said...

The pencil sketch is very interesting in that it gives an insight into the artists method of working. Sometimes sketches and unfinished paintings teach us more about an artist than the slick finished items do.

Jack R said...

Absolutely. One thing I've learned from these sketches is that Bolles had a really nice 'line'. It's only too bad that he didn't do much pen and ink work.

Alan Wrobel said...

Another winner post Jack! Thanks for the effort. That last rabbit sure is a decrepit looking one isn't it? The Peter Driben cover of WINK (Dec '52) has nice rabbit-out-of-hat too. Very good, but not quite as good as EB's.

Jack R said...

Ooh, I missed that one and will have to check it out. Is it a swipe from Bolles or Bergey? I have a post coming up where you can see the same image borrowed by one artist after another.

123 123 said...

Interesting article as for me. I'd like to read a bit more about that theme. Thnx for posting that info.
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