Saturday, April 18, 2009

What Comes Around Goes Around

This cover has to rate as one of the best of any Film Fun, not just from the 1920's but any decade. I know I say this a lot but this cover has so much going for it. It's a great composition featuring a particularly feisty Bolles girl. And there's the rare presence of a male suitor, suitably thwarted. And her corona of flaming red hair, well that just adds to the attraction. She's also got a rather healthy figure at a time when cover artists including Bolles were perfectly willing to melt the pounds from their girls in order to depict the ideal flapper.

Initially I thought the composition was a Bolles original, and then I ran into the accompanying photo that appeared in a 1926 issue of Film Fun. It seemed implausible that a scene from a movie would be staged after a Film Fun cover, and with a bit of checking I learned that the movie, Eve's Secret came out in 1924, so I figured the chain of events worked the other direction with our man Enoch seeing something he liked in the photo and then doing his own special magic with it. But I can't be entirely sure as both the movie and the magazine came out on 1924, so the timing was a little too close to make an easy assumption one way or another. Most likely, Bolles was inspired by the photo rather than the other way around. Still, it is interesting to see how he used it as a starting point and went with it in a very different direction that reveals a lot about his style. His girl is a lot tougher than Betty and his copper is having an even better time than Jack. And there are some other telling differences. What do you think?


Alan Wrobel said...

So, Jack is trying to learn E's secret?

Jack R said...

Oh, I'm pretty much convinced that he used the photo, there are just too many similarities. I've got some others that are a lot more obvious that I'll have to share. But there are those publicity photos the editors of Film Fun thought were swiped from the covers so I guess it works both ways.

Alan Wrobel said...

I was playing with the caption of that photo 'Jack trying to learn Eve's secret' with you (Jack) learning E(Enoch's) secrets.(ha!) Its amazing how much of the work of later artists was directly lifted from EB's cover work. Its like EB provided the master on which others laid their carbons on to copy.


No doubt Jack, Im sure Enoch had at his disposal hundreds of publicity photos on a monthly basis to draw on for occasional inspiration. The genius was in how he interpreted the moment at hand,and injected his own brand of humor.

Jack R said...

Hi Alan,
Now I get it. Sometimes (oftentimes) I'm a little slow. I'm working on a post that shows a Bolles cover that was swiped by several other artists.

Hi Gary,
Bolles even resorted to using photos that had appeared in Film Fun and my next post will share a rather curious example of this.