Monday, February 1, 2010

The Most Famous Bolles Swipe...Ever!


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We've talked about her before: she might have been the first yoga pinup, or perhaps the magazine cover that redefined what pinup was and what it wasn't, or maybe simply the hottest pinup cover of all time (according to no less than Smilby). It's no surprise that other illustrators would look at her and wonder, could I...should I?
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But who would ever have thought that the master of pinup would turn to an obscure Bolles cover (it was rare the day it hit the newsstands) and ponder the question. But indeed Alberto Vargas did just that and reworked her for one of his gatefolds for Playboy back in 1967 and in some ways she well may have been more of an homage than a swipe, with the classic high voltage Bolles smile Vargas adorning her. I showed the pair of images to the late Reid Austin, who was the personal assistant to Vargas and had as much to to with reinvigorating his career as anyone, and he wasn't quite sure what to make of it. And later what turns up but another variation, done by Billy Devorss variation around 1941. Neither of them are exact copies, but if you were working with a horizontal aspect ratio then you had to make some changes. To me what is interesting is that as hard as these talented artists worked to remake the image in their own style, they both come up a bit short. Like the Bolles cover or not (and not everyone does) it is certain that his particular geometry was hard to improve upon. There are lots of other Bolles poses that other artists have been inspired by but to even attempt this one is a real stretch.
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Postscript: Do you think that Vargas swiped DeVorss and not Bolles? It certainly seems so looking at these, though I know that Vargas had a large collection of Bolles magazine covers. But when you line these up it looks more like DeVorss did is variation on Bolles and then Vargas did his off DeVorss.

6 comments:

oeconomist.com said...

Unfortunately, that link from Anonymous is 'bot spam. :-/

Jack R said...

I've been getting more and more spam comments on this blog. Any ideas of how to control this without switching to the option of approving each comment before posting?
Jack

oeconomist.com said...

Sorry; I don't know what to do for blogger/blogspot 'blogs, short of full moderation.

Wordpress has a very effective plugin, Akismet, which catches nearly all of the spam that hits my 'blog, and I assume that the 'blogs at Wordpress.com get that plugin. (My 'blog is hosted at my own site.)

I suspect that the programmers at Blogger are working on the problem, so you might hail them.

Jack R said...

Thanks, this seems to happen in spurts and if I'm attentive I can pull the spam soon after it's posted. It's frustrating though because I enjoy hearing from 'real' people, and hope that moderation doesn't become a necessity.

Alan Wrobel said...

The Vargas girl's smile sure is a great Bolles look. On another topic, I wonder if its possible to get Zippo to publicaly acknowledge the 'Windy Girl' as being by our man, and not Vargas.

Jack R said...

They actually have, or at least they modified the story so that Bolles is at least acknowledged as the creator of the Windy girl, not that they are about to stop calling her a Varga. By the way, Zippo pulled a deal similar to the Varga/Vargas swap by Esquire by misspelling Bolles' name in the original Windy ad.