Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Bolles Girl in the Flesh!

From time to time I've published photos of models who posed for Enoch as well as photos he clipped from magazines that served as the basis for covers. To wit, the photo of Mary Carlyle that he turned into such a lovely cover for Breezy Stories. You can imagine my reaction when I ran across these amazing recreations of Bolles covers by Mala Mastroberte. Mala doesn't just pose for these, she controls every step in the creative process from start to finish, composing and shooting her magazine covers without any assistants.  She does the styling, the layout, props, wardrobe, shoes (!), makeup, hair, lighting and photography to bring the Bolles covergirl to life with amazing fidelity.  Mala has also created several of her own original covers that are inspired by Bolles' work and you can really tell she has a grasp on what makes Bolles unique.

I asked Mala how she first became interested in creating her own versions of old magazine and paperback covers. 

"I've been always interested in history, vintage clothing, antiques, old photographs, etc... I grew up in Poland, a country with a great history, but quite different than American or even Western Europe. When I first moved here 10 years ago, naturally I felt homesick and bit out of place in a country so much "younger" than my own. I started visiting every antique shop in sight, going to flea markets and then browsing the internet in search of anything with a past. That is how I discovered vintage magazines and began collecting them. Few years ago I started taking self portraits, at first just generally inspired by the pin-up genre. With time, once I accumulated more props and wigs, I was able to be more true to the beloved originals. I prefer the illustrated covers, for their fantasy quality. As a child I loved comic books and wanted to become a comic book character when I grow up. So this is, in a way, realizing my childhood dream."

"When I feel "inspired" I just set up my studio, take out my books or originals and shoot away. Sometimes I get the right pose in a few shots, sometimes it takes tens of photos (thank goodness for the digital cameras), but it is always lots of fun. So much so, that sometimes I do not even notice that hours have passed."

Mala has recreated a score of magazine and paperback covers spanning the 1930s to the 1960s.  You can view them all at on her Flickr site.  Of course I had to ask how she came to be so interested in the work of Enoch Bolles.
"Enoch Bolles, where do I begin! I do not think I have to convince you, or other fans that his illustrations are special. My favorive is his later period, once he established his original style. Even though I admired his pin-ups for a very long time, I did not dare to take them on until recently. Not only poses are particularly challenging but those recreations demand special and more skilled editing."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dragon Girl-Part One

She's not a Bolles. Sorry. This tidbit of subterfuge has been in the works for quite a while. The vision of how Enoch might have interpreted the ΓΌber-it-girl" of the millennium, Lisbeth Salander has been thrashing back and forth in my head and wouldn't leave me alone.  So I dusted off my paint kit, picked through a passel of pulps for inspiration, took a deep breath and put brush to canvas. 

And so here's the finished product, a pale imitation for certain. Ok, I'll give myself a little credit, she's a step or two above the standard Quintana knockoff of Bolles, and the "distressing" was spot-on if I say so myself (having spent so much time-and money-on stacks of ratty pulps has given me a certain experience in this regard).  Some of you picked up on it immediately and I bet others recognized the original inspiration for this cover, which was published in 1938 (there really was a Swedish detective writer named Stig Johansson from back in the 1940s). If the bug stays with me, there will be others to come based on three different Bolles covers for inspiration.  Can you guess which?  

Coming soon: a fabulous and contemporary photographic take on the Bolles girl.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fodder For Future Posts

Sorry to have slowed the pace of posting recently but my day job has been imposing itself.  But I wanted to let you know that along with the art poster catalogs recently "discovered", I've also gotten some new magazines that I haven't had time yet to catalog.  So just to let you know that there will be more to come here's a photo of some of the cache. Thanks for your patience.