Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Take a Friendly Swipe

I generally take a dim view of artists' attempts at swiping Bolles, as Enoch himself did.  His grandson told me how he'd rail against other artists he felt were swiping his stuff.  Even the editors of Film Fun noticed and in the mid-30s initiated a lawsuit against the magazine, Movie Humor, in large part no doubt because of George Quintana's line by line ripoffs of Bolles' covers (and if you are wondering why I refer to him as Quintana and not Quantance, the author Dian Hanson will be coming out with her take on the debate later this year in her new pinup book). Although the suit against Movie Humor was denied, the presiding judge granted a temporary injunction because of the "confusingly similar cover format." 

I take exception, however, to the lively interpretation of a classic 1937 Bolles cover you see here. I first came across it in an article in the New York Times article on a company that reproduces old menus for a line of products and of course I had to investigate further (as if there was a choice).  The image was the cover to the Latin Quarter restaurant and was appeared around 1950, though it seems for more contemporary to me. Although the artist, Vanni Cola (I've had no luck tracking down any info on her/him) accurately followed the composition, the simplified color scheme and strong use of red works really well. I also like the bulls-eye, which was a visual trope Bolles used many times. And the way the typeface (hand drawn?) is worked into the image aces it. 

So I contacted the friendly folds at Cool Culinaria and we had a lively discussion on the intersection of our mutual interests that led to a blog post about it on their site.

Finally, the klutzy pinup theme of this cover--while pretty much the rule for the likes of Elvgren and others--is relatively rare for Bolles. Limiting my search to Film Fun, I found no examples at all until 1932 and only five total out of over 200 covers. Curious two of the first three covers by substitute artists for the magazine used klutzy themes.