Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Enoch Bolles has teed up for Women's Golf Day

After a hiatus our man Bolles is back on the course and teeing up for today's official celebration of Women's Golf Day. But don't be mistaken, this 1936 cover of Spicy Stories is nowhere near the first time a Bolles girl showed up on the fairway. 

The earliest example appeared in 1925 on the cover of Laughter, a short-lived humor rag very much along the lines of Judge, the magazine where Bolles began his career and was still doing the occasional cover for. His covers for Laughter represent a real departure, not thematically but because of the total absence of white backgrounds. Instead Bolles uncharacteristically turned to saturated primaries and deep hues that completely filled the backgrounds.  

The final example for today appeared a year earlier, not on a magazine but from what was then called a Street car card. During this time Bolles was not only churning out covers for several monthly and bi-monthly periodicals but also painting scores of ads that were slotted in the space above windows in trolleys and busses. Many of these images were dramatically rescaled for other uses from blotters to billboards. Bolles plays it straight with this image but he played with a variety of looks and other examples toe closer to the style of the Laughter cover.    

But despite these and other examples, Bolles never once set foot on a golf course.  

Monday, December 25, 2023

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

*\November 1st is International Pet Groomer Appreciation Day

 Wouldn't you know it, our man Enoch came through with an image appropriate for today's celebration. This comes from a 1930 issue of Pep Stories. Bolles began his run of covers in mid-1929 and continued until early 1932. R.A. Burley then took on the cover duties for the next year and then passed the baton off to the other "B" artist, the gifited and prolific Earle Bergey. His run continued without a pause until the magaznie folded at the end of 1938, along with the rest of the spicy titles that he and Enoch were working for. The only survivor for Bolles was Film Fun but Bergey kept busy working on a wide variety of genres including romance, sports, and most notably, Science Fiction, a genre I could never Enoch delving into.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

September 27 is Scarf Day!

 Back to posting after a bit of a layoff. Today we celebrate Scarf Day with a sassy cover by our man Bolles. This issue of Gay Parisienne debuted at the turn of 1935, just a few months after Enoch took over the cover art duties. He his cover run ended in June 1938, and the magazine sputtered on for a few more issues until it disappeared from the newsstands, along with virtually the rest of the lineup of smoosh mags. 

All this transpired at the very time when Harry Donenfeld, the publisher of Gay Parisienne and other magazines Bolles worked for, was transitioning into the comic books. His National Allied Comics published the debut issue of of Superman in April 1938. This also coincided with Enoch's hospitalization, which snapped his 16 year streak for Film Fun.  But Bolles would be back a year later with new covers until the magzine was pressured into folding in 1942 by the Postmaster General of the United States, operating at the behest of the Catholic Church. But this is another chapter in the story of Bolles' life and career. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy Valentine's Day from Enoch Bolles


Happy Valentine's day courtesy of our man Enoch!  This is his earliest Heart cover theme and by far the most--dare I say--unappetizing. Strange yes, but it follows a theme that several other pretty girl illustrators were pursuing at the time; the helpless little man whose fate hinges on the whims of an indifferent flapper. Here's another even earlier example from a 1923 Film Fun. Clearly, she loves him not.  Either these guys were forced into extinction or Bolles bored of the theme because by 1925 they were no longer spotted again on the covers of any of the magazines that Enoch's art graced.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Enoch Bolles is reminding you that November 17 is the Great American Smokeout

 Yes, its been far too long since we've had a Bolles take on a celebration day, although it's unlikely that anyone who participates in today's annual smokeout describe it as one. This is a great composition with a telling theme, and the candlestick lamp adds some high contrast drama. All these elements were rare themes in Bolles work. The vast majority of his covers could be best described as content free pinup poses that owed nothing to the content between the covers. But Snappy Stories was an exception, featuring cover art that to some extent depicted the theme of the cover story. Bolles often employed background shadows to great effect, as we see here, but he generally abhored casting any shadowing on his figures, considering it a sort of an artistic crutch. 

And as any Bolles fan knows, our rueful covergirl dithering about having a smoke was a lonely outlier among the the legions of two pack a day Bolles girls (someday I'll get around to surveying the percentage of them who smoked). Below you see one of my favorite examples, another rare thematic cover Bolles later painted over to tragic effect for a different magazine. While Bolles also painted ads for several cigarette companies, he himself was never a user of the evil weed, perhaps a reason why he lived to the ripe old age of 93.