Thursday, November 27, 2008

Save That Turkey!

This has to rank as the weirdest Bolles cover ever. The slice of bread motif makes no sense at all to me and that's just the beginning of my confusion. Bolles' theme of naked fairy cuddling stolid Tom Turkey is indecipherable, except at the level described by Doug Ellis in his book Uncovered, on the history of the spicy pulps. He notes that with just a small change in color the censors would have been all over this. For other reasons I think they already were.

This was also the only cover Bolles did for Ginger and I can't figure out why the art director, if it had one, splurged on him. It wasn't even the debut issue, the magazine started in 1928, a year before this issue and lasted until 1932. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was forced out of business by one of the morals groups that were in he hunt for Frank Armer and other publishers of these so-called Smoosh mags.

The other cover artists for Ginger couldn't approach the quality that Bolles put into his work, but one far surpassed him in turkey themed weirdness. Take a look at this cover by Reginald Greenwald, an artist who did covers for Ginger and similar rags. This girl's certainly no turkey lover!

Addendum: Ok, I stand corrected and then some for my lamentable attempt at ornithology. My friend Mark Forer, big time Bolles collector and cultural touchstone for all things retro, politely pointed out to me that our fairy is embracing a peacock, not a turkey. Well that makes it a bit worse in some ways, though at least it wasn't a swan.


Unknown said...

Jack, M'Boy...

That's not a turkey on the "Ginger" cover...
That's a PEACOCK (Look closer at the head ornaments and green neck feathers)!
Risque Business!
Makes more sense, now, ehhhh???

Mark Forer

Jack R said...

Thanks, Mark. I've duly noted my lousy birding skills (though as I recall the Romans did feast on Peacock) in the post.