Monday, January 5, 2009

Polly Doesn't Want a Cracker: Today is Bird Day!

We are celebrating bird day with one of Bolles' most classic covers from his high deco period (at least that's what I call it). The girl sort of reminds me of what Jean Harlow might have looked like if she had the Elsa Lanchester hair-do from Bride of Frankenstein. One of these days I'll do a survey to see which star of the silver screen readers feel most closely embodies the Bolles girl. Not that I think it was Jean Harlow, other bleached blondes come to mind including Toby Wing, Thelma Todd, Alice Faye, Lilian Harvey, Edwina Booth, even Joan Blondell. At some point I'll do some side by side comparisons so you can judge for yourself but I am more than open for other suggestions readers may have. As far as contemporary actresses (I know. We don't use that word anymore) I once thought that Charlize Theron had a bit of a Bolles look but now I think otherwise.

But back to our bird girl. The painting really shows off Bolles masterful sense of color, and the black robe provides the climactic punch to the composition. Without high quality printing the cover would have crashed but for a time the publishers of Film Fun weren't cutting corners. You may think I had to dig deep to find a girl-bird theme but you'd be wrong. Bolles did a number of these and the birds were always of a real species, details correctly rendered. In fact he featured a wide variety of unlikely members of the animal kingdom on his covers including turtles, manta rays and a shark!

1 comment:

Li-An said...

Beautiful painting. One of my favorites.