Thursday, February 27, 2014

International Polar Bear Day--Grrrr!

She's having fun but that poor bear is miserable. Clearly he's been ridden around the track one lap to many.  All he's thinking about is throwing those reigns off and taking a nap on an ice shelf as far from her as he can get.  But I bet he'd have something else in mind if he if he knew the fate of his cousin, featured on a Film Fun cover a few years later. Looking at these together I wonder if they are the same pair, which makes the first cover even sadder. 

But you may think that's the wrong perspective.  Who could ever resist serving
a Bolles girl, whether as a ride or a rug! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Bolles did just a couple Valentine themed covers and this one from 1926 was his first. It's also a bit of an oddball because her head to body ratio presaged what I call his lollypop period.  Contrast her with another 1926 cover where Enoch reverted to a more normally proportioned figure.  There would be other occasional lollipop girls popping up now and then but from 1930-31 the majority of his covers featured petite girls with large heads, a combination that has always struck me as unnervingly pubescent. Perhaps however, Bolles was simply taking a crack at his own version of the John Held Jr. girl.  Either way, the experiment ended in 1932 when a very differently
proportioned Bolles girl took the stage.    
Go figure.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Doubling up: Wear Red & Wave to your Neighbor Days

Bolles once wrote: "printers love any color, as long as it's red,"  and it's a perspective he took to heart.  Red is a cardinal theme on his covers. Not only was the Bolles girl's wardrobe flush with scarlet, but more often than not she sported red locks.

So I had a problem...that being which single issue to pluck from a field of hundreds blooming red from rose to poppy.  It wasn't long before I was getting a bit flush from sampling all that burgundy, claret and rosé.  

But I kept coming back to one particular image and I think out of all this cover from 1935 burns brightest. Enoch probably had to empty a couple tubes of Cadmium red on the canvas (though the color looks a bit more like Naphthol) to finish the dress but the expense was well worth it. Any Hollywood starlet would be thrilled to wear it on the red carpet. 

But look closer, there more going on here.  Notice all those strong diagonals moving through the composition in both directions.  The contrast provided by the piano adds a lot. The little bits Enoch lets peek through from behind the girl reinforce the outline and punch up the depth, projecting the girl toward us. Smart move by the art editor to stick with red for the logo. 

And of course you can't have a Bolles girl without those hand flourishes.  Maybe she's about to add some left hand rhythm but I prefer to think she's beckoning an admirer. After all it's also wave to your neighbor day.