Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

One-Off Part Two

Today is the second installment in our series exploring magazines that Enoch contributed only a cover or two.  Its one one I've kept quiet about for years but it has started showing up on several other sites, so I it's no longer my secret.  This 1925 cover for Live Stories is actually a proof, a higher quality test print than the version you'd see on the newsstands. It's also the sole cover Bolles painted for the magazine.  And that's a shame because it ranks among his most dramatic compositions. It also showcases Bolles' particular strengths as an illustrator. 

Take a close look at her dress. Notice how deftly Bolles establishes the folds and pleats, using single, bold strokes of his brush. Get it wrong and you start over from the beginning. He was a master of rendering fabrics; the silky sheen of her gold lamé bodice is a lovely contrast against the gauzy transparency of the sleeves and skirt. And those emerald green accents and gold highlights on that turban-styled clouche tell you she is a classy girl, despite that alarming title.      

So even if you aren't a fan of the Bolles girl (does one exist?) wouldn't you agree she wins the award for the best dressed pinup? (as for the underdressed category...well that's a different contest). Why, even the beau of our swooning Bolles girl's is smartly suited. He's got that all the weighty authority of the Arrow Collar Man without being such a stuffed shirt.  My only lament is why oh why didn't the editor bring back Bolles for an encore?

Monday, January 15, 2018

One-Off Number One

Today we debut the first of an occasional series I'll be calling one-offs.  These are cases in which Bolles illustrated just a single cover for a periodical. While Bolles is most closely associated with the magazine Film Fun, you might be surprised to learn that he painted covers for nearly 30 other magazines.  For one reason or another, he often only painted just one or perhaps two covers before another artist took over, or in what appears to be the case here, the magazine folded. 

This charming example Bolles' art is showcased on a 1926 publication of of America's Humor.  I'm aware of only one other issue of this magazine (alas, the cover was by a different artist) which apparently was also published in 1926.  This was a busy time for Bolles, not only was he venturing from Film Fun to do covers for other magazines, he also was very busy painting Street Car card advertising art.  

The history of this magazine is a bit vague, but from what can be gathered from the amazing Galactic Central magazine resource site, America's Humor previous incarnation was Ziff's Magazine, a monthly humor periodical that had been published since 1923. Sadly, even with Bolles' artistry the retitled magazine didn't last, perhaps because the customers who purchased it because of the cover were less charmed by the contents. This wouldn't be the last time Bolles made the writers look bad.