Friday, March 30, 2018

Yesterday: March 29 was Little Red Wagon Day

In 1923 when this cover of Film Fun cover was published, this was as red as toy wagons got.  It wasn't until 1927 that the now ubiquitous Radio Flyer (then called the Liberty Coaster) debuted.  Curiously there are more covers of Bolles girls riding turtles than any four wheeled vehicle, either human or gasoline powered. As geometrically exacting as Bolles' art could be, I've long wondered why he didn't do any automobile advertising (or perhaps it's yet to be discovered).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Enoch Bolles Loves International Pi(e) Day!

No matter how you slice it, our man Bolles loves pi/pie!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

March 10: International Bagpipe Day

This cover appeared at the very end of Enoch's nearly four decade career. The year was 1942. Sadly, the next issue of Film Fun would be its last.  There would be another Bolles painting in early 1943 for the debut issue of Titter (more on that in later as part of my serious on one-off's) and an enigmatic cover that appeared in the final issue of Breezy Stories published in 1949. But that's it.  As you may know, during this period Enoch was in and out of mental hospitals.  Yet he was still painting, and in fact continued to until his death three decades later.  During the early 40's Enoch was at home during what his doctors called "paroles" he resumed his work for Film Fun.  But even while hospitalized he would conscript nurses to serve as models in a spare room he converted into a studio. 

Despite his troubles, this cover serves as unequivocal evidence that Enoch's artistic chops were still intact, as was his inventiveness and humor (it also dispels the persisting false story that his career ended because of a debilitating stroke).  During this period he adopted emerging fashions and his girls began to sport hairdos reminiscent of Rita Hayworth or the popular Victory curl look.  At this time Enoch also became intrigued with adorning his girls in patterned material as is evident here by not one but three distinct tartans.  It all makes one wish that things would have turned out differently, Enoch was only 59 and there were new pinup magazines appearing in the newsstands. And things almost did.

Far from being burned out from the business of painting "chlorines", Enoch told one of his his grandchildren that he had some "new ideas" about pinups he wanted to explore. And after he left the hospital for good he tried to do something about it.  Enoch very likely learned of the revived career of his compatriot, Alberto Vargas, who was producing new pinups for Playboy.  So he painted some new samples that he took to their main competitor.  But alas, it was not to be. Penthouse was not in the market for pinup.