Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving courtesy of Enoch Bolles

You've waited far too long since our last post and so on this special day your patience is being rewarded with a rare proof of a 1923 Film Fun cover hot out Enoch Bolles' oven of imagination. Proofs are tests prints done before the actual run of the magazine cover to ensure that the newsstand version stands up to the high standards set by our man Enoch. Most were discarded and what survived were gobbled up by hungry collectors. This example even has color registration marks at the bottom of the image. In spite of the labors of the printers, they couldn't capture the vibrancy of the original image. And as appetizing as the background spread is, it doesn't measure up to our delectable Bolles girl, although she seems to have a different opinion about how she weighs in. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Alice White by Enoch Bolles


Today is the birthday of the actress, Alice White. She first toiled behind the silver screen as a script girl but one of her employers, a fellow by the name of Charlie Chaplin, decided she would do better in front of it. Beginning in 1927 she starred in several features and became a fan favorite. The critics however, were less impressed, one describing her as a "Second string Clara Bow". But she was popular enough to appear on a cover of Film Fun painted by the one and only Enoch Bolles. It appeared in 1929 and was among the first of 13 covers he painted which featured a leading lady of cinema. All were claimed to be "specially posed" for the magazine and while Alice grew up just 25 miles from Enoch's home in New Jersey, it's highly unlikely she ever spent a second in his studio. In fact several covers were clearly reworked from publicity photos. The one exception may have been a painting of Lupe Velez that also appeared in 1929. Enoch's daughter Teresa once told me that Lupe actually posed in person for her cover at Enoch's New York studio. Enoch also painted portrait poses of starlets for other movie magazines but by 1932 he was back to painting the Bolles girl full time. She had her fans too!  

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Bolles has it covered (in mustard): July 17 is National Hot Dog Day


Of course our man Bolles would have his own special take on today's celebration.  This issue  appeared in 1931 and was one of a surprisingly large number of covers that featured food along with the Bolles girl. It may have something to do with Enoch's long-standing side gig as a food illustrator. Starting in the mid-1020s he produced dozens of full-color ads for magazines and trolley cards featuring food items rendered with as much luscious attention as he gave to his Film Fun girls. His consumable commissions ranged from candy, to raisins, to cigars and over the next few weeks I'll be featuring a number of them.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

April 24 is Dancing Day, courtesy of Enoch Bolles!


After too long an absence we are back to celebrate another day that was meant for our man Enoch. This terrific cover image from a 1926 issue of Snappy Stories is special on several levels. First, it's a toe-tapping depiction of today's celebration of Dancing day. And while searching the Bolles files for the perfect image it dawned on me that there were more dancing themed covers in Snappy Stories  than any other magazine for which Bolles painted the cover art (Snappy Stories should not to be confused with the later Snappy magazine, which was so ably covered by the other pinup EB, Earle Bergey). Second, it's a rare example of a Bolles girl sharing the spotlight with her beau. And again, Snappy Stories ranks number one in depictions of couples, out paring all the other magazines Bolles worked for combined. Third and most important, this unedited image was taking directly from a proof of the cover that was once in Enoch's own hands. Proofs are test prints done before the magazine went into press. They were made using a higher quality process and printed done on paper superior to the actual magazine. So unless the original painting shows up some day (fingers crossed), this is the closest we'll come to the original image. And stay tuned, this is not the only example in the Bolles archive!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day from Enoch Bolles


Here's one of only a handful of Valentine themed covers. It's from 1928 and most count among Enoch's most charming. Redirect your eyes to just above the masthead you'll spot the 'twice a month'. Starting in 928, Film Fun moved to a bi-weekly bi-weekly publication. Sadly for us Bolles fans, the magazine returned to a monthly before the end of 1929, most likely because of the stock market crash. Think of all those covers that could have been...