Thursday, November 17, 2022

Enoch Bolles is reminding you that November 17 is the Great American Smokeout

 Yes, its been far too long since we've had a Bolles take on a celebration day, although it's unlikely that anyone who participates in today's annual smokeout describe it as one. This is a great composition with a telling theme, and the candlestick lamp adds some high contrast drama. All these elements were rare themes in Bolles work. The vast majority of his covers could be best described as content free pinup poses that owed nothing to the content between the covers. But Snappy Stories was an exception, featuring cover art that to some extent depicted the theme of the cover story. Bolles often employed background shadows to great effect, as we see here, but he generally abhored casting any shadowing on his figures, considering it a sort of an artistic crutch. 

And as any Bolles fan knows, our rueful covergirl dithering about having a smoke was a lonely outlier among the the legions of two pack a day Bolles girls (someday I'll get around to surveying the percentage of them who smoked). Below you see one of my favorite examples, another rare thematic cover Bolles later painted over to tragic effect for a different magazine. While Bolles also painted ads for several cigarette companies, he himself was never a user of the evil weed, perhaps a reason why he lived to the ripe old age of 93.