Thursday, April 12, 2018

One-Off Part Four

Of all Bolles' one-shot covers today's example, published in 1929, reigns above all others. What a mashup!  There's the piquant; a fairy.  There's the pungent; she happens to be naked (except for the stylish shoes. No way Bolles could resist adding them). There's the peppery; she's embracing a rather dour peacock. And then the pleasing; the ultramarine field of pansies.  Yes, Ginger was preserved, perfectly!  Sadly, Bolles was never to paint another cover for this title. But if you want your own there's a really great copy currently for sale on eBay But don't hesitate, this auction ends in just a few hours!

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. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

One-Off Part Three

In this installment of single cover assignments Bolles completed we present perhaps the biggest oddball of his entire career. This cover showed its faceless face on the newsstands in 1937, and you have to wonder whether Enoch painted it out or left it blank from the get-go.  Ballyhoo was the creation of Norman Anthony, who back in the 1920's was the editor of Judge magazine during a time when Bolles was still occasionally contributing cover art.  Anthony then jumped ship to Film Fun where he pepped up the laughter content of the interior, and he may also have brought Bolles on board as its full-time cover artist. But Anthony's autobiography, which pretty much name drops everyone he ever had a drink with (a LONG list) curiously left Bolles name off the ledger, despite or perhaps because of Bolles' role in Anthony's success. When Ballyhoo debuted in 1931 it was an immediate sensation and within a couple issues was selling over 2 million copies an issue, more than every other magazine on the newsstand.  By 1937 however, it had gone stale and I suspect Anthony was getting bored.  It folded in 1939 and Anthony went onto other projects, none anywhere near as popular as Ballyhoo. But then again, no humor magazine published after Ballyhoo surpassed its initial popularity and it wasn't until the 1940s that Life magazine broke Ballyhoo's sale record. 

There's one more chapter to this story.  Some time back I bought a painting I knew was by Bolles but was was listed as unattributed, in large part because you couldn't see the girl's face in it. I had always assumed it was an illustration for an ad, but not so long ago I discovered it was actually a second cover painting that Bolles had done for Ballyhoo.  Do any of you Bolles fans out there know which issue it was?

Friday, January 26, 2018