What makes these sailors so happy?
They are having fun. The Film Fun with cover art by Enoch Bolles, a great American illustrator who perfected the pin-up genre. Inner pages, so funny at the moment, will soon be forgotten and lost. The cover, almost for sure, will live on, glued to the sailor's suitcase lid or to the bulkhead above the other sailor's berth, if the Captain won't mind.
Here is the Bolles story, told by David Saunders of pulpartists.com:
Enoch Bolles was born March 3, 1883 in Boardman, Florida. His father was Enoch Bolles, Jr., a chemist in the perfume industry, and his mother, Catherine Keep, came from a family that owned orchards.
The artist's grandfather was also named Enoch Bolles, and lived in Newark, NJ. By 1894,the artist's father and grandfather had both died unexpectedly, so the family moved to Newark, NJ, where the artist met Clara Kaufman, who shared his interest in art. They wed in 1903 and raised eight children in homes in NYC, Tappan, NY, and then settled in Harrington, NJ.
His first magazine assignments appeared in 1914 on the covers of joke books, such as Judge and Puck.
He went on to establish a leading reputation for his distinctive cover paintings for spicy magazines, such as Film Fun, Stolen Sweets, Gay Book, Titter, Tattle Tales, Snappy Stories, Bedtime Stories, Breezy Stories, Pep, Gay Parisienne, and New York Nights.
Due to overwork and malnutrition, Bolles suffered a mental collapse in August 1938, which ended his professional career. When his paranoid condition failed to improve, Bolles entered a New Jersey mental institution, Greystone Hospital, where he remained for most of his life.
He eventually recovered enough to paint magnificent landscapes and portraits of hospital workers, family and friends. He had access to a small art studio in the hospital, from which he even painted several pin-up magazine covers that were sold and published during the 1940s.
Text © David Saunders 2009
In 1981, Francis 'Smilby' Wilford Smith (1927-2009) published a book on early pin-up magazines:
Quite naturally, a Bolles painting has been chosen for the cover.
More Enoch Bolles cover art in the album (56 images). You're welcome to browse it - or to enjoy the slideshow:
Images: Enoch Bolles blog