A collection of 1950s & 1960s pin-up art spotlighting the inimitable creator of Torchy.The Pin-Up Art of Bill Ward continues Fantagraphics' dedication to showcasing the best of the classic pin-up artists. Culling through thousands of images, editor Alex Chun has selected the best of Ward's Conte crayon pin-ups, including many of his infamous telephone girls, many of which have not seen print in almost half a century.
When Ward passed away in 1998, he left behind a body of work that spanned six decades and by all accounts, more than 10,000 pin-up cartoon illustrations. Though he is best known for creating comics' Golden Age blonde bombshell Torchy in the 1940s, Ward's strongest work was produced in the late 1950s and early 1960s for the Humorama line of digest magazines.
In those countless cheap and long forgotten men's humor magazines, Ward's voluptuous "girly" drawings shared the pages with photos of Bettie Page and Mamie Van Doren, and pin-up cartoons by the likes of Archie's Dan DeCarlo and Playboy magazine's Jack Cole.
Thumbing through those digests, it quickly becomes evident that Ward was Humorama's dominant pin-up cartoon artist. His mastery of the Conte crayon allowed him to produce unparalleled textures, including the wonderful sheen on satiny curve-hugging dresses and on black thigh-high stockings that became Ward trademarks.
Ward's other trademark, of course, was his penchant for drawing extremely well endowed women accentuated by tiny waists, and whether playing the role of office secretaries, arm candy at cocktail parties or vamping it up in a boudoir, his women played to multiple fetishes adorned in opera-length gloves, lacy lingerie, and five-inch stiletto heals. Sometimes bawdy, but never tawdry, Ward's top-heavy Humorama women always managed to maintain their allure, innocence and glamour that made Torchy so popular.
The Pin-Up Art of Bill Ward is presented in the same attractive sotfcover format as The Pin-Up Art of Dan DeCarlo and The Pin-Up Art of Bill Wenzel.
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Alex Chun is a longtime journalist living in Los Angeles. A former staff writer for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, he is currently a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times where he covers pop-culture. He also edits a series of art books for Fantagraphics. In his spare time, he collects original cartoon pin-up art and maintains the website www.pinupcartoongallery.com. His books include The Pin-Up Art of Dan DeCarlo (two volumes), The Pin-Up Art of Bill Wenzel, The Pin-up Art of Bill Ward, The Glamor Girls of Don Flowers, The Glamour Girls of Bill Ward, Classic Pin-Up Art of Jack Cole, and The Pin-Up Art of Humorama.
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