In JohnJosMiller by JohnJosMiller5 Comments


(With a big tip of the hat to Cheese Magnet stalwart Joe, who suggested this title.)

As part of our eternal quest to bring you the best and the oddest in pulp art, we present something entirely different: a non-fiction pulp magazine.

FILM FUN ran from 7-15 to 9-42 under that title, but it debuted in the early 1880s as JUDGES SERIALS, underwent a couple of name changes and gradually morphed into one of the earliest movie magazines. It basically covered current films and stars and was heavily pictorial. In the beginning of its run as a film mag it used covers depicting comedians. But how many pictures of Charlie Chaplin do you really need? (Quite a few, apparently, as I counted about 15 covers showcasing him from 1915 to about 1921, and many issues were missing from the cover data base.) It messed around for a few years before hitting on the notion of pin-ups of beautiful if fictitious lasses (None of the covers claim to be showing an actual movie star.).

By mid 1923 until their partial switch to photographic covers in the 1940s almost all of the covers were done by a fellow named Enoch Bolles, an artist I’d never heard of until now, but whose work bears looking into. At his best he’s almost Brundage-like, though toned down and generally lacking her exoticism. One site claimed that FILM FUN switched to photographic covers because they were facing an obscenity prosecution, but I don’t know how accurate this claim is since from 1940-1942 there are still probably more painted than photo covers. Perhaps Bolles’ brush was simply getting worn down.

In any case, here’s a bunch of FILM FUN covers. Holler if you want more.

Not too recursive.  Charlie Chaplin, for those non-silent film buffs out there.

World War I era anti-German political cover.  Maybe.

Kind of creepy.

Now, this one is scary.  And alien-like.

To my mind, this one is the most Brundage-esque.

Hmmm.  Judy Garland?  Maybe?

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