Jack Cole is one of my favorite artists. In his all too short career, Jack made some of the best pin up art a man could do. Everything he does, whether it is naked girls, sight gags or his comic book character, Plastic Man, all has this basic level of impressionism. His women are not recreations of what women look like, they are interpretations of how women are seen, remembered and treasured.
Fantagraphics Books has a 2004 collection of Jack’s work that I just now recently discovered. ‘The Classic Pin Up Art of Jack Cole’ is a long mouthful of a title for a very precious book. It collects his art in that middle period between leaving comic books and working for Playboy. Here are a bunch of illustrations written for the gag magazines in the Humorama line. The jokes are dated and often archaic nut the art is timeless.
Jack is at his best when he is just cutting loose. Breasts and hips become flowing lines with the same gravity as moons. Eyes disappear and are replaced by ominous eye lashes. Legs are bare in winter and lips are big and pouty. There’s energy in every picture even when nothing is moving.
I would recommend this book to any lover of in-up art. For that matter, I would recommend a lot of what Fantagraphics Books publishes. Their books are often the fuel I use to jump start my imagination. Most of all though, I recommend that you explore the work of Jack Cole for yourself. He was one of the best and still is.
Click the pictures for mondo giant size versions.