Good girl art

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Good girl art
Imagination Oct 1954 cover.gif
Harold W. McCauley illustration for Imagination
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Good girl art (GGA) is artwork featuring attractive women in comic books, comic strips, and pulp magazines.[1] The term "Good Girl Art" was coined by the American Comic Book Company in its mail order catalogs from the 1930s to the 1970s.[2][page needed]

The science fiction author Richard A. Lupoff defined good girl art as:

A cover illustration depicting an attractive young woman, usually in skimpy or form-fitting clothing, and designed for erotic stimulation. The term does not apply [i.e. refer] to the morality of the "good girl", who is often a gun moll, tough cookie or wicked temptress.[3][page needed]

During the peak period of comic book Good Girl Art, the 1940s to the 1950s, leading artists of the movement included Bill Ward (for his Torchy) and Matt Baker, who was one of the few African Americans working as an artist during the Golden Age of Comics. Today, Baker's rendition of Phantom Lady is considered a collectors item, and much of his GGA is sought after. During this period, GGA also found its way into newspaper comic strips. One of the early examples of good girl art was Russell Stamm's Invisible Scarlet O'Neil, a superheroine who was regularly shown in her lingerie.[4]

Torchy #5 (July 1950) cover art by Bill Ward.

Use of the phrase has since expanded to indicate a style of artwork in which attractive female characters of comic books,[5] cartoons and covers for digest magazines, paperbacks[6] and pulp magazines are rendered in a lush manner and shown in gratuitously provocative or suggestive (and sometimes very improbable) situations and locations, such as outer space. The artwork sometimes involves bondage or damsel-in-distress situations.

A strong influence on the movement was illustrator Rolf Armstrong (1889–1960), labeled the "Father of Good Girl Art" because of his creamy calendar art for Brown & Bigelow and iridescent illustrations for such magazines as American Weekly, College Humor, Life, Judge, Photoplay, Pictorial Review and Woman's Home Companion, along with his advertisements for Hires Root Beer, Palmolive, Pepsi, Oneida Silverware and other products.

Two of the leading creators of GGA for science fiction magazine covers were Earle Bergey (Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories) and Harold W. McCauley (Imagination, Fantastic Adventures). In the '70's pulp fiction, Hector Garrido drew the GGA book covers of The Baroness spy thriller series by Paul Kenyon and The Destroyer men's adventure pulp novels by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir.

In 1985, Bill Pearson edited and published Good Girls, a collection of artwork by himself, Vince Alascia, Richard Bassford, John Beatty, Stan Drake, Brad W. Foster, Frank Frazetta, Frank Godwin, V. T. Hamlin Roy Krenkel, Bob McLeod, Ed Paschke, Willy Pogany, Trina Robbins, Wally Wood, Mike Zeck and others.[7]

Since 1990, AC Comics has published 19 issues of Pearson's Good Girl Art Quarterly (incorporating several issues of Good Girl Comics), featuring a mix of photos and new comics with reprints of vintage stories.[8][9] Other artists in series include Nina Albright, Dick Ayers, Frank Bolle, Gill Fox, Jack Kamen, Bob Lubbers, Pete Morisi, Bob Powell.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jolley, H. Scott (April 2008). "Heroine Chic". Vanity Fair (572): 122. Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  2. ^ Goulart, Ron (2007). Good Girl Art. New Castle, Pennsylvania: Hermes. ISBN 978-1932563870. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  3. ^ Lupoff, Richard A. (2001). The Great American Paperback: An Illustrated Tribute to Legends of the Book (1st American ed.). Portland, Oregon: Collectors Press. ISBN 9781888054507. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  4. ^ Heintjes, Tom (8 June 2017). "Not Seen but Not Forgotten: The Invisible Scarlet O'Neil". Hogan's Alley. Archived from the original on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  5. ^ Good Girl Quarterly
  6. ^ website
  7. ^ — Bill Pearson
  8. ^ Good Girl Art Quarterly
  9. ^ Good Girl Art Quarterly at Grand Comics Database

Further reading[edit]

  • Beaulieu, Dennis. Interview with artist Richard Bassford on Wally Wood and Good Girl Art. CFA-APA 40 (Spring 1996), publication of the Comic & Fantasy Art Amateur Press Association.

External links[edit]