The Pin-Up Art of Bill Ward

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.

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