I will confess to being a fan of Good Girl Art (sometimes shortened, simply, to “GGA”). My guess is that many men would make a similar confession if pressed.
The American Comic Book Company was an outfit based in Los Angeles that catered to collectors. It was not a publisher; it was, rather, a retailer and a dealer in comic books and items of popular culture. As such, the company was just slightly ahead of the times. When they came into being, in 1969, comics and popular culture were just coming into their own as a distinct and serious area of collecting.
The art itself, depending upon how you fussy you want to be about descriptions of content and which media could (or could not) be employed, had been published since somewhere around the time of World War I.
In the days of film noir, our heroine would have been called a gun moll.
“She was the kind of a dame that would make a bishop kick out a stained glass window” (to quote Raymond Chandler). Her attire, if it wasn’t ripped and/or falling off, would be tight and would hide little. And she was often in rather fantastic circumstances such as being attacked by an outer space monster, or shooting it out with the bad guys as she sat her bucking horse, or just being mean and sultry while she looked at you over the barrel of the gun she held in her hand.
Author Richard Lupoff, writing in The Great American Paperback: An Illustrated Tribute to Legends of the Book codified a definition: “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 to the morality of the ‘good girl’, who is often a gun moll, tough cookie or wicked temptress.”
You get the idea.
David Alexander, one of the two founders of The American Comic Book Company, coined the term in one of the company mail-order catalogues. He was speaking of pulp magazines and comic books at the time. The term stuck.
It has since been expanded to include the pin-up girls of World War II, paperback book cover art from the 1950s and 1960s, calendars of the 1950s and a host of items that are real close to the line of appropriate.
We get examples of it in the shop at least weekly, usually in the form of paperback cover art. And that gave me an idea.
So, using books from our inventory, along with plenty of Photoshop image enhancing, I’ve created a series of facetious books. They are rather silly. I don’t think they actually cross the line, although some of them do get a little close. They exaggerate a little and poke some fun at the stereotype of the stodgy book collector.
All of which is a very long way of inviting you to join us this weekend for the York Book and Paper Fair. It takes place on Saturday (April 4) and runs from 9 am until 4 pm at the Wyndham Garden hotel on Loucks Road.
More information, along with links to a discount coupon, is on facebook.
I hope you can join us! Maybe, just maybe, you’ll snag some GGA for your collection. (Your opportunities with a “Book Fair Floozie”…well, that’s up to you.)