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Bill Ward pin-up artist | 2/2

Bill Ward's trademark was his penchant for drawing extremely well-endowed women accentuated by tiny waists and tight-fitting clothes

Bill WardBill Ward (1919 - 1998)

Ward's pin-up cartoons featured details and dimensions rivaled only by Jack Cole, and like Cole's stunning Humorama and Playboy work, Ward's drawings were more pin-up than cartoon.

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Thumbing through those digests, it quickly becomes evident that Ward was Humorama's dominant pin-up cartoon artist. But while Ward's images were often accompanied by corny captions, calling them cartoons is something of a misnomer.

What set Ward apart from his talented contemporaries - including Cole - was his ability to master a medium called the Conte crayon. When drawn on simple newsprint stock paper, this potent combination created a charcoal-like effect and colour that allowed Ward to produce unparalleled textures, including the wonderful sheen on black thigh-high stockings that became a Ward trademark.

Sometimes bawdy, but never tawdry, Ward's top-heavy Humorama women still managed to maintain the allure, innocence and most importantly, the glamour that made Torchy so popular.

To describe the obliqueness of Ward's women, a single caption from a Ward cartoon portraying an inquisitive gentleman and a comely blonde tenuously confined in a strapless dress says it all it all:

"Pardon me, Miss, but I'm a structural engineer and I have a rather personal question I would like to ask you!"

Biographical extract by Alex Chun from "The Glamour Girls of Bill Ward" (see below). The images in this gallery were coloured by Carl Pepka "itieu".

All images in this gallery are copyright © Bill Ward. All rights reserved.
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