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 cartoons.
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).
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