Our post spotlighting a LIFE magazine archive of photos of 1950 cartoonists drawing on swimsuit models, got lots and lots of attention, but no one seemed to know if the photos had ever appeared in print.
Well, Library of American Comics editor Dean Mullaney has stepped in to solve at least part of the mystery. A 1951 Jan/Feb issue of Gala Magazine ran several of the pictures, including Bil Holman and George Wunder, above and Otto Soglow, below. Gala Magazine was, Mullaney explains, “a low-budget pin-up/model mag (as opposed to a nudie mag), with cheap printing.” Photos of girls in bathing suits and so on were a staple.
The caption reveals that the pretext for the event was a test of waterproof ink (we suspected it has something to do with pens.) Hence the cartoonists dousing the ladies with water later on. Because nothing says waterproof like Smokey Stover and girls in bathing suits.
BTW, Paul Tobin’s reconstruction of the event is a must read.
Also, it’s a pretty good bet that Eleanor Roosevelt wasn’t really there.