Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Good Girl Art of Bill Wenzel

Born in January of 1918, William Michael Wenzel was an American cartoonist best known for his lovely renditions of good girl art for various men's magazines. As one of the most prolific pin-up artists of the day, He illustrated for Humorama in the 1950's and 60's where he did some of his best work and was known for his Maryln Monroe-esque women. The cartoons he drew for Humorama were all done in ink wash or Conte Crayon or a combination and were truly full illustrations. Published by Martin Goodman, the original Marvel Comics publisher, Humorama, along with its many sister publications, ran for over 30 years and featured among other things, single panel gag cartoons by some of the best girlie artists of the day including Bill Ward, Jefferson Machamer, Reamer Keller, and Dan Decarlo. Bill's bawdy, cartoon spot illustrations were published over the course of several decades, from such publications as Judge in the 1940s to Sex and Sexy in the 1960s and 1970s, and particularly for the Humorama division of publisher Goodman's variously titled corporations. Wenzel's work, which featured voluptuous, big-eyed, yet innocently risque young women, was published in such magazines and digests as Gaze, Joker, Jest, Comedy, and Stare. Most captions were written by the artist himself. In 1979, after having lived almost three decades in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, Wenzel and his family moved to Naples, Florida, where he died in January of 1987 of lung cancer.
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