Friday, May 29, 2015

The Naked Bunch

The Naked Bunch was a booklet containing 23 full page B&W caricatures by illustrator Peter Green of then current show business, political and sports celebrities, all naked. The text is credited to Rochelle Larkin who most likely simply suggested the humorous and in some cases obvious mock genitlia props specific to each celebrity.
title page

 The book, published by Alexicon Corp in 1970 might have seemed like a clever idea at the time, and was beautifully realized by Peter Green, but it's been long out of print and for the most part long forgotten.
the book's cover

The very talented Peter Green, whose style here reminds me of a combination of David Levine and Bruce Stark, would create the art for the hugely popular "Politicards" two years later which I've blogged about here:

Some of Peter Green's terrific caricatures scanned from The Naked Bunch:

Dean Martin
Frank Sinatra

Sammy Davis Jr.

Tiny Tim

Lawrence Welk

John & Yoko

Shirley Temple

Hugh Hefner

Joe Namath

Mickey Mantle

Mayor Richard Daley

Jackie Onassis

Richard Nixon

All the images from the book combined (click to enlarge):

Thanks To John Wendler

Monday, May 25, 2015

1960's/1970's Comedians for VIP magazine by Bill Utterback

Bill Utterback was hired to work in the art department of Playboy magazine in Chicago in the mid-1960's and soon began drawing in-house caricatures of various staffers. When Playboy launched VIP, (Very Important Playboys),
VIP magazine
for members of their then-popular Playboy clubs, starting with issue #11, (Winter 1966), Bill Utterback created the thick-outlined B&W watercolor portraits of the musicians, singers and especially the comedians who were booked at the clubs, sometimes up to eight per issue for their "entertainment calender". He would draw around 200 images till the feature was dropped in winter, 1973.

Comics Jackie Curtiss, Shelley Berman, Mort Sahl
Many of his, (enlarged), portraits of performers would hang in the various Playboy clubs to promote the performer's appearences. I've blogged about the art of Bill Utterback and recently presented his work at a Society of Illustrators talk with fellow illustrator Stephen Kroninger:
Since then, many more of Utterback's 1960's/1970's VIP Comedian images have been unearthed thanks to my friend, pop-culture historian John Wendler. Most if not all of these wonderful silhouettees of comics, many long forgotten, haven't been seen since they were first published in VIP and even then, only by members of the Playboy Clubs. If you're seeing these for the first time, enjoy.

              A big thanks to John Wendler for supplying all of the images.
a two-page Entertainer Calender spread from VIP using Bill Utterback's caricatures

(Teter and McDonald LP cover by Utterback)

Utterback's depection of a reunion of members of "Second City" from over the years