A Mutoscope is
a machine that appeared in penny arcades.
The device was basically an elaborate "flip
book." These cards were fastened to a large rotating wheel.
Herman Casler patented the device with the name Mutoscope by Casler
on November 21st 1894. Expanding on the flick-book principle,
the Mutoscope contained a sequence of photographs, which were
arranged around the perimeter of a drum. A simple turn of a handle
flipped the cards rapidly, giving the impression of movement.
The Mutoscope was, like the Kinetoscope, a Peepshow device and
included a viewing aperture which customers peered into to watch
the action. Typically, the devices were loaded with risqué
strip shows or teases. Unlike the Kinetoscope, the Mutoscope didn't
rely on any special illumination or an electric motor and gave
viewers much greater control over the viewing. For example they
could control the speed at which the action took place or turning
the handle in the reverse direction produced backward motion.
Casler had perfected a camera for the Mutoscope to produce films
and was in operation by early June of 1895 with some of the first
films, it is believed, taken by Dickson. The camera was named
the Biograph. In November 1895 the Mutoscope was adapted with
a mirror device, the result was projected motion pictures from
a Mutoscope. It wasn't long before Casler and his partners perfected
a through-the-film projector, which took the name Biograph. The
partnership of Dickson, Marvin, Casler and Elias Koopman led to
the formation of the American Mutoscope Company on December 27th
A "pin-up" image is
one that shows a full-length view of its subject and characteristically
has an element of a theme or some kind of story. The woman in
a pin-up is usually dressed in a form-revealing outfit, either
one that may be worn in public, such as a bathing suit, sunsuit,
or skimpy dress, or one that is more provocative and intimate,
such as lingerie. Sometimes, a pin-up may be shown as a nude,
but this is more the exception than the rule.
A "glamour art"
image may be either a full-length view or a presentation of only
the head and shoulders of the subject. The "glamour"
woman is generally attired in an evening gown, fancy dress, or
some other attire that is less revealing than a pin-up.
art is a term used to refer to painting of a glamour art nature
that was done by mainstream illustrators. It found its audience
among popular magazines like The Saturday Evening Post
and Cosmopolitan and in the world of advertising.
Charles Martignette, 'The
Great American Pin-Up'
A pin-up is a sexually evocative image, reproduced
in multiple copies, in which either the expression or the attitude
of the subject invites the viewer to participate vicariously in
or fantasize about a personal involvement with the subject.
The classic pin-up genre
- cheesecake - fulfills our definition perfectly. Cheesecake
(Which Webster defines as "photography displaying especially
female comeliness and shapeliness") is said to have gotten
its name when, in September 1915, a newspaper photographer, George
Miller, noticed a visiting Russian diva, Elvira Amazar, just as
she was debarking her ship in New York. Miller asked the opera
singer to hike up her skirt a little for the sake of the picture.
Later, the photographer's editor, something of a gourmet, is supposed
to have exclaimed, "Why, this is better than cheesecake!"
Mark Gabor, 'The
Pin-Up: A Modest History'
Good Girl Art
The pin-up gained popularity during WWII when pics
of Betty Grable and Rita
Hayworth accompanied GI's who were shipped overseas. The photos
were a reminder of what they were fighting for. Comic books also
played a part in keeping troops entertained. Certain publishers
like Fiction House, specialized
in pin-up style artwork in all their titles. Wings Comics,
Rangers Comics and Fight Comics all had more leg
art than battle art. Then, too, certain genre such as jungle
stories where females wore minimal clothing, lent itself to
the leg art mold. Of these, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle
got top billing diring the 1940's. Sheena starred in Fiction House's
Jumbo Comics which also featured the zany exploits of a
beautiful red head, Ginger McGuire, who's feature was named Sky
Girl. In every episode would-be fly gal Ginger took to the
air as did her skirt... revealing as much of her long-legged lovliness
as superb "good girl" artist Matt Baker could get away with! Bob
Lubbers drew Senorita Rio for Fiction
House, the sexy American spy who operated in Central and South
After the war, girly strips continued in comics
and added attention to swelling bust lines as well as wind raised
skirts. The top producer of busty babe comics was Fox Features
whose headline (or should we say "headlight") features Phantom
Lady and Rullah, Jungle Godess, out did even Fiction
House. Again Matt Baker, who drew the most beautiful women in
comics, was brought in to draw Phantom Lady. The Rulah
artist remains unidentified but his style was close to Baker's.
Matt pulled double duty by also drawing Tiger Girl and
Camilla at Fiction House.
At Quality Comics, Bill Ward's
outrageous girly strip, Torchy, added a new element---
lingerie! In every story, the incredibly busty and long legged
Torchy Todd managed to get her clothes ripped off to finish the
adventure in her underwear! Quality had a few other female features
like Choo Choo, Daffy, Candy but none could hold a candle to Torchy!
Bad Girl Art is pretty
self explanitory - They're girls and they're bad, Get it? Anyhow,
in the interest of further defining this as it relates to sexually
explicit comic book characters:
The Bad Girl Art (BGA) Index v0.2:
This is an attempt to quantify the degree of offense
given by "Bad Girl Art" as presented to general audiences in solicitation
material, such as Diamond's Previews magazine. Any depiction of
the female form in a solicitation is fair game for assigning a
BGA Index, but the threshhold that must be passed in order to
be truly considered BGA has not yet been determined, although
5 seems like a lower bound. Every depiction starts at 0 points,
then adds points based on the Format, Pose, Body Type, Clothes
Type and Clothes Coverage of the female shown.
FORMAT: Style of ad
+1 per full page (if the ad is several pages but the female
appears on only one of them, only count that page)
+1 for photographic art POSE: Positioning of the female
+1 if the pose is anatomically impossible or severely painful
+1 if the woman is being struck
+1 for bondage situations
+2 for a gratuitous butt shot
+3 for a spread-legs crotch shot
BODY: The physical attributes of the female
+1 for breasts larger than her head
+1 for breasts larger than waist (cumulative)
+1 for erect nipples shown
+1 for thigh wider than waist
+1 for thigh longer than total torso plus head height
+1 for Big Hair (hair larger than torso)
+1 per inhuman or demonic part (such as claws, fangs, etc)
+1 for facial expression indicating sexual themes (seductive,
+2 additional for expression indicating subject is in the throes
CLOTHES TYPE: What the female is wearing
+0 for skintight bodysuit
+1 for leather (cumulative with above)
+1 if torn or tattered (cumulative with above)
+1 if adorned with spikes or blades (cumulative with above)
+1 for "nonstandard" body piercing (navel, nose, lip, etc)
+1 per fluid type covering subject (includes but is not limited
to blood, sweat, tears, regular water)
CLOTHES COVERAGE: How well the clothing covers the
"naughty bits" of the female. This is clothing coverage only,
and doesn't count strategic limb placement or black bars. It's
the thought that counts. The following are cumulative (i.e. if
less than 1/4 of the breast is covered, then points are given
for 1/4 and 1/2).
+1 if less than half of each breast is covered
+1 if less than 1/4 of each breast is covered
+2 if breasts totally bare (so +4 total)
+1 if enough of crotch is uncovered to require shaving
+2 if outline of genitalia is drawn
+5 if crotch is totally bare The following points are not cumulative
with the above.
+10 if subject is totally naked (except for shoes, gloves and
Any suggestions (other than "Get a life!") appreciated.
This file and updates of it will be posted each month along with
a listing of outstanding cases of BGA in Previews.
Dave Van Domelen
Femme Fatale: See Photo