Apr 19, 2018

It's All Jake With Me: New original Jack Cole art surfaces at auction!

Lot #93073 in Heritage Auction's 2018 May 10 - 12 Comic Art Signature Auction, featured a stunning example of Jack Cole's post-Plastic Man girlie magazine art.

Signed under the pen name of "Jake," this 13 inches high bristol board beauty bulges with a barely-bound bosomy blast to the bean (and beyond).

But this cartoon is more than just a pretty face. Check out the demented, reptilian leer of the bow-tied squeezer. I detect a palpable note of disapproval in Cole's portrayal. In his girlie cartoons, Cole either drew men as sad, impotent wrecks, or self-assured jerks. The latter is in play, here.

A fairly large digital image, courtesy of Heritage Auctions, allows us to study and appreciate Cole's polished mastery of ink and brush. His composition is designed to draw the eye exactly to where the action will transpire in about one second. And take note Cole was, by this time, displaying skill as a fashion artist. The sleek dinner jackets of the men and especially the incredible meringue of a dress adorning the central figure are superbly realized.

Famous for his Playboy magazine cartoons, Cole sold lots of work to the Martin Goodman line of digest-sized men's mags called the Humorama line. This cartoon, according to the auction notes, appeared on the cover of a steamy little item named Joker. I don't have the issue information or an image of the cover, but here are two other Joker covers with Jack Cole art, to give you an idea of how it might have been used.

And here is the original art up for auction. The piece sold for $2,629.00. That's a lot of toothpaste to squeeze out of one cartoon! Or, to put it another way: that's a lotta jack, Jack!

Courtesy Heritage Auctions

All text (c) 2018 Paul C. Tumey


  1. Congratulations on the nomination, Paul. Will you be going this year?

  2. Thanks Ger -- I am delighted to receive an Eisner nomination for co-editing the Sunday Press book FOOLISH QUESTIONS AND OTHER ODD OBSERVATIONS BY RUBE GOLDBERG with Peter Maresca. Congrats on your book, BEHAVING MADLY, also getting a nomination! I probably won't make it this year to San Diego -- too busy writing a book!

  3. I have your book of course and (spoiler alert) I voted for it! I am glad we were not in the same category (as I am with Paul Gravett). I also voted for Frank Young's book and I am glad I didn't have to choose between you.


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