Now Serving Cheesecake

Guys didn't drool over stick-thin giraffes like Giselle Bündchen or Heidi Klum in the '50s. They wanted bodacious babes in fuck-me pumps, a la Jessica Rabbit. Through July 25, "Now Serving Cheesecake: The Classic Art of Cartoon Pin-up" features original sketches by five cartoon artists from the classic era of Playboy and other men's magazines: Dan DeCarlo, Jack Cole, Don Flowers, Bill Ward, and Bill Wenzel. (Fantagraphics is in the midst of republishing most of their work in several volumes.) The images offer more cheese than raunch—c'mon, whose boobs are really that big and gravity-proof? Gags matter more than sex, and behind those voluptuous curves were a bunch of puckish, preppy kids from Riverdale. It's as if Walt Disney collaborated with Hugh Hefner. DeCarlo was the mastermind behind the Archie comics, and the hidden storyline on these walls suggests what might've happened to Betty and Veronica after they hit their 20s, ditched Archie and Jughead, and headed to the big city to become secretaries sitting on the corporate lap. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, 1201 S. Vale Street, 658-0110, www.fantagraphics.com. Free. 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m. ERIKA HOBART

July 6-25, 11:30 a.m., 2008

 
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