The astounding drawings by an anonymous artist known only as "Janine" who drew work for the sleazy Utopia magazine "Fads and Fancies" a British fetish magazine in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The work is no longer anonymous. It was done by a woman all right, but Janine wasn't her real name. Fads and Fancies was published by Utopia, who printed fetish material remarkably similar to Nutrix and Irving Klaw, and at roughly the same time.
Like their American counterparts, Utopia also apparently ran into legal problems. Not surprising given the times, though what I have seen is tame (if quite odd) compared to the raunch available today. Consequently, the Utopia publications are carce and highly collectible, and they are certainly well-represented in the collection of material held wherever the British Obscene Publications Act keeps the good stuff. Maybe in a locked chest under Scotland Yard.
Under her real name Reina Bull (unearthed years later by British writer Steve Holland) (and also under her maiden name Reina Sington) she did numerous illustrations for British pulp books, science fiction and mystery covers, some quite notable. I believe she also did some childrens illustration, which might have something to do with the reason for her pseudonym "Janine" used while illustrating the fluctuating line of these low-core, high-sleaze, fetish of all kind magazines in the late 1940s.
Janine had an incredible, unique, eccentric and curious style likely developed to cater to the audience. Particular parts of the plump participants protrude depending on the proclivities she wished to portray. Which is an alliterated way of saying big boobs and big butts. Kinky and unreal, but then certainly enticing to the readers who must have been "big" fans (pun intended.) To the rest of us, they look hilarious...Dolly Parton on Steroids! The work takes an "all-purpose" approach to fetishists. The artist can not figure out if she is titillating a shoe fetish, a butt fetish, a fat fetish, a breast fetish, a stocking fetish...if the idea of a fetish is to focus on one particular object, there was something kinky for all in Janine's curious drawings. At the time, the fetish underground was not yet defined, but the publishers knew if they appealed to a handful of eccentricities, they would reach a market.
Certainly these are some of the most extraordinary (and bizarre) comics ever created.
Interestingly, at some point it appears Lenny Burtman either took over publication of the magazine, or used the title. Issue number 5 has a cover done by American artist Gene Bilbrew, and there are advertisements in men's magazines of the time which indicate "Fads and Fancies" was "now available in the United States") Whether Burtman took over the publication and distribution, or just couldn't miss the opportunity to piggyback is unclear.
Fads and Fancies Number 2 Collection Victor Minx
Expanded version of an earlier post on Vintage Sleaze the Blog A later post will discuss the United States version of Fads and Fancies along with Leonard Burtman's relationship to Utopia Publications.
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