Lounge Lizard in the Desert

lounge lizard

Do blondes have more fun? Maybe when a lounge lizard picks up the tab. And where better to find a lizard than in the desert? The setting for this original illustration (and for my blog banner) was inspired by the quintessential desert playground from the mid-century, downtown Scottsdale’s Valley Ho. This modern architecture jewel of a hotel was built in 1956 but lost a bit of its shine in the 1970s. Happily, it reopened in 2005 after extensive restoration and is now as gorgeous as ever — just like our barefoot blonde sipping summer cocktails. Be sure to check out happy hour at the ZuZu Lounge.

Jetta, Teenage Sweetheart of the 21st Century

A full 10 years before the Jetsons arrived on the scene, Jetta was a little-known comic by Dan DeCarlo, illustrator of Betty and Veronica from the Archies comics, Josie and the Pussycats, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and others. The buxom, redheaded star is typical of DeCarlo’s sexy but wholesome female characters with a space-age twist. This one is a rarity. Jetta first appeared in December 1952, and Standard Comics published only three issues of Jetta collections with three stories in each issue. Interestingly, the first issue was marked as No. 5 instead of No. 1 so as not to appear to newsstand dealers as an untested debut publication.

If you liked the teenage antics in The Archies and love mid-century modern futurism, you’ll go positively into orbit over Jetta! Scroll down for more images from The Good Girl Art Library’s book, Dan DeCarlo’s Jetta, with an introduction by Craig Yoe and renderings by 37 master pin-up artists.

 

Band and dancers

Band and DancersOne in a series of original illustrations inspired by Mid-Century Modern music and entertainment, this particular scene was loosely inspired by a clip from the 1961 B-movie “Twist All Night” starring Louis Prima. A twisting Prima sings his song “Continental Twist,” which is one of several twist-related songs he recorded on the album “Doin’ the Twist.” While these songs come across as more gimmicky (and underutilize his songwriting and performing talents better showcased in his swing and jazz tunes), he was enthusiastic about the dance craze that swept the world in the early 1960s.

Here’s the scene from the movie: