Artist Jay Scott Pike died on September 13 at the age of 91. Pike had a long career as a magazine illustrator, pinup artist, and comic book artist — his employers in the last category included Atlas and DC, often in the romance or jungle-girl genres.
For fans of old-school painted pinups, Pike is notable as the successor to Art Frahm at the A. Fox calendar company, creating some Frahm-esque “falling panties” images.
Pike’s most lasting creation in comics is probably Dolphin, who appeared in one issue of DC’s Showcase Presents in 1968; although Pike himself didn’t get to carry the character forward, the lovely Dolphin, who combined elements of romance and superhero characters, would be frequently revisited by numerous DC writers and artists. Pike is also associated with Jann of the Jungle, Lorna the Jungle Girl, and DC’s late-’60s romance titles, including 3 Girls and The Life and Loves of Lisa St. Claire. (Check out this Facebook post by American Comic Book Chronicles for more details of his career.)
Mark Evanier of News From Me estimates that Pike drew about 1000 comics stories in his day, and speculates that “probably around 800 of those were assigned to him because they needed an artist who could draw good-looking ladies.”
“He was real, real good at everything he did but especially at drawing and painting pretty women,” Evanier adds. “His work will doubtlessly be exhibited and reprinted as long as folks want to see pretty women. I figure that’s going to be a long, long time.”
Here’s a selection of images spanning Pike’s career that display his stylistic range and the aforementioned way with women.