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It Looked Familiar: Not Quite Believable

The picture above is from a graphic novel called Noir Burlesque, a gangster story set in New York around 1950. The Hotel Astor on the left, facing Times Square, is famous, and we’ve got a glimpse of one of the towers of Rockefeller Center on the far right, but what is that weirdness covering the right half of the picture? The answer is that was quite real: it was the “waterfall sign” belonging to the Bond store. I suspect the artist used the photo below as the reference:

1950s NEW YORK CITY TIMES SQUARE WITH MASSIVE BOND CLOTHING SIGN BETWEEN 44th AND 45th STREETS (Photo by Charles Phelps Cushing/ClassicStock/Getty Images)

The huge man and woman at the ends of the sign had clothing made from light bulbs so that they were clothed at night:

Sometime reality is odd enough that comics don’t need to exaggerate.