John Willie  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



John Alexander Scott Coutts (9 December 1902 – 5 August 1962), better known by the pseudonym John Willie, was an artist, fetish photographer, editor and the publisher of the first 20 issues of the fetish magazine Bizarre, featuring his characters Sweet Gwendoline and Sir Dystic d'Arcy. Though distributed underground, Bizarre magazine had a far-reaching impact on later fetish-themed publications and experienced a resurgence in popularity, along with fetish model Bettie Page, beginning in the 1970s.


Life and work

Coutts was born in Singapore and grew up in England. In the 1930s, he taught himself how to draw while living in Australia. In ca. 1947–48, he moved to New York City where he published his bondage and fetish magazine Bizarre from 1946 to 1959 (compare with ENEG's work in Exotique magazine, published 1956 - 1959).

The magazine included many photographs, often of his wife. There were also many letters from readers; he was accused of inventing these letters, but insisted that they were genuine.

As a bondage artist, he is best known for his figure of Sweet Gwendoline, which he drew in a clear, anatomically correct style that influenced later artists such as ENEG and Eric Stanton. Other characters include U69 (censored to U89 in some editions) as the raven-haired dominatrix who ties up Gwendoline and Sir Dystic d'Arcy, the only prominent male character and probably a parody of Willie himself.

The comic strip was published by Irving Klaw, who forced Stanton to paint clothes over the whip marks on the originals of "The Missing Princess".

Coutts developed a brain tumor in 1961 and was forced to stop his mail order business. He destroyed his archives and returned to England, where he died.

He was portrayed by Jared Harris in the 2006 movie The Notorious Bettie Page.


"Unless a model is a good actress, and has 'that type' of face it's difficult for her to look sad and miserable when working for me. My studio is a pretty cheerful place, and quite unlike the atmosphere that surrounds Gwendoline when the Countess gets hold of her." - John Willie, The Art of John Willie, Sophisticated Bondage - Book Two (Page 1)

See also

Further reading

  • A John Willie Portfolio, n.1 (a cura di Carl McGuire), Van Nuys, CA., London Ent. Ltd., 1987
  • Bizarre: The Complete Reprint of John Willie's Bizarre, Vols. 1-26; ISBN 3-8228-9269-6 Taschen. Edited by Eric Kroll.
  • Plusieurs possibilites. Photographies de John Willie, Paris, Futuropolis, 1985
  • The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline, 2nd Edition ISBN 0-914646-48-6. Belier Press, 2nd edition (1999).
  • The Art of John Willie - Sophisticated Bondage (Book One)
    • An illustrated biography edited by Stefano Piselli & Riccardo Morrocchi (128 pages)
  • The Art of John Willie - Sophisticated Bondage (Book Two)
    • An illustrated biography edited by Stefano Piselli & Riccardo Morrocchi (128 pages)
  • The Bound Beauties of Irving Klaw & John Willie, vol 2, Van Nuys, CA., Harmony Comm., 1977
  • The First John Willie Bondage Photo Book, Van Nuys, CA., London Ent. Ltd., 1978
  • The Second John Willie Bondage Photo Book, Van Nuys, CA., London Ent. Ltd., 1978
  • The Works of John Willie (a cura di Peter Stevenson), s.l., s.e., s.d.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "John Willie" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools