Bon Voyage Pinball Machine Logo. Click the thumbnail to see a large version in a new window.
Bon Voyage - "Bambi". The famous girl in the pink outfit, recreated as vector art. Click the thumbnail to see a large version in a new window.
The art on the Bon Voyage backglass was created by the great artist Dave Christensen. He was somewhat infamous in his day for his artwork featuring "especially-curvy" women and also for slipping in slightly "subversive" elements into his pictures.
The backglass features an airliner in the background getting ready for takeoff. In the foreground the pilot and his girlfriend are being wished "Bon Voyage" by their friends. The airline pilot's name is Big John. How do we know? Because it says so right on his jacket pocket.
His girlfriend is a flight attendant. Her name is Debbie. How do we know this? Well, we don't, I just made it up because she looks like her name should be Debbie. As John and Debbie smile, they are filmed by a cool guy in his 70s suit, who we shall call Steve. Remember this is from the 1970s, so he is not using a video camera. It would be a 8mm film camera.
I don't know if the picture was meant to show an actual camera, but here is a picture of a Colt 84 Super 8 film camera, which seems to have been a popular camera of the day.
And in the front we have a blonde lady in her pink outfit. She is hard to miss or ignore. After extensive debate, we decided her name must be "Bambi". Bambi, being the centerpiece of the artwork, seems like a natural representative for the Bon Voyage pinball game. Of course Bambi is drawn in the classic style of the artist, with her pink shorts outfit and exaggerated curvaceous appearance.
She also features one of those signature elements of he artist, who likes to draw interesting belt buckles.
The artwork featuring Bambi and her friends would be awesome on its own. But one of the artist's signature elements makes it even greater. In the upper right corner we see a plane in flight. If we look closely behind it, we see what appears to be two people tossed into the sky.
What are they doing there? Did they fall out? Were they thrown out? And what is that other little thing that is floating between them? A possible clue lies in the rear part of the backglass behind the main characters, where boarding of the plane is taking place. We can see a man climbing aboard, and a flight attendant waiting to greet him. It seems innocent enough. But if we look very closely, is it possible there is more to the story? Here is a close-up of the flight attendant aboard the plane. Does her expression imply something more than a happy greeting? Is there some sort of secretive smirk there?
And how about that guy climbing aboard? Is he an everyday businessman or something more? Looking closely at his expression, he seems furtive, or even angry. What is his deal? A possible clue can be found if we consider the time this artwork was created, the year 1974. Just a few years before in late 1971 there was an infamous plane hijacking, where a guy named DB Cooper jumped from the back of a passenger jet with a suitcase full of ransom money. Does the Bon Voyage backglass tell a similar story? Are the flight attendant and the guy in the suit plotting together on a similar nefarious plan, and in this graphic we see them falling from the plane with their suitcase full of money, about to open their parachutes?
Only your imagination knows for sure. And Dave Christensen....