The term "good girl art" was first coined in the 1930's and at the time simply referred to published illustrations of attractively-drawn female characters, be they heroines, villainesses, or anything in between. Comparable terms include "pinup art" and "cheesecake art." In more specific comic book terms, Good Girl Art now refers to art featuring attractively-drawn female characters who are sweet or heroic in nature, i.e. "good girls." This narrower definition of Good Girl Art gained relevance after the term Bad Girl Art (referring to attractively-drawn female characters who are dark and violent in nature) was coined in the 1990's, resulting in the need for greater distinction between the two genres.
The good girl art concept first began at the onset of World War II, during the Golden Age of Comics. Servicemen sought out diversions from their duties on the battlefield and at sea by reading comic strips and books featuring women drawn in the "good girl" style. These women were portrayed in an attractive and visually appealing manner, and were often scantily-clad in bathing suits and bikinis, or in mildly suggestive attire such as tight dresses. One of the earliest masters of the art form was artist Matt Baker, who became famous for his sexy renditions of Phantom Lady and other female superheroes of the era.