Thursday, January 31, 2008

Blondie and Dagwood

It's always fun when Carol Carey starts to thin out her collection. I get to buy things I don't see anywhere else. And Carol says she has items to contribute to the goody bags and raffles table -- good news for collectors!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Katy Keene 1947 and 1955

Here are two Katy Keenes, one from 1947, the second from 1955. It's interesting to see how the artwork evolved over 8 years, and the changes in fashion. Dig that 1947 jacket with $64 and question marks all over it, reflecting the popular quiz show of the time.

By 1955, Katy is looking decidedly more self-assured, with sportswear that features snappier detail and a better fit. Same artist? I wonder.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gretel of Holland

From one of my favorite sets: Dolls of Many Lands, 1932, Whitman.

Embassy Suites update

If you register at Embassy Suites online, please be sure that you receive a confirmation number via email as soon as you complete all of the online box forms. And if you have a problem reserving a room -- for any reason -- with the features you request (i.e., twin beds, nonsmoking, handicapped accessible), contact me.

You know where to reach me: through the blog comment section, at my home email (linda (at) geb (dot) net)or through a message on the Yahoo groups pdartist or paperdollnews. I receive automatic email updates whenever there's a new message posted to either group, so you can be sure I'll read your message and respond to it as quickly as possible.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Special Message for Newcomers

If you've never been to a convention before, we hope you'll join us in August. At every convention, first-timers are introduced, and you'll find people introducing themselves, giving you tips on collecting and even handing you free paper dolls! All of this happened to me at the first convention I attended in Cleveland in 2003. It's great to meet people who have been collecting for 20, 30 or more years (don't we all wish we had started sooner?)

In August, we're planning a few other things to connect newcomers with all the action. Stay tuned!

Here's an early Betsy McCall (probably offered by mail) dated 1955 and printed on cardstock.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Registration Packets

All will be illuminated when your registration packet arrives, beginning in mid March. Pat O'Rourke is overseeing this important aspect of convention planning, and will be in touch with various committee people as she puts it together.

As in past conventions, the registration packet will contain forms or coupons to sign up for workshops and the FIT tour. You'll also be asked to make a meal selection.

For those of you accompanied by a partner who is only registered for guest meals, not souvenirs, we'll be sure to add an additional meal selection sheet.

My experience has been that the workshops and tours fill up FAST. That's why it's important to send in your registration check--not just to get in on the $205 price before Feb. 1, but to make sure you're not disappointed. You want to get your registration packet in a timely fashion.

Hats off to Pat O'Rourke for taking on this critical task. We had a working lunch today at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank, NJ. It was a lot of fun, and we got a lot done.

A Tillie for Jenny

Jenny Taliadoros has a new blog, Jenny's Paper Doll News, where she'll keep us up-to-date on upcoming themes for Paper Doll Review and Paper Doll Studio, new books and other paper doll information:

Jenny loves polka-dots, so here's a Tillie just for Jenny!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Famous Women by Elaine Shants

For many collectors, paper dolls of political figures are an important niche within the celebrity category. Sometimes the political paper doll carries a point of view, especially if he or she is caricatured. Check out the reproductions of Judge Magazine political cut-outs at Judy Johnson's Web site, Judge featured William Jennings Bryan and New York Mayor John F. Hylan in 1925, and labor leader John L. Lewis in 1937. They provide a short and humorous history lesson about how these figures were viewed in their own time.

Elaine Shants drew a series of Famous Women paper dolls for International Doll World in the early 1990s, including Golda Meir, Corazon Aquino, Margaret Thatcher and Amelia Earhart. The figures are beautifully and respectfully done. I see them as meditations on the prominence of women in world events.

The Benazir Bhutto paper doll ran in the March/April 1991 issue. When I heard of Bhutto's death, I emailed Elaine for permission to post the doll here, and asked her a few questions about her work. Here's what she had to say:

"Upon learning the sad news of the tragic death of Benazir Bhutto, I was struck with such a different feeling from all of the other assasinations about which we hear all too often in that part of the world. Because of the visual research needed, I amassed pictures from books and articles on each subject, and while selecting what I thought to be the best representations of their lives, I would also read of the pursuits of these admirable women. Then, too, the hours spent illustrating the figures just added to 'time spent' with them, and so, in the case of Benazir Bhutto, I felt a momentary sense of having known this person.

"You certainly may post the paper doll on the blog. In answer to your question about the choice of women to be illustrated, that actually came from the editor of IDW. Every few months they would give me several names with which to work. There were a couple which were never published, I think - they turned to a nostalgia style of magazine as I recall. Since returning from the convention, I have finished a couple of small paintings which had previously been planned, and as yet have not contacted any doll magazines. I don't know how open they are to publishing PDs right now, but I will pursue it at the first of the year."

We look forward to seeing Elaine's new work in the near future.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nell Brinkley by Trina Robbins

Trina Robbins has a new project underway:

"You might be interested in knowing that I'm working on a full-color coffee table book of Nell Brinkley's art, publication date 09. My every waking moment is currently being consumed by scanning in gorgeous color newspaper pages.

The August 2005 issue of The Comics Journal featured a selection of Nell Brinkley pages with commentary by Trina. "The Adventures of Prudence Prim" shown here is from Dec. 20, 1925.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Flair Magazine

Discovering Flair Magazine is like stumbling upon a small street in Manhattan paved with cobblestones and lined with old townhouses. It's filled with history and its own peculiar charm, but there's also a timeless quality about it.

I did some research a while back for an article about Flair, which published 12 issues from February 1950 to December 1951. I first glimpsed Flair when I found the hard-cover Flair Annual of 1953 in a used book shop. Here is what I found within its pages: a small blue 16-page booklet, measuring 6” by 9”, bound within the large book, “The Flower of Flowers,” by Katherine Anne Porter, about the history of the rose; a two-page water color of the Place Vendome, with little flaps opening onto small water color renditions of its establishments: Elizabeth Arden, the Ritz bar, the fashion house of Schiaparelli. The annual also featured articles about calligraphic art in Italy, photographs by Walker Evans, art work by Saul Steinberg, an article about Chile by its national poet, Gabriela Mistral, a Degas sketchbook…

I tracked down two issues of Flair, each with a cover story and articles devoted to two places I love: the March 1950 issue on Spain and the September 1950 issue about New York City. Like the 1953 Annual, the magazines had a signature die-cut front cover: one had a map of Spain with the face of a stylized bull peeking through, the other had a windowpane die-cut framing the Statue of Liberty in silhouette against colorful waves, etched in different colors, in the design of a quilt.)

The New York issue has a 9 ½ by 6 ½ booklet of 16 pages, called “The City,” which is a photo-montage, pen-and-ink delight by Saul Steinberg. Garbage cans, burlap bags, cardboard boxes and an old curio cabinet are transformed with a few strokes into a classic New York City street scene. In the Spain issue, Salvador Dali has an article about “The Gypsy Angels of Spain,” with his own illustrations. There’s a quirky article about beds, including photos of the camp bed in which Napoleon died and a Mae West swan-barge bed from her 1928 play Diamond Lil.

For those of you who enjoy vintage fashion, altered books, pop-up books, tag art or small hand made books, I think Flair is well worth the hunt. Try eBay, but don't neglect the online bookstores and vintage magazine shops.

From Jean Sullivan: Hi, Linda, I enjoyed the blog on Flair. I also have the annual you mentioned, in additional to a few more of the mgzs. You have inspired me to see which ones. They were always my favorites with their inserts, peek-a-boo covers, art and design. Thanks for the memories! Jean

Friday, January 18, 2008


Miss January is skating toward the finish line, so make sure your get your registration in the mail! Feb. 1, registration goes up to $220.

In his latest email blast, Garth Lax spotlights museums. New York City has such a wealth to choose from! But he makes some judicious choices.

The Folk Art Museum is one of my favorites, and as many of you know the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of their magazine featured the handmade paper dolls in the collection of Jim

The Morris Museum in NJ has a fabulous permanent exhibit of automatons.

On the MOMA Web site, click on upcoming exhibits to see what will be up during the convention. The Dali exhibit and Kirchner Street Scenes 1913-1915 sound intriguing.

The announcement that Phillipe de Montebello is retiring after 30 years as director of the Metropolitan Museum was front page news in NYC.

And what will be up during the convention? Read on:

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy
May 7, 2008–September 1, 2008
Special Exhibition Galleries, 1st floor
This exhibition will explore the symbolic and metaphorical associations between fashion and the superhero. Featuring movie costumes, avant-garde haute couture, and high-performance sportswear, it will reveal how the superhero serves as the ultimate metaphor for fashion and its ability to empower and transform the human body. Objects will be organized thematically around particular superheroes, whose movie costumes and superpowers will be catalysts for the discussion of key concepts of superheroism and their expression in fashion.

The exhibition and its accompanying book are made possible by Giorgio Armani. Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.

They must have known we were coming!

Somerville Center Antiques

For those who want to check out local antique stores, Somerville is a short car ride away from Parsippany.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Collage Paper Dolls

For those of us who can't draw, and who aren't swift on computer drawing programs, collage is the answer. Here is a ballerina carefully cut from a ballet advert that came in the mail. She was scanned in, and then had butterfly wings and antenna attached, courtesy of Dover clip art and the simple Paint program already installed on my computer (and which probably took me five years to discover). I fooled around with the Image -Enhance Color menu on the opened image to give the grayscale picture a rosier hue.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Trina Robbins

I had the opportunity to interview Trina Robbins more than a year ago for a Paper Doll Review article. She's a prolific writer, artist and herstorian. If it wasn't for Trina, I wouldn't have a clue about Gladys Parker (Mopsy Modes and Flapper Fanny) or Jackie Ormes (Torchy Togs).

Here are some of the Trina books I have in my collection, most of which are available for purchase on her Web site,

Nell Brinkley and the New Woman in the 20th Century
Paper Dolls from the Comics
Tomorrow's Heirlooms (Fashions of the 60s and 70s)
A Century of Women Cartoonists
From Girls to Grrrlzz: A History of Women in the Comics
Go Girl!: The Time Team
California Girls

When you go to Trina's Web site, be sure to check out the links on the left side of the page for T-Shirts, Trina's news, a Women's History Project and a number of interviews, including a podcast.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Mail Your Registration Today!

Registration rates go up after February 1 -- from $205 to $220.

Make sure your registration form and check reaches me by Friday, February 1.

I'm one of those people who waited until the last minute--one time. My registration packet reached me about a week before the convention -- that's how late I was! Well, needless to say, I didn't get into any of the workshops I wanted. Lesson learned.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Comic Strip Archives

This Flyin' Jenny was found at, which has a treasure trove of old comic strips: Flapper Fanny, Ella Cinders and even Fluffy Ruffles.

These two Winnie Winkle panels show how the comic strip evolved from 1925 to 1934.

Another blog to check for old comic strips:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gregg Nystrom Paper Dolls on YouTube

Thanks to everyone at paperdollnews group on yahoo for alerting us to this video a while back. I knew I would be able to embed this link here. The YouTube interview took place in Sept. 2007, right before the San Antonio convention.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Vintage Fashions

Here's a blog devoted exclusively to vintage hats:
I have been checking in on this blog for years, and the wealth of images continues to amaze me. This is a great site for those of you who like to draw authentic vintage fashions for your paper dolls.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Vintage Scraps

Geno Sartori can be found at the Green Flea on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, another antiques and collectibles market highlighted by Garth Lax in his email report. Who can resist a vintage paper dealer who uses the Yellow Kid on his business card? Here are a few of the items I have found at Geno's table over the years.Remember to click on each image for a closer look, or to save for your own files.

Go to for more information about location and times for this very large indoor/outdoor market.

UPDATE FROM GARTH: For anyone who is not receiving the Convention email series, but would like to, drop me an email at Garth_Lax(at)yahoo(dot)com. I'll add your email address to the list, and get you caught up with the first three emails.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Stollwerck's Breakfast Cocoa Dolls

Garth Lax's emails highlight some places to tour on your own, including antique and flea markets.

I have made some excellent finds at NYC flea markets. About four years ago, at the Hells Kitchen Flea Market I found a yellowed envelope on an antique dresser. Inside were 12 of the 16 advertising paper dolls for Stollwerck's Breakfast Cocoa, for $25. Some of the little arms were missing, but Puss in Boots and Little Bo Beep survived intact!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Convention update: Tours

Wednesday, Aug. 6 is the day for touring New York City and environs.

(Wednesday evening is the opening reception for the convention, so you want to make sure you arrive in time to be a part of it!)

We already have one special guided tour of the Costume Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, courtesy of David Wolfe, scheduled for early Wednesday morning. ATTENDANCE IS LIMITED! Another good reason to register early for the convention. Those who register early get their registration packet early -- greatly improving their chances of getting into the museum tour.

Many people like to explore on their own, and have been to NYC before. It's a great walking city, and the express bus leaves you at 42nd Street and Eighth Ave., a stroll away from Times Square. Garth Lax will be sending out emails with plenty of ideas for those who want to tour on their own.

But many others prefer a group activity. There is so much to do in the city, what to choose? The Folk Art Museum? MOMA? The Met? A shopping and luncheon tour? Central Park? The historic lower East Side? The meatpacking district or gallery hopping in Chelsea?

And of course, there's always Broadway. Wednesday is matinee day in New York--most Broadway shows have a 3 pm performance.

I need to hear from you! Let me know what the preference is for an afternoon group activity, and I'll see what I can do. Group size may be limited, depending on what type of event we choose.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Fasten Your Seat Belts!

We're just eight months away from the 2008 Paper Doll Convention.

Rates increase on February 1! Mail in your registration soon!

Most importantly, the earlier you register, the better chance of getting into workshops. Registration Packets will be mailed mid-March.

Within the next few weeks I'll be telling you much more about what to expect in August.

I've redesigned the blog for speed--I hope that it's now easier to read and find your way around. Our fabulous logo by Bruce Patrick Jones is larger, and our banner now features Flapper Fanny by Gladys Parker.