The Cultural Magpie: the blog of writer Brad Mackay
Friday 11 June 2010
The most frightening paper doll ever?
Ask anyone who appreciates fine books and they'll tell you: Dover Books are a great niche publisher. Specializing in reprints (this is how I first discovered a run of Little Orphan Annie strips decades back) and clever uses of public domain material, the company has carved out an impressive if unlikely market for themselves.
One of the most interesting aspects of their catalogue is their selection of paper doll books. In fact, according to their website they are "The #1 publisher of paper dolls." Why? "Because our low-priced books are irresistible for paper doll enthusiasts of all ages." Agreed. I've bought several of these for my daughter and she loves them -- especially this one.
But I have to draw the line (and scratch my head) over their latest release, Classic TV Moms Paper Dolls by Tom Tierney, the modern king of paper doll illustration.
I mean, it looks cool enough (with the exception of Peg Bundy I suppose) and when you start flipping through it it satisfies expectations. There's Laura Petrir from The Dick Van Dyke Show, Harriet Nelson from The Ozzie and Harriet Show and then there's page 15:
That's correct. That's Roseanne Barr as Roseanne, the flinty-but-funny working class Mom from 1990s TV hit Roseanne. And yes, she's in lingerie. (This is a dress-up toy after all.) But what was Tom thinking on this one? Dressing up (and down) Mary Tyler Moore circa 1962 I can get the appeal of; but Roseanne Barr? What little girl would even knwo who she was? And if they did, why on earth would they ever want to dress her up? I guess ( = pray) this could be a massive prank, but if it isn't I think Dover needs to fire an editor or two unless they want "The Tom Arnold Coloring Book" on their Spring release schedule.