Friday, December 30, 2011

Brownie Drummer PFF #53

This is my last post for the year 2011. The next time I get a chance to post we'll be into the new year. I leave Monday for Seattle to visit my brother Dan. Just Because.

Every good business needs a good drummer. I think this one has always fit the bill, even if he's always marched to his own beat. He was good. Really good - at both the first and second definition of drummer as the word is defined in Merriam-Webster.  Besides that, the Baker's (Grandpa, Sonny & Pops) at the Breakfast Brownies Company really could use a good  DRUMMER, second definition. Perhaps Dan will take the job.

This one has not been mailed yet. The reason it hasn't been mailed is that I want Dan to see it when he opens his mail box, and I want to be there with him when he does. So, I will launch it on Saturday. Just Because.

Make certain to stop by The Best Hearts Are Crunchy, where Beth Niquette is the Hostess for Postcard Friendly Friday, and to see what other drummers are doing!

All the Best - To You & Yours - From Me & Mine - for the coming year. And Thanks to all of you who follow me, or who stop by for a peek via Google.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Breakfast Brownies for a Penny

My sister Penny and her spouse Chuck Pefley produce a Christmas card every year, as they have since 1992. A collaboration - His image and Her verse, and it's always a welcome bit of Christmas Candy for your eyes.
And your heart.
Thank you to the both of you for making this Christmas so special to me.
The little critter in the upper left hand corner? His name is Do-Bee. That's Chuck on his Vespa. There's Bob on his sled, and Genie just pulled a gold Penny from his bag. I don't think that the little fellow witth his nose in a book is named Mark, but perhaps.

Meet the Bakers of Breakfast Brownies

From left to right:

Pops. He's holding the spoon.     Sonny.      Over on the Right is Grandpa.

You've seen this piece before. The artist (I'm not calling him a rip-off artist just yet) hired by the Breakfast Brownies Cereal Company created two, two  column advertising "cartoons" for them. You've seen them both, actually. At least in part. Of the images that I know of for newspaper advertising of this fabulous chocolate cereal, both the boy and girl are well done. The Brownies in the originals? Not quite. I tried working with the little "Brownies" the artist developed, but I kept having to fix them. They just didn't look right.

Then I rediscovered Palmer Cox, and decided I could become an advertising illustrator and come up with characters who could better represent the company.

The paper is not old. The same family friend that cleaned up the Palmer Cox Brownies used for my Christmas mail art was also able to clean up the original piece of Breakfast Brownies Company letterhead that I hold. I then had this recreated piece of letterhead printed on new paper. I'm also going to try using fifty year old toned paper to give the viewer the illusion that they are looking at a real document.

For now, this is a first go at creating a pair of documents to be displayed together, along with the continuing story of the Baker Family.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

BROWNIES - The Breakfast Variety

This one is special. My first stamp. My first multiple using a basic greeting card envelope format, although all of my mail art has taken this form. I created a template from a piece of clear plastic which is proportioned to make a large five+ by seven inch+ envelope from a standard sheet of paper. It also accepts a five by seven inch blank greeting card, available to those who want to create their own cards - like me.

Is there more to this story? Yes, there definitely is.

Lenna, this started with YOU! We exchanged mail art months ago, and you started something with your whimsical Brownies that was simply irresistible. Two years before, I'd been given the opportunity to examine and crudely copy some newspaper print blocks for a product that was packaged (and apparently sold) right here in Helena, called Breakfast Brownies Cereal. This was long before Cocoa Puffs and Sonny, the Cuckoo Bird. I mean, what kid can resist a cartoon character on their box of Chocolated Cereal?

The advertising images for Breakfast Brownies extolled the virtues of eating this product which even a puppy could not resist. Breakfast Brownies Cereal was stirred and served up by three Brownies. They weren't Palmer Cox Brownies, and although I could work with the Breakfast Brownies characters, I started looking into Vintage Brownies, and discovered Palmer Cox. He is the Father of all things Brownie. I'll name a few companies to which he licensed the characters : Ivory Soap, Nabisco (Brownie Biscuits), Lion Coffee (stand-up paper dolls offered as premiums) and the famous Kodak Brownie camera. These businesses were all licensed to allow them to use his characters. He also marketed games, toys and dolls on his own. And he had imitators. Lots of them. Including the unknown artist who developed the Breakfast Brownies characters. This artist wasn't alone. It is surmised that there were more unlicensed uses than there were of the licensed variety.

Palmer Cox, who began creating his whimsical little characters in the 1890's, developed quite a following among kids and parents alike. The best part was, he caught the eyes and minds of everyone for almost forty years, and wrote over twenty-five books about his characters.

I'll not reveal the images for the other Brownies Mail Art that I've done - until after Christmas. They're all personalized. And those who are getting them can simply wait until they arrive. I'm into surprises that arrive in the mail.