Sunday, March 1, 2009


It is March ALREADY!

For those of you who are still trying to figure out "BINGO'S BIG NEWS PUZZLE" posted on Jan. 28th (Erika Lynn), today starts a week of "M" (in honor of March) posts that might help you complete another part of it! So be sure to check back each day this week.

Adventures in Love and Matrimony
by "The NEW YORKER'S" Cartooning Couple
by Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin


Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin have been married for twenty years and work together for The New Yorker magazine as cartoonists. Somewhat semi-biographical, if a book of cartoons truly can be, their comics tell how they met while attending a party for The New Yorker to how they have kept their marriage going through hilarious cartoons about relationships.

“Here’s the Story about Us,” a new four-page story of cartoons, was drawn to show what meeting and falling in love was like from both Donnelly and Maslin’s viewpoints. It sets the scene for how the rest of the book is put together, with varying perspectives from both sides. CARTOON MARRIAGE shouldn’t be mistaken as just a book about married people; more so it is about interaction between the male and female species in all kinds of situations.

Two hundred of Donnelly and Maslin’s cartoons from The New Yorker are brilliantly divided into twelve sections about everything from kids to sex, pets to possessions, matrimony to happiness. A new cartoon created by the pair to introduce each section, and both cartoonists combined their talents to create the cover – which, they say, is in honor of George Herriman, the creator the strip “Krazy Kat.”

Some of the funniest parts fall under the pet section from the female viewpoint – a woman walks in from work and says to her husband and dog, “It would be nice if at least one of you wagged your tail when I came home” - and when two wives are talking as they watch the husband and cat sitting on the chair, and the friends says to the wife, “So which one had the fur ball?”

Everyone who reads CARTOON MARRIAGE will find favorite bits as it ranges from naughty to fanciful and weird to snide. The comedy contained in these cartoons allows us all to laugh at ourselves and acknowledge the craziness we come across each and every day of our lives.

Originally submitted to Curled Up With A Good Book by K.H.(AKA Bingo)



John Wagner, Hallmark artist since 1970, says Maxine was inspired by his mother, his maiden aunts and his grandmother, the woman who bought him art lessons when 'fill in the pumpkins' was about the extent of his art classes at St. John's Catholic School in Leonia N.J. John remembers doodling as a preschooler and says both his grandmother and his mother encouraged his artistic interests. He eventually attended the Vesper George School of Art in Boston and landed at Hallmark as part of a new artists group. But it was the birth of the humorous Shoebox Greetings (a tiny little division of Hallmark) in 1986 that added a new dimension to John's professional life. The Shoebox way of seeing the world unleashed his talents and he created Maxine.

'Cartoonists are sensitive to the insanities of the world; we just try to humanize them, ' John says.
'If Maxine can get a laugh out of someone who feels lonely or someone who is getting older and hates the thought of another birthday, or if she can make someone chuckle about stressful interpersonal relationships, then I'm happy. Putting a smile on some one's face is what it's all about.'

Those smiles have led to Maxine's becoming a bit of a celebrity. She (and John) have been the subject of media stories, including People, USA Today, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, and Las Vegas Journal-Review, and they have been included in a major
Associated Press story. Collector and trade publications have reported fans nationwide are collecting Maxine items. Letters from consumers and fans to John and Maxine reveal a very personal connection to Maxine.
Many people say they are just like her.

Why the name 'Maxine'? 'People at Shoebox started referring to the character as 'John Wagner's old lady,' and I knew that would get me into trouble with my wife,' John says. The Shoebox team had a contest among themselves to name the character and three of the approximately 30 entries suggested 'Maxine'.
John says the name is perfect.

John, who says he's humbled by such acceptance of Maxine, admits he's proud of her.

Now you know the story of how Maxine came to be.


Jenners said...

Hello! I was stopping by to visit your blog after you stopped by mine and I am so glad I did! This looks like such a fun blog and I love this post! This books sounds like a lot of fun, and finding out about Maxine was a bonus too! I will definitely be back!

The Great Catsby said...

Hey very interesting blog! Love to find new book blogs. I loveeeee bingo (and get weird looks at the bingo hall when me and my other 19 yr old friends go) oh well though, I love it to much not to go.

Bingo said...

Welcome, and I like to play Bingo sometimes as well, but the name is a family nickname and actually, has nothing to do with the game. So glad you all came by and hope you will return! MARCH MADNESS sponsored by the letter "M" should be a fun month to become followers!