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mercredi 26 mai 2010

Maxine – we all love her, but who invented her?

Cet article a été rédigé par Jacquie Bridonneau, que je remercie.

I’m sure that there is not an American over the age of 20 who has not once chuckled, or broken out into uncontrollable laughter after seeing a picture of Maxine, the politically-incorrect, say what is on her mind, not trying to be loved and not caring lady. Always crabby and irreverent, but quite often hitting the nail straight on the head and witty, we either can identify with her directly, or see our mothers, grand-mothers, maiden aunts in her, unless we just say to others, “If I ever get like that, do me a favor, and just shoot me!”

Some typical Maxine advice:

1. Maxine on "Driver Safety" - "I can't use the cell phone in the car. I have to keep my hands free for making gestures."
2. Maxine on "Life" - "Life is like an oven. It burns my buns."
3. Maxine on "Housework" - "I do my housework in the nude. It gives me an incentive to clean the mirrors as quickly as possible."
4. Maxine on "Lawn Care" - "The key to a nice-looking lawn is a good mower. I recommend one who is muscular and shirtless."
5. Maxine on “Men" - "Chocolate is a woman’s reward for putting up with men."
6. Maxine on "Time Management" - "I find it helps to organize chores into categories: Things I won’t do now; Things I won’t do later; Things I’ll never do."
7. Maxine on "the Technology Revolution" - "My idea of rebooting is kicking somebody in the butt twice."
8. Maxine on "Aging" - "Take every birthday with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a large margarita."
Maxine was the brain-child of John Wagner, who works for Hallmark cards, not exactly where you would expect to find Maxine wisdom, but times have changed! In 1986, Shoebox Greetings, an alternative division of Hallmark Greeting Cards was formed, and John was able to use his memories of female role models in his life, including his mother, aunts, and the lady who introduced him to art lessons, to invent Maxine.

“Cartoonists are sensitive to the insanities of the world; we just try to humanize them," John said. "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 someone's face is what it's all about."

And she does succeed in putting many smiles on many people’s faces! And how did she get her name? At first, she was just an elderly lady saying whatever came through her head in a card. Colleagues started referring to her as “John Wagner’s old lady” which of course, John rightly feared could quickly get him into bad trouble with his wife. A “Name the Old Lady” contest was held among the Shoebox team, and out of the 30 some suggestions, three said “Maxine” and the name seemed perfect and stuck.
So, as Maxine would say, “Celebrate Benjamin Franklin’s birthday. Go fly a kite.”

1 commentaire:

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