Friday, January 30, 2009

Meet the Creator of "Maxine"..

I never knew who the creator of Maxine was! This is interesting. After the Maxine jokes there is a summary on how she was created, and a photo of her creator. More from the gal everyone loves and admires, and you finally get to meet her creator at the end!

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 atSt. John's Catholic School he attended 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 someone'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, USAToday, 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 that 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 Maxine.

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.


Betsy Banks Adams said...

That is neat, Josephine. I love Maxine --always have, and had no idea who her creator was. I figured it was a man--who had an interesting mother or grandmother... NEAT!!!

Winifred said...

Well I've never heard of Maxine but I like her.

George said...

Thanks for the information about Maxine and her creator. I've often admired Maxine's wit and wisdom!

Janet said...

Interesting post, I love those Maxine cards too.

cheshire wife said...

Thany you for sharing Maxine. I have only seen her before on another blog.