THE HISTORY OF MAXINE
All of us at http://www.hookedonhallmark.com/ LOVE Maxine, and yes....we CAN RELATE!
Here's a little of her history!
When Hallmark launched Shoebox in 1986, nobody knew that the crabby character gracing the covers of a few Shoebox cards would become a celebrity. But it didn’t take long to see that Maxine’s irreverent quips about aging, the workplace, retirement, political correctness, and of course sex (or the lack of it) had struck a cord.
Since then, Americans have purchased more than 220 million Maxine greeting cards, and Maxine is still the first and only greeting card character to move from the card isle into popular culture.
Whatever pops into her mind, Maxine says. Ordinarily, folks might be offended. But instead, millions of Americans have identified with the crabby, irreverent Maxine, the popular Hallmark character that lambastes everything from holidays to aging, and does not hesitate to tell it like it is – or as she sees it.
Maxine keeps up with the times. "I'd like to try day trading," she says. "I'd start by trading Mondays for Saturdays." Or she might snap, "You're a year older?...Want me to moon the birthday fairy for you?"
Nobody and nothing is sacred to Maxine. She's not your typical warm and fuzzy greeting-card character. The only thing warm and fuzzy about Maxine is her bunny slippers – and her dog Floyd!
She points and shakes her finger at you. She dishes out philosophy to anyone who will listen: "When life hands you lemons...tuck 'em in your bra. Couldn't hurt, might help."ABOUT THE CREATOR John Wagner (or as Maxine calls him "Arty-Boy"!
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.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 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."
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.
ALL of which are on sale now!
*Source: Hallmark Cards, Inc.