Creeping Baby Doll 1871

Posted in antiques, automata, dolls with tags , , on April 1, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

In 1871 came one of the first automata to appear in the toy scene, patented by Robert J. Clay. You can find more about it here.

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My favorite paragraph about the piece is the following:

Despite Clay’s belief that his toy would be very amusing, it had limited appeal for its target audience of little girls. It looks scary, weighs a lot and isn’t particularly interactive. It’s more of an exhibition piece than a cuddly toy, and once the mechanism broke (which happened often with the earlier models), its heaviness and hardness made it a dead weight rather than a doll that could be integrated into regular play.

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I wonder how many of these clumsily creeping wonders were mass produced. Two decades later, the world was graced with Edison’s Talking Doll.

Bayer Aspirin Prayer Card

Posted in ephemera, kitsch, oddities with tags , , on March 31, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

The recent guest post over at Morbid Anatomy showcases a truly amazing item: The Bayer Aspirin Prayer Card.

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Made in the style of traditional holy cards in the 1940′s, this glow in the dark mass produced devotional object implies that faith is awesome…but for bodily ailments there’s aspirin (Jesus can’t fix it? Take a pill!). If you look at the image for thirty seconds, then view a white surface, it shows “God.”

I’ve actually never seen a black holy card, only the kitschy technicolor variety. What a great collector’s item. Can’t beat an endorsement from The Lord, now can we?

Dr. Dreadful’s Creep Show

Posted in animation, candy coated nightmares, macabre, video with tags , , , on March 30, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

I’ve posted about Megan Petasky before. This video of hers is guaranteed to be one of the creepiest cartoons you see today (assuming you watch a lot. You watch a lot, right?).

Michael Halbert

Posted in art with tags on March 29, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Michael Halbert has a series of “inventors” that look like antique etchings. I love seeing revivals of this style.

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And enjoy a bonus video of the scratchboard illustration for this great piece for Steamworks Beer:

Michael Halbert

Julianna Menna

Posted in anthropomorphic, art with tags , on March 28, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

From afar, you might think you’re looking at panels and portraits by one of the old masters.

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But stepping closer you will see that Julianna Menna’s subjects differ ever so slightly from those in classical portraiture…in that they are inhuman and have no flesh.

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Adornments spring from imaginary period costumes, unique yet strangely congruent with something that we…or a vaguely anthropomorphic species…might have invented in another time and place.

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Julianna Menna

Gojin Ishihara

Posted in art, japan, monsters, retro with tags , , , on March 27, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

My friend Stacey linked me to this awesome collection of Japanese monster illustrations by Gojin Ishihara.

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The books came out in the 70′s, designed for kids. I wish my childhood library contained them!
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I think these are some of my favorite vintage Japanese monster illustrations out there
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See more here.

Hugh Kretschmer

Posted in photography, surreal with tags , on March 26, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Grab a look at Hugh Kretchmer’s photography…

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Some of these pieces are highly editorial, but all deliver a nice measure of surrealism and/or trompe l’oeil effects.

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Hugh Kretchmer

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