Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rubber Face Rebels pt 1

I wish I had a time machine. I used to see rubber faced mid-century stuffed animals at garage sales all the time when I was a kid for practically nothing...But as a kid, naturally, I didn't want people to think I was a girly man, so I never bought 'em...My loss. Ebay really started taking off right around the same time I stopped giving a shit what people thought of me, and the pool of dirt cheap vintage rubber faces had all but dried up at that point.

There were a lot of companies churning out these things in the 50's and 60's, but probably the most popular, and the most collectible seems to be from The Rushton Company, in Atlanta(1917-1983). Rushton also seems to have an above-average level of quality, especially in the hand painted faces. This Graduation owl came from the same antique booth as those wall plaques Melanie got me for X-mas, with the guy playing guitar, and the girl dancing. It was pretty pricey(not really, compared to what some of 'em go for on Ebay), but I talked it down to a nice price.

This brain damaged wolf is by My Toy. I'm guessing it's from sometime in the Eisenhower administration...when doctors were lobotomizing people left and right to cure mental disorders.

Close up!

This squirrel(?) was buried in a box of junk at an antique store, and picked up for I think $5, if I remember right. It's from Uneeda Doll Company, Brooklyn(1917-1991). Uneeda was a very prolific manufacturer/importer in the 50s-70s. They were one of the first makers of troll dolls in the early 60s, and also made the creepy "Plumpee" baby rubber squeak toys in the later 60's. Come to think of it, there's a certain creepyness to a lot of Uneeda's products, as well as rubber faces in general.

...The Uneeda squirrel was the inspiration for this painting I did.

This duck is another one from My Toy, and was made in 1964, toward the end of the rubber face era. It's got a wind up key in the back, to play a song, but it no longer works, and I have no Idea what song it played.

This skunk is one of my favorites. It's another Rushton...My only other Rushton. I wish the price on these would come down, because they made some REALLY stuff. I saw a wolf they made once that looked just like the old Warner Bros. cartoon wolf...I need one of those! I've used this guy in my art as well. He rules!

My neighbor was giving me funny looks while I took these pictures.

I got all this nifty stuff in the mail the other day from Amber, of the great 'I Heart Everything' blog. amongst all the hand made goodies is a real cool record player card in an envelope made out of used bingo cards, and a bunch of neat stickers...

...and the bottom 2 of these 3 magnets. The Von Dutch flying eyeball magnet was given to me by a local sign maker that made the Sign for the cake shop, after we got in a really long conversation about Ed Roth, Von Dutch, and George Barris...the big three! I've been meaning to send Amber a package in return. It doesn't help that I usually wake up around the time the post office closes for the day...

Until next time..

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

H.O.A. Field Report: The Decline Of The Coldwater Car Show

Hey readers...sorry about the big gaps in between posts...I've been stupidly busy as of late, on top of my natural tenancy to procrastinate. And it might be a few more days from starting this post, until I finish it, because I think I might be coming down with some food poisoning. Great.

I've never missed a day of it, and as a Kid, it was like Christmas to me...I went to the Coldwater Car Show over the weekend, and it was a total bust. maybe only 100 cars...lowest turnout since they started having it in, I think '86. A lot of people were blaming the weather, and that was definitely a big factor, but so was the shitty management of the whole thing. It used to be run by a committee of local hot dad was on it the first few years...but eventually, it was taken over by the Chamber of Commerce and a local bank...and every year they inject some more of their "bright" ideas into what used to be the best thing to happen in this town all year. Now it's just a sad shell.

Anyway, I brought my camera, and snapped a few pictures. I have a plea to the traditional hot rodder/rat rodder(God, I hate that term) community. Can you please stop this 20's/30's field car, re-imagined 50's lowrider, bullet-riddled, rust pile stuff?! It was neat the first dozen times I saw it, but now it's just stale and unimaginative(which is quite a feat for a radical custom).

I say this because this...

and this....

...are two different cars, built by two different people, who didn't know each other until this weekend. If you look real hard, you can see my Dodge hiding behind the American flag trash can.

Even though there were only maybe 15 cars in it, the for sale lot still had some decent stuff. This wrecked '64 Triumph caught my eye. How often do you see one of these smashed up like this?

...another angle

...and again.

this '57 Ford pickup would make an excellent Hoarder Of Awesome junk hauler! If only I had a spare 5 Grand. Of course, I'd paint it metal flake lime green, and put Cragar mags on it.

In one of the vendor barns, out of the wind and rain and cold, I found a booth with a guy selling a bunch of bootleg prints. All sorts of cool stuff...lots of biker flick posters, old dragster photos, Munsters press kit photos, Ed Roth ads, Hot Wheels...all sorts of 60's stuff. I bought this nifty Eve print for $6. I'm not wild about the 'love' flower added to the image, but whatever. The guy also had 5 or 6 crates of quite expensive, and quite fantastic, 60's surf and drag records. In middle of the pile, I found a Phantom Surfers record! I never would've thought I'd find that in Coldwater, over an hour from the nearest record store. The label said it was from the mid 60's, and I had to set the seller straight...and, of course, I bought the record once I talked the price down. How could I not, it had covers of "Eaffin' and Surfin'" from the movie 'Rat Phink A Boo Boo' and a song from 'Bikini Beach', my favorite Frankie and Annette beach flick! I talked to the vendor a while, and gave him a crash course in all things Mike Lucas. He was neat a Mort Todd drawing of creepy Lurch-type cartoon monster guy.

I really dig this Chevy gasser. I like the yellow Plexiglas windows a lot. I'm glad people are starting to bring this style back.

This Chevy truck is about as ugly as you can get, but I kinda like it...I don't know why.

Here's my baby. Okay, technically it's my dad's baby...but it's the first thing I ever drove when I got my license, and I drive it more than he does. He usually takes his '63 Corvette(he bought it in '68!) to shows, and I drive the Dodge. It's a '52 Coronet. I LOVE this car. This is it's bad side, with the missing trim, but like an idiot, I parked behind a trash can, so I couldn't get a good shot of the other side. It was just starting to rain when I took this picture, and about 10 second later, the sky opened up and started dumping buckets of water. I jumped in the car and shut the door, and the drivers side window fell off it's tracks and into the door! So I had to hurry home, getting soaked, with hopes my print and my record were okay in the back seat, and not getting drenched. What a way to end the worst car show ever.

One of the big reasons I've been neglecting my blog is all the art projects I'm in the middle of. I thought some of you might dig what I've been working on, so here's a couple posters I did over the weekend.

I'm DJing at the Nobunny show and I can't wait! My band opened for him last time, but he was really sick, and spent the whole show in his van...he still kicked ass once he hit the stage though. Nobunny is the best!

Keeping with the automotive nature of this post, here's what I came up with for June's Jacuzzi Boys show. I'm glad I FINALLY get to see 'em!

Finally, I went to a show Saturday night in Kalamazoo to see a band from Toronto called the Rocket Reducers. I didn't really know what to expect, but I was blown away! If you like rock n roll in a Teengenerate, Devil Dogs sorta way, GO SEE THEM LIVE!!!!!