Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Paper Dolls & the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether

I'm excited to say that I have the opportunity to work with Rick Burchett to design a Lady Sabre paper doll for the beloved web comic Lady Sabre & the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether by Greg Rucka, thanks to an overwhelming response to the kickstarter campaign to get this beautiful comic into print.
Claudette Colbert

When Greg asked me to do a paper doll of the sassy and brazen Seneca Sabre, I just about flipped my lid.  I've been playing with paper dolls since before he was born!  My mom had a set of Hollywood stars paper dolls with glamorous outfits and accessories.  I played with Lucille Ball, Claudette Colbert, Elizabeth Taylor, Gene Tierney, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Jane Russell and all the greats.  I didn't even know who they were, only that I loved their dresses, hats, fur coats, pantsuits, purses and bouquets. Their poses were so confident: Claudette Colbert holds one arm up and looks off to the side in disdain, while Lucille Ball looks you right in the eye with both arms outstretched. Gene Tierney has her hands on her hips, giving you a smoldering come hither look.  My design (coming soon!) has taken some of my favorite elements of these dolls, with
updates of my own that ring true to her character. 

Lucille Ball's summer dress
Looking at my poor paper soldiers of war, I wonder how they survived 4 little girls playing with them--switching outfits, prancing them around at their imagined celebrity events and tennis matches.  They certainly wouldn't survive much more at this point with the yellowed tape holding a dainty feet and hands in place, so I decided to start restoring them for myself.  I scanned them in and doctored them up in Photoshop and Illustrator.  I searched the internet for missing body parts: Lucille Ball's hand, Gene Tierney's foot, Ann Sothern's arm from the elbow up to the fingertips. After trying to iron out, unfold, straighten out and repair the fragile outfits just so I could scan them, I decided they would be sturdier and more fun to play with done in cardstock, which I plan to do with Lady Sabre. After all, people are going to want to dress her up for love scenes,  arm her with swords and guns and play out imaginary battles.

Sharpen up those scissors!

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