Japanese2Philosophical Ramblings: the Meaning of It All

This site is a work-in-progress. I am working and it’s progressing. Eventually it may emerge like a beautiful butterfly. Or a fuzzy brown moth that bashes itself into a lightbulb repeatedly until it dies. Either way it should be a [insert your own adjective here] journey.

Feel free to follow along, sign up for notifications (at right), lob questions, and generally bemuse yourself.

Who’s Responsible for All This Nonsense?

Someone with time on their hands, apparently. But not that much time. I just like to occasionally occupy myself with distractions from other creative work. Blogging and paper-doll-making make mighty fine distractions. By day I am a librarian, which makes my disorganization here a bit of an embarrassment, but I’m off-duty when I’m online.

What’s with All the Weird 19th Century Stuff?

Interestingly enough, culture was popular in the 19th century! But seriously, this site isn’t about contemporary pop culture only. I was a hardcore 19th century geek long before I ever plugged into anything that could be remotely considered mainstream. If seeing AMC’s version of Rick Grimes juxtaposed with the 16th President of the United States is jarring for you, just remind yourself that the actor and the politician both share the same last name. Hey, whatever works, right?

Why Paper Dolls?

Why anything? As a child growing up in an era just prior to the action figure boom, my brothers and I used to build whole sets of dolls to stage elaborate scenes. Medieval knights and skeleton warriors–inspired by Jason and the Argonauts–were our favorite subjects, to be followed by a legion of Star Wars characters. We copied illustrations out of picture books and made clothes to fit them. Once we drew and cut an entire set of spotty dogs from 101 Dalmatians, complete with a folding getaway truck to haul them. Literally all 101 of them.

Sadly, none of these abominations (abominable, but made with love) survived our childhood. The nature of ephemera, alas, is that it is ephemeral. Nevertheless I have continued to make new paper toys well into the 21st century (aren’t you lucky?). And these days movies and other media still inspire me. Expect to see comic book superheroes and villains, TV and movie characters, historical fashions, and other random stuff from around the web.

And I really do mean random.

Most importantly, the paper dolls here are made to be enjoyed. Feel free to download them and print them out for your own personal use. Use the categories and tags to find related clothing for the dolls, as it will be interfiled with commentary, reviews, and other stuff throughout. There is also an Index which might make finding things easier.

Please note: these dolls are by no means comprehensive representations of characters or their costumes over the long haul. I am lazy and disinclined to be fussy about some details. I do this for fun, not as a matter of historical record.

Where are the Dang Tabs?

If you’re asking this question, you’ve noticed (possibly with irritation) that I don’t put tabs on my dolls. I promise I’m not trying to be edgy–and laziness is only half of it. The honest-to-God reason I don’t put tabs on my dolls is that I just never played with my own paper dolls that way. Bending tabs makes the clothes all rumpled and half the time the clothes fall off. I always preferred to play with my dolls on a flat surface. You didn’t have to fight with gravity to create a nice scene.

Later on, in my study of all things 19th Century, I realized that the earliest printed paper dolls likewise did not have tabs. Some of them were designed to be played with flat, some were designed to stand (and the double-sided clothes folded over them), and some had instructions on how to add tabs yourself. It really wasn’t until after the turn of the century that modern tabbed paper dolls began to be the popular norm.

Lastly, tabs take up room on the page and I have spatial management issues. So anything I can do to make it easier for me to plate the dolls and their clothes is a win for everybody, trust me!

What Else?

Aside from paper dolls, what you’ll find here is a variety of words and pictures including:

  • Reviews and Ruminations on:
    • Books
    • Comics
    • Movies
    • TV Episodes/Shows
  • Wibbling and Warbling:
    • About art
    • The creative process
    • Inspirational pictures and quotes

So subscribe and share! The site is Disqus friendly, so if you already have an account, you’re all set to comment. If you don’t have an account, they are free and easy to set up.

Comments are closed.