Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Remembering John Axe

Artist and author John Axe died yesterday, and those of us who knew him will miss his friendship and the great sense of fun and humor he brought to just about every convention, in addition to his art and scholarship. I especially enjoyed his presentations on Pelagie Doane and the cover art of Nancy Drew and other girl series.

This centerfold appeared in the Winter 2002 issue of Doll News, and is one of my favorites. It depicts a real matinee idol of the 19th century and was accompanied by a brief history of the star and his era.

Doll News also described Axe in a short bio, which I paraphrase here: Axe had been an editor of the magazine and continued to contribute as an author and artist over the years. His paper doll art has been published by Hobby House Press (Royal Children, Country Music Singers). Several books have been based on dolls manufactured by the Effanbee Doll Co. His Wee Patsy was the basis for the re-release of that doll in packaging that John also designed. John painted in watercolor with touches of gouache, and incorporated acrylic paint and colored pencils in the designs. His main interest was in portrait and realistic characters, rather than anything relating to fashion. He earned awards at art shows for his studio paintings and paper doll designs.


  1. Sorry to hear about John Axe. I met
    him once at the paper doll convention in Cleveland. A very nice man.

  2. Yes, he was. I last saw him at the San Antonio convention in 2007. Nice memories to have of lunch on the Riverwalk, with John and several others.

  3. The last time I saw John was also at the San Antonio convention in 2007. I am so glad I went and was able to see him. He was always so generous to everyone with his knowledge, his talent, and his time. Rest well my friend.

  4. Thank you for sharing this picture of John and information about his art and collections. I have many great memories of John from conventions. When I first met him, he scared me a little because of his rather brusque manor,but in later times we were good friends. I love his art of the early Broadway stars the very best of his many sets.

  5. I've really enjoyed his collecting books so sorry about his death