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.