After debuting at last years show, Meany-Bo-Beany return to PGLive 2017 with 340 designs and looking forward to launching 3 brand new card ranges; the minimalist and pretty floral ‘Thinking of You’ range, the ‘Retro Wishes’ mixed occasions range, and ‘Hot Flush’ a rather cheeky, innuendo driven humour range inspired in part by romance magazines from the 1950s. Originally a spin off idea from the Gladys range, the early Hot Flush designs were a pastiche of ladies romantic weeklies, complete with lewd storylines and ludicrously named Lotharios but as is often the case the idea turned out a little differently. Many of the designs owe a little debt to the work of the great Donald McGill – master of the naughty seaside postcard – but not all of the designs are tethered to the original romantic magazine idea or rely on innuendo. Some are, in the Meany-Bo-Beany tradition just…odd! Printed on 300gsm board there are currently 13 - 120x170mm size - cards in the range and all come cello-wrapped with an Eco Kraft envelope. You can check out all the new designs on the Meany-Bo-Beany Stand 132 in the new Springboard Extra area.
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The Gladys range was the logical extension of the Pop themed cards which reference imaginary, ludicrously named popstars, singing equally strange and bizarrely titled songs. I realised that in this odd other world of ‘Mantovani Overclop' and ‘Ruby Grundle' there would of course be a magazine where you could catch up on all the latest pop gossip. This very quickly morphed into an affectionate pastiche of girls magazines from the 1960s and 70s like ‘Jackie’ allowing me to play around with silly ‘how to’ features, competitions and romantic episodic stories. I found it amusing to imagine that the staff of Gladys magazine had, for unknown reasons, arrived from totally unsuitable previous publications (perhaps New Scientist) leading to the constant references to Quantum mechanics and it’s effects on Fashion; Llamas also seem to crop up a lot too.
Visually I was aiming for something that had the colour and quality that old magazines, found in a box in the garage have, dated and seemingly from another planet, in this case a sort of cross between ‘Jackie’ and ‘Practical Wireless’ magazine.
There is some ‘light’ rudeness in there also but it’s closer to the ‘Carry on’ tradition than anything truly offensive. The crowing about the unlikely number of horse pictures harks back to my own school days when I would occasionally glimpse these kinds of magazines and look on in wonder and baffled amusement at what seemed to be of interest to pre-teenage girls who themselves at the time where of great interest to me. All girls seemed to be able to draw fantastic pictures of horses; I remember in the junior school wondering how they were able to do it and if it had been a lesson that I had missed through illness.
I quite like the idea of the cards engaging the recipient slightly longer than the traditional one punch line humour cards (good though those often are), I’m hoping that people will after reading through the cover be slightly disappointed that they haven’t actually got the whole magazine in front of them, their appetite whetted by such features as ‘The Heisenberg uncertainty principle and how to use it when shopping for flared trousers’ and who wouldn’t want to see ‘centrefold sex titan Yo-Yo Bipython relaxing at home with his Coypu!’
I have lots of ideas for others including a sports and fitness magazine called Fartlek, (an amusing sounding word but one which genuinely means "speed play" in Swedish and is ‘a training method that blends continuous training with interval training’. according to wiki). I also intend to develop a dedicated romantic Mills and Boon inspired range as I’ve particularly enjoyed creating the blurb for the romantic episodic stories - my favourite being Conan Beezlefigs ‘Lost in a season of Beef’ a romantic tale of love, lust and black market meat procurement!
I have no idea what people will make of them but I find them amusing and I hope they connect with people who perhaps will have similar memories of these kinds of publication. I hope they will bring a little joy to the person who finds and buys them and then ultimately to the person they decide to send them too.