Saturday, May 7, 2016

Robby Bobby Holly Hobbie Visits with Rosie Josie Bela Lugosi

Robot Romance:

Robby the Robot hails from the 1956 film "Forbidden Planet." When I started this drawing, I realized that I had confused "Robby"with the "Robot" in the 1960's TV show "Lost in Space" ("Danger Will Robinson!") Although, as it turns out, the two robots were designed by the same person.... and Robby made an appearance on "Lost in Space" battling the other Robot. (The many things one can discover on Wikipedia when one should be sleeping.) At any rate, perhaps it is not just my addled brain that has conflated the two.

I don't know if police officers in Great Britain are still commonly called "Bobbies." As long as I am wallowing in references from my childhood in the 1970's, I am going to guess that my first "Bobby" references date from my horrified viewing of "The Benny Hill" show, a smarmy vaudevillish sketch comedy show that, Wikipedia tells me, ran from 1955-1991 in 140 countries. I saw bits of a few episodes in the 1970's and, puritanical midwestern girl child that I was, found the Britishness peculiar and the heavy handed "double entendre" jokes totally appalling.

And then there is Holly Hobbie.  I found the Holly Hobbie character back in the 1970's rather appalling also, although for totally different reasons. Again, according to Wikipedia, the human artist and author Holly Hobbie sold the annoyingly cute, rag dress and giant bonnet wearing girl character that became known as Holly Hobbie to the American Greetings company back in the 1960's. The Holly Hobbie franchise was quite popular during my childhood, there were cards and dolls and dresses and a whole sort of style embraced by my peers, or perhaps by their mothers.  At the time, I thought any fashion that entailed the wearing of long patchwork dresses was bad news. Many years later, Holly Hobbie the human went on to author and illustrate the "Toot and Puddle" series of books which are really quite nice, so I have moved past my dislike of her namesake franchise.

As long as I am endlessly harping on my gender political hang-ups regarding 1960's and 70's pop culture... here we also have Rosie the Robot from "The Jetsons" (originally 1962-63) and Josie from "Josie and the Pussycats" (1970-1) These two shows troubled me during my childhood also, but I suspect I've already said enough on this topic for one post.

As far as I know, I did not have any childhood problems with Bela Lugosi's gender politics. His name just happened to rhyme.

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