Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Maxine ~ a Lady of Wisdom

After these Maxine jokes there is a summary on how she was created and a photo of her creator. More from the gal everyone loves and admires.

The creator of Maxine is a man!  How cool that a man has such insight into women and this kind of humor.

John Wagner, Hallmark artist since 1970, says Maxine was inspired by his mother, his maiden aunts and his grandmother, the woman who bought him art lessons when 'fill in the pumpkins' was about the extent of his art classes at St. John's Catholic School, Leonia, N.J.  John remembers doodling as a preschooler and says both his grandmother and his mother encouraged his artistic interests. He eventually attended the Vesper George School of Art in Boston and landed at Hallmark as part of a new artists group. But it was the birth of the humorous Shoebox Greetings (a tiny little division of Hallmark) in 1986 that added a new dimension to John's professional life. The Shoebox way of seeing the world unleashed his talents and created Maxine.

'Cartoonists are sensitive to the insanities of the world; we just try to humanize them,' John says. 'If Maxine can get a laugh out of someone who feels lonely or someone who is getting older and hates the thought of another birthday, or if she can make someone chuckle about stressful interpersonal relationships, then I'm happy.
Putting a smile on someone's face is what it's all about.'

Why the name 'Maxine'?  'People at Shoebox started referring to the character as 'John Wagner's old lady', and I knew that would get me into trouble with my wife', John says. The Shoebox team had a contest among themselves to name the character and three of the approximately 30 entries suggested 'Maxine'.

John says the name is perfect.

John, who says he's humbled by such acceptance of Maxine, admits he's proud of her.

Now you know the story of how Maxine came to be.

{I had no idea!}

Thanks for stopping by!
Pug hugs :)


  1. Maxine is fabulous! I'm amazed her creator is a man. He definitely "gets" women.

  2. And I thought Maxine was created after my image and humor.... sigh..... oh well, she still does us women justice!


  3. I just love Maxine. She cracks me up.

    I son gave me a little figurine of Maxine dressed in a white robe with pink ribbons on it.

    She was in a boxing ring..fighting breast cancer. Its neat

    Thank you for the info on her. Wow! A man created her. Good for him.

    Take care, Janet W

  4. Interesting Lauren. I adore Maxine, I just think she's a riot. Amazed that a man created her and had the insight to make her so funny about "life".


  5. Thank you Lauren. I never expected her artist was a man. I think he's great to be able to think of the
    lines he comes up with. She's a
    lovable old bag, isn't she?

  6. What a cool story. A man, huh? I like it. I think it's neat that at least one guy gets women!

  7. Thanks for my morning laugh! I sent a few of these on to friends!

  8. Maxine is my absolute favorite, Lauren! Thanks for the smiles.


  9. Maxine is a great way to start the day. Thanks!

  10. I have Loved Maxine for as long as I can remember. i am a fan of the facebook page. Thanks for sharing!

  11. When I'm looking for a card, I ALWAYS have to read the Maxine cards first!! Great post--very interesting!!

  12. Love it! I wanna be Maxine when I grow up. Thanks for a fun post.

  13. Are you still making the spoon necklaces? A friend and I are interested in the "rug hooker" necklaces. Could you please let me know if they are still available? If so, could you customize the wording on request. Thanks

  14. I agree with Kim. He definitely gets women. I love the Maxime humor. JB

    Now I knew this at one time...but bits and pieces...thanks for the refresher.
    Gotta love a man who KNOWS A WOMAN...lol


  16. A rare feat indeed....a man who gets it. Interesting and fun post Lauren - I would have never, in a million years, guessed her creator was one of the other species....Robin

  17. Having known Gerry and John Wagner for many years I can say that Maxine is exactly like Gerry, lol. They are missed greatly at the Lancaster Camp Ground in Lancaster, Ohio. The last thing Gerry told me was that she was ninety-nine years old and was ``not`` going to be 100. She passed away before her 100th birthday! That´s Gerry for you! LOL She and John were characters all the time. Another cartoon could very well be patterned after him! We have what my brother called a ``licky dog`` and she had a fondness for John Wagner. One day he told her not to do that or he´d get her tongue. She did it and I turned to see my dog with this funny look on her face as he was holding onto her tongue, lol I miss him and Gerry so much. They will always be in my heart.

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