Alien signage and Arbus in Anaheim

Two cartoons for today: a Mother Goose and Grimm with alien signage; and a Zippy in the coffee shop of an Anaheim bowling alley, where Diane Arbus is evoked:



Take me to your toilets. The figures in #1 are the highly stylized Gender Twins — I think of them as Jack and Jill Gender — most commonly seen in signs identifying toilets (or restrooms, or what have you), though usable for other purposes as well. Here the twins are space aliens, arrived on earth in a highly stylized alien spaceship, a simplified version of the Jupiter 2 spaceship from the tv series (and movie) Lost in Space, shown here in a scale model:


From Anaheim to Arbus. #2 is, as best as I can figure out, set in coffee shop attached to the Linbrook Bowl in Anaheim CA. The neon sign, from the RoadsidePeek site:


A well kept and simply outstanding bowling alley marquee to enjoy is the Linbrook Bowl in Anaheim. The pin actually still rotates around the gigantic sign [or did in 8/99, when this photo was taken]. Colors are superb in both day and night. Speaking of the night, the marquee in the early evening has to be seen to be believed.

The coffee shop, where Zippy and Mr. Toad are conferring in #2:


On to Arbus. From Wikipedia:


Photograph of Diane Arbus by Allan Arbus, c1949

Two famous photos by Arbus: a sideshow freak and two disturbed children.


Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn., 1961

Jack Dracula was one of the pseudonyms of Jack Baker, 12/25/35 (in Brooklyn) – 1/18/11. He had a career as a tattoo artist, then a sideshow career as a tattooed man. His face tattoos caused many to shun him and deride him, so a sideshow career was a natural move for him.

The other photo comes here as part of a double feature, through the intervention of John Malcovich. From the JustCollecting site, about the show “Seeing John Malcovich: The True Stories Behind the Original Iconic Photographs”:

John Malkovich and photographer Sandro Miller have recreated some of the 20th century’s most iconic photographs for a new exhibition – but the original images have their own stories to tell…

Photographer Sandro Miller has a long-standing relationship with the slightly eccentric, always-entertaining actor John Malkovich, having worked with him several times during their respective careers. So when Miller came up with a project that would pay homage to the photographers, artists and images that have inspired him, he chose the actor as his muse once more.

The result is the exhibition ‘Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters’, which runs from 7 November to 31 January 2015 at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago.


Malcovich on the left, “Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967” by Diane Arbus on the right

Diane Arbus built her career around creating portraits of “deviant and marginal people, or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal”. She became famous for her stark black-and-white images of circus performers, unusual children, dwarfs, giants, transgender people and society’s outcasts, along with a host of celebrity portraits.

In December 1967 Arbus found herself in the town of Roselle, New Jersey, at a Christmas party in the Knights of Columbus hall held for local twins and triplets. After approaching some of the parents for permission to photograph their children, she snapped a portrait of seven-year-old twins Cathleen and Colleen Wade against the wall outside which would become one of her most famous images.

“We thought it was the worst likeness of the twins we’d ever seen,” said the girls’ father Bob Wade, in a 2005 interview with the Washington Post. “I mean it resembles them, but we’ve always been baffled that she made them look ghostly. None of the other pictures we have of them looks anything like this.”

The photograph is said to have inspired director Stanley Kubrick, who repeated the image of the identical twin girls in the 1980 horror classic ‘The Shining’.

The show’s title “Seeing John Malcovich” is a play on the movie title Being John Malcovich. From Wikipedia:


Being John Malkovich is a 1999 American fantasy-comedy film directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman, both making their feature film debut. The film stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, and Catherine Keener, with John Malkovich and Charlie Sheen as themselves. The film follows a puppeteer who finds a portal that leads into Malkovich’s mind.

Start out having coffee with Mr. Toad at a bowling alley, end up inside John Malcovich’s head.

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