American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Magazine Monthly: Mar/Apr 1993

Magazine Monthly: The All Animal Review!
The March/April '93 issue was one of the first themed magazines. In this case, this was an all-animal issue. And by all-animal this means they just focused every article, story, and data around animals. Mostly pets.

My entry paragraphs are going to get lighter with the Magazine Monthlies, since a lot of data is established in past posts. Let's stop the babble and go inside.

All-Animal includes the models--in that there is a dog with the girl.
This month's model, Erin Curran (11) comes with her "furry friend" Rebel. I'm assuming that's magazine filler for "pet". Erin likes jazz dancing and Beverly Clearly books, while Rebel likes riding in cars and eating ice cream. Is ice cream bad for dogs? Either way, Rebel lived up to his name by refusing to lick Erin's face for the cover. Fight the system, Rebel.

We are informed at the bottom of the page that every page has animal jokes on it. In the vein of "What dog keeps the best time? A Watchdog." Aaaand we're so done here. The letter from the editor informs us that it took two months to learn all about different animal facts, such as don't feed your dog chocolate. Very important (and no, that's not sarcasm).

Our Girls Express section starts by talking about a girl who is a young volunteer at Treasure Coast Wildlife Hospital in Hobe Sound, FL. There are pics of girls and their dogs. One girl has some mad 90s bangs going on. Oh, 90s. Also you get ideas on how to pet-sit, making a cat toy by dangling pompoms from a glove, how to get horse posters (four for two bucks!), a girl who does dog training for Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey with her family, a 4-H dairy cow raiser, making a pet scrapbook, and some sent poems.

oh my god yay Catwings
There are also some offerings of books about animals to read. One of them is Catwings by Ursula K. LeGuin. I love the shit out of the Catwings Collection like you wouldn't believe and discovered the first book back in fifth grade. I even made a little sculpted winged cat for a book report. Ah, memories.

The buzzword is "cantankerous." As in, all these animal jokes make me cantankerous.

Talking it out: Pets.
The Talking It Out section is about taking care of pets, and what it's really like to care for pets from girls in San Fran. Theres some funny stories, like Fiona's story about arguing about who got the kitten in their bed and the cat deciding "screw you, I'm sleeping in the adult's bed." And then there's Jennifer who thought she could do anything with her rat--so she took him to Marine World in her backpack, he got lost, she found him, and she dropped her backpack and he died two days later--oh my god poor rattie and poor Jennifer ;_; I am moving on to the next section, that is too sad.

I doubt the positioning of this story right after the last section.
Ah, a short story. About....a girl named Rachel dealing with the death of her hamster Tennessee. American Girl, I question the positioning of this story right after the girl whose rat died after she dropped her backpack. I do at least like that she decides to (spoiler) take Tennessee out of the box they bury her in and instead buries her directly in the earth to decay into nourishment for other things such as plants.

Looking back, Magazine Style.
The old mags actually had Looking Back Sections, which tried to relate things in the mag to history. In this case, there's a section on Dogs (Colonial era girls had lap dogs), Cats (pioneer families had cats to keep mouse out of barns) Wild Animals (Victorians and Edwardians did stupid shit like keep monkeys, leopards, and the like), and Rodents (which was the new hotness in the WW2 era and included gerbils and guinea pigs).

And now the part where everyone is jealous.
And now the part where everyone gets to be jealous of Sydney, because she owns horses and if there is something little girls seem to almost all go through a stage of, it is horse love. This girl lives on a horse farm, has two ponies and a donkey of her own, does horse riding lessons. And now every little girl worldwide in 1993 who read this but didn't have horses is burning with super jealousy because OMG HORSE.

Bird poem.
And now, a poem, "Ruffle and Coo" about parrots that were captured in the jungle, brought to the the US, and when the crate broke they got loose and settled in trees near Connecticut.

True bird poem. True-ish.
Which is true. The part about wild 'keet in Connecticut. The whole "in a crate snatched away" thing is urban legend and artistic license.

Hanging with the pets.
And then how to have a pet pageant. Give prizes! Eat food! fold napkins into origami shapes!

Blue Jello!
For some reason the 90s was obsessed with unnaturally blue food, because for some reason neon blue was the new extreme in candy and junk food. We had blue Kool-Aid (bring that shit back!), blue razzberry candies came out everywhere, Blue M&Ms (which I can no longer eat) and blue jello. If that shit could dye your mouth blue, it fucking did. And hence, me focusing on the blue jello food in this mag. Cause Blue Jello.

This review is leaving out the Games and Giggles section where you too could do a quiz about such famous dogs as Astro and Comet from Full House and the origami animal folding. Because we're getting to the best part outside of the paper doll in my opinion:

Felicity Takes a DARE.
Felicity Takes a Dare, the short story of awesome. What can I say? After two months of the girls that I find meh, we busted out everyone's favorite tribade, FELICITY. Who pulls no punches and makes her AG short story debut walking on a goddamn fence. Felicity, I love you~

When I initially read the story, I noted the changes that didn't make it into the reprint in 1997 or the standalone book/five story volume, and put them on the wiki page. Here, I will recount the same interesting things, only with flavor:

  • The story specifically states that the fair is held the day after Felicity's ninth birthday, placing it on April 22, 1774. This means this was before all the central books, something I surmised years ago when this story didn't have Felicity totally obsessed with Penny and Ben wasn't even around. Snap.
  • Nan and Felicity should be minding William and hemming aprons, but instead Felicity is walking on the fence because Felicity ain't got time for hemming any damn aprons. William asks to be put up on the fence like Felicity, and even though Nan is like "oh no, he's too little" Felicity is like "whatever, up on the fence." So she and Nan try to help William onto the fence. but Nan can't help push him up. He falls, Nan falls onto the muddy ground, Felicity jumps down to help and splatters her siblings with mud, and Nan wails because "OMG MUD" while William is all "MUD YEAH BOY" and gets his yell on. I don't really like Nan, she gets on my last nerve being all whiny and tattling all over the place. We all have our disliked AG characters, one of mine is Nan.
  • Mother comes out and fusses at everyone, because Lissie's supposed to be a role model and not putting kids on fences. Nan straight up tattles on Lissie too. The updated edit has Mother explicitly say that if she hadn't come out when she did, Felicity would have been helping them onto the fence, because I don't know walking on fences is risky or something.
  • After they are caught, Felicity and Nan must finish their hemming before the family can go to the fair. Felicity does a very poor job, because Felicity give no sewing fucks. Mother fusses at Felicity, but does not make her redo it as she would like to leave for the fair as well. Fight the system, Lissie.    
  • During the high wire act, Nan saying the high wire is narrower than the fence, and Felicity mentions that she would love to try to walk on it. Daredevil Felicity is awesome. 
  • Rather than having Nameless Background Kid, the boy taunting the horses is outright named as Robert. He's the one that calls her a coward because all girls are cowards (and boys are stinky) and dares her to go feed the horses. And thus Felicity gets horse kicked when Plot Noise scares the horses, breaks her arm because girls don't get nice shit, gets leeched because fuck colonial doctoring, and misses going to the fireworks because moral or something.  Felicity, don't be trusting them boys.
Listening to jerkass boys gets you kicked by horses. Try Lesbianism™!
  • Mother, instead of mentioning that Felicity will not be walking on fences after breaking her arm (and that cheers her), instead mentions that Felicity will be cheered by not having to do any stitching while her arm is in a sling. Because really, Mom, your daughter broke her arm and got leeched and can't go see the fireworks with her dad the day after her ninth birthday. How about we make her feel better instead of talking about how nice it will be that she's going to be stuck inside with a broke arm because she had to be taken down a peg for her horse touching? Okay? Okay then. 
I gotta say, the first one was the better of the two. Much more detail and a pin down in the time line. Also Nan got mud splashed.

Fuck Colonial Doctoring.
Just a reminder: Back in the day they used to think that several illnesses were caused by too much blood and put leeches on you. Or just straight up bled you. Fuck colonial doctoring.

Imagine getting painted.
This month's Imagine spot is based on the painting Mary and Elizabeth Royall, by John Singleton Copley. Behold, the lapdog and the bird which they didn't actually have, but were attributes--that is, clues in a painting to show personality. Mary is the one with the bird on the left.

Paper doll!
Mmm, the paper doll! I actually don't have this one in loose form, which I am fine with. If I want a playing set, I have a flatbed scanner. This one is about Alexandra Forsythe, who traces her Cherokee heritage back to her triple-great grandmother from 1864. This one actually had a really awesome layout that they never repeated again, of the girl standing in front of a tree with her relatives.

The girl, the clothes, the cat.
Like Shira just two months before, Alexandria gets a double folded center pull out and five outfits. She also gets to wear a leotard, white tights, and black ballet shoes. Yeah, I dunno. The outfits/stories are her, her mom (1965), her grandma (1932), her double great grandma (1882), and her triple great grandma (1864). And since this is the animal issue, Alexandria gets her kitten, Mesa. Alexandria is nine years old at the time of publication, from Colorado, and is homeschooled--which was not very widespread in the 90s. Her clothes aren't too dated--hiking clothes.

The booklet is on the back, and once put together goes into the family stories, like they do. 

I love 60s clothes.
What can I say, my favorite clothing period is the 1960s. Probably because Edith. Gonna make her some A-line dresses of bright popping prints like whoa.

Also interested in the 1860s. I get the feeling that at this time a lot of Cherokee were not exactly doing well. The back of Bertha (Alexandria's great-great grandma, the purple dress with the white high button shoes) states that her parents arraigned for a white family to adopt her when she was too young to remember much about them, and that maybe it was so she could get the kind of education to help her in the white man's world in New Orleans. That feels a little short of accuracy knowing the truth of white adoptions of Natives (then and now), but that is likely how it was told to the family through the years at the time so.

The whole thing had a beautiful tree motif.
The whole thing had a lovely tree motif that was never, NEVER seen again. Boo. It was probably really labor intensive. Still, man. Pretty things we never got again.

Next time: Double Dutch and Kirsten.
Next month on Magazine Monthly: Kirsten is jealous, Dutches are doubled, quilts are quilted, and there is a story about World War 2 Jewish refugees that had to have the backstory before the story.


1 comment:

  1. I always love reading your reviews of old magazines! That one looks interesting. What I'm also looking forward to is what you thought of all the new stuff.


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