Thursday, August 15, 2013

Stevie Staple-Freak

You can use the idea of “youth culture,” or your vague understanding of that idea, to sell most anything. Witness this 1969 advertisement: “Get high on honey.” And witness the advertisement to the left, in which Stevie Staple-Freak helps the next president. If Stevie weren’t grooving on presidential candidates, his long hair, plaid bells, and two-tone shoes would be sufficient to mark him as a cool guy. He could have gone to high school with Greg Brady.

I wrote youth culture, not counter-culture : Stevie is working within the system, defeating a “radical anarchist” and bringing order from chaos with his Swingline Tot stapler. And yet he’s a freak. And the narrative line here is itself freaky, loopy, wobbly, comix-like. In what television studio do past presidents become future presidents? In what time-frame do Washington and Lincoln debate? And in what material world can one staple the blades of a fan to a hat? It feels like a bad trip to me — not that I would really know.

This ad appeared in the October 1972 Boys’s Life. Click (the ad, not the magazine) for a larger view. And here, if you like, is a Swingline Tot looking just like the one in the ad.

The artist responsible for these illustrations has since moved in other directions. You can read about Nicholas Zann at his website.

Related reading
All stapler posts (Pinboard)

comments: 1

Bird of Paradise said...

I can remember this ad from high school back in the 1970's