Van Bueren’s Aesop Fables – the Toys!


Pam’s Pictorama Toy Extravaganza Post:  Hold onto your hats, this is a huge post! I started this morning with the photo of Jane Withers holding her wonderful Aesop Fable doll, the Princess, shown in a photo grab off the internet rather than a ham-handed photo of my own also rather pristine example – the first to enter my collection several years ago. Jane evidently had an enormous collection which she sold off in recent times.  (See for more info.)  One can only imagine what toys a child star had the chance to indulge herself in! I like this photo and it is one of the ones in more or less permanent rotation in our tiny home.

But onto the cartoons – and the toys! I never got to see these cartoons as a child. I have to assume that I would simply be a better person if I had been raised on them. I am convinced that their influence is one of the things that made my husband the extraordinary human being he is today. Certainly, they helped lure me over to him. I am including a photograph of his book Boulevard of Broken Dreams, although it wasn’t the first of his work I ever saw (his book Beyond the Pale was so I knew I liked him and it) the original comic books that ultimately made up Boulevard transformed me into a real fan.  jpeg

So, when I first heard about these dolls I was in love!  The only problem – they are about as rare as hen’s teeth and I only ever saw them in old ad photos such as the one above which is a Google image grab. As a collector there are somethings that make your pulse race and blind you to all thoughts except, “I must have it!”  These are among them. An expensive habit though. After several years I acquired the Princess through Hake’s auction, paying top dollar. Just in the past year I snatched up the other two – actually both were gifts from Kim.  One for my birthday (see me in black dress) and the other, in admittedly poor shape but much beloved, as part of a big art for toys trade he did as a surprise for me in San Francisco last year.

Finally, for good measure, I am throwing in a link to Making ‘Em Move, the Van Bueren cartoon I gather helped inform some of Boulevard and one of my very favorites. Enjoy!

Aesop Fable Photo and Art Post


Pam Pictorama Post: Featured at the top, a splendid press photo The Making of an Aesop’s Sound Fables.  It says, “A close-up of the cameraman at work.  The ‘Frame’ is now down in position over the background and ‘cells.’ This shows a complete single picture about to be taken.” It is dated ’32.

Below are three drawings, original art (I couldn’t be certain until I had them in hand, but there are traces of pencil and the ink is clearly original) on penny postcards. I purchased first two and then a subsequent one months later, on eBay. The first two were acquired from a seller in Great Britain (although these are clearly American and one wonders how they got there) and I can’t remember where or who the third, the one with color, was purchased from, but it was a different seller.

When I originally posted these on Facebook a FB friend (Stephen Worth) told me that he had a similar piece by Mannie Davis – the farmer and several animals, and he posted it for me to see.  They certainly seem to be of the same hand.

No idea what the purpose of these was – there is no writing on them and mine are not signed. Perfectly wonderful though and clearly drawn and inked by a practiced hand that had drawn thousands before.  As a huge fan of the cartoons I find all of it pretty fascinating.