Thursday, August 6, 2009


A secret history of the transforming robot in pop culture: Without those old-fashioned paper dolls, there would be no Bild Lillie. Without Bild Lillie, there would be no Barbie. Without Barbie, there would be no GI Joe. Without GI Joe, there would be no Henshin Cyborg. Without Henshin Cyborg, there would be no Microman. Without Microman, there would be no Micronauts. Without Micronauts, there would be no Transformers.

Steel Jeeg (above), created by Go Nagai and Tatsuo Yasuda. I remember the rare, imported Japanese toys which you could find in the 1970s. The die-cast metal robots seemed so heavy in your hand, more like a power tool than a toy. I made a small color Jeeg screenprint last week, for no reason at all, really, just because he's been on my mind. I wanted have someplace tangible to place the thought so I could stop carrying it around with me, stuck inside my head.

From paper doll back to paper doll.