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As everybody knows, today is Inauguration Day where Donald Trump gets officially sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Rather than focus on that event, I’d rather talk about dolls instead.
First of all, I want to announce that I no longer own the Talking Donald Trump Action Figure.
I sold it last month on eBay. When I first purchased it years ago (which was sometime during either the first or second season of The Apprentice), I bought it as a gag gift for my then-husband. We both became hooked on that show because it was so hilarious and campy to watch. (This was a guy who was giving business advice on that show despite the fact that he had gone through multiple bankruptcies.) I figured that it was no big deal to buy a doll/action figure based on someone who was basically a buffoon but was essentially harmless as far as I was concerned. (Granted he wasn’t harmless to anyone who actually did business with him but to everyone else who had nothing to do with that guy, he was harmless.)
When my husband left me, he left the doll behind. It was no big deal because he was only 12 inches tall so I kept him among the other small dolls I own (such as Barbie, Volks Dollie Plus, Monster High and, Ever After High).
But then there was the initial flirtation of running for president back in 2011 and he did so by catering to the birthers who were questioning President Obama’s U.S. citizenship and contending that he was really born in Kenya. I felt that what he did was so reprehensible that I no longer could stand to watch his reality show after he decided against running and just continue with his reality TV career. I also began to ignore the doll. I would press the button in his back to hear him speak every now and then but I basically didn’t bother with it much.
When Trump decided to really run in the 2016 elections while saying horrible things that were racist, sexist, and anti-Islamic, I began to rue the day I actually bought that action figure as a gag gift. I finally decided to sell the doll on eBay because I just didn’t want it around my house anymore. I like dolls that make me feel happy and put me in a good mood and that Donald Trump action figure made me feel the opposite. I didn’t get a lot of money for the doll (I only had one bidder who was willing to pay the $20 minimum bid and I didn’t get that bid until the third and final week that I ran the auction) but I felt relieved to finally get it out of my house.
At least I’ll have these two videos to remember the doll by. The first is my “Trump” poem that I wrote for a local poetry reading event in 2011 and I later made a video featuring the Donald Trump doll. The other is my demonstration video of the Donald Trump doll that I made when I was preparing to sell it on eBay.
Now I’m going to switch gears a bit and talk some more about some other dolls that I have.
I recently came across this campaign on Instagram, known as #westandwithalldolls, where American Girl doll owners were urged to post pictures of their dolls (especially dolls of color) in solidarity with all women and minorities who are currently being maligned and even attacked by Donald Trump and his supporters. I chipped in with the cause by uploading pictures of my three American Girl dolls.
First, here’s Addy Walker holding a sign this quote from Martin Luther King.
“Again we have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifice. The fact is that capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor, both black and white, both here and abroad.”
Here’s Ivy Ling holding a sign with this quote from Confucius.
“To put the world right in order, we must put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”
Even though the #westandwithalldolls campaign specifically requested that everyone post pictures of dolls of color, I decided to use my one white American Girl doll, Julie Albright, because I found this one quote from the late Frank Zappa that pretty much says it all about race relations, especially among whites who aren’t bigoted towards people of color or anyone else who’s different from them.
“Hey, you know something people? I’m not black. But there’s a whole lots of times I wish I could say I’m not white.”
I got that quote from the lyrics to the song “Trouble Every Day,” whose video you can watch below.
Here’s one group photo of all three of my dolls with their signs.
If you want to contribute to that Instagram campaign, or see all the photos that have been uploaded so far, check out the hashtag #westandwithalldolls.
I finally added something new in my RedBubble store for the first time in over a year. Here is some background.
A few weeks ago I attended Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School in Washington, DC. (No, I haven’t uploaded any of the drawings I made there yet but I’m going to do so soon.) I took part in a contest where I incorporated the European Christmas demon known as Krampus. My prize was a drink of my choice from the bar (where I picked a fruity tasting beer whose name now escapes me).
A few days later I came up with an idea for Krampus where I gave him a modern-day twist by merging him with a certain wealthy politician. Here he is: Trumpus.
I really had a blast creating this piece. I wished I had thought of this sooner because I could’ve come out with Trumpus products earlier in the holiday shopping season instead of having something just four days before Christmas. I decided to do this product line any way because I know that there has been a trend in recent years where people go post-Christmas shopping. Part of the reason is because of the rise in people giving gift cards as presents and part of the reason is because people are more inclined to shop for themselves if they didn’t get a certain item they wanted for Christmas.
And that’s not to mention that Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20. (The Electoral College decided to certify the popular vote and make Trump president. This happened despite a movement known as the Hamilton Electors cropped up and there was talk of replacing Donald Trump with a moderate Republican alternative like Mitt Romney or John McCain. Well, that didn’t happen.)
I have Trumpus available in t-shirts, laptop/mobile cases, laptop/mobile skins, framed art prints, coffee mugs, and more! Click here to do your Trumpus shopping.
It’s that time of the year where people are crowding the shopping malls in an effort to buy gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. Instead of fighting surly drivers for a parking space, how about staying home and buying some unique things from me? Here is what I’m highlighting for sale this holiday season.
Do you like adult coloring books? Looking for something different from the usual ones that are currently on the market? For some NSFW fun, try my adult coloring book, Burlesque Beauties, which definitely puts the “adult” in adult coloring book.
Purchase Burlesque Beauties right here.
When I originally created my first (and, so far, only) item for my new RedBubble shop, President Trump, I honestly thought that it would be something that was going to be hot for a limited time until Election Day then it would be obsolete. Thanks to the outcome of those elections, it looks like my President Trump line will be hip and relevant for at least the next four years (unless he somehow gets impeached or killed).
You can buy this design on a variety of products ranging from leggings to bedcovers to cases and skins for your favorite electronic device. Check it all out right here.
I also currently have the following items available for auction on eBay through December 29 or until someone makes the highest bid (whichever comes first). There are no hidden reserve prices or anything like that and I have set relatively low minimum bids on these products.
This is the same couch that I displayed at the 2014 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire and the 2014 DC Mini-Maker Faire. While this couch came from a pattern that was made for American Girl dolls, I found that it can also fit Mini Super Dollies and Ellowyne Wilde dolls as well. Bid on this couch right here.
I recently made a series of DIY videos on how to customize a Barbie doll (especially the Made to Move Barbie) into Marvel Comics’ off-beat superhero known as the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. I decided to sell the doll that was featured in that video series. I figured that anyone who is looking for a Squirrel Girl doll/action figure to give to someone else (especially a child) but doesn’t have the time to customize a doll would want to buy her. I’m basically taking advantage of the fact that, as of this writing, there are no officially licensed dolls or action figures based on this character by making my own customized version available for sale. You can bid on my customized creation right here.
I wrote about the making of this one a few days ago. I decided to put it up for sale. Keep in mind that this piece is hand-knitted (by me) using fur yarn so it’s definitely not some cheaply made Third World sweatshop crap. I sewed hooks in the front so you can close it and keep it closed. It’s perfect for people who are itching to dress their doll in something appropriate for this time of the year. Bid on this doll coat right here.
Like the smaller knitted coat, I also wrote about this outfit in this blog recently. I decided to sell this one as well. This is a one of a kind outfit that was hand-knitted by me. I sewed snaps in the back instead of using velcro, which is convenient because you won’t have to deal with the hassle of getting your doll’s hair stuck every time you change into this outfit. (Even though most of the official American Girl outfits cost around $30, they still use velcro just like the manufacturers of cheaper doll outfits. If I was going to spend that much for doll clothes, I would expect something nicer than velcro.) Bid on this outfit right here.
In addition to my handcrafted stuff, I will also have a couple of other items available on eBay. I didn’t make either one but I decided to list them here along with everything else.
This is the same action figure which I gave as a gag gift for my then-husband sometime during the first or second season of The Apprentice, long before Donald Trump’s foray into politics. I used this one in the video for my “Trump” poem back in 2011. Now that he’s the president-elect, I’m going to see how much of a collector’s item this doll really is. (If some hardcore Donald Trump fan wants to offer me a huge amount of money for it, I’m willing to accept the offer.) So if you’re shopping for gift to give to someone who voted for Trump and is a true believer, here’s your chance to surprise that person with an action figure that not only has realistic articulated joints but can also say phrases using The Donald’s own voice. I made a video demonstrating the action figure’s talking and posing capabilities.
Bid on the Talking Donald Trump Action Figure right here.
The cards in this set are about the size of baseball trading cards. They all feature vintage photographs of 1950’s pinup model Betty Page, who inexplicably underwent a popular revival in the 1980’s (while many of her other 1950’s female pinup contemporaries still remain in obscurity to this day) and she still remains a cult figure today with plenty of male admirers. I purchased this card set from a catalogue as a Christmas gift for my then-husband because I figured he would like it since he used to purchase the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue each year. It turned out that I was wrong. He told me that Betty Page didn’t really excite him all that much compared to Cindy Crawford or Paulina Porizkova. I think he only went through that card pack once or twice then left it alone. Of course he left it behind when he walked out on me five years ago this month. I tried donating it to the yard sale that was run by my support group for people who are separated or divorced by the organizers told me that I would be better off selling it on eBay because it might be a collector’s item. So I’m selling it for very low minimum bid mainly because I just want to get rid of it. You can view a few sample pictures from this set and make your bids right here.
That’s it for the auctions. I’ve set each one up so it’ll be relisted two more times if I don’t get any bids the first week. But the entire auction will end on December 29 regardless of whether I sell anything or not so don’t delay and bid today!
I found this action figure in a local Staples of all places several years ago. I purchased it as a gag gift for my then-husband sometime during the first or second season of The Apprentice (which would’ve been around 2004 or 2005). I had no idea that one day he would actually run for president, much less even fathom the idea that one day he would really become the president-elect. (If only I had a time machine, I would’ve gone back to my past self and tell myself to either keep the doll in the box or purchase a second doll and leave that one in the box. I would go to great lengths to tell my past self that having a boxed doll will be really valuable one day even if my past self would probably laugh at the absurd-sounding idea of Donald Trump actually being elected President of the United States.)
My husband and I took him out of the box and we discarded the box. We both laughed as we pushed the button on the back and listened to him say stuff like “You’re fired!” and “Have an ego. There’s nothing wrong with ego.”
A few years later I wrote a poem called “Trump.” This was back in 2011 when Donald Trump was hinting that he would run for president. I performed it live on Poetry Night a few times at a local cafe and it got a lot of laughs each time I did this. Later that year I did a video version of it where I used that talking Donald Trump action figure.
When my husband left me in late 2011, he left the action figure behind. A few days ago I finally got around to making a video that demonstrates both his talking abilities and his articulated joints. (He is able to achieve relatively realistic poses because he has joints at the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, leg, knees, and ankles.) Here’s the video below. Have fun with this one!
On the two-week anniversary of Election Day I want to announce that I’ve done yet another screencast video. I was inspired to make it after I read that, on Election Day, voters in Maine approved a measure that would bring Ranked Choice Voting (also known as Instant Runoff Voting) to their state. In the video I explain what Ranked Choice Voting is and how it could encourage both the growth of third parties and more non-voters to actually go to the polls and vote. I also explain how Ranked Choice Voting could’ve affected the outcome of this year’s U.S. presidential elections.
One week ago today was the election that managed to make Donald Trump the president-elect who will be sworn into office in January as the 45th President of the United States.
As some of you may know, last summer I devoted a series of Throwback Thursday posts to reviewing the classic 1970’s comic book series Howard the Duck. Back in 2015 Howard the Duck underwent a reboot that lasted a few issues then it temporarily went on hiatus for a few months because Marvel was doing this huge storyline called Battleworld which crossed over into a lot of its comic books from The Avengers to The X-Men. Once that storyline was over, Howard the Duck started up again with the issue number being set back to #1. (In other words, there were two Howard the Duck #1 comic books that were released in 2015.) I know it’s complicated but that’s the comic book industry for ya! I never bothered with reading that huge Battleworld storyline (especially since most comic books cost $3.99 per issue these days) so I basically waited until Howard the Duck went back to printing new issues and bought that series.
The second Howard the Duck #1 that was released in 2015 had this panel that struck me as funny when I first read it. I remembered it after last Tuesday’s Election Day debacle and this Donald Trump throwaway joke is now not only no longer funny but it’s pretty ironic.
Not only can I now imagine that universe where Donald Trump is President of the United States, I’m now currently living through it.
Today is Election Day in the United States so I’d thought I show off one of my latest video that I made just a couple of days ago. A friend of mine had forwarded a link to this story in the San Francisco Chronicle about how today voters in San Francisco will be deciding whether to lower the voting age to 16 in city elections. If this measure passes, San Francisco would join Takoma Park, Maryland in welcoming 16-year-olds to vote. (The Takoma Park City Council passed the measure lowering the voting age in 2013.) Basically my friend wanted my take on this issue in a YouTube screencast. I took a look at the issue and I thought of a way that something like this can not only be passed but high schools could be instrumental in encouraging 16-year-olds to actually use their new-found right to vote.
Last week I was making some cat drawings for a potential children’s book project that someone who lives in my neighborhood wrote and she’s trying to get it self-published through Amazon.com. (She needed some illustrations for her book.) While I was drawing one cat that was based on a photograph of the writer’s recently deceased cat, I had this weird idea. I’ll admit that I was inspired to do this after seeing yet another photograph of Donald Trump online while he’s spewing his latest hateful rhetoric. (He’s said so many hateful things in public on a daily basis that I literally can’t keep track anymore.) I even parodied the Trump campaign’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. I did this in colored pencils.
Five years ago I wrote this Twitter rant about the scandal surrounding then-Congressman Anthony Weiner when it was revealed that he was tweeting pictures of his, uh, wiener to women other than his wife. He ended up resigning from Congress in disgrace and he faded from the public spotlight for a bit as he vowed to work on his marriage to Huma Abedin, who also happens to be among Hillary Clinton’s closest staffers. In time the couple had a son together and they tried to portray themselves as a close-knit family.
Two years later Anthony Weiner decided to revive his ruined political career by running for mayor of New York City. But then it was revealed that he had not only resumed his sexting habit but he was sending pictures of his dick under the name “Carlos Danger” to women other than his wife—one of whom was named Sydney Leathers. Not only did I write a sequel to that earlier post, I even created this mixed media piece that played off of comic books and his Carlos Danger alter-ego.
Amazing Fantasy: Introducing Carlos Danger
Mixed-media (computer graphics, ink, colored pencils, watercolors)
8 inches x 10 inches
20 cm x 25 cm
To learn more about how I created this piece, see the post I originally wrote on July 27, 2013. This piece was on display at the 2013 Station North Arts District Salon show in Baltimore but no one purchased it. After the show ended Anthony Weiner lost the New York mayoral election and he slinked out of the public eye while his wife continued to work for Hillary Clinton as she left the State Department and began her current campaign for President of the United States.
A few days ago Anthony Weiner was back in the news as The New York Post revealed that Anthony Weiner had not only resume his sexting habits but he was sending his dick pictures to a woman who’s a Donald Trump supporter. What’s more, one of those dick pictures he sent included his young son lying nearby as he slept—blissfully unaware of what his father was doing next to him in the same bed.
This time Huma Abedin has had enough as she announced that she was separating from her husband and taking their son with her.
It’s obvious that Anthony Weiner has a major problem since he keeps on doing stuff like this and he definitely needs professional help. The only silver lining to this latest episode in Anthony Weiner’s life is that my 2013 blog post about the making of my original Amazing Fantasy: Introducing Carlos Danger piece is now among the most read blog posts for this week. If anyone wants to purchase this piece or even look into licensing it for use in a publication or something similar, please send an email at kimstark61 at gmail dot com.
The weekend before the DC primary election there was this special art exhibition at The Fridge that was dedicated to Bernie Sanders. I attended the Friday night opening reception. While I was traveling via Metro I saw a woman who was obviously dressed for Awesome Con, which was held the same weekend. (I haven’t been to Awesome Con since 2014 mainly because of financial reasons but I was also turned off by the crowds. I attended the first year in 2013 and I liked the fact that it was relatively small and laid-back. The following year it had literally doubled in size so it was very crowded and full of very long lines. The entrance fee had also doubled in price compared to the year before. It was a letdown compared to that first year where I could go to any panel without having to wait in any long lines.)
The Fridge is located just a couple of blocks away from the Eastern Market Metro station and it’s located in an area of Capitol Hill known as Barracks Row because of the Marine Corps barracks located in that area. It’s a pretty trendy area full of upscale bars and restaurants. I took a photo of this really attractive mural that is located on the side of an Asian restaurant known as Hooshi.
I found The Fridge with no problem. Here are my photos from that event.
On the way back to the Eastern Market Metro I decided to check out this cupcake shop known as Sweet Lobby [ http://www.sweetlobby.com ], whose biggest claim to fame is that the owner of this place once won first place on an episode of The Food Network show Cupcake Wars. I decided to purchase a Smores cupcake to take home with me. I opened its pretty box the next day. I found that it tasted excellent. It had a graham cracker base with a chocolate cupcake that’s topped with marshmallow icing. It was so awesome! I’ll definitely keep this place in mind the next time I visit the Barracks Row part of Capitol Hill.