Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Paper Moon Graphics Greeting Cards

I wonder how many of my readers are old enough to remember the 1970s and 80s sensation that was Paper Moon Graphics greeting cards? Their airbrushed, retro, "New Wave," disco sensibility was tons of fun and visually supported a lot of cultural changes that were happening in those decades. They were sold in "cool" and alternative gift stores...take a look...

The great illustrator Mel Odom created this marvelous image called "Jennifer" for Paper Moon in 1979.

Disco and Roller Disco was obviously HUGE in the late 70s and even into the early 80s. I loved these airbrushed images of disco couples, one of them comic and the other sexy...I SO wanted a satin tuxedo like this first image. I already had a shiny acrylic belt that looked like bands of metal...

When I was entering my teenage years, we moved from the east coast to California. It was 1979 and I had been dreaming of moving to the land of film studios and cool clothes. It seemed to be where anything "cool" was from. These images only whetted my appetite for my new home and when I arrived, I was thrilled to find that, while obviously stylized, the images were somewhat accurate! I still adore living here and after nearly forty years, I am proud to say I am a true Californian!

There was a real "Retro" movement in the late 70s and early 80s, fueled by a kind of punk/"New Wave" interest in graphic imagery from the 1950s (you can even see it in the disco images above with the skinny tie, and cat eye sunglasses). I went to more than a few dance clubs in the early 80s that projected cut-up and collaged instructional/educational/public service and corny B science fiction films from the 40s and 50s. There was something fascinating about dissecting these seemingly naïve cultural artifacts, and dancing under film clips showing children how to "duck and cover" in case "The Reds" decided to drop some bombs. But the irony of course was that we were still living in the Cold War, worried about mutual nuclear annihilation.


Unknown said...

Hallo Jeff

I‘m searching for Paper Moon Graphics Cards on the net and found your site.
I hope you can help me with the cards you posted, The cards "DISCO" and "ROLLER DISCO" and the card "AT THE HOP" who made it ?The Illustrators name of the 3 cards Please

Thank you in advance
Greetings from Sylvie

Jeff said...

Hi Sylvie,

I wish I still had my original cards so I could look on the back and give you the information you seek. Unfortunately, they were lost along the way and I don't have any Paper Moon cards anymore!

I keep hoping there is some ultimate collector of Paper Moon cards out there who has them ALL and will share images!

Good luck!

Unknown said...

Thank you Jef, it's a pity you don't have the cards anymore but i search more on the net.
If you know some people who know give me a sign please.

Greetings from Sylvie

Unknown said...

Hi Jeff,

The greeting card painting of the chocolate covered cherry was done by Peter Palombi, an airbrush illustrator who licensed artwork to Paper Moon Graphics during the same years that I did. I don't know the others offhand but I have a bunch of Paper Moon cards including my own - I'll take a look and let you know!

Jeff said...

Hi Carol!

Thank you SO much for visiting and leaving a comment and I'm thrilled that you identified yourself as a Paper Moon artist! I so adored their cards. I'd love to see which ones you licensed to Paper Moon! Do you have them scanned?

I loved Peter Palombi's images--his fork through a slice of vinyl record, and the patent leather stiletto heels in front of a little pink cottage. Fun work.

But there is one that I have been trying to find and Google and I have been coming up empty: it is a collage of a 1950s girl in a prom dress on a road in the desert with a line of UFOs descending form overhead. Would love to find that one again.

Again, thanks so much and please keep in touch!

Anonymous said...

Totally. Loved them in the west village in NYC in the 80s.

Unknown said...

Do you know if these paper moon cards are worth anything these days? My mum and dad have a heap of them and are about to give them away, I thought I should try and find out first.

Jeff said...

Hi Toby,

Don't let them go! I am sure you could sell them on ebay and make SOMETHING. They are rare now and if you find the right collector's niche, they would be valuable. Or you can take them and be the keeper of them for a while...

If nothing else, scan them and send the images to ME so I can add them to this post! I'd love to find more examples...


Anonymous said...

I grew up in Los Angeles in the 70's and 80's and I have a nice small collection of these cards. I recently bought a book called "Overspray" and the cherry artwork is on the cover. Love seeing these images!

Jeff said...

Hi Anonymous,

You should scan and post them! I know more and more people are yearning to see them again.

Thanks so much for writing!

griftner said...

Jeff - What's your email to send you a couple of paper moon cards I scanned over the past ... I loved them too!

(or maybe I missed how to upload the images, in which case just a little help!)


Jeff said...

Hi Christine,

WOW, what a treat, having some Paper Moon cards scanned!

You can email them to:

Thank you SO much! I look forward to seeing them...and reliving memories!


Tigercat said...

You may find this link and post of interest, Jef.

Jeff said...

Hi Tigercat,

Thanks so much for pointing me toward Robert Rodriguez and his posting! I recall most of his images very well. I just reached out to him to see about other work and maybe adding something here to this post.


Tanna said...

Hi Jeff -

My husband, Brad Benedict, is one of the founders of Paper Moon Graphics and the Heaven Store. I found your post while doing some research for an upcoming documentary about him so I wanted to say how happy I am to see that people still love the old cards!

Not sure why Robert Rodriguez didn't mention Brad on his website - Brad come up with the idea and created the company with Linda Barton...One of the reasons we're doing a documentary on him so he receives the credit he deserves for the iconic products and companies he has created.

I also thought you and your followers might be interested to know that Brad created another card line that evolved into an artwork company-

It has a similar vibe with many of the same artists who created the original Paper Moon artwork, along with some younger artists and much more varied content. Always fun and crazy stuff!

Thanks for this great blog about the cards!

All my best,

Jeff said...

Hi Tanna,

What an honor to have a visit from you! I'm sure you saw that Carol Michaud has visited here as well. Brad must know how nostalgic so many people are for what he created. I would LOVE to see a nice large coffee table book of all the Paper Moon cards ever created. I would buy it in a heartbeat!

Thanks for sharing the info and Brad's other projects!

Best to you and Brad, and please thank him for me and all my readers who long for the days of Paper Moon cards!


William Donelson said...

Wow. We were in Cupertino from 1988-1990 and bought so many Paper Moon cards. It's great to hear about you and the others involved in those days. Yes, I'd buy a coffee table book in a flash!

Regards, William Donelson

Type M for Murder said...

Just found this site. Thanks so much for posting. I loved those cards and their aesthetic. My favorite Paper Moon store was on Cannery Row in Monterey, CA. Long gone now, sadly.

Kama Hayes said...

I grew up in Los Angeles in the late 70's and early 80's. My best friend from 6th grade - her father was Ed Scarisbrick and he also created some of the cards. I have a Valentine's Day version from him - a silver heart shape that says "Forever Yours." I have a collection and I believe I probably bought them at Heaven in Century City Shopping Center in Los Angeles.

I also would buy a book in a heart beat. I should get around to scanning mine as well.

Unknown said...

Hello are there any serious collectors looking for the original PAINTINGS to these. They like the rest of the 80s craziness are starting to see a resurgence especially since Patrick Nagel paintings are hitting 7 figures. I happen to have a few really good ones directly from the artists, not ever before seen publicly or sold. Contact me. I can text pics and so on. They are awesome. I am keeping a couple for myself of course. I also run PatrickNagelArts and MukaiManiac on IG if that is easier for you.

Jeff said...

Hi MukaiManiac, thanks for stopping by and for the comment. Hopefully someone who sees this post will contact you and preserve some of the treasures you have. I personally am still holding out for a miracle and think that someday there will be a wonderful, oversized coffee table book of all the Paper Moon cards. Maybe Taschen should look into it???

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see your collection. I finally found my favorite card, faded and bedraggled because it sat out so long. Still able to read the back though and found a bright image.

By Roger Choinard


Karen L said...

Hi! I was wondering what happened to the Paper Moon co. which is how I happened upon this site. I loved them, I've saved lots of them in scrapbooks because I couldn't bear to throw them away- I wonder if they'd be worth something, they're all in mint condition. Can't understand why they're not still in business. kl

Gordon said...

Thank you!!! I could not bring the name of the company to mind. Though I vividly remember their design! Brilliant and inspirational!

Anette said...

I recently came across one of these cards behind a picture in an old picture frame. I was instantly intrigued by the beautiful image on the cover. It was of Pierrot's Mask by Maxine Miller from 1978. Now I hope to find more.

cibernauta said...

Hello from Argentina. In the 80s the images of these cards were sold in thousands of products but the cards were never known. I didn't know the origin of these images until I found out about "Paper Moon" through the internet. JEFF, I sent you an email at the following address: Greetings

Jeff said...

Hi cibernauta,

Thanks for the note. There are so many people who have such wonderful memories of Paper Moon Graphics cards. I wish they could still be made, or at least catalogued into a nice thick book!

If you look through the comments, you can get a fairly good but brief history of the cards.

Brad Benedict and Linda Barton started a store in Los Angeles at the Century City mall in the late 70s-80s called Heaven. Brad started Paper Moon Graphics and employed many Los Angeles artists to create imagery, including:

Jim Heiner
Carol Michaud
Robert Rodriguez
Ed Scarisbrick
Maxine Miller

I know there are more artists, but finding info on the web is difficult and sadly, my old cards are gone.

If you Google these names, you might be able to fill in some gaps.

Thanks again!

cibernauta said...

Thank you very much Jeff. Those data are a good start for me. When I find out how these images got to Argentina, without the cards being known, I will share that information.