Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The Baby-Sitters Club
I was ten years old when the first Baby-Sitters Club book came out. My friends and I had recently started riding our bikes to the local strip-mall alone to buy candy and Love's Baby Soft perfume and little ceramic figurines of animals with our allowances, and we would spend ages browsing the magazine racks and chapter book section (this was before the coinage of the term YA) of Walden Books. I can't remember exactly how I decided that Kristy's Great Idea was something I wanted to slap my precious $3.50 down for, but once I read it I was hooked. I'd obsessively stalk the shelves each week, waiting for the next book to come out, and Ann M. Martin churned them out with satisfying regularity. I think I read the first thirty or so volumes within a few days of their release before loosing interest at some point in junior high.
A few years back, creator of adorable graphic novels Raina Telgemeier started making graphic novel adaptations of books from the series. Set in a sort of timeless vacuum--the girls dress more or less like twenty first century tweens, yet nary a cell phone or computer is to be seen--they are utterly charming and, I'm guessing, would be even to a young person of today who did not have the memory of her first full-fledged literary crush bolstering her love for them as I do.
Then, the other day, I stumbled upon the below art piece by Cassandra de Alba using the blackout technique to turn a spread of text (clearly narrated by Claudia) into a rather inappropriately raunchy prose poem. Which you might think would disturb me, but in fact I love this too. Basically any time I find a grown woman using this particular 1980s publishing franchise as fodder for her own creative endeavors I get really stoked. Well played, ladies. Arty Claudia would be proud.