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What a Character!: 20th Century American Advertising Icons Paperback – May 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811809366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811809368
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 7.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An out and out nostalgia trip"
--Entertainment Weekly

"A must advertising collectors"
--Chicago Sun Times

"A nostalgia fest in icon land"
--Advertising Age

"Amazing well researched stories"
--Communication Arts

About the Author

Warren Dotz is a Berkeley, California-based author, consultant, and popular culture historian. His collection of advertising characters is one of the largest in existence.

Jim Morton is the publisher and editor of Pop Void, a journal of popular culture and its consequences. He lives and works in San Francisco.

John William Lund is an award-winning still-life photographer based in San Francisco.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michelle M. King on May 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I love this book and love giving it as a gift as well. The thick colored photographs glorify these quirky, spooky, adorable, impish, goofy figures. This is not just another boomer collector on my kitchy 50's coffee table book. Oh no! The writing is musical, provocative and sociologically insightful. I'll never look at an advertising character again in the same way. Chronicle does tasteful stuff but this book with it's tribe of characters is a yummier feast for those who long for magic from our breakfast cereal and motor oil and in moments once spent between the twilight zone and Mr. Clean . Bye bye kittie!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on January 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
This delightful book of at least three hundred photos of advertising characters shows the public face of commercial America. Companies realised that a three-dimensional figure built brand awareness. Look through the photos and you have to admit they do look cute and so very collectable too.

This book is the author's second attempt at the same subject, he wrote an earlier book called 'Advertising Character Collectibles', more or less the same items in each book but the earlier copy had perhaps a bit more historical detail about the companies. I prefer 'What a Character', the photography and design are so much better and I think these count for a lot in a strongly visual book.

Both books have a photo of the character I would love to have, the Kraft Cameraman from Kraft Television Theatre. Yours for fifty cents and the end flap from a Velveeta carton in 1954, yours now for at least $100 without the end flap!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bruce_in_LA on June 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I ran across this book in a offbeat-stuff boutique and couldn't put it down. An amazingly comprehensive view of all kinds of advertising characters over a century. This can't help bring back childhood memories, whether you're 20 or 85. And the writing is quite interesting as well. This one quickly made my gift list for some hard-to-choose person's birthday or christmas.
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