The paper princesses adorning our next three pages are less Dolly Parton, more Dolly Put-the-parts-on. Three of your favourite Bizarre cover girls – April Flores, Nina Kate and Viktoria – have each been drawn with a variety of outfits and accessories that are suited to their unique personalities, ready for you to cut-out-’n’-dress – and then undress...
Our trio of model moppets were designed exclusively for Bizarre by Miss Mindy, a US-based artist and the author of the beautiful picture book Miss Mindy’s Sassy Paper Doll Bonanza. Sketched and painted on wood – which gives them a unique texture – Miss Mindy’s dollies are characterised by their saucy, mischievous and joyful expressions, with juicy figures ready to be clad in bonkers miniature costumes.
Love creepy toys? Read about our trip to Mexico's Island of the Dolls here. Amazing pics!
The tiny temptresses in the pages of Miss Mindy’s new book include an out-of-this-world space traveller with her own rocket and solar-system panties, and a fast-food fanatic in a hamburger dress. “Out of the whole book, I think I’m most attached to Honnie, a little geisha gal, and Nestie, a wee elf with a nest full of eggs instead of underpants,” smiles Miss Mindy.
“Drawing dolls is a form of escapism for me; I like to place them in imaginary landscapes that I’d love to jet off to, or sporting silly-ass clothes that no-one else would ever wear... except, perhaps, the readers of Bizarre. I’ll bet your Ultra Vixens would don a burger frock in two seconds flat!”
Miss Mindy comes from a long line of artsy folk; her grandmother worked as an inker and painter at Disney in the 1930s, and her mother was a mask-maker. Her father’s side of the family were puppeteers, illustrators and muralists, and her sister, CJ Metzger, is also a prominent name on the lowbrow scene.
Miss Mindy works in many media, from animation to toy design, “But I like wood best,” she states emphatically. “Who doesn’t love a handful of hard wood? I either decorate it directly, using it like a canvas, or chop it up to build a shadow box, which is like a multi-layered, shaped display case filled with characters playing out a scene. First I build a 3-D wooden abode to house my teeny beings, then I glue or nail my painted people inside it, where they get up to all sorts.”
It’s common to see scavenged items cropping up in Miss Mindy’s quirky models. “Unusual old bits and bobs add a sense of history to a piece,” she says. With a nod to the steampunk movement, she likes to incorporate antique clock cogs into fantasy wooden submarines, adding leather and cloth fins, gears, and plastic bubbles, then painting a pilot inside.
While working on her moody masterpieces, Miss Mindy listens to Björk or Sigur Rós, though her more humorous, light-hearted creations are soundtracked by show tunes, bluegrass, or wild gypsy music.
“I look like an elf and I work like an elf – I’m best when I’m squirrelling away through the night in my studio cluttered with buckets of pens and vintage postcards,” she laughs.
“My fiancé’s a carpenter and set builder, and I have him to thank for teaching me the ropes on my saw. She’s called Betsy and she sits on my washing machine, covering all our clothes in sawdust. I’m a candle freak, so everywhere is lit by flickering flames, which I suppose is a bit dangerous when I also adore wood so much. Wooden’t you say?”
Miss Mindy’s Sassy Paper Doll Bonanza is available through Bizarre’s Dark Art expert Bob Self’s publishing company, Babytattoo.com or at Amazon
BUXOM BARBIE DOLL
First, Miss Mindy plumped to transform plus-size pretty April Flores into papery perfection. As well
as being one of the sweetest, loveliest ladies Bizarre has ever met, porn heroine April is muse to lo-fi,
hot-rods-’n’-flames kustom kulture artist Coop, and she gets every illustrator who glimpses her hot under the collar. “April! Whadda lady! I just had to see her as a voluptuous, squeezable mermaid, who’d bask on the rocks eating seaside treats like rock and candyfloss,” gushes Miss Mindy.
PERFECT PORCELAIN DOLL
“Viktoria looks like a real-life china doll!” Miss Mindy gasps. “She’s so slick. She’d be a collectors’ doll,
kept flawless in a glass cabinet, with her different prosthetic legs in velvet-lined cases. I love how all
her outfits look tailored to fit her.
I actually wasn’t into cut-out dolls as a kid because the fashions were pretty lame, and the underwear was boring; it was a troupe of burlesque dancers who inspired me to reinvigorate the idea. I’d love to make a 1920s-styled doll of showgirl and silent-film actress Louise Brooks, and one of African American entertainer Josephine Baker (also known as ‘Bronze Venus’ and ‘Black Pearl’), maybe with her wearing the banana skirt she sports for the Danse Banane. I’d make a little stage, a miniature band, and put on nightly shows.”
KICK-ASS KEWPIE DOLL
“Nina Kate has a tough, ballsy sexiness,” says Miss Mindy. “I think the steampunk-style
shoot she did for Bizarre would be amazing transformed into a vinyl doll. I’ve just finished making a vinyl baby pixie called Dink, actually. She’s unruly, teases the boys, and loves to eat cheese pie.
Nina Kate’s amazing boobies must weigh a fair bit, and Dink is top-heavy too; she stands like a tripod, supported by her wings. Toy company Mindstyle will be manufacturing her in different colours soon, so people will be able to take her home.”