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AROUND HOME : Paper Moon Greetings

IN THE REALM of alternative greeting cards, no one celebrates the California life style the way Los Angeles’ own Paper Moon Graphics does. The 11-year-old firm offers an Earthquake Preparedness Kit postcard, depicting a gentleman in a business suit with a dining table strapped to his back, offering instant shelter when the ceiling starts falling. With an eye to the trendy Southwest furnishings boutiques popping up along Melrose Avenue, Paper Moon’s newer notepaper and envelopes feature a warm, earth-tone composition suggesting the stuccoed walls of Santa Fe. And the Flicker Snickers series--a takeoff on movie posters--lampoons yuppies: “They’re rich . . . they’re happy . . . they’re white. . . . They’re Young Republicans in love. In wide-screen Smug-o-rama. Rated LP--liberals may puke.”

With brisk national (and international) sales, Paper Moon aims beyond the Golden State’s borders. Says national sales manager Vivian Lipman: “People sometimes buy our cards to keep and frame. When a mother-to-be, for instance, spots our From Here to Maternity card on the rack--'See! Mommy waddle like a duck! Feel! Junior kick like a mule!'--she’ll identify with it.” (After the little bundle of joy arrives, mommy will appreciate the Baby Who Ruled the Earth card: “It growled! It howled! It yowled! Only its bottle could shut it up!”)

As befits “a fashion-oriented graphic design company,” as Lipman puts it, Paper Moon cards come and go. One example is the kitsch, campy line of dinosaur collages, such as “Happy birthday to the original beach lizard!” On the cover, a tyrannosaur sporting shades lounges on a beach chair under a sun umbrella and palm tree, a pina colada in one hand (claw?) and a ‘50s Westinghouse ghetto blaster at his feet. Alas, “the dinosaur’s going into retreat,” says Lipman, “though maybe not for another 50 million years. Cows have taken over in the animal popularity polls.” Even if no occasion exists, you’ll still find an excuse to send cards with whimsical subjects such as cow secretaries, formal cows with veiled cloche hat and clutch bag--and even “Cowman Mooranda.”

Find Paper Moon Graphics products at Aahs! stores and the Card Factory in Los Angeles, Expanding Walls in Glendale, Trendy Gifts in Torrance, Chicken Littles in Laguna Beach, Raku in Santa Barbara, Paper Lily in Palm Springs and Graffiti in San Diego.

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