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Above: Janet Galore's Jesus of Peeps, 2007
The Washington Post's Sunday Source recently held their second Annual Peep Show contest (Peep Show II), asking for submissions of Peep® Dioramas. Last year's contest inspired over 350 entries. This year, they received over 800!
Peeps, the chick-shaped sugar coated marshmallow easter chicks (and now bunnies, tulips and more) made by Just Born, Inc. clearly inspire the artfully inclined each spring .... myself included.
As a matter of fact, just last week I created an Easter Card with an image of a Peep on it (but no mention of the Peep name) and was selling it on Zazzle, making me a lousy 20 cents on each card sold, when I received a message from Zazzle, via the Peeps peeps that I had infringed on copyright trademarks.
Above: My easter card that violated the Peeps policies
After carefully reading both Zazzle's policies as well as those of Just Born, Inc., I wrote to them expressing my disappointment that a simple little innocent card, (which did not use their photography or brand name) which was giving them free advertising, had threatened them enough to request that Zazzle pull it for their site. I mused that I might even blog about the incident.
Well, less than 24 hours later, a legal representative from Just Born, Inc. called me at home to personally to explain why Just Born, Inc felt I had infringed upon their trademark rights. He had actually looked at my blog as well as my personal site and clearly did not wish me to blog about my ex'peep'ience with Just Born. Bottom line? I was making royalties off of a product which contained an image of a Peep. When I questioned them as to whether or not including a legal line on the card (such as "Peeps and the Peep shape are registered trademarks of Just Born, Inc.") would allow me to sell it in the Zazzle marketplace, the trademark lawyer made it clear that if they're not making the money off of it, I certainly can't. Okay, that makes sense... so I suggested, half in jest, he forward my card to their licensing department and ask if they want a cut.
Now keep in mind, it's not like I was selling any more than ...oh, maybe FIVE of these cards and one t-shirt.
Anyhow, I digress. The point of this was the "Peepspiration" people feel around Easter as Just Born products line the shelves of drug stores and convenience stores, and to share the sugary fruits of their labor with you-- complete with peep puns and lots of pop culture references.
And yes, Just Born, Inc. approved of the Washington Post's contest and even provided the winner with a Peeps prize pack. The winner also received a $100 American Express gift check. The Four runners-up received a $50 American Express gift check and a Peeps prize pack.
Washington Post's 2008 Peep Show II winner and top 4 finalists:
this year's winner:
Winner: The Tomb of King Peepankhamun
Laura Sillers, 22, of Potomac heard about the Peeps Diorama Contest 48 hours before the Sunday deadline. Undaunted, she began work Friday night and whipped up the most arresting diorama of the bunch. The torches are piped-in Christmas lights. Even the hieroglyphics are steeped in Peeps imagery. And notice the mummy Peep staggering out of the walls of the tomb.
The other four finalists:
Finalist: "The name is a pun, and the concept itself is the pun," explains Ilana Greenstein, 31, of Alexandria, an operations officer for the CIA who made the diorama with Jane Dokko, 30, of Washington. Their creation exudes the austerity of a museum, but within the mounted frames it's colorful chaos. And let's not forget: Admiring the exhibit are Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick themselves.
Jane Dokko, 30, Washington, and Ilana Greenstein, 31, Alexandria
2. Nightmare in Pink
Finalist: The dark horse of our contest was Arlington resident Peter Byer's abstract creation, which seems inspired by Maurice Sendak, Lewis Carroll and Edward Gorey. It's a twisted funhouse of pastel dread, so vivid you can almost hear the vicious hiss of the demon feline bearing down on the sleeping Peep. Note: The bedposts are crayons, and the slippers and vases are made of Sculpey.
Peter Byer, 40, Arlington
3. U2 Peep-D
Finalist: This diorama -- by Kate Baylor, 25, Ethan Fried, 27, and Heather Cabral, 27, all of Washington; and Stephanie Montgomery, 27, and Ann Barrett, 23, both of Arlington -- depicts the experience of watching the concert film "U2 3D" in a theater. Notice Bono's glasses, headband and "One" bracelet, the Edge's knit (rather: felt) cap and the enthused Peep fan
Kate Baylor, 25, Washington
Stephanie Montgomery, 27, Arlington
Ethan Fried, 27, Washington
Ann Barrett, 23, Arlington
Heather Cabral, 27, Washington
4. Thrilla in Manila
Finalist: Last year, a video of a few hundred jumpsuited inmates dancing gracefully and accurately to "Thriller" made the Internet rounds. Sam Chin, 27, of Burtonsville and his friends made it into a diorama with Peeps in orange jumpsuits crooking their arms like Jacko and the zombies did a quarter-century ago.
Ronald Lloveras, 28, Washington
Sam Chin, 27, Burtonsville
Muriel Chin, 28, Burtonsville
Farrah Fojas, 28, Fort Washington
Brian Martinez, 27, Elkridge
Cristina Martinez, 28, Elkridge
Leah Naranja, 27, Oxon Hill
see all 37 finalists here.
Below is last years' Peep Show 1 (2007) winner from the Sunday Source's Peeps Diorama Contest in 2007.
"Peeps Are a Girl's Best Friend"
See a gallery of the 2007 entries here.
In addition to this newspaper sponsored Peep Show II contest, there are many imaginative and artsy Peep images floating around cyberspace, here are a few of my personal favorites :
Janet Galore's Jesus of Peeps
494 marshmallow Peeps™in a wood frame, 4.5 ft tall x 3.5 ft wide
Janet Galore, with special thanks to Stafford Squier and Ron Haringa for help with the frame
An R- rated "peep" show:
Unfortunately I don't know who to credit for the above peep art
Above: Karyn Zupke created a photo-collage "Marilyn" last year as an art project at her children's school. This time she ran into an artistic challenge: Andy Warhol's iconic "Marilyn" has five colors but Peeps come in only four. (editor's note: now peeps come in green as well) She Peepsevered, however; all the yellow Peeps in Marilyn's face are face-down except for one, with its one Peep eye looking out — acting as the starlet's mole.
The Last Peepster
Above: Diane Walker's a professional photographer who created this for the Seattle Times 2006 Peep contest
above: Daniel Levitt's Peep Kimono.
above: The Peep bikini top and bottom (I'm sorry, I do not know who to credit)
And Happy Easter!
All the peep edible and officially licensed products.Visit The Just Born site
Official Peeps Site.
And plenty more peep posts:
• PEEPS Peer Pressure! You Want Peeps Art? Here's Some Of The Best
•Non Perishable Peeps- Everything But Edible!