Friday, 12 February 2010

Bald Guy Cards - Facts & Interview

Bald Guy Greetings: When you care enough to send a witty jest

Our Bald Guy Birthday cards are selling like proverbial hot cakes (where on earth can you buy hot cakes nowadays?).

We wanted to know more about the deviant brain geniuses behind the Bald Guy snark: Ian Kalman and Sean Farrell.

Little is known of Sean Farrell. What we have gleaned so far is that he is a multi-millionaire, eco-warrior, reclusive philanthropist, rides an original Moto Guzzi California and is an award-winning advertising art director who also designs movie posters for 20th Century Fox. But, disappointingly, not bald.

Ian Kalman, on the other hand, both genius writer and President of Bald Guy cards... is bald.
Well, not quite... Ian is one of those freakishly, throw-backishly hairy guys that has to shave more than once a day.

Prior to Bald Guy Ian wrote commercials for Budweiser before turning to soft drugs and hard shaving.

In order to sustain the Bald Guy corporate image Ian now shaves his head 4 times a day and it is only during these intensely creative and bitterly resented shaving periods that Ian stares deep into his shaving mirror and only then is able to develop and fine tune his greetings card snark.
Despite this Ian remains upbeat, "Shaving 4 times a day, it could be worse. Muslims have to pray 5 times a day on their knees, at least I can see what I'm doing..."

"Just this morning I snicked my ear whilst thinking about a special friend and came up with this..."

For my special friend
on your Birthday

Part of me calls you my special friend
because you're special to me.
But part of me calls you that
because it makes you sound retarded.

"We've been described as the "Anti-Hallmark" of greeting cards, but I like to think of Hallmark as the "Anti-Bald Guy Greetings" of greeting cards" said Ian.


Skinnymag journalist Jennifer Elks has this to say about the Bald Guy guys:

"Once upon a time, a man with a tremendously thick and beautiful mane of hair woke to find that it had all fallen out. Traumatized into a life of silence and mental instability, the only way he could communicate was through a series of cards he created ...

Never mind, I've got nothing. Actually, Ian Kalman and Sean Farrell - only one of whom is bald - are the men behind Bald Guy Greetings, a new local greeting card company with a wicked sense of humor. The "fake history" of the company was something they promised on their website, but it never appeared.

"I've been waiting a year for Ian to write that one," Farrell says. "I think he got a little too into writing the real history and got tired. It's longer than War and Peace."

Kalman, a Bay Area native and copywriter, met artist Farrell working at a local advertising agency in 1998. The two became friends but never collaborated on a project until Bald Guy Greetings. According to the real history of the company, they got their name from a friend who commented on Kalman's lack of hair. Shouldn't both of them be bald? You wouldn't want to mislead people.

"Not only is Sean not bald, he has a ridiculous amount of hair," Kalman says. "I've been trying to talk him into shaving it bald for the sake of our greeting cards, but he refuses.

The line includes a slew of birthday, get well, apology, anniversary and relationship cards, all with some kind of eloquent insult or back-handed compliment, as well as the first "you're welcome" card we've ever seen.

Other favorites include the "I'm sorry" card with "I still think it's your fault, but they don't make a card that says that" on the inside, "I was thinking of you the other day" / "But to be honest, I was thinking about a lot of people," and "Congratulations, you two" / "Regardless of what everyone says, I don't think either of you settled."

It almost seems a shame to create such a witty collection of cards when snail mail is dying a slow, painful death at the hands of email, taking away the personal touch that giving or sending a physical cards brings.

It's definitely dying, of course it is. We're a lazy society," Kalman says. "But when you get an actual, real card in the mail with a handwritten note in it, it means a lot more than getting an e-card. E-cards are just kind of a last-minute thing, but if I actually care about the person and I want to say something special, then I'll write them a card."

The two have come a long way from their humble beginning just before Christmas of 2005, with their first sale of cards made on an HP home printer. Though they've graduated to using a professional printer - the cards are still made locally, on recycled paper - they say they have some growing to do before Bald Guy can become a full-time gig.

"Bald Guy is just kind of a hobby right now, we both still freelance in advertising," Kalman says. "But my dream has always been for this to take off. I love it; we don't make any money doing it right now but it's so much fun."

"My dream would be to paint and sell my stuff for enough money to pay my dad back," Farrell says. "[But] I would love to see the line catch on so we can try some other things under the Bald Guy name," Farrell says. "I think the characters and the tone of the writing lends itself to a lot of different areas."

You many want to avoid sending Bald Guy cards to loved ones who don't have a sense of humor. Otherwise, "Get well soon" / "Before you become a financial burden on the entire family" might not go over well.


So now you know.

Bald Guy Cards @ Cool Cards

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