The Betty Boop Festival

Boy have I been remiss in posting news. First item: I spent last weekend in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, attending the Betty Boop Festival.

There I learned about the fascinating subculture of Betty Boop collectors. Betty was big in Japan in the 1930’s – I had no idea. I wish there were pictures of Japanese Betty collectibles online I could share with you, but there aren’t; maybe Betty collectors are all cagey due to the intense licensing restrictions that surround the character.

I also learned more about animation legend Grim Natwick, who grew up in Wisconsin Rapids before moving to LA and changing cultural history.

I met a lot of people including Madison filmmaker Robert Lughai, who blogged this Boop Festival report with photos. I also met the venerable Maggie Thompson of the venerable Comic Buyer’s Guide, who shares her Boop Festival report.


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

5 thoughts on “The Betty Boop Festival”

  1. Hello from Chambana, Nina! The first time I laid eyes on Sita, I thought “Wow! It’s a Hindu Betty Boop!” I’m an enormous fan of the movie and promote it shamelessly. I’m also very grateful to you because I might never have heard Annette Hanshaw’s music if you hadn’t wedded it to your story. You would think that those who hold the copyrights to her music would realize that; your film has brought them whole new generations who’ve never heard her before. I would think that would be worth the use of her songs in your film.

    Thanks again,

  2. That’s a fantastic picture of you.

    Fun Fact: My Grandma Genevieve (who passed away this year – RIP) used to call me baby boop when I was little. I obviously became obsessed with Betty Boop well into my twenties and have never quite lost my “oh!” whenever I see her.

    Love mi compadre, N

  3. Sita in your film is the closest we’ve come to the kind of star quality, sophistication, lusty humour and musical qualities of Betty Boop in a female cartoon character since the 30s- all without being derivative.

  4. Hello from Tokyo Japan
    I am a collector of Betty Boop. I held the exhibition of Betty Boop
    collectables in commemoration of her 80th birth at Tokyo Antique Jumboree in August 2011. If you want any information on Japanese Betty in pre-war,I will help you.
    Betty Boop Collector : Kimiaki Ooyama

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