by Aimee Levitt
It may be traditional to have ham for the holidays (even, in some circles, for Hanukkah), but we're willing to bet that more people would prefer Hamm -- Jon Hamm, that is, the Mad Men star who St. Louisans love to claim as their own, even though he hasn't lived here for years. (But he went to John Burroughs, so he's marked for life!)
Hamm love naturally transcends borders, even to Canada, where last month the brilliant minds of teamart, an art and design collective in Toronto, decided to honor the "world's greatest man" in the form of his very own coloring book. What better way to appreciate the glory that is Hamm than by tracing the lines of his classically handsome visage with your Crayolas? By golly, coloring is an underappreciated activity! You can buy the books on Etsy (where else?).
Alas, as teamart warned shoppers on its Etsy site last week, it's too late to get a Hamm-book in time for the holidays. We at Daily RFT were bitterly disappointed-- what better way to deal with our holiday hangovers than by coloring? -- but we also make it our mission to honor genius in its many forms, so we begged teamart mastermind Charline Wang for an e-mail interview. She generously complied.
So why a Jon Hamm coloring book? (Clearly it's one of those things, like the bar code, that is simple and necessary, but someone has to be inspired to think of it, yeah?)
"We were brainstorming on new colouring book ideas when we came upon the idea to do a hunky dudes book," Wang writes. "Jon Hamm was one of them of course, [of course he was!] then we thought it would be hilarious to have a Jon Hamm specific book where we could incorporate puns!"
The book features fourteen drawings of the actor in various poses, including getting ready to bit into a "Hamm-burger," preparing Hamm & Eggs (with a cigarette dangling from his lips in the manner of his Mad Men character Don Draper), smirking at the viewer with a caption declaring him "Hamm-some" and exhibiting himself as "Holiday Hamm" in a truly hideous Christmas sweater (in which Don Draper would not be caught dead).
Most of these images, Wang says, were based on ads and Hamm's Saturday Night Live appearances -- because the true secret of Hamm's appeal is that, unlike Don Draper, he is able to laugh at his own handsomeness. (Nonetheless, Wang says, she prefers the polished, self-controlled Draper to his unsophisticated, floppy-haired alter ego Dick Whitman. "We do love Don Draper and his sassy qualities," she writes.)
Production of Hamm coloring books has halted until teamart gets its new stock paper cutter, but after that, the possibilities are endless. A reprinting of Hamm, for starters, and then a new coloring book featuring the rest of the cast of Mad Men for those who are more susceptible to the charms of, say, Christina Hendricks or John Slattery. There will also be another tribute book, this one honoring Paul Rudd, also handsome, also funny. (But not from St. Louis, so what do we care?)
In the meantime, we may just have to make do by coloring the aforementioned Hunky Dudes, Boy Bands, 90s Pop Divas, Parks & Rec and, OK, what the hell, Canadian Wildlife.
Is Hamm aware of this particular tribute? Wang's not sure, but, she says, "we wish he loves it as much as we love him and his hilarity."
Well, dammit, get the man one right away! Um, as a gift for, uh, Eastern Orthodox Christmas!