The Onion's irreverent greeting cards

Stop the presses. There is a new frontier for newspapers after all - in the novelty aisle.

As newspapers nationwide struggle to find their place in the digital world, the parody newspaper The Onion has found a way to get some mileage out of its old work.

The Onion has teamed up with Chicago-based Recycled Paper Greetings Inc. to create a line of 12 greeting cards.

The cards - available at Target and select Walgreens and Meijer stores - feature articles clipped from the satirical newspaper, complete with tattered edges. Among the sentiments on display: "Search for Self Called Off After 38 years" and "List of Friends Revised After Birthday Party."

Gretchen Hoffman, an artist at Recycled Paper, said she discovered two years ago that a former classmate worked for The Onion, so she contacted him and asked if she could tap into The Onion's archives.

"I've been thinking for a while that we could be a good fit with The Onion, just in terms of their sense of humor and our customers," Hoffman said.

After growing to become the third largest greeting card maker in the United States (behind Hallmark and American Greetings), Recycled Paper fell on hard times and sold itself to American Greetings in January in a prepackaged Chapter 11 reorganization. The company is testing a line of Onion cards for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Kate Palmer, editorial manager at The Onion, said the Madison, Wis.-based news outlet has been selling mugs and T-shirts for years, but this is the first time its merchandising efforts have extended to greeting cards.

"The Onion is excited to give our readers the opportunity to look thoughtful and witty during all the special events in their lives," Palmer said.

- Sandra M. Jones,

Chicago Tribune