Iowa artist Andrew Shaffer discovered that there's a silver lining to even the darkest cloud. Unable to land the $100,000 job in consulting he was looking for after completing graduate school last summer -- and knowing there would be no raise in pay where he was already working -- Shaffer started a greeting card company called Order of St. Nick's Alternative Greeting cards.

The cards feature Depression-era pictures with humorous captions and they proved to be a big hit during Christmas. Shaffer, 29, says that he started the card company as a joke, to make fun of people who were comparing the economic recession to the Great Depression but admits that the continuing economic crisis has taken the irony out of it.

The full card and caption are after the jump...


The Depression-era pictures are public domain and come from the Franklin D. Roosevelt archives. An example of Shaffer's line of off-beat Valentine cards include one that you can download for free by right-clicking on the image on the website's homepage. Print it out or e-mail it as an attachment. The card has a picture of a group of men standing on a street corner. Outside the card reads, "Box of chocolates?" She'll be lucky to get a box of rocks this year." On the inside it says: "Tough times call for tough love. Happy Valentine's Day." Another card pictures a ragged couple cooking over an open fire in the backyard and reads, "William took Martha out to eat for Valentine's Day." On the inside is says, "I'll take you some place nicer."

Shaffer' company also carries non-Depression cards, some featuring his own art.


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