Humbug? Just watch the money vanish from my wallet…

Published On April 3, 2009 | By Richard Bruton | Comics

I’m trying to be good recently. I’m trying to spend more money on food and clothes for my child and less on really expensive comic hardback editions. I am, honestly. I’ve even decided against the fantastic Captain Britain Omnibus, rationalising that I’ve already got all of the Alan Moore stuff in trade paperback form and £50 is an awful lot of money.

But then again, now I’m talking about it, I deserve a treat every so often don’t I?

Which brings me to this:

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Humbug: Two hardback volumes in a gorgeous slipcase.

From the Fantagraphics press release:

Harvey Kurtzman changed the face of American humor when he created the legendary MAD comic. In 1962, he co-created the long-running Little Annie Fanny with his long-time artistic partner Will Elder for Playboy, which he continued to produce until his virtual retirement in 1988.

Between MAD and Annie Fanny, Kurtzman created and edited three other magazines, Trump, Humbug, and Help!, but, whereas his MAD and Annie Fanny are readily available in reprint form, his major satirical work in the interim period is virtually unknown. Humbug, which had poor distribution, may be the least known, but to those who treasure the rare original copies, it equals or even exceeds MAD in displaying Kurtzman’s creative genius. Humbug was unique in that it was actually published by the artists who created it: Kurtzman and his cohorts from MAD Will Elder, Jack Davis, and Al Jaffee, were joined by universally acclaimed cartoonist Arnold Roth. With no publisher above them to rein them in, this little band of creators produced some of the most trenchant and engaging satire of American culture ever to appear on American newsstands. At last, the entire run of 11 issues of Humbug is being reprinted in a deluxe format, much of it reproduced from the original art, allowing even owners of the original cheaply-printed issues to experience the full impact for the first time.

Convinced? Well how about going over to the Daily Crosshatch for an interview with the great Arnold Roth and these utterly gorgeous visuals?

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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