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Triona Farrell comic

Humbug (2009)

Humbug (2009)

You know MAD. Do you know Humbug? Harvey Kurtzman changed the face of American humor when he created the legendary MAD comic. As editor and chief writer from its inception in 1952, through its transformation into a slick magazine, and until he left MAD in 1956, he influenced an entire generation of cartoonists, comedians, and filmmakers. In 1962, he co-created the long-running Little Annie Fanny with his long-time artistic partner Will Elder forPlayboy, which he continued to produce until his virtual retirement in 1988. Between MAD and Annie Fanny, Kurtzman's biographical summaries will note that he 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.

The Million Year Picnic and Other Stories

The Million Year Picnic and Other Stories

With his obsessive attention to detail and his larger-than-life personality, Will Elder set the standard for precise rendering and abundant sight gags at EC Comics. (“Unquestionably the nuttiest guy that ever walked in the doors here.” — EC publisher William M. Gaines.) This collection includes all 15 of Elder’s Panic stories (EC’s in-house attempt to duplicate MAD), all seven of his science fiction tales (including two Ray Bradbury adaptations in collaboration with John Severin) and more. Elder lends his pen to dead-on satires of “The Night Before Christmas” — which got the first issue of Panic banned in the entire state of Massachusetts — and a variety of popular comic strips, including Li’l Abner and Dick Tracy. Showing his serious side, the team of Severin and Elder adapts two Ray Bradbury stories — “King of the Grey Spaces!” and the classic “The Million-Year Picnic” — along with five other solo Elder tales in the classic EC tradition from the pages of Weird Science and Weird Fantasy. This volume also includes a special Elder horror story that hasn’t been since its original publication more than 60 years ago. Like every book in the Fantagraphics EC Artists’ Library, Million Year Picnic also features essays and notes by EC experts on these superbly crafted, classic stories.

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