Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Season! Bah! HUMBUG!!

Black Friday opened the Christmas Season.

Tis the time to make the cash register jingle, ♫tra a la la ♪ la la

Which brings to mind this latest Fantagraphics catalog I received the other day.

The cover is a replica of Christmas wrap that HUMBUG magazine had for sale back in the late 1950a – or did they? The advertisement looked real… but that is part of subtle humor – be realistic. At a glance it looks like a repeated pattern of people kissing Christmas cheers. Look closer and compare. I think the art is either by Arnold Roth or Al Jaffee.

I think the reason they had that on the cover of their catalog because (1) it is the Christmas season and (2) it is their sly way of telling of preparing you or getting you in the mood for some Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, and Jack Davis stuff. Inside they said they are reprinting the eleven issues of the short-lived satirical magazine HUMBUG in two hardbound volumes. Now, is the time to put your name in they said.

Well, I would do just that, put my name in – but I already have twice in the past year ordered the pre-publish HUMBUG through Amazon, only to have them cancel it on me when it wasn’t ready as promised. They keep delaying the publishing date.

In this catalog they said it would be available February 2009. Right. We’ll see.

The date has already been pushed up a number of times.

I’m sure they thought of this: Each time they push up the date the target audience shrinks. Those eleven issues were definitely targeted for Kurtzman, Elder, and Davis fans of long ago – and at that time they were probably between the ages ten and twenty-five. Now, that same group of people are the ones likely and their ages are now classified as elderly.

The elderly die off everyday in big numbers.

I think if I was them I would hurry.

This is on the back of the catalog, which is another scene Christmas scene – this time by Will Elder.

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