- Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; First Edition edition (2009)
- ISBN-10: 156097933X
- ISBN-13: 978-1560979333
- ASIN: B0049KAEU8
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Humbug : Two Volumes
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Top Customer Reviews
Book one has an eight page introduction to the magazine and at the back a thirty-four page interview with Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth. Both features give a lot of background to Kurtzman, the artists and the business decisions surrounding Mad, Trump, Humbug and Help! Everyone seems to agree that with Humbug Kurtzman reached his peak and I would agree with this. There are some seriously funny features in just eleven issues and don't forget the great artists: Jack Davis, Will Elder, Jaffee and Roth. Fans of Jack Davis (especially me) are in for a treat because there's tons of it including some wonderful two panel pages with a `Scenes we'd like to see' kind of feature.
Like Mad and Trump there are some great ad parodies and like the color covers they are printed on a slightly better paper. Another neat idea are the ten pages at the back of book two called Annotations where ads and features are explained to those who weren't around to buy Humbug on the newsstand.
The missing sixteen pages?Read more ›
One, I'm a Kurtzmaniac; have been ever since I devoured my first Ballantine sideways-paperback of MAD comic reprints as a mere nipper in the early 60s. Bill Gaines parsimoniously withheld Kurtzman's name in all of those books, but once exposed to his unique linguistic lunacy, it became imprinted on my psyche, and it wasn't long before I ferreted out the identity of this particular comics genius. Like many of you, I subsequently made up for lost time when Russ Cochran finally loosed the entire Kurtzman-at-EC canon on the world - in hard covers, yet! - which only increased, exponentially, my high opinion of him.
Two, I hold Fantagraphics in similar high regard; though I have limited patience for their contemporary comics projects, I consider their reprints of classic work (from NEMO to Crumb to Pogo, and all points between) to be nothing less than a public service, keeping worthwhile comics alive in an age when the world is drowning in superhero flotsam like never before.
So believe me, it PAINS me to weigh in on these long-awaited HUMBUG volumes with a lukewarm three stars out of five. (Actually, Fanta is off the hook entirely - the books are physically splendid, produced with love and care and done to their usual high standard.) The problem, I'm afraid, is with HUMBUG itself. It reads, and feels, awfully tired - as though everyone involved had tilled these particular fields before (as they had, of course); sadly, there's a deflated, defeated feel to a lot of the satire. The artwork is more often than not terrific, but the scripting tends to wheeze when it should percolate, and even take flight.Read more ›
The material, if anything, was amazingly timely - I was astounded at Kurtzman, Jaffee, Roth and Siegel's ability to find those timeless qualities in the everyday in their satire. True, today's sensationalistic media, game shows, corrupt politicians, intelligence-insulting ads, and chintzy consumer products have different names, but they still have qualities that touch on the universal folly of humankind, and thus we can relate to the humor presented in "Humbug."
The material that is firmly of it's time serves as a history lesson, and in some cases, is a reminder of how far we have come as a nation. The civil rights movement was just getting started, and many of the "Humbug" articles touch on racism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nothing wrong with the set at all. It comes in two sturdy volumes and an even sturdier, and rather unnecessary, box. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Movie Nut
This collection is terrifically well presented by Fantagraphics. Great books, sturdy case, you couldn't ask for a more attractive presentation. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Maybe Its Just Me
If you're a fan of Harvey Kurtzman, if you loved the early Mad comics and magazines, if you collected Trump and Humbug, this edition is worth the nostalgia even if you've already... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Bill Jordan
As a physical package this slipcased collection is like a technicolor MGM musical. As humor, however, it's more like The Bowery Boys Meet Ma and Pa Kettle--a not especially... Read morePublished on January 2, 2013 by R. C. Bell
Harvey Kurtzman was a genius writer, editor and artist of serious material (see key issues of Two Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat that are gripping and pertinent today). Read morePublished on June 20, 2010 by Edwi R. Spiegel
Not exactly what I expected, but I'm not disappointed. It had all the rich satiric cartooning with 'eyeball kicks" that the original Mad comic had. Read morePublished on September 5, 2009 by Comics Fan
When I learned that Harvey Kurtzman's late 50's, short lived humor magazine: "Humbug" was being published I was as excited as a body could be! Read morePublished on August 20, 2009 by Karl P.