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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humbug: silly but it made a lot of sense
A tip of the hat to Fantagraphics for this sumptuous two volume Humbug package. The complete eleven issues (well, not quite: sixteen pages are missing but I'll get to that shortly) of Kurtzman's third attempt at a humour magazine. By all accounts though, it seemed a bit of a non-starter. It was the wrong size, wrong price, wrong pagination and printed on the wrong...
Published on 7 April 2009 by Robin Benson

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3.0 out of 5 stars Get the Mad reprints if you don't have them and leave this.
I wish I'd seen the interior of this before spending the dosh. I'm disappointed. Mostly by Will Elders artwork. Jack Davis' stuff looks good but that alone ain't worth the price. For super fans only.
Published 19 months ago by Michael


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humbug: silly but it made a lot of sense, 7 April 2009
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Robin Benson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Humbug (Hardcover)
A tip of the hat to Fantagraphics for this sumptuous two volume Humbug package. The complete eleven issues (well, not quite: sixteen pages are missing but I'll get to that shortly) of Kurtzman's third attempt at a humour magazine. By all accounts though, it seemed a bit of a non-starter. It was the wrong size, wrong price, wrong pagination and printed on the wrong paper despite a cracking editorial team. All of this is put right with this reprint which is on a decent bit of stock so the art really sparkles. Incidentally both books have a four page section at the back detailing the problems of reproducing the original art.

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 colour 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? By issue ten it was clear that the magazine was going nowhere financially so the size, price and pagination were upped for issue eleven, a quick decision it seems because to fill out the pages from the normal thirty-two to forty-eight (not including the covers) sixteen pages of the failed Trump were included. The copyright for these are owned by Playboy and later this year a reprint of the two issues will be published so it would sort of spoil things to have them included in this Humbug reprint.

Kurtzman fans will love these two books (in their handsome slipcase) and it only remains for a reprint of Help! to more or less complete and celebrate an American original funnyman.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Get the Mad reprints if you don't have them and leave this., 12 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Humbug (Hardcover)
I wish I'd seen the interior of this before spending the dosh. I'm disappointed. Mostly by Will Elders artwork. Jack Davis' stuff looks good but that alone ain't worth the price. For super fans only.
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Humbug
Humbug by Harvey Kurtzman (Hardcover - 18 Feb 2009)
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