Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TABOO Edited by Charles Preston

TABOO, an 88 page hardcover collection of gag cartoons, edited by Charles M. Preston, Trident Press 1966, New York, New York. Above is the dust jacket. Click to supersize so you can read the six gags ...

"Let's go out and count phallic symbols"

There are a number of censored cartoon books that are now in print, but this was the granddaddy to them. Most of the cartoons are not so edgy today, natch! A lot have to with racism, homosexuality, and, well, potty humor.

"And as you'll probably notice, I wet my bed."

From the cover:

"For the first time, an outrageous collection of iconoclastic hilarity -- these cartoons, hitherto considered unpublishable, mark a significant point in the struggle against censorship and prudery (and they're funny too)."

"Why, it's Ann Stalkley! I haven't seen you since we were in school together. How in the world do you keep yourself looking so young?"

The above cartoon made me laugh out loud. It's those pooch lips on Ann Stalkley that did it. A great, busy, sketchy city scene. I think I know who the cartoonist is, but I am not sure.

Above: an early Sam Gross cartoon.

"And after a long hot dusty nightride, I find Brito washes my robe whiter than white."

Above: Herbert Goldberg's cartoon isn't funny to me. It looks like to be a rough.

"Holy Moses!"

Above: Henry Martin's cartoon is silly, but it made me smile. I love what he does here with very basic lines and a touch of graphite on pebbled paper.

(Whenever I think of Moses, I think of the Mel Brooks bit from THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1.)

"It's a God."

Above: more holy humor. Seems harmless to me! Three little words is all it took to make a good gag -- made even better by the dead-on look of holy beatitude by Joseph.

Above: Interlandi's silent gag and excellent figure work seal a wonderful cartoon together. The look of realization on both of their faces in the penultimate panel is masterful.

"Draw me and try for a free two-year scholarship."

Above: The first of several from S. Gross. Gosh, imagine the upswing in enrollment at the Center for Cartoon Studies if this girl went door to door!
You can definitely see the Addams' impact in Sam's early work.
"Can I return this get-well card? She died."

Bo Brown's cartoon is great. Such a seemingly pedestrian couple of women in a benign looking picture. The gag line makes it all so hostile and funny.

"Is this where we take the 'A' train to Harlem?"

Above: a number of cartoons concerned the KKK.

"Damn the consequences! If they want her that bad, they can have her!"

Above: I'm a fan of Al Ross' loopy, sketchy style. It almost looks to "rough" to be a final finish!

Did anyone notice what happened to Al Ross' signature in the column of signatures from the book's cover?

"Bernice, just what is it you people want?"

Above: Erikson gives us elitist white humor! Yikes!
"So that's how Mary Poppins can fly! She's on the pot."

Above: Sure looks like those are Wednesday's pigtails! And the boy's built like Puggsly.

Above: Another Sam Gross cartoon. Nothing is sacred to this man. this is why he's so funny! Witness his 2008 cartoon book We Have Ways of Making You Laugh: 120 Funny Swastika Cartoons from Simon & Schuster.
"My doll is frigid."

Above: Well, it's probably better than a Bratz doll.
More KKK humor. Yeesh.

"You see dear, on opening day the Emperor throws out the first Christian."

Even the Christians are made fun of!

"Yes, it's nice, but won't it be kinda heavy to carry on a seal hunt?"

I love Reamer Keller's cartoons. His style is unmistakable.

"Hello there. I'm your friendly neighborhood tart."

Interlandi's great drawing skill is always delightful to linger over. I love her '60s bouffant.

Above: the hardcover has a column of cartoonists' signatures on the front cover. A great design touch! And something I didn't notice until today, when I took the dust jacket off the book!

-- This has been a blog rerun. It was orignally published January 23 and 28, 2008.


Kurt said...

The Goldberg cartoon reminds me of the old Callahan cartoon, which I think IS funny: 2 Klansmen in their white robes, one turns to the other and says "Don't you love it when they're still warm from the dryer?"

Chris Schweizer said...

Thanks for sharing this, Mike. Would you mind if I shared the Frank Interlandi cartoon? I'll throw a link in back to the page.

Mike Lynch said...

Sure, Chris! Go ahead and share!