Wednesday, January 23, 2008

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.

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!


Johnny C said...

Great! The 'wet my bed..." one made me pee...:)

Trade Loeffler said...

Great stuff, Mike. The Sam Gross one took me a second, but then made me laugh out loud. I'm still smiling about it.

Eli Stein said...

Mike, I'm fairly certain that cartoonist's name you're looking for is Edward Franscino, a "New Yorker" regular.
Great posting -- I had never seen that particular Preston book, and enjoyed the few samples you gave us.

richardcthompson said...

These are great! Any one of them could run in the NYer now and make me laugh. Where do you find these things, or do you just have shelvesfull? Thanks for posting 'em.

Mark Anderson said...

Wow! Stuff like this just makes me want to shackle myself to the drawing board for the day. I say again, WOW!

And I'm with Johnny C, that bedding wetting one had me howling this morning!

Mike Lynch said...

Thanks for all your kind words.

Johnny, you made me laugh!!!!!

Richard: As Trade can attest (since he helped us pack up the moving truck this past August), I have A LOT of books. This was just one of them.

Eli, thanks for the info.

Mella said...

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