Friday, March 29, 2002

Humor Me II

Grin #3, April 1973, APAG House Publications Inc., NYC, NY (40 cents)

Presented by Gerald Rothberg

Cover: d/ Tony Tallarico. Cover lines: The American Funny Book; Salute to the Stars -- Little Richard & Dr. K; Film of the Year -- Deliverancid; Book of the Year -- Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Sex; Plus: The Teeny Weenie Boppers.

p. 7 Deliverancid (or Up Creek Without a Paddle) w/D.J. Arneson, d/Henry Scarpell... A shallow interpretation of the "message movie" Deliverance, which seems to be about a river that's about to be dammed and four men who set out to find it -- and themselves. Best joke: "Ya ate a bear whole? Nope, just the bear."

p. 16 Grin Predicts w/D.J. Arneson, d/Tony Tallarico... The satire mag's predictions for 1973 blend stock art and illustrations to touch on law enforcement, commerce, Disneyworld, gender relations, fine art, lifestyle sports, and militarism. Two weak acupuncture jokes indicate it was all the rage

p. 20 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (So Why Didn't You Ask Already?) w/John Norment, d/Tony Tallarico... An alphabetical analysis of Woody Allen's approach to the subject. Tallarico's interesting blend of photos and illos pokes fun at celibacy, STD's, phone booth graffiti, Henry Kissinger, the Supreme Court, geishas, and Chinese restaurants. A war reference makes me wonder whether the racist bits were inspired by the Vietnam War

p. 25 Pollution Is a Nine Letter Word w/D.J. Arneson, d/Al Scaduto... The prolific Arneson and long-active Scaduto team up to eke some humor out of environmentalism. The Mad-like look at reuse and recycling elbow abandoned refrigerators, hair implants, the wastefulness of disposable batteries, and used records. The decidedly unfunny piece fails to comment on the pros or cons of recycling or surprise the reader with innovative inventions. Still notable for its Mad influence -- and Scaduto

p. 28 The Teeny Weenie Boppers w/Fred Wolfe, d/Jose Delbo... Pre-pubescent musical superstars bump up against hard rock musicians in a popcult panning of societal mores in music, the duplicity of the pop music industry, slang, and innocence

p. 31 King Richard and Frankenkissinger w/Joe Kiernam, d/Tony Tallarico... A half-assed musical parody set in Transylvania in which Dick Nixon creates a Kissinger-esque monster who can't solve the economic and societal problems in the kingdom. Lots of one-liners. Best joke: "What about our air? It's so thick, birds are walking south for the winter." OK; that's a two-liner

p. 37 Knowstalgia d/Al Scaduto... Cometbus-esque lettering opens this piece, which is a forward-thinking look at nostalgia. The economics of free sex, gender roles in the home, Kissinger, hair transplants, Ralph Nader, celibacy, cross-dressing, and aging pornographers all receive a drubbing

p. 40 Battycek w/Fred Wolfe, d/Jack Abel... The movie-cum-TV Polish detective Banacek is parodied. Ethnic jokes flow heavily while the actual humor comes at a trickle

Ads: American Cancer Society p. 4, Movie Buys p. 5, Columbia House Tape Club p. 6, Columbia House Record Club p. 48, Circus magazine p. 50
Extras: Calendar featuring Bela Lugosi Dracula stock art and text: Open your hearts; Says poster boy Willie Joe Dracula; Give generously in the privacy of your own home to our 1973 blood drive; Support vampirism in your community; Give on the full moon of every month; Our representative will call on you, just leave a window open

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