Saturday, 29 December 2012

Underground Kliban

I didn't intend for this blog to mention Kliban so often, but never mind...

Since he lived in California, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to learn that some of his work appears in the California underground press.

The first, is credited to Kliban and appeared in Arcade Comics Review #7, Fall 1976, from Print Mint Inc.

Arcade Comics Review #7, Fall 1976

  The second, appears under the pseudonym "A. Blink" (neat, huh?) in Mother's Oats Comics #3 (1976), from Rip Off Press. However, the contents page does credit the artwork to Kliban.

This is in a more-naturalistic style than is typical of his cartoons.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Kliban - Evergreen Review 52 - Mar 1968

Kliban cartoons from Evergreen Review 52 - Mar 1968

Evergreen Review 52 - Mar 1968
Evergreen Review 52 - Mar 1968

Evergreen Review 52 - Mar 1968

Evergreen Review 52 - Mar 1968

Evergreen Review 52 - Mar 1968

Evergreen Review 52 - Mar 1968

Kliban - Evergreen Review 51 - Feb 1968

Kliban was a prolific cartoonist appearing in numerous publications before he found fame and fortune for his Cat images.

He must have been pleased to find an appreciative audience (and editor) at Evergreen Review when they published 4 of his cartoons starting in the Feb 1968 issue. His work continued to frequently appear in this magazine over the following 3 years.

Here are his cartoons from Evergreen Review 51 - Feb 1968. I hope to post further cartoons from subsequent issues in the coming weeks. I don't think that these images have been collected and re-published elsewhere.

Religion seems to have been a frequent topic of several of these early ER cartoons.

Evergreen Review 51 - Feb 1968

Evergreen Review 51 - Feb 1968

Evergreen Review 51 - Feb 1968

Evergreen Review 51 - Feb 1968

Evergreen Review 51 - Feb 1968

Evergreen Review 51 - Feb 1968

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Who is Jan Faust?

I first become aware of Jan Faust's work several years ago when I obtained an inexpensive copy of his 1971 book "The Underground Sketchbook of Jan Faust" its a collection of 101 surreal single-panel drawings (rather than gag cartoons), but the quality and strangeness of the artwork make it memorable and unique.
What seemed strange to me, is that no other books were forthcoming, despite the strength of the material. Presumably sales were poor, or some other misfortune struck the artist? I'm not convinced that Faust can be regarded as a  true "underground" artist as the book title suggests, as all his illustrations that I've seen are found in mainstream/academic publications. Perhaps this title was more of a marketing ploy? 
I've subsequently read reviews comparing his work with that of Robert Crumb, which should be high-praise, but instead, it accused Faust of being derivative. Sometimes you just can't win! For what-its-worth I think his drawing style is more similar to Breugel.
Then recently I came across a posting on the blog "The Tarpeian Rock", which posted some nice scans from the sketchbook and poses similar questions...just who is Jan Faust, and what become of him? More questions...

The blog posting also contains many representative pages from the Underground Sketchbook. So I won't bother to repost them again. Check them out here :

Recently I decided to contact Patrick Rosenkrantz, the underground comix historian, in the hope that he might offer some light on the subject. (Check-out his excellent book "Rebel Visions"; its superb). Patrick kindly replied; he was aware of J. Faust's work and suggested that the name may be a pseudonym and recommended pursuing some independent research.
This posting is the result of that research. 
I found a chance reference to Faust in an academic periodicals catalogue, that when located provided some biographic details. This led me to find a further comic strips and illustrations in Village Voice.
Separately, I also found found several book-cover illustrations and some full-page illustrations in Evergreen Review and a cover for Oz magazine.

However, I don't have any information on Faust after 1975. If anyone knows what happened next, please leave a message or get in touch.

Here is an (incomplete) list of publications known to contain examples of his work, together with some scans: 
  • Nation
  • New York Magazine
  • National Review
  • The New York Times
  • The Village Voice - comic strip "Metamorphosis"
  • Evergreen Review 
From "Design & Environment" Winter 1971

From "Design & Environment" Winter 1971

From "Design & Environment" Winter 1971

Cover from "Design & Environment" Spring 1975

From "Design & Environment" Spring 1975

From "Design & Environment" Spring 1975
Page 4, "Design & Environment" Spring 1975

Cover from Oz 47, April 1973

The Village Voice - Jan 6, 1975

The Village Voice - Jan 27, 1975

The Village Voice - Jun 30, 1975

The Village Voice - Sep 1, 1975

Handbill for Concert, 1970?

New York Magazine - 27 Aug 1973 - Page 32

Evergreen Review 84, Nov 1970

Evergreen Review 85, Dec 1970

New York Magazine - 8 Jul 1974 - Page 57

Crikey - I'm in the Viz

Viz is Britain's 3rd (or possibly 4th) funniest magazine. Here is something of mine they published in Sept 2011 issue (208).

It was over a year later that I learnt it had been published, so I got to laugh at my own joke all over again.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Evergreen Review - 50 - Dec 1967 / Bukowski & Ungerer

Here's a few tidbits from Evergreen Review - 50 - Dec 1967. ER is an iconic publication from a tumultuous era. This particular issue is rather nice - a great cover from Tomi Ungerer, a poem from Hank Bukowski (several years before he found fame), cartoons from Kliban and a long article about Chappaqua; an obscure film I think I'll now try and track down. There's also an advert for the album Chelsea Girl, by the ice-maiden Nico.

The Bukowski poem is quite a gritty introduction if you're not familiar with his work, but pretty much sums-up his approach and style.

I'll save the Kliban cartoons for some later postings.

Evergreen Review - 50 - Dec 1967

Evergreen Review - 50 - Dec 1967

Bukowski - Men's Crapper

Review from ER - 52

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Kliban - 1963

Not the greatest cartoon ever...but an early example of his penmanship from 1963. His cartoon drawing style changed quite rapidly within a few years.

I know precious little biographical information about Kliban, and its a pity, as there's plenty of biographies out there about people less deserving. Come to think of it, there are few biographies of cartoonists in general.

I own a few books that he wrote foreword's for, and I'll post scans of them sometime.

Monday, 26 November 2012

So who is Sgt. Pepper?

I like looking through old music and literary magazines, especially those from the 1960's. Its interesting to read contemporary reviews of albums, books and movies in their original context before the subsequently mythologising over subsequent decades. You can also find references to some lost nuggets too.

This neat advert is taken from International Times, 2-June 1967,  just one day after Sgt. Pepper was released. Its seems proposterous to me that anyone could not know who was behind the Sgt. Pepper album. Clearly, the marketing team at EMI were worried that the IT reading hippies might forget.

I reckon this might make a good T-Shirt design.

Advert in IT, 2-June-1967

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Kliban..Cats not included

One of my favouite cartoonists is Bernard Kliban and I wanted to cover some of his lesser known works in this post.

He's probably best known for his Cat-series of books and spin-off merchandise, which made him a very wealthy man, but is in my opinion, the least interesting examples of his prodigious output.

Here's a photo of his non-Cat books from my collection - built up over a period of a year-or-so, some time ago. I'm glad I got them when I did as some are becoming increasingly scarce. There are atleast 2 unpublished volumes that I know of : Dancers (planned 1999) and a retropective "Art of B. Kliban" by Cathy Fenner and Arnie Fenner (planned 2005). The latter title has been in my Amazon wish-list for 8+years, so I'm not holding out any hope that it'll ever get published.

Kliban's non-Cat books

Image from the unpublished "Art of B. Kliban"

As well as the published books there probably another couple of books-worth of uncollected cartoons dotted amongst various publications. I'm sure the Playboy volumes don't collect together his entire Playboy output (1964-1980+), and his early work also appears in Nexus, New Yorker, Punch and Evergreen Review. I'm sure that it'd be quite a task to track down all these various cartoons.

In addition, there is his commercial advertising work, LP covers and psychedelic 60's posters too. The unpublished "Art of B. Kliban" hints at further self-portraits, but I don't know if these have ever been exhibited or published elsewhere.

There are plenty of great cartoon images over at :

And a rare uncollected cartoon from Evergreen Review, June 1968 can be seen here :

Lastly, here are some examples of more cartoons and artwork, not found elsewhere.

Cool psychedelic poster. 1967?

David Bromberg LP, 1977

Advert, 1968

Poster, 1967

Poster, 1968

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Enid Blyton's Gay Story Book (1952)

Enid Blyton - addressing gender-issues for younger readers?

I'm often to be found browsing bookshops and now that I carry a smartphone with me, I can record some of the wierd and wonderful titles I find by accident. This was found at a bookshop in Leicester.

Perhaps time has come for it to be re-published with its original title?

She had a interesting private life too....