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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Funnies: B. KLIBAN

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Unless you are a cat lover or long term reader of Hugh Hefner's Playboy, chances are you may not even be aware of the work of B. Kliban. A shameful misjustice we're going to attempt to rectify today.
Kliban should rank up there with the very best of the 'gag' cartoonists like Charles Addams, Gahan Wilson, and of course Gary Larson. Yet whenever the topic does come up, I rarely hear his name mentioned.

"The reasons for Kliban's relative obscurity are unclear. There may exist a certain prejudice against single-panel cartoons among artists and critics in the field (evident in the dismissive label "gag" cartoons), not unlike the mainstream perception of comics as less legitimate, less "serious," than fine art. It’s true that the one-panel cartoon is a less innovative artistic form than the hybrid medium "sequential art," but it is also a purer one, less awkward in its conventions." - Tim Kreider

I couldn't have said it any better myself, and if you have a little time, click that link to read the whole essay. Just not before you check out this handful of samples by Kliban.

by B. Kliban
from NEVER EAT ANYTHING BIGGER THAN YOUR HEAD & OTHER DRAWINGS (ISBN: 0-911104-67-4) 1976

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That very last one I really don't get, and it's bothering me to death like that New Yorker cartoon that Elaine was obsessed with on the Seinfeld show. If anybody can figure out either part of it (the bad pun or the rhyme), PLEASE leave a comment. Guesses are also welcome.
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For more of B. Kliban's work, visit one of these sites:
DAVEY C'S B. KLIBAN PAGE
B. KLIBAN AT COLDBACON DOT COM


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1 comment:

  1. >That very last one I really don't get, and it's bothering me to death like that New Yorker cartoon that Elaine was obsessed with on the Seinfeld show. If anybody can figure out either part of it (the bad pun or the rhyme), PLEASE leave a comment. Guesses are also welcome.

    "Bad pun disturbing a rhyme" is the sort of criticism that a poetry editor might make.
    So Kliban imagines "puns" and "rhymes" as ethic groups and visualizes the disturbance. I don't think it's deeper than than.
    Perhaps the fact that "pun" rhymes with "Hun" haunts the visual, so there's that too.
    Kliban can craft subtle jokes (you know the one with captions Fig 1, Fig 2, etc.) but sometimes he just charmingly free associates.

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