(Thanks to Joseph for the tip.)
At long last, a collection of B.K. Taylor’s National Lampoon comics will be published. For years, readers of my site have asked about such a collection and it’s finally happening.
Taylor created both “The Appletons” and “Timberland Tales” comic strips which appeared for over a decade in the Funny Pages section of National Lampoon, generally alternating between the two from issue to issue.
The book will be published by Fantagraphics Books in March 2020 but is available for pre-order now.
Reader David Beckham sent me a link to a nice video tribute he made about Michael Gross. (Gross died in 2015 of cancer.)
I’ve been on the email list for the Gahan Wilson Fundraiser (see below or here), and today the guy running it, Gahan’s step-son Paul, posted a link to an interview with Gahan from back in 2011 for the Mr. Media podcast. It’s mostly about his relationship with Playboy magazine, but National Lampoon comes up a few times. You can listen to the interview on YouTube.
Randall Enos is a regular contributor to cartoonist Daryl Cagle’s website. Recently, he told the story of the origin and development of his Chicken Gutz comic strip (a personal favorite of mine), which appeared in the Funny Pages section of National Lampoon starting in the early ’70s.
Thanks to reader Michael Simmons for the link.
Longtime National Lampoon contributing cartoonist Gahan Wilson is suffering from dementia. His step son, Paul Winters, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help fund his memory care. Click the link if you want to help.
Wilson is known to NatLamp readers for his warped, often macabre sense of humor. He did many covers for the magazine, as well as feature articles, cartoons, and the long-running, autobiographical comic strip Nuts.
The Caledonian Record, a newspaper based in Vermont, has posted a piece by cartoonist Randall Enos, who apparently does cartoons for them. Enos, you may know, was also a long-time contributor to National Lampoon, and did the long-running Funny Pages comic strip Chicken Gutz. In the piece, Enos tells how he came to work for the magazine and of the crazy stuff that went on.
(Thanks to reader Logan Lee for the link.)
Did you ever wonder about the dog that appeared on the all-time most famous cover of the National Lampoon? The one with the blurb, “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine, We’ll Kill This Dog“? Well, the guys at the Lampoon didn’t shoot him, but somebody did. The dog’s name was Mr. Cheeseface. You can find the whole sad tale, including where his strange name came from and how he made the cover of the National Lampoon, at Seven Days, as reported by Dan Boles. (Hat tip to Dan for letting me know about this.)
Robert Grossman, the prolific and talented illustrator and caricaturist, died on March 18, 2018, at the age of 78. He did several covers and other pieces for the National Lampoon over the years, most famously the fold-out cover depicting Richard Nixon as Pinocchio for the August 1972 (The Miracle of Democracy) issue.
I actually met Grossman once. He sat next to me at the National Lampoon Event at the New York Public Library in 2010, the one publicizing the publication of Rick Meyerowitz’s book Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead. We talked a bit, and he said that he knew of my Lampoon website. He even remembered (when I brought it up) the time I hired him once when I was a magazine art director back in the ’80s to do an illustration of the Statue of Liberty with a punk hairdo.
At one point, he asked if I had any paper. I tore a page out of the notebook I had in my pocket and gave it to him. A minute later he handed it back. He had drawn a caricature of me! It’s a little bit rough because he didn’t have a good surface to support the paper, just the palm of his hand. Even so, it looks just like me.
Rest in peace, Bob.