Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead, a new coffee table book all about National Lampoon by artist and long-time NatLamp contributor Rick Meyerowitz, will be published soon. The book focusses on the writers and artists who made the magazine great, and will include essays by many of those same people, excerpts and full reprints of many classic pieces, and lots of material and photos never before published. It’s available now for pre-order on Amazon.com at a discount rate. I think it would be safe to say that this will be the best book ever published about National Lampoon.
If you click on the small cover images in the Issues section, a much larger image will now appear. Click again to make it go away. (Not available yet in the Recordings or Books & Anthologies section. Soon.)
The 1973 Lemmings stage show at the Village Gate in New York City was promoted with a poster that was never seen in the magazine or used for the soundtrack LP. (Slight correction: A version of it did appear in the National Lampoon Songbook. Thanks, Jeff!) It featured a beautiful illustration by James Grashow. I remember seeing it in graphic design annuals back in the seventies. There is a copy of it on view at this auction site. (For a larger image, click here.) (Thanks to Rollo for the link.)
Good news for those who happen to still have a copy of The Official National Lampoon Bicentennial Calendar: Starting March 1, 2010, you can hang it up again and pretend it’s 1976. From that date until the end of the year, the dates will all fall on the same days of the week as they did when the calendar was new. (Thanks to reader Jeff Goodman for the tip.)
Amazon has dropped the price of the National Lampoon Complete DVD-ROM, which contains PDF scans of all the regular issues of the magazine (1970-1998). The reader who alerted me to this wondered if it was because a new and better edition is forthcoming. Unfortunately, I think it’s more likely that it’s because it’s not selling as quickly as they’d like.
Admittedly, the quality leaves a lot to be desired, and there are occasional unexplained omissions (perhaps the issues they scanned were not completely intact), but it is a very handy reference if you are a collector or simply want to read the back issues without spending a lot on the real thing, which tend to go for at least $5 for a single issue. If you’ve been sitting on the fence because of the price, seems like a good time to make your move.
John Hughes on writing “Vacation ’58” and the screenplay of National Lampoon’s Vacation, from Zoetrope: All-Story magazine. Also, you can read Vacation ’58 online if you don’t have a copy of the September 1979 (Fall Potpourri) issue of National Lampoon handy. (Via Daring Fireball.)
John Hughes died today at 59. Hughes made a big name for himself in Hollywood in the ’80s, writing and sometimes directing comedies such as National Lampoon’s Vacation, Home Alone, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but many readers of this site will remember his work as a writer and editor for National Lampoon from 1977 to 1981. Vacation and Christmas Vacation in fact appeared as stories in the magazine long before they were made into movies. I wonder if there is still any chance that his stories “My Vagina” and “My Penis” will make ever make it to Hollywood. (More about his life and death here.)
M.K. Brown has a page on YouTube where she has posted semi-animated versions of her cartoons with music and voices added. They’re great, but it would be even cooler if they were fully animated. M.K. Brown on YouTube.