Contributing Artist, 1975-87
B. K. (Bob) Taylor’s work first appeared in the 1975 special edition “National Lampoon’s Very Large Book of Comical Funnies” with the comic strip “The Appletons,” a family feature which supposedly ran in the 1950s. In October 1976, Taylor’s “Timberland Tales” first appeared in the “Funny Pages” section of the National Lampoon. Over the next ten years, both strips ran in that section regularly, alternating from issue to issue.
“The Appletons: A Saga of an American Family” featured Helen, the earnest and clueless mom; Kathy and Bobby, the mischievous and somewhat less clueless kids; and Norm, the mischievous and subversive dad (imagine Ward Cleaver with a penchant for elaborate and dangerous practical jokes).
“Timberland Tales” featured Doctor Rogers, an earnest Mark Trail-type; his girlfriend Kathleen; Maurice the Indian Boy (“some call him the joker”), an unbelievably naive and bulbous teenager; and Constable Tom (“rumored to have a small amount of brain damage”), a dimwitted, musclebound Canadian Mountie. The latter two characters were featured much more frequently.
Taylor’s style is reminiscent of early Mad artists Wallace Wood and Bill Elder, combining deadpan delivery with slapstick humor.
I’m told Taylor now appears in Mad magazine.