The Onion began as a UW Madison-based publication, the Harvard Lampoon has been probably the (otherwise) most famous and the most durable of these campus magazines in the U.S., as well as the direct inspiration for the National Lampoon in the 1970s, which has left a legacy at least as large as that of its parent, which survives it (and Harvard staffers have certainly gone onto post-collegiate comedy careers in an old-grads-club, usually old-boys' sort of way, particularly on the writing and production staff of various television series; a slightly amusing prefiguring of future interaction occurred at Harvard when future NBC television CEO Jeff Zucker, as head of the campus paper the Harvard Crimson, had
|A 1973 collection/special issue from HL|
"Normal Wellwell" and the Charles Atlas ads fairly begged for the treatment they receive...even when it could've been better. But often these were early, even the first attempts to make some of these points this way, or nearly this well...definitely a book to look at if this kind of thing holds interest for one as a student of our popular culture, rather than a book to seek out as a Laff Riot, and not worth pursuing if expensive.
For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.
For more on parody and humor on this blog, very much including the comics tradition (in at least two senses), please see this post, which collects most of the others published so far.
|The Panther Books (UK) paperback|
|Contribution from the Fitzgeralds...CH did have to|
Keep Up with The Smart Set and the original Life,
the humor magazine, after all...
|Frank Kelly Freas's cover for the Ballantine paperback, annotated. Courtesy FlickLives.com|
The cover is the best part of I, LIBERTINE. That whole genre of college parodies seems to have vanished. I remember reading issues of THE HARVARD LAMPOON. Everything humorous seems to have migrated to YouTube.
Well, the HARVARD LAMPOON is still published as a magazine, as is THE ONION (and MAD, and a small slew of others), unless something has changed in the last year or so and I've let that get by me (happily, no, in these cases). But, indeed, most people certainly access THE ONION on the web, along with CRACKED.com, COLLEGE HUMOR, FUNNY OR DIE and quite a few more...I wouldn't be surprised to agree with you about I, LIBERTINE, given it was hacked out exhaustedly to fulfill a joke...copies tend to be pricey, and I'm not enough of a Sturgeon completist to pay through the nose for that nor the novelization of THE VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.
I was disapponted in I, LIBERTINE when I found and read a copy 20 or so years ago, even though I was both a Sturgeon completist and a big fan of lampoons and parodies generally. Aside from the cover, I recall being impressed only by the first page, which had a joke (as I recall) about the hero being a "coming man" which after being emphasized a couple of times was topped with his hostess asking him "Going so soon?"
As lampoons of this sort of novel go, I don't think I, LIBERTINE can hold a candle to Robert Ruark's GRENADINE ETCHING (1947), which I read in a 1960s Ace pb reprint. Incidentally, the latter has some fantastic content (an intelligent ape who at one point speaks; a disaster that sinks an entire continent), so it should be listed on bibliographies of sf/f published by Ace Books, even though I don't think I've ever seen one that does list is.
On anthologies of bits from campus humor magazines, there was a short-lived (only four or five issues, I think) newstand magazine in the early 1960s which I bought when I could find it which worked on that premise. I think the title was originally COLLEGE HUMOR which after an issue or two changed to COLLEGE LAUGHS -- or it may have been the other way around. I must still have a couple of them in a box somewhere, but haven't seen them (or any mention of them elsewhere) for decades.
Denny Lien / Minneapolis
Thanks for the pointers, Denny...I don't think I've ever gotten around to reading Ruark, but that's inspiration (he was one of the more popular war- and adventure-fiction writers at midcentury)...I see GRENADINE was his first novel...and your mention of that 1960s magazine rings the slightest of bells...but I know I've never seen a copy.
And I see that one can get an eBook of LIBERTINE inexpensively now, and that a paperback copy of VOYAGE is less than the last time I looked it up some years ago (even given it's Sturgeon, I hesitate to pay $10 including the postage for that as a reading experience...the old William Goldman line, "You can't wash garbage," comes to mind...I'll probably collect Sturgeon's novelizations of better, western films first: A KING AND FOUR QUEENS, THE RARE BREED...even given their unsurprising reputation as not his best work, either).
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