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Friday, December 14, 2007

“Dirty Fat Person Sits on President’s Face” a.k.a. My Childhood

posted by on December 14 at 16:05 PM

Dan’s latest handful of ’70s Playboy cartoons, specifically the first one about the cops and the rapin’, totally just blew my mind up. When I was a kid, my parents always had a bunch of B. Kliban books lying around our house. Not that corny shit with the cats, but the weirder, cleverer ones: full of boobs and swear words and totally freakish surreal nonsense. I didn’t get most of the jokes, but I read them over and over again anyway. You can look at clearer versions of these, and others, here.

I haven’t thought about those books in forever. But looking at that cop cartoon today, I’m realizing that B. Kliban has a lot to do with the state of my adult brain (i.e. filled with feces and boobs and puns and nonsense). I can’t believe I never made that connection before. Thanks, B. Kliban!

And one more, because I can’t help it:

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i looks like Gary Larson was a fan too, at least from the style of that unicorn

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 14, 2007 4:23 PM

My parents had these, too. It sure does explain a lot.

Posted by Ari Spool | December 14, 2007 4:28 PM

Kliban was a genius. Only Roz Chast comes close today -- not as weird, though.

Posted by Fnarf | December 14, 2007 4:32 PM

Agree 100%!!! He's highly underrated... there's a lot in some of those strips. I've owned Never Eat Anything Larger Than Your Head" since 7th grade, and for all the ones I didn't get then, and for the ones I still don't get, I'm a huge fan.

I think he's credited as the inventor of the single panel comic strip, so without a doubt Larson is a fan.

My favorite one is probably the panel titled "The Only Show In Town", showing the long cue outside the theater where the marquee read "GO FUCK YOURSELF".

Posted by Dougsf | December 14, 2007 4:32 PM

Tim Kreider's 'The Pain' is also along the same lines. He's veered into more political commentary lately, but some of his older comics are very Kliban-y.

Posted by Stacy | December 14, 2007 4:39 PM

Are you sure B Kliban isn't your godfather or something? Surely Mr. Rickenbacker made his acquaintance under the Eiffel Tower in the '60s.

Posted by Meagan | December 14, 2007 4:52 PM

Kliban shits on all other cartoonists. Here's my proof, as it has been for years-

Posted by Ian | December 14, 2007 5:25 PM

I was a teenager in 1975 when kliban's first book came out, and I ended up owning every one. as I've looked at them over the years, I've realized how his humor came to informed my deep appreciation for cartoon irony, absurdity, and cruelty, as well as my willingness to laugh at everything, even my own horrors. chuck jones' wile e. coyote is another favorite. go figure.

I will admit to still owning pillow cases from a set of sheets I purchased when I first left home at 18, printed with kliban's signature cat, the big, fat short-legged stripped tabby in the red sneakers.

and it's a secret delight to be in the same company as fnarf.

Posted by grace | December 14, 2007 6:13 PM

Not to pile on, but I loved me some Kliban when I was a kid, too. Thanks so much for unearthing these -- it made me want to track down his books.

Looking back I think I might have written him off unfairly, by blaming him for his Cat cartoons inspiring Garfield, or at least the first week or so of Garfield that was drawn in a similar style before the cat began mutating into a bug eyed humanoid.

Posted by Peter | December 14, 2007 6:24 PM

It is a secret pleasure of mine that a co-worker of mine, a dear sweet 50-year-old lady who never cusses, never gets mad, and is just nuts about cats and has cat dolls, cat pictures, and (of course), dozens of B. Kliban cat cartoons all over her office and she would never, ever expect nor will ever know that Kliban also drew such hilarious, shocking, subversive, dirty, and utterly funny cartoons which she will never see.

I toy with telling her or (god forbid) showing her one, but it'd just ruin it.

Posted by Dr_Awesome | December 14, 2007 6:50 PM

I was, amazingly, totally unfamiliar with B. Kliban until reading this post. I am now the better for having read it.

Posted by tsm | December 14, 2007 9:19 PM

I used to get hard-ons reading these books at 13. My folks thought the cats were cute and bought me the whole set, not knowing the rest of them were more thematically mature. I still dwell in a forest of B. Kliban memes.

Posted by angstvark | December 15, 2007 12:07 AM

I remember looking through my parent's Kliban books as a young child. I think the comic "Easy Home Test" (which I sadly can't find a link to) was my first exposure to the word "pornography".

Posted by Chip | December 15, 2007 2:26 PM

I'm a dear, sweet 45-year-old lady who still has every one of these books, bought for me by my mom when I was 12 or 13 or so. My son and daughter(23 & 13) have never been denied them since they turned them up, at around eight years old in each case.
@10 I hate to break it to you, but your coworker probably already knows the rest of Kliban's work--though she may or may not love it.

Posted by meherenowie | December 16, 2007 5:22 AM

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