June 6th, 2009 | Posted in General


I just placed my order for this eagerly anticipated collection of the entire run of Humbug Magazine. I have never seen a single page of this publication, but being that is was edited by Harvey Kurtzman and features work by Jack Davis, Al Jaffee, Arnold Roth, Will Elder and Wally Wood, it is undoubtedly pure genius.

Humbug was Kurtzman’s second attempt to recapture the magic of his early MAD work, the second being the VERY short lived (2 issues) Trump! Magazine published by Playboy‘s Hugh Hefner. Humbug was actually published by Kurtzman and the creators themselves, which makes it as pure a creative effort as it could possibly be. It was so poorly distributed that it’s tremendously hard to find original copies of the issues, and as (I believe) it has never been reprinted before, this will be the first opportunity many will have to see it.

It’s a must have for the old bookshelf.


  1. Kit Lively says:

    I bought this recently myself, and it is indeed great. The company that released the Humbug set is doing something similar for Gahan Wilson’s cartoons, and Playboy is releasing a book collecting those two issues of Trump as well!

  2. Rob Maystead says:

    Tom, I received my copy just this last week. Excellent! While I wait for the ultimate and proper tribute to Jack Davis to emerge (why so long?), this satisfies a bit of the craving.

  3. John Read says:

    It’s a GREAT book, with excellent production values. I also recently bought the new Kurtzman book, THE MAD GENIUS OF COMICS, that I highly recommend you get, Tom.

  4. booksteve says:

    I second (or third?) the recommendation on both books! Good to see Harvey finally getting some love at this late date. The HUMBUG work is fascinating but strangely disappointing to me. Never been sure why. The Kitchen book is a wonderful tribute although it barely mentions (or leaves out completely) a few later things of interest including NUTS! and Kurtzman/Elder’s return to MAD.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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