Hallowe’en Countdown II, Day 27

« It only hurts when I exist »

Another astonishing madman from the Playboy magazine stable, Bernard Kliban (1935-1990) is mainly remembered for his much-merchandised « Cat » cartoons, but he was a true master of a vein of absurdist humour that few mine with such success. It’s high time for a collected œuvre or at the very least a comprehensive anthology. Fantagraphics, are you listening?

KlibanMonsterA
« Since when do we use the red thread on a green monster? »
KlibanMonsterWifeA
« I’m the monster’s wife… can I help you? »
KlibanStartledA
« Harry, you startled me! »
Kliban20YearsA
« I spend twenty-seven years making monsters and what does it get me? A roomful of monsters! »
KlibanMonsterLivesA
« Look, Igor, the monster lives! … and not badly, either! »

These pieces were gathered in the Playboy’s Kliban collection (1979) and its sequel, Playboy’s New Kliban (1980). Every single one of the man’s books (of which only the Cat books remain in print, I believe) is assuredly worth seeking out, but fair warning: left to his own devices, and away from the Playboy ethos, Kliban goes much farther afield into (extremely inspired) absurdity and abstraction.

-RG

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