JUNGLE BOOK by HARVEY KURTZMAN. (3rd printing
We won't mince words. This is simply
one of the most influential comic creations of all
time. Created in 1959 by MAD-founder
Harvey Kurtzman after two crushing failures (Trump
and Humbug), Jungle Book was created
for paperback book pioneer Ian Ballantine. It
was the very first paperback of all original comics
and arguably was the first graphic novel as well.
There are four stories, each parodying an element of
popular culture: "Theolonius Violence" is a take-off
on the then-popular TV detective show Peter Gunn,
complete with blaring jazz riffs in the background and
---what else is new?--- heavy doses of violence.
"Organization Man in the Grey Flannel Executive Suite"
is a jaundiced look at the publishing industry. It's
partially autobiographical---based on Kurtzman's
stint at publisher Martin Goodman's
Atlas/Marvel/men's magazine sweat shop in the '40s.
This story also introduces Goodman
Beaver, whose later adventures
(in collaboration with Will Elder) appeared in
Help! magazine and who later morphed, oddly
enough, into Playboy's Little
Annie Fanny. "Compulsion on the Range"
parodies TV's long-running Gunsmoke in
particular and westerns in general. The final story,
"Decadence Degenerated," is a dark but hilarious look
both into the minds of men and into the deep south of
the '50s. Jungle Book is an undeniable
classic. Its impact on a generation of underground
cartoonists has been acknowledged by R. Crumb,
Denis Kitchen and Art Spiegelman, who
provides a hand-lettered "Intro." Spiegelman
refers to keeping "the loose yellowed pages" of his
tattered Ballantine edition of Jungle Book "in
a plastic bag ...handled with all the care of due a
The Intro is followed by an "Outro"
by Harvey Kurtzman and Dave Schreiner.
Jungle Book is also unusual and special in that
it represents "pure" Harvey Kurtzman, an
artist's artist. It's one of the relatively few
creations he wrote, pencilled and inked himself (see
also The Grasshopper and the Ant, Hey
Look!, and his E.C. war stories).
This is the 3rd printing of the
softcover edition published by Kitchen Sink Press
in 1988. For the first time, Kurtzman's
amazing original art was shot in high resolution and
printed the way it should have been in 1959. New
edition measures 6 3/8" x 11".
Like new condition. Too long out of
[See Kurtzman Original Art if you
are interested in purchasing Kurtzman Jungle Book