The production evolution of a Humbug page

Humbug In 1956 Harvey Kurtzman (wiki), creator of Mad, asked his publisher, William Gaines, for a controlling interest in the comic book. Gaines fired him. Kurtzman went to his fan, Hugh Hefner, and launched a beautifully produced humor magazine for Playboy called Trump, but Hefner spiked the project after two issues. Bruised but not beaten, he called on a number of Mad alumni (including Jack Davis, Will Elder, and Al Jaffee) to launch another humor magazine, Humbug. It ran out of money after 11 issues.

This summer, Fantagraphics is publishing the entire run of Humbug in a 2-volume slipcased set (pre-order it on Amazon for $31.50 and save 5%).

On the Fantagraphics site, production ace Paul Baresh provides a step-by-step tour of how he restored a page from Humbug.



  1. See left top panel for the possible origin of famous children’s book character “Clifford, the Red Dog.”

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