Basil Wolverton's CULTURE CORNER: grotesque HOWTOs from MAD Magazine's gross-out king

By Cory Doctorow

Fantagraphics has done the world the great service of reprinting Basil Wolverton's Culture Corner, a series of satirical and grotesque HOWTO strips that ran in Fawcett's Whiz Comics (best known as the home of Captain Marvel) from 1947 to 1952. The book includes every known strip, along with the (sometimes even weirder) pencil sketches where those exist.

Wolverton is best known as the gross-out master of MAD Magazine's golden age (and as the deeply religious Christian who drew his own horrific illustrated Old Testament), and these strips will delight any Wolverton fan with their characteristic doggerel, gratuiotous violence, and slapstick humor that pokes fun at the American self-improvement genre.

These strips all seem to be in the public domain and can be read for free through Dinosaur Gardens. But the Fantagraphics edition is well worth the price: it's a handsomely bound item, augmented with the sketches and a nice essay by Wolverton's son.

Basil Wolverton's Culture Corner

Distortions in the scan below are my fault -- it's page-curl from my scanner-glass; they look great in real life -Cory

Published 7:50 am Wed, Jul 7, 2010

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About the Author

I write books. My latest are: a YA graphic novel called In Real Life (with Jen Wang); a nonfiction book about the arts and the Internet called Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age (with introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) and a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

5 Responses to “Basil Wolverton's CULTURE CORNER: grotesque HOWTOs from MAD Magazine's gross-out king”

  1. jeligula says:

    The world must have been a much different place when these were printed.

  2. turn_self_off says:

    reminds me of mort & phil.

  3. Sogeking says:

    I look at these panels and without a doubt see R. Crumb.

  4. Rev. Syung Myung Me says:

    In case anyone’s interested — I just did a review of this wonderful book, too:

    Also — a minor correction to the original article: While the strips might be in the PD, this book also includes, not only the pencils for each strip, but a bunch of ones that were never published — which you can’t find online. So, yes — as if this wonderful book weren’t already worth it…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone remember “How to hold a Crocodile?” KInda reminds me of that…

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