Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item Hardcover – Oct 19 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
The creator of the Garbage Pail Kids turns his attention to the "once thriving, if marginal, industry devoted to the creation of a modest product of questionable quality, taste, originality and necessity for fleeting high-impact diversion"in other words, the novelty itemin this suitably quirky and expertly designed catalogue. Theres the "Funny Dribble Glass," designed to leak its contents on unsuspecting drinkers in such a way as to convince them that the mess is their fault; the "Beatnik Beard," aimed at 1960s youngsters hoping to look like a friend of Kerouac (slogan: "Dig That Beard! Crazy Man!"); and the "Trick Smashed Finger," intended, naturally, to trick someone into thinking youve been terribly hurt. Classics (the hand buzzer; the fake dog poop) share space with others less familiar (a dishtowel emblazoned with morose slogans, possibly designed as a booby prize; a box labeled "Dont be an alcoholic" containing a small pair of fake breasts along with the suggestion to "drink milk"). Additional information on the items dates, manufacturers, dimensions, directions and intended audience is carefully compiled, making this a delightful tour of the cheap and the weird.
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About the Author
Mark Newgarden, creator of the 1980s Garbage Pail Kids for the Topps Company, is a visual artist whose work has appeared in publications ranging from RAW to The New York Times Op-Ed page. He has conceived, scripted, and designed programming for Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network. PictureBox, Inc., a visual content studio and publishing house composed of Peter Buchanan-Smith and Dan Nadel, produces the annual book of pictures and prose The Ganzfeld.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Probably the most prolific of the novelty makers mentioned in this book is S.S. Adams and the author visited the Adams company in New Jersey. They have a brief write-up about it but I wish they had taken a couple of pictures of the production lines - weirdly, they only have a few pictures of cardboard boxes
This is not a great book and it is very incomplete. It's fine for a little bit of nostalgia but really nothing more than that.
Oh, wait a minute, this book costs $19.95. The "TARGET:" lines and maybe the nice, firm cover together are worth the price.
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