On Sunday, April 29, C-SPAN3 aired a special 22-minute interview with What Fools These Mortals Be! The Story of Puck co-author Michael Alexander Kahn. The topic of conversation was American politics through the eyes of cartoonists who contributed to Puck magazine in the late 19th and early 20th century. If you’ve been with us for a while, then you know that we published What Fools These Mortals Be!, an Eisner Award-nominated coffee table book in 2014 and we are thrilled to see it getting continued well-deserved attention! The whole segment is now archived at cspan.org, but we’ve linked it here for you for easy access!
Several years ago we took some time in this space to show you what my LOAC bookshelf looked like. I shelve my books in alphabetical order by author, or by publisher where that makes more sense — for instance, while my William Saroyans are under “S”, my Fantastic Fours are under “M”, with the rest of my Marvel Comics collections. My Library of American Comics titles are therefore under “L,” and then shelved alphabetically in a logical way (well, logical to me, anyway), as you can see:
With those immortal words Puck magazine skewered hypocracy, crooked politicians, and anyone trying to take advantage of the working man for forty years beginning in 1877. Everyone who loves comics has heard of Puck and wil recognize it as the source from which the comics field eventually grew. Most people have seen a few examples of the magazine’s cartoons here and there, but not until now has there been a massive full-color retrospective of the most important humor and cartooning magazine in American history. We are all in debt to Michael Alexander Kahn and Richard Samuel West for sharing their personal complete collections of the magazine’s forty-year run. They have selected the best of Puck’s full-color cartoons and have organized them by subject matter, providing explanatory captions that place the work in historical perspective.
The book will premiere in early October with a foreword by Calvin and Hobbes‘ Bill Watterson.
Here are a few few pages to whet your appetite.