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#104797 - 12/07/2002 16:06 Poll: Larson or Kliban?
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

Larson or Kliban?
Only one choice allowed


Votes accepted starting: 27/06/2004 19:33
View the results of this poll.
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Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#104798 - 12/07/2002 16:41 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: jimhogan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31286
Loc: Seattle, WA
Very tough poll.

Kliban's stuff is hard to get into. Most of the time it's either so low-brow that it disgusts me, or it goes right over my head and I just don't get it. I had to go for Larson, because at least I always "get" his cartoons, even if they're not always consistently hilarious.

A more fair comparison might have been Gary Larson vs. Gahan Wilson.
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Tony Fabris

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#104799 - 12/07/2002 17:30 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: jimhogan]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Okay, so I was compelled to search out some of this Kliban guy, and, for the most part, either I'm an idiot or he's not funny. I'm going with the latter. Can I change my vote?
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Bitt Faulk

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#104800 - 12/07/2002 17:32 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: tfabris]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
    Very tough poll.

    Kliban's stuff is hard to get into. Most of the time it's either so low-brow that it disgusts me, or it goes right over my head and I just don't get it. I had to go for Larson, because at least I always "get" his cartoons, even if they're not always consistently hilarious.
So the reason it was tough is because it was disgusting/unintelligible vs. not always hilarious? Seems like an easy choice to me.
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Bitt Faulk

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#104801 - 12/07/2002 17:56 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: tfabris]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
A more fair comparison might have been Gary Larson vs. Gahan Wilson.

Interesting. I think this comparison exists in different dimensions/planes (how cosmic is that?!?) On one level, if I wanted to make a comparison that emphasized the somewhat creepy, sordid view of life, I guess I would have paired Wilson-Kliban. OTOH, I purposedfully paired L+K because, while sharing a lot of format and general similarities, I think they are very different....
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Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#104802 - 12/07/2002 18:04 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: wfaulk]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
this Kliban guy, and, for the most part, either I'm an idiot or he's not funny. I'm going with the latter. Can I change my vote?

Here, I post this poll, then I gotta run. Friday night TSD rally. Me driving.

I should have perhaps qualified the poll to the effect: "Not counting 'Cats' " If you search for Kliban, say on eBay for out-of-print stuff, what you'll find is a lot of cats stuff (a posthumous cottage industry for Workman Publishing I gather), which, while one aspect of his work, is not fairly representative.

No, you're both right. There's a good chunk of his stuff that *I* don't think is funny, but....

I'm curious to know what you found!
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Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#104803 - 12/07/2002 18:18 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: jimhogan]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Yeah, I saw the cats, but somehow made the jump that that was one of those non-representative money-making deals. So I mostly ignored that. I found this small gallery, and the only one I found to be amusing was this one, which, admittedly, I found quite funny.

Okay, I take it back slightly. This one also made me laugh, but I have no idea why. There were a couple others that were mildly amusing, but, largely, they were just unfunny.
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Bitt Faulk

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#104804 - 12/07/2002 18:53 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: wfaulk]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31286
Loc: Seattle, WA
I find it interesting that the first site there lists his cartoons in order of ascending difficulty.

Didn't Kliban do the classic book "101 uses for a dead cat"?
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Tony Fabris

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#104805 - 13/07/2002 08:35 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: tfabris]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
I find it interesting that the first site there lists his cartoons in order of ascending difficulty.

Yes, I'm not quite sure what possessed that person to think that they could rank order of difficulty. 'Course it's their web page, they can do what they want. And to completely contradict myself, I'll say that they are biased toward some latter books like "Biggest Tongue in Tunisia" that I think are less funny, harder, and that maybe Kliban did just to amuse himself (and maybe piss somebody off at Workman!). Nothing in that list from "Whack Your Porcupine" or "Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head", my favorites (and easier!).

In fact, it was on the occasion of ordering used copies of NEABTYH and WYP (couldn't find my originals -- loaned and never returned in a past life, I think -- and I wanted to look at more Klibans like this one that used to hang over my desk) that I mused on this question again -- L vs. K?

Didn't Kliban do the classic book "101 uses for a dead cat"?

That was someone else. Apparently kliban owned some cats (to the extent that you can ever *really* own cats) and his "Cats" stuff started out as self-amusing character studies of his pets. Now 12 years after he beamed up, they continue to be big business and at some point they may be all that comes to the public mind when you mention his name. That's part of what motivated me to post the poll.
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Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#104806 - 13/07/2002 09:28 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: jimhogan]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
    like this one that used to hang over my desk
While I ``get'' that cartoon, and it does make a good point, and it makes it in a witty manner, it's not actually funny. It's the kind of thing that makes you snort oh-so-slightly and bob your head, as if in imitation of laughing. It's like the Victorian idea of humor, where it simply has to appear to be humorous without actually eliciting an emotional response. It's like an incredible simulation of humor.
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Bitt Faulk

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#104807 - 13/07/2002 10:58 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: wfaulk]
davec
old hand

Registered: 18/08/2000
Posts: 992
Loc: Georgetown, TX USA
"It's funny cuz it's true." Homer J. Simpson
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#104808 - 14/07/2002 11:08 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: wfaulk]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
While I ``get'' that cartoon, and it does make a good point, and it makes it in a witty manner, it's not actually funny. It's the kind of thing that makes you snort oh-so-slightly and bob your head, as if in imitation of laughing. It's like the Victorian idea of humor, where it simply has to appear to be humorous without actually eliciting an emotional response. It's like an incredible simulation of humor

Well put. I'm searching for a word -- some combination of subtle, sublime and ____ -- that described how I look at his stuff. One effect of looking at the cartoons in the original paperbacks is that I think they convey the one-after-the-other sight gags and change-ups better. That being said, much of it isn't funny in an inadverdent-propulsion-of-soft-drink-out-my-nose kind of way. For me, part of what makes up for that is that I just love his carictures - I appreciate his drawing and expressions more than any other cartoonist I can think of.

Anyhow, 2 books on their way. I may not see them for several weeks. They are coming slow-boat book rate and I am traveling for most of the next 10 weeks (that whole job thing). When i get them, though, I may scan a few of the harder-to-find, Jim-thinks-they're-actually-funny examples.

Wow, it's a hyphen kind of day.
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Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#104809 - 04/08/2002 08:42 Re: Poll: Larson or Kliban? [Re: wfaulk]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
It's like the Victorian idea of humor...

In that vein, here's another Kliban, the first one I ever noticed (in the Boston Phoenix, IIRC). Victorian, sort of.

(Just got my out-of-print copy of "Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head" with this cartoon)
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Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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