August 22, 2002
9:27 AM   Subscribe

He never got as famous as Gary Larson or Edward Gorey, and is best known for his cat pictures, but the rest of his bizarre brand of vulgar social commentary is worth attention. He's B. Kliban, and his humor ranges from the strangely funny to the surreal. More of this gallery here.
posted by interrobang (27 comments total)
Good stuff. Thanks.
posted by ColdChef at 9:33 AM on August 22, 2002

Brilliant, twisted. What this country needs right about now.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:39 AM on August 22, 2002

Haw! This should be on the MetaTalk homepage.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 9:39 AM on August 22, 2002

har de har har
posted by monkeyJuice at 9:42 AM on August 22, 2002

Oh Kliban. It's a crime that his non-cat stuff is currently out of print. Brings a tear to my aluminum gallbladder.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:42 AM on August 22, 2002

I dunno, there were a couple of years there were Kliban crap was everywhere you looked. I think he got overexposed, and forgotten as a fad. I bet those cat pictures are still Q-rated higher than either Larson or Gorey.
posted by dhartung at 9:45 AM on August 22, 2002

When he was alive he released a series of small books in which the one-panel cartoon became high art. They wander in and out of print, so if you see them, snag them. The best: Whack Your Porcupine, Two Guys Fooling Around With The Moon, Tiny Footprints, and Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head. The cat material and many posthumous sketch collections only mar proper appreciation of his MASSIVE GENIUS.
posted by damehex at 9:47 AM on August 22, 2002

I loved his "Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head"

This was always my favorite of his cartoons.

And he definitely had something with his cat - loaf comparisons.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:50 AM on August 22, 2002

My favorite was always "The Birth of Advertising", but I can't find it anywhere on the web.

This one will do, though.
posted by dglynn at 10:35 AM on August 22, 2002

I own ALL the Kliban books and am going to go home tonight and laugh myself senseless with them. Thanks, interrobang!

I remember the very first time I ever saw a Gary Larson cartoon and thought to myself "This guy is ripping off Kliban!"

I agree with Kafkaesque that the fly cartoon is one of the funniest of them all, but this one ranks right up there too.
posted by briank at 10:40 AM on August 22, 2002

For some reason, I had a number of his books as a child. What were my parents thinking? (Well, they were probably thinking "I wonder if my drug dealer is home?") Now when I look at them, they seem so... raunchy.

My favorites are his horrid rhyming cartoons. 20 years later, I still recall "Pretty. City. Grandma's Titty." Or something to that effect.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:19 AM on August 22, 2002

no Cat art discussion is complete without a reference to this
posted by mikepet at 11:24 AM on August 22, 2002

And for Miguel: Portugal.
posted by ColdChef at 11:45 AM on August 22, 2002

I read all of those books in my formative late teen years, and to this day am seriously twisted because of it. Much of his vision and language has crept into my own. Favorites:

"Alas, the Madonna does not function"

Squid Mart

And the ubiquitous "Hardw"

A sorely missed genius
posted by Windopaene at 12:01 PM on August 22, 2002

Man, it took me forever to get "Hardw".
posted by briank at 12:06 PM on August 22, 2002

Love love love. I got "Two Guys Fooling Around with the Moon" randomly in like fourth grade, probably because it looked like a Far Side book. I understood maybe about 1/4 of the cartoons then, but I'd take it out now and then and understand a few more of them as I got older. And looking through them again, I never realized how many of them have actually stuck with me ever since. Like "Never eat anything bigger than your head," and the "Chapter I" series.
posted by rusty at 12:08 PM on August 22, 2002

I found the boxed set at a used bookstore a few years back and snapped it up immediatley.

Kliban has made me a large part of what I am today.

grandma's titty

Read my first in the 70s as a grade school kid ... warped me beyond repair.
posted by Dillenger69 at 2:11 PM on August 22, 2002

My dad had Never Eat Anything Bigger than Your Head when I was a kid. As I recall we'd look at it together but he'd always skip the "dirty" ones.
posted by MountainGrl at 2:20 PM on August 22, 2002

"It was hell!", recalls former child.
posted by gamera at 5:06 PM on August 22, 2002

Give Alice some pencils and she'll stay busy for hours.
posted by briank at 6:07 PM on August 22, 2002

yeah, good stuff. thanks to whoever posted those pictures on their website. and thank all of you for coming. Larson sucks.
posted by ColdBacon at 7:12 PM on August 22, 2002

Thanks, ColdBacon!
posted by interrobang at 8:11 AM on August 23, 2002

Hey! They're gone now. Drat.
posted by ColdChef at 9:38 AM on August 23, 2002

yes. it's an amazing coincidence, but you must believe me. i just happened to choose that day to reorganize my sub-directories. i moved all kliban pictures from pics/ to pics/kliban/ and only afterwards, the very same day, i noticed the metafilter influx. odd timing. i reposted a couple of the choicer ones because i felt bad. nobody likes to see a broken link, even if it's not on your own site. anyway, that is the whole truth and you must all believe me.
posted by ColdBacon at 10:16 AM on August 24, 2002

If we get ColdBacon and ColdChef together -- man, that's gonna be some good eatin'.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 10:32 AM on August 24, 2002

I'll provide the skillet.
posted by kindall at 12:57 PM on August 24, 2002

i can see what they mean about metafilter having only the most erudite conversation
posted by ColdBacon at 2:23 PM on August 24, 2002

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