October 28, 2013

"The Lighter Side of Copyright Infringement."

Appropriating the panels Dave Berg drew for MAD and replacing the word balloons. (Via Metafilter.)

National Lampoon did it in 1971, and "'in 1991 or 1992,' Sam Henderson and some unnamed friends put together a zine titled The Lighter Side of Copyright Infringement, featuring Berg MAD art with rewritten, raunchy words in the balloons. (Henderson is proud that they found a font similar to MAD’s mechanical typography.)" And:

The editors of MAD began to practice Berg-d├ętournement themselves when they introduced (in #487, March 2008) their “Darker Side of The Lighter Side” feature, a recycling of Berg’s images with new word balloons. Now Berg’s delicately-drawn characters deliver jokes about murder and sex offenders in the pages of the magazine itself. Late capitalism can recuperate and profit from anything, including the subversion of its own laws about property ownership, but the inspiration for “The Darker Side of The Lighter Side” goes back to the earliest comic-book issues of MAD, where Harvey Kurtzman wrote new, supposedly funny word balloons for previously published E.C. horror stories (“Murder the Husband!” / “Murder the Story!” MAD #11, May 1954) and slapped captions on pictures of babies (“Baby Quips!” MAD #13, July 1954) to save money on contributors’ wages and keep ahead of crushing deadlines.

7 comments:

David-2 said...

Entertaining. Don't forget Dysfunctional Family Circus - the same game, crowd-sourced. And apparently started in 1989, according to Wikipedia.

MadisonMan said...

Three cheers for Roger Kaputnik!

Sigivald said...

"Late capitalism can recuperate and profit from anything"

Makes me wonder where the author absorbed his terminological cant.

"Late capitalism" used like that reeks of academic Marxism.

BarrySanders20 said...

It always was pretty dark. Part of the irony of The Lighter Side.

William said...

I used to read Mad magazine from cover to cover, every issue. Dave Berg wasn't one of my favorites, but he was mildly amusing. Perhaps the mildness was the point. The world of grown ups as presented by him wasn't so threatening and jagged. He was a kind of Mister Rogers for 8th graders......I haven't thought of Dave Berg in years. He was part of the landscape but more as a scrub pine than as a towering oak. I'm surprised that anyone still remembers him and thinks enough of him to parody him. It's like Lady Gaga doing a cover album of Fabian's greatest hits.

Steve said...

Probably the best of them:

http://thischarmingcharlie.tumblr.com/

Michael said...

Wasn't the Franklin Gothic? Couldn't be more obvious to imitate. That's like congratulating someone for getting the Gill Sans on the Keep Calm sign.