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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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When Mad magazine grew too tame for me I ended up reading National Lampoon, which grew out of the Harvard Lampoon and became a powerhouse of intelligent satire at a time when the USA needed an opposing voice. NatLamp parodied the presidencies through Vietnam, Kent State, Spiro Agnew, Watergate and every other social/ political disaster to hit America with an astonishing team of writers and artists…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Media
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Humour magazines once proliferated throughout the western world, from Le Canard Enchaine to Punch, Lilliput and Spy, they scored points with erudition, wit and yes, cruelty. There has pretty much always been a ' journal bête et méchant' in France, and the same in the UK. I've written before about America's National Lampoon, which had grown out of the Harvard Lampoon and was filled with writing…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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Stories tend to reflect the times in which they were written, whether you mean them to or not. Before John Hughes became a film director, he was a creative director at the Leo Burnett ad agency's Chicago branch. In 1979 he got snowed in and was stuck at home, so he wrote a short story for the collegiate magazine 'National Lampoon', the national spin-off from the Harvard Lampoon which under Tony…
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Christopher Fowler
I tend to get billed as the most English of writers, but there's another side to this. From a very early age I was utterly immersed in US culture. I knew the rules of baseball and what a 'rain check' was. I could name most American cars and movie stars. I read Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer and Edgar Allen Poe. I wanted all the stuff I saw in the backs of American comics. I wanted 100 magnets and civil…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
Here's a really lost movie. I remember seeing it at the Curzon Mayfair and being unable to get it out of my head for ages, even though it didn't seem to make a shred of sense to me at the time. What I didn't realise then is that it was in part an homage to Alain Resnais. 'Last Year at Marienbad' is a clear influence, and perhaps so is Luis Bunuel. And yet it is American (in the way that from time…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
Papers are reporting that the body of a man with his hands and feet nailed to a wooden cross and a crown of thorns on his head has been found in an abandoned South Korean stone quarry. The body had a wound to the side of the torso and nylon strings tied around the neck, arms and stomach, and was clad only in underpants, police said. It was found on Sunday in Mungyong, about 115 miles (190km) south…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
When Mad grew tame I went to DC comics, then Marvel Comics (tougher), then underground comix (darker, ruder), then National Lampoon, which grew out of the Harvard Lampoon and became a powerhouse of intelligent satire at a time when the USA needed an opposing voice. National Lampoon parodied the presidencies through Vietnam, Kent State, Spiro Agnew, Watergate and every other social/ political…
3 comments

Years