Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item

Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item


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Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item by Mark Newgarden, Inc Picturebox, Picturebox Inc.

Remember when you zapped your friend with a joy buzzer? Planted fake vomit on the dining room table for your unsuspecting mother to find? Who could resist the hours of entertainment promised by the artificial ink spot? Cheap Laffs plunders pop culture's sub-basement to chronicle the aesthetic and cultural achievements of the novelty item.

Sharply designed, jam-packed with illustrations, and written with a touch of irony, this book celebrates a thriving, if marginal, industry devoted to the creation of a modest product of questionable quality, taste, originality, and necessity. The Whoopee Cushion, The Smoking Monkey, fake worms, chickens, eggs, butter, nails, and pencils-we can only marvel at the outlandish ingenuity of these objects seemingly concocted in a frenzied atmosphere of pop cultural temperature-taking and reckless dementia. How else can we even begin to explain the mouse-shaped eraser, the enormous vibrating eye, or the miniature baby in a celluloid peanut? Unearthing the best, oddest, and most intriguing novelties of the past century, this highly entertaining, nostalgia-filled book is sure to appeal to all consumers of kitsch and visual culture.

Author Bio: Mark Newgarden, creator of the 1980s Garbage Pail Kids for the Topps Company, is a visual artist whose work has appeared in publications ranging from RAW to The New York Times Op-Ed page. He has conceived, scripted, and designed programming for Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network. PictureBox, Inc., a visual content studio and publishing house composed of Peter Buchanan-Smith and Dan Nadel, produces the annual book of pictures and prose The Ganzfeld.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810955998
Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2004
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.70(d)

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