Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Acquisition: Yankee Humor- and a pot-pourri of twentieth century humor magazines

If you know what you're looking at, it's still quite possible to get a nice item for very little money. I just bought this on eBay for 22 dollars plus postage. I'm really quite excited to have it.

I'd never laid eyes on a copy of Yankee Humor before and was prepared to pay a lot more for it. It is quite rare, not being in the Union List of Serials (an essential reference for the periodical collector). It is listed in David Sloane's exceedingly well-researched book on American humor magazines, part of a great series on periodicals published by Greenwood Press.

The last issue was probably Volume 2, Number 1 (May 1928). It was published by Consolidated Features in New York City and has thirty-six pages of humorous stories and cartoons. and is 8 x 11 (quarto) in size.
Aside from its rarity, it has quite a bit else going for it- a movie theme and a rare and great image of the phenomenally popular Charles Chaplin.

I contributed some magazines to a show at MOMA about 15 years ago entitled "Fame After Photography" and the Chaplin issues of Film Fun were among the most popular items in the whole show. By the way these rare images represent the first and second issue of that title- an amalgamation of three previous titles published by Leslie/Judge. It lasted into the thirties when it evolved into a "girlie" magazine. Not a bad run at the time.

I've also included images of a few of the dozens of first issue humor magazines I have from this era. Great illustration and a great reflection of the popular culture of the time. If you want to know very rapidly about what people in a society care about at any given point in time, you'll get a very good sense of it if you just head for a newsstand and check out the magazine covers!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hopefully you can help me out a little bit! My boyfriend recently helped his grandmother clean out her basement. To our surprise we found hundreds of old magazines ranging from Political (example- yankee humor vol 1 number 1) to Mens Magazines (one of which is Bunk vol 1 number 1) Most if not all in Mint condition. I am very very interested in the Pre-post war magazines which we have probably 100 of.(from 1927-1946) How exciting!! Do you have any idea where i could more easily look these up to find their value?? My e-mail address if you have time to send me a note is Im sure that you have a busy schedule but if you have just a min to shoot me a line it would be much appreciated. Thanks so much!!! Esther Jones