[Daily article] May 30: Harvey Kurtzman’s Jungle Book

Harvey Kurtzman’s Jungle Book is a 1959 graphic novel by American
cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman. The satirical stories are aimed at an adult
audience, in contrast to Kurtzman’s earlier work for adolescents in
periodicals such as Mad. The social satire in the book’s four stories
targets Peter Gunn-style private-detective shows, Westerns such as
Gunsmoke, capitalist greed in the publishing industry, Freudian pop
psychology, and lynch-hungry yokels in the Deep South. Kurtzman had
created the satirical Mad in 1952, but left its publisher EC Comics in
1956 after a dispute over financial control. He proposed Jungle Book as
an all-original cartoon book to Ballantine Books to replace their
successful series of Mad collections, which had moved to another
publisher. Ballantine accepted his proposal, albeit with reservations
about its commercial viability. Jungle Book was the first mass-market
paperback of original comics published in the United States. Though it
was not a financial success, it attracted fans and critical acclaim for
its brushwork, satirical adult-oriented humor, experimental dialogue
balloons, and adventurous page and panel designs.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


The East Indiaman ship Arniston was wrecked during a storm at
Waenhuiskrans, near Cape Agulhas, present-day South Africa, with the
loss of 372 lives.


Pearl Hart, one of the few female outlaws of the American Old
West, performed one of the last recorded stagecoach robberies 30 miles
(48 km) southeast of Globe, Arizona.


Buddhist crisis: A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination
was held outside South Vietnam’s National Assembly, the first open
demonstration against President Ngô Đình Diệm.


Members of the Japanese Red Army carried out the Lod Airport
massacre in Tel Aviv, Israel, on behalf of PFLP External Operations,
killing over 20 people and injuring almost 80 others.


The disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway while on
a high school graduation trip to Aruba caused a media sensation in the

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

nature-deficit disorder:
(psychology) A class of behavioural problems in modern children,
ascribed to the fact that they spend little time outdoors, the existence
of which is regarded by some as controversial.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Unity is the great goal toward which humanity moves irresistibly.
But it becomes fatal, destructive of the intelligence, the dignity, the
well-being of individuals and peoples whenever it is formed without
regard to liberty, either by violent means or under the authority of any
theological, metaphysical, political, or even economic idea. That
patriotism which tends toward unity without regard to liberty is an evil
patriotism, always disastrous to the popular and real interests of the
country it claims to exalt and serve.  
–Mikhail Bakunin

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