Capt’n Billy’s Whiz Bang

w1929As a guy who still pines
for his monthly
National Lampoon
subscription fix,

even though it’s been
defunct since 1998,

you’ll probably not be
all that surprised

when I say I’m a big fan
of humor magazines…….

Humor magazines in English
have a long, storied history –
— going way back to “Punch”,
started in 1831.

The modern trend toward
humor publications
was actually started in Poland –

in 1816 — by the “Society of Rogues” ,
followed by the “Philanderer” in 1830-wnice

But,
they were printed in Polish, of course.

In the United States,
humor publications were
first oriented toward the ‘college’ crowd —

The Yale Record and Harvard Lampoon
both started in the 1870’s.

Although American adult-oriented
humor Magazines probably owe
a good deal of their lineage
to a publication called ” Judge”,
printed from 1881 to 1953 —

( and to a more short-lived one
called ” Vanity Fair ” )

My favorite pioneer of
the genre was called:
Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang ” .

A collection of snarky cartoons
and semi-dirty jokes…. w3

It was started in 1919 by a retired Army Captain
and veteran of the Spanish American War,
named Wilford “Billy” Fawcett.

Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang was
variously self-described as an :
” Explosion of Pedigreed Bunk (or Bull) ” ,
” Farm Yard Full of Fun and Filosophy ”
” America’s Magazine of Wit, Humor and Filosophy ” .

Fawcett explained what he was
trying to do with Capt. Billy’s thus:
” This little publication was created
with the idea of giving the former servicemen
a continuation of the pep and snap we got in the army,”

And the magazine did cause quite a stir,
—- especially in polite society .

David Sloane,w4
in “American Humor Magazines
and Comic Periodicals” notes:

Few periodicals reflect the post-WW I cultural change in American life as well as Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang. To some people [it] represented the decline of morality and the flaunting of sexual immodesty; to others it signified an increase in openness. For much of the 1920s, Captain Billy’s was the most prominent comic magazine in America with its mix of racy poetry and naughty jokes and puns, aimed at a small-town audience with pretensions of “sophistication”.

Naughty and racy —
well,
how could you go wrong, right?

Of course,
it’s way back before my time,

— and the first time I’d ever
even heard about it, w1
was in the movie “The Music Man” —

when Robert Preston was describing
the moral decline of children in the year 1912:

“Is there a nicotine stain on his index finger?
A dime novel hidden in the corncrib?
Is he starting to memorize jokes
from Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang?”

Of course,
I was hooked from that point.

Sure, the humor is dated,
and can offend people
who don’t remember
to consider the times and culture
in which it was produced.

So, it’s not for everybody, w1928
but then, what is ?

It’s absolutely precious as a
historical reference, and fun, too.

Captain Billy employed a number of very skilled artists
like Frank Tashlin, and Norman Saunders….

It also spurred a number of imitators,
some of whom really couldn’t maintain
the same levels of quality
in terms of content,
art, and print craftsmanship…….

and it influenced others —w2
including:

“Joy Book”,
“Laff”,
“Charlie Jones’ Laugh Book”
“Eye Opener”
“Bally Hoo”
and “Esquire” ( founded in 1933).

Even Captain Billy
got into the knock-off action
with “Smokehouse Monthly”.

By the mid 1930’s,
Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang’s humor
seemed old-fashioned and
out of step with the times,
and the publishing empire
(Fawcett Publications)1922
that it had created started focusing
on other types of periodicals,
like:

comic books – ” Captain Marvel ” ,

paperbacks – ” Gold Medal Books “,

technology – ” Mechanix Illustrated ”

movie mags – ” Movie Story ”

noir fiction – ” Daring Detective”

men’s action – ” Cavalier ”

household advice- ” Family Circle”

Time marches on, a1
I guess…..

But to me, any opportunity to laugh
makes the world a happier place,

and so the passing
of the Whiz Bang,
like the later passing
of the National Lampoon,

still fills me with a feeling of loss.

Happily,

we still have plenty
of old copies laying around.

.

HOY!

whizbang

 

 

 

1922

French Kisses

You gotta love the French.

And one of the
main reasons
you gotta love
the French:

— is that when
the French
love something,
they do it up right.

You can see it
in their literature.

You can see it
in their cuisine.

You can see it
in their architecture.

Take a trip down
to the Chartres Cathedral
and tell me you can’t see it.

You can see it in their art.

Take a tour through
the Louvre Museum 1910
and tell me you can’t feel it
right down to the tile floor
in the Richelieu.

You can feel that
very special vibe
walking though
the streets of Montmartre.

Taste the food and the wine
and tell me you don’t get it —-

And most especially,

the French
LOVE to LOVE.

I’m a big fan of vintage
French postcards,
as you probably know…..baiser

And my favorite series
had to do with
that very subject.

Kissing, Lovemaking —
Douce AMOUR.

As the French would say:

” Que mes baisers soient
les mots d’amour
que je ne te dis pas
. “

( Let my kisses tell you
what my words can’t say.) 

I dunno why we
as Americans
have been so stuffy
about the subject,a2

because I think
the French definitely
have had the right
idea all along.

And they’ve developed
a whole system of
understanding seduction
— and the art of petting —
and the methodology
of doing it well.

Take this vintage REX French
post-card from the 1920’s:

Called “Les Baisers d’Amourbaisers
( ” The Kisses of Love ” ) .

There are six varieties
of kisses illustrated,
each with it’s own
special description
of how it feels….
( or perhaps,
it’s end effect, no ?)

In order from
left to right,
top to bottom:

Coaxing
Tender
Ardent
Amorous
Intoxicating
Affectionate

Hey, that’s some
promising stuff, huh ?

Despite the fact
that this card
is about a hundred years old,
it still cuts pretty much
right to the chase, right?

And that’s another
charming aspect of the French.

They take their pleasure serious,
very serious indeed.

Makes sense to me, man.
s1

As a further evidence of this fact,
I present this card –

Called ” Les Baisers
( ” Kisses ” )

this card specifies more varieties,
– and further illustrations –

for the aspiring apprentice
in the amorous arts.

It includes:

The Surprise Kiss
The Sincere Kiss
The Lingering Kiss
The Fiery Kiss
The Warm Kiss
The Impassioned Kissa1

(notice they don’t show you
where the guy’s hands
are on that last one…. )

And, yes —
it does seem like
the combination
of all those kisses
might be working
wonders on the chick
in the rose-colored dress.

It’s amazing whatbaisers
one can learn from
postcards, ya know..

Like how all this chemistry
comes together —

Le Langage Des Baisers ” —

The Language of Kisses “,
explains how :

Kisses of happiness
brings about blushing of cheeks
Lovers kisses slowly
build to a powerful arousal
Kisses on the neck makes us fools
(for love)
— and after that —
Lips united in infinite ecstasy. 

YOW.

And of course,
as we all know,

Love is something
that’s good anytime of the year.

Just consult
Le Langage des Nuits

When spring comes along
It can be very exhilarating
And it can pass away
Just as intenselynuits

When the summer passes
One last kiss
Marks love’s ending
With the rising sun

Wild autumn nights
So full of passion
Astonishing the heart
With so much happiness

The winter nights are mild
When, for heat,
Mouth to mouth
Meet for a long kiss a4

.

I just hope the native
French speakers among you
will pardon me for the
shortcomings of my
high school French-class
-level translations……..

But the rest of you
certainly get the idea.

So, like I said —

The French absolutely
love the acts of love.

And who can blame ’em?

HOY !!!!!

a3

.

PS: if you enjoy this subject,
well, it happens that so do I,
and I’ve got another post
about it in my archive, here.

.

Now, some music.

Here’s Miss Josephine Baker .

And remember –

Le prix d’Amour, c’est seulement Amour,
Il faut aimer si l’on veut être aimé.

.
.
.