Happiness is a napkin

Classic finds

I have written before about Happiness is a Rat Fink, a 1963 book that parodied Happiness is a Warm Puppy without actually parodying Peanuts itself at all, aping that book’s basic design and concept while focusing on matters that were more adult, more ribald, and more rat finky.

Now, I have a double-interest in this book; not only does it have its relations to the Peanuts world, but it’s also published by the humor publisher Kanrom. I’ve both written about certain Kanrom publications, and reprinted others… including this one. (I took the reprint of this book off the market because I was unhappy with the quality of reproduction I’d achieved.

But recently I’d discovered that the book wasn’t the only format that this material had been used in. Kanrom had licensed out their cartoons to Monogram, who in the 1950s and 1960s put out a number of cocktail napkin sets illustrated with cartoons, Much of the material was original – in fact, I’ve ever reprinted one book that sprung out of a napkin set – but this is a counter-example, a napkin set that culls material from a book.

The material is very reflective of the darker end of the Playboy philosophy, and cartoon nudity does make an appearance.

The box promises 36 napkins, and somehow I managed to get a full set (I guess these napkins were more a thing to own than to use.) However, that’s not 36 cartoons; there were only 30 cartoons in the original book. Instead you get two copies of 18 different cartoons, which is standard for the Monogram sets.

And that’s what the AAUGH Blog is here for – buying half-century old napkins, so you don’t have to!


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