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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 8. 1967.

Torn to shreds by razor minds

Torn to shreds by razor minds

Wonder Wart-Hog, Captain Crud And Other Super Stuff, edited by Chuck Alverson, Fawcett Gold Medal Book, New York, 1967.

"The blurb suggests that in this book the "Pepsi generation takes on the Great Society . . . stuffed shirts are torn to shreds by razor minds . . . and every ludicrous national hero gets equal opportunity to be boiled in a cauldron of acid wit."

It is therefore interesting to us New Zealanders, possessing as we do a modicum of 'stuffed shirts and ludicrous national heroes, and without any marked prevalence of Pepsi generations, Great Societies, razor minds, or acid wits.

The book is a mixed bag of undergraduate satire from the USA, all using the comic strip to satirise both the strip and Society, Great or mini. "Wonder Wart-Hog Meets Super-Patriot ... an amazing adventure in which the Hog of Steel pulls the nation from the brink of ruin just in time to save the off-year election for the Democrats";

"Ordinary Man—Faster than a speeding child!! More powerful than a medium-sized woman! Able to leap puddles if the wind is with him!"

The general level of quality is high—well above the aimless lavatorial giggle which, with exception, is published as undergraduate wit in New Zealand. Some, Indeed much, is on a slick professional level, and while some of it is topical and parochial ("Clark Cur") even yobs like us can recognise the allusions of most of the material.

I think the best thing I can say is that if you enjoy satire of the American type exemplified in the idiom of Mad and similar magazines, you will undoubtedly find this book pleasing. And if you consider this idiom coarse, unsubtle and not amusing, perhaps you should look at this book and see whether indeed it can be finely pointed and witty, not to say pretty slashing. In my view it, can, and I believe that this volume backs me up.

John Pettigrew