< 7° of Separation

Click the picture below to see the entire cover to the January, 1965 issue of a humor magazine called HELP! The Beatles’ movie HELP! wasn’t released until August, 1965, leading one to speculate what possible influence Terry Gilliam’s bit of airbrushed artistic whimsy may have had on the title. Yes, that’s Terry Gilliam the animator, director and Monty Python troupe member who is listed as contributing editor.

HELP! was the brainchild of Harvey Kurtzman. In an earlier posting I have a link to a gallery with one of Kurtzman’s early comic-book stories. Kurtzman is still remembered today as the man who started MAD Magazine. One evening, Gilliam, who had replaced HELP! staffer Gloria Steinem, went to an off-Broadway show that featured a performer named John Cleese. They met and Cleese was talked into performing a photo comic strip for the magazine. Look for that in a future posting. After HELP! folded, Gilliam later caught up with Cleese in London, and then there was something completely different.

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