First & Last: Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies

The news of a new collection of Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies comic strip, which ran in The Village Voice from 1974 to 1995, sent me to the archives to find the first and last of the comic strip that for 20 years portrayed New York City life using quotes heard that both the cartoonist and the paper guaranteed were “reported verbatim.”

Having been art director at The New York Herald Tribune and The New York Times Sunday Magazine Stan Mack approached The Village Voice design master Milton Glaser about contributing a comic strip to the alternative newspaper. Glaser talked Mack into a weekly spot – Milton asked, Stan said yes, not much arm twisting on either side.

Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies debuted in the November 14, 1974 edition of The Village Voice:

For twenty years Stan created the mostly weekly comic strip, until the August 8, 1995 issue:

Of course the quality of the strips in the book will far superior to these archive strips. For example:

Only larger.

Speaking of the book …

If you had the collection from 1979 (below, left) you know you want the upcoming new collection (below, right).

If you don’t have the old book (or, like me, it’s in some box on storage shelves) here is a sampling of the comic.

The new book is not a complete collection, that would make the book over 1,000 pages if Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies and The Village Voice appeared weekly during the twenty years of 1974 – 1995, rather it is what they are calling “a comprehensive collection.” The strips are broken into ten chapters each featuring two years of the strip in chronological order. Extra bonus: each chapter is introduced by Stan Mack with his recollections of the strips, the newspaper, and the city of the corresponding times.

all images © Stan Mack

2 thoughts on “First & Last: Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies

  1. I know two people who were the subject of one of the strips, and they told me it was indeed “verbatim.”

  2. Another new yorker with endless drivel about new york. I’m beyond bored with that topic. Get over yourselves, new york

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