Bert Fegg’s Nasty Book for Boys and Girls was, without a doubt, my favourite book as a teenager. I found it in the bargain bin at a Cole’s bookstore in 1979, or maybe 1980. If I remember correctly, a shaft of light came down from the heavens and illuminated the word ‘Nasty‘, and I was powerless to resist. Also, it was a buck. I’ve had many serendipitous moments in bookstores, but clearly the hand of god was involved in this transaction.

The book is supposedly written by Bert Fegg, a disheveled and bulbous crank, but this assemblage of wiseacrey is in fact, penned by Terry Jones and Michael Palin, of Monty Python fame. It is not unlike an episode of MPFC in the variety of content, but it has, you know, more words. And the sarcasm is directed toward traditional children’s fare such as school texts, annuals, games, and comic strips. It’s a beautiful mash-up of satire and silliness, packaged and illustrated by Martin and Lolly Honeysett, who have a definite Gilliamesque flare for the absurd. The mostly black & white illustrations of pervy scribes, Turkish Wall Goats, and inebriated dogs had a huge influence on my drawing style as a kid. Suffice to say, I was never the same after Bert Fegg’s Nasty Book For Boys and Girls.

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