The PopCult Bookshelf
First of all, we have to look at the full title of this book: Gag On This: The Scrofulous Cartoons of Charles Rodrigues. It may seem, at first, like an odd choice of words for a book filled with cartoons.
“Scrofulous” has two definitions at the Merriam-Webster website:
a : having a diseased run-down appearance
b : morally contaminated <scrofulous characters…so quick to smear — John Garrity>
While you might find it odd to have a word generally associated with tuberculosis of the lymph nodes being used to describe a collection of cartoons, when you look at Rodrigues’ work, it’s actually damned-near the perfect word for the job.
This book is a collection of gag cartoons by Charles Rodrigues that were originally published in The National Lampoon in the 1970s and 1980s. Given the sick sense of humor that Rodrigues displayed, and the Lampoon’s counter-culture “no sacred cows” bent, it’s no surprise that these cartoons test the boundaries of good taste.