The cover of ‘Hara Kiri’ magazine #132.The text reads: ‘What young people want? Eat the old.’
French adult satire magazine Hara Kiri, was one of a few magazine published back in the early 1960s that helped further along the proliferation of adult-oriented satire magazines like its American counterparts MAD and National Lampoon. Since the European outlook on humor was, let’s say, much more “open-minded” than in the U.S., Hara Kiri was able to blaze a trail bound straight for the gutter when it came to its unique brand of depraved comedic imagery.
A page from Hara Kiri magazine depicting mother introducing her young daughter to BDSM ‘equipment.’ The sign reads ‘The Little Whore.’
So boundary-pushing were the staff of Hara Kiri (that for a short time included an illustrator revered by Fellini, Stan Lee and Hayao Miyazaki, Jean Henri Gaston Giraud who drew cartoons for the journal under the name “Moebius”), that it was banned from being sold to minors by the French government after the magazine lampooned the death of former President of the French Republic, Charles de Gaulle in November of 1970—suggesting that the press coverage his demise was excessive compared to the news reports surrounding the deaths of 146 people (most of them just teenagers) at the infamous fire at the French disco, Club Cinq-Sept eight days earlier.
Full of sharp and demented political satire, and gleefully dark, observational humor (such as portraying a child being usefully reappropriated as a broom, or the mother introducing her young daughter to BDSM equipment, pictured above), Hara Kiri never stopped going after organized political or religious institutions in the most inexplicable ways. To this day the decades-old images still resonate the rebellious, non-conformist spirit Hara Kiri embodied during its heyday.
I’ve included many images from the strange covers of the magazine (who enjoyed referring to itself as a “Journal bête et méchant” or “Stupid and evil journal”), as well as some of Hara Kiri’s perplexing pages from the magazine. What I wasn’t able to include in this post were some of the magazine’s best known images that are simply so perverse it’s just not possible for me to show them to you here in a family publication. But that’s what Google’s for, right?
The cover of Hara Kiri #186. The text reads (in part) ‘Pope condemns hammer blows to the mouth.’
A page from Hara Kiri. The text when translated reads: ‘Your child is stupid? Make it a broom!’
The cover of Hara Kiri #17. Text reads: ‘Beat your wife.’
Much more from the deviant pages of Hara Kiri, some which might be considered NSFW, follow after the jump…