45 Crazy Covers From “Hara Kiri”, the Magazine So ‘Stupid and Nasty’ That Was Banned by the French Government

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In 1960, Georges Bernier and François Cavanna created the monthly satirical magazine Hara Kiri. The magazine, specifically the covers, are insane. Art directed by Fred Aristidès, it’s perverse, bizarre and still shocking fifty years on.

The magazine was one of a few magazines 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.

Hara-Kiri editions, subtitled “Journal bête et méchant” (“Stupid and nasty newspaper”), were constantly aiming at established powers, be they political parties or institutions like the Church or the State. In 1961 and 1966 the monthly magazine was temporarily banned by the French government.

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