The other day, whilst wandering around the stacks, I stumbled upon collections of the Green Gander. Being an editor of Iowa State’s literary journal, Sketch, and admiring collaborative magazines and works such as Trend, I was intrigued and had to scope out the printed publications for myself!
In case you need a refresher, the Green Gander was a campus humor magazine, complete with ads, anecdotes, comics, and more. This previous blog post provides more information about the history of the magazine: Campus Humor-The Green Gander
The specific issue pictured above was published during the spring semester of 1953, exactly 70 years ago, and features an enticing short piece of fiction titled “The Love Life of a Space Cadet,” which chronicles an alien named Krzcl and his trouble with love. Small cartoon aliens provide visuals for the story.
The Green Gander published quarterly each school year, oftentimes releasing issues for Fall, Christmas, Veishea, and more.
In a Valentine’s-themed print from February of 1951, the magazine includes jokes and advertisements tailored to “all things romance.” This particular cover below features a photograph of a woman displayed inside an outline of a heart appearing to be in the middle of a very real nap, with her eyes closed, hair splayed perfectly out in waves, and her makeup flawless while a cut-out of a baby’s face looks up at her in awe. This same baby sporting different facial expressions can be found throughout the magazine, always placed next to pictures of stunning ladies from around campus.
It should be noted that the issues discussed in this post were published prior to the magazine’s makeover in 1959-60, which took place after complaints piled up regarding its unprofessional nature and “suggestive” humor. Publication ceased in 1960 but copies of these magazines remain here in SCUA. Should you decide to come check them out in our reading room (we’re located on the fourth floor of Parks library!) you’ll see that some of the material included in these issues are not necessarily up to today’s standards of what would be deemed “appropriate” and are a stark contrast to what students at the university publish today. Reader discretion is encouraged.
Feel free to check out some of ISU’s current publications on Instagram!
- Sketch Literary Journal: @sketchlitjournal
- Trend Magazine: @trendmag_
- Iowa State Daily: @iowastatedaily
- Cardinal Eats Magazine: @cardinaleatsmag