Kliban, who died in 1990, revolutionized single-panel cartoons with his twisted, anti-social panels as well as his invention of the caption in third person. Gary Larson of “The Far Side” followed in his footsteps — some say too closely — as well as others, such as Dan Piraro, who now does the syndicated “Bizarro.” However, Kliban preceded them by at least twenty years.
Kliban turned out cartoons for Playboy starting in 1962 and in 1975 released his first book about Cats from Workman Publishing. The book spawned a massive merchandising phenomena that still generates $10m a year. But it was his cartoon books, including “Whack Your Porcupine,” “Tiny Footprints” and “Never Eat anything Bigger Than Your Head” that won him the hearts and minds of weird humor fans forevermore.