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Minnesota Funland Comic Postcards

Minnesota Funland comic postcards were published by Northern Minnesota Novelties (later known as NMNInc.) of Cross Lake, Minnesota. Approximate dating is from the late 1960s to the late 1970s. Reprints and the last few designs may have been printed later. The Minnesota Funland series is unusual and possibly unique. I doubt that there are any other local comic series of this size from this time period.

The first postcard in the series refers to the giant statues of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox that are in Bemidji, Minnesota. Paul and Babe have been featured on many view cards.


MF1

All of my postcards have "MF" numbers instead of the letter date codes used by Northern Minnesota Novelties on their view postcards. Most of my postcards have a a "MINNESOTA FUNLAND" logo above the "MF" number. A few have an "AUTHENTIC MINNESOTA SCENE" logo like that used on the company's view cards. The card numbers that I have range from MF1 to MF40, but I am missing a lot of numbers in between.

 

Although there appears to be more that one artist involved, the style of artwork on the postcards is fairly consistent up through MF35. All of these include "Minnesota" either in the caption or the image. Higher numbers, like MF38 and MF40, have very different styles and more generic themes. These don't really look like they belong to the same series, even though they have MF numbers.

A variety of printers seems to have been used, but I only have one card with a printer that is identified. The printing styles vary a lot in type of paper, size, edges, and type style on the backs. Many of the standard size postcards are printed on paper with a pebbly surface that feels a little light (numbers 1, 8, 9, 14, 18, 19, 22, 23). Most of the other cards have a surface that I would call semi gloss (neither matte nor shiny).


MF3


MF4


MF5

I have three different versions of MF6. I am guessing that this was one of the most popular designs. It is one of my favorites both because its subject is uniquely Minnesotan, and because the drawing does such a good job of capturing the feeling of sitting out in the cold at night. It is often quite cold when fishing season opens in the spring. The first one shown below is standard size. The second is continental size, and like the first one has a red nose on the fisherman. The third is a slightly smaller continental size with a glossier finish, and has a fisherman without red on his nose.


MF6


MF6


MF6


MF8


MF9


MF14


MF15


MF16


MF18


MF19


MF21


MF22

The characters on the lower numbered cards have white uncolored skin, while the higher numbered cards have skin tones added.


MF23

The next two cards may be sexist and politically incorrect in their depiction of Native Americans, but I especially like the one of the bathers. Even the bear seems to be having fun.


MF24


MF25


MF26

A fishing net is one way of "holding" your beer!


MF27

Distracted skiing is not recommended.


MF29

Cleaning the oven is not most people's idea of fun, and neither is sitting out in the rain. Rainy days are an unpleasant occurrence on many vacations.


MF32

I have two versions of MF33, one with a black border. This was probably another popular design. Outhouse humor was a popular subject for vacation postcards. This one has a Minnesota license plate tacked to the outhouse door.


MF33


MF33

My MF34 card is the only one I have with a deckle edge. Bears are always good for a laugh on postcard.


MF34

This fisherman is multitasking.


MF35

Fish exaggerations have been used on many postcards. Fishermen never lie — or do they?


MF38

My MF38 card is the only card I have with an identified printer. It is "Printed in Australia by Colorscans." This and the black border MF33 have H. S. Crocker stamp boxes.


MF38

Number MF39 has a UPC code in the upper right corner, along with a number SP1168 and "Printed in U. S. A."


MF39

The caption "Old Fishermen Never Die — They Just Smell That Way" has been used over and over on comic postcards. A quick search on ebay found six other varieties by various publishers.


MF40

 

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