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World Octopus Day

October 8, 2015

By Rachel Milani

World Octopus Day may typically celebrate the 8 legged, tentacled sea creature of children’s nightmares, but here at UW Digital Collections, we celebrate World Octopus Day Wisconsin style.  The Wisconsin Octopus Magazine, more generally known as the Octopus or “The Octy”, was one of  UW Madison’s Campus Humor Publications for many years.  It aimed to poke fun at the University and its faculty, students, traditions, daily life, and other elements of the Wisconsin collegiate experience.  The cover of the November 1937 issue, pictured on the left, displays a glimpse into the Octopus Magazine’s humor, mocking a lecturing professor. The magazine used its cover art, satirical essays, cartoons and illustrations, poems, short plays, and other literary devices to both entertain and provide an alternative view of campus life. No one was safe from their biting wit, regardless of their position.  The campus publication joked about the dean’s salary, campus events, girls’ schedules, professors’ habits, and the prom king’s lack of a tuxedo.