Mad Magazine, the long-running humor magazine, which sliced sacred cows of every facet of life from the left, right and the middle, announced last week that it is ceasing publication after its August issue. For many generations of fans who grew up with and were heavily if not solely influenced by the magazine in their youth, the announcement closes a chapter in the annals of American humor.
My New York Comic-Con 2016 whirlwind this past weekend ended with one of my favorite interviews (Shhh… don’t tell Guillermo del Toro and Steven Yeun aka “Glenn” from The Walking Dead!). Mad Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief John Ficarra was on hand dispensing comedic wisdom in the midst of a bunch of comic book authors, but I only had eyes for him. I have been reading MAD on and off since the early 1980s, and am a huge fan. So now that everyone is aware of my high-class taste in literature…
Check out the interview below, as well as the cover for a different kind of “MAD” book.
Eerie #3 Written by Landry Q. Walker, Jonathan Case, Gerry Boudreau
Illustrated by Troy Nixey, Jonathan Case, Wally Wood
Lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover by Jim Pavelek Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 10, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
Eerie #3 from Dark Horse Comics blasts off with three new tales of “Close Encounters of the Spooky Kind” from Landry Q. Walker, Jonathan Case, and Gerry Boudreau. Unlike its recently-revived relative Creepy that’s taken on a shockingly modern feel, Eerie has held on to its vintage vibe in both story and artwork. This Golden Age atmosphere is crystal clear in the bizarre cosmic shorts of its latest issue.
Hunger (written by Landry Q. Walker and illustrated by Troy Nixey) tells of the plight of a benevolent alien who crash-lands on Earth and struggles to survive in an environment void of food. Upon making the discovery that human flesh satisfies his tastes, he struggles with the moral conflicts of devouring the race that he was sent to study. You can bet the tale takes a turn for the gruesome “” in the best and most Outer Limits way possible.
Happy 84th Birthday today to Mort Drucker, one of the art medium’s great caricaturists, whose work for decades upon decades in Mad Magazine has endeared him to millions of fans around the world and set a bar for himself as one of the genres great artists of all-time.
Starting at Mad in the late 1950s and still contributing to the magazine to the present day, what the art of Mort Drucker has brought to that publication is immeasurable. His caricatures are highly distinctive and original and they run the gamut and spectrum of pretty much everyone in any form of entertainment media, be it from Hollywood’s finest and not-so-finest past and present, music titans, sports figures, and television characters. Drucker stands second to possibly only the late Al Hirschfeld, who elevated and pretty much clamped down on the entire caricature style in illustration and became synonymous with it, creating a body of work that lasted over 70 years and was affixed to everything from Broadway Showbills to U.S. postage stamps.
Thirteen years ago today saw the passing of one of the strangest, highly creative, and most gleefully insane cartoonists in the mediums broad and rich history, one Don Martin, whose wacky, off-center, and superbly memorable cartoons graced the pages of Mad Magazine for much for that publications heyday.
The style of Martin’s work was instantly recognizable, his characters had bombastic traits about their physicality, huge noses and feet, and borrowed heavily from and also acted as a drawn homage to the broadest, wildest forms of inane, surreal, and crazy slapstick and all its slapdash manifestations. Martin coupled this with a technique he pretty much pioneered, the usage of sound effects created in Martin’s own language, utilizing an onomatopoetic approach to them, which were at once ridiculous and hilarious, examples being “Blib, Blib, Blib, Blib,” which emulated the sounds of the whirling blades on a helicopter, to a car shifting gears to the wild strains of “Brak Brak” to the altogether startlingly original and wackiness of “Fluk, Groon, Groon, Splazitch, Spalzatch,” which illustrated the noise of a vending machine that put check marks onto luggage. These examples here just scratch the surface of Martin’s warped, genius mind, and he arguably became the lightest light in Mad, a strong statement considering the creative gene pool at the magazine during its peak years was full of artists and writers who were all in a higher class of surreal insanity at their respective crafts.