Q: I’m wondering if you can recall which issue of MAD ( either by number or cover subject ) you first read. Which was the first artist that captured your interest? I think I can recall my first MAD.
A: Yes, I clearly remember my first look at MAD. I was in 5th grade, living in a small town in Wisconsin. A friend of mine from school and I used to get together and draw comics and such over at his house. He had a very liberal single mom who worked a lot, so he was left to his own devices quite often, and we had the run of their house. His mom also bought him a copy of MAD every month, and he showed me an issue when we got sick of drawing Batman. It was MAD #180, with the “Jaws” cover. In it was a parody of Jaws (which was the first ‘adult’ movie I ever saw in the theater) drawn by Mort Drucker and an article with panels of TV show gags by Jack Davis. We then tried to write and draw our own parodies of TV shows. In all fairness, however, I think Don Martin was the artist I liked the best at that time (and age). It wasn’t until I started drawing caricatures myself that I realized how brilliant Mort and Jack were.
Thanks to my good friend and fellow cartoonist Jim Batts for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!
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