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California Dreamin’

Monday, August 6th, 2012


Sitting at Charles Schulz’s drawing board

The Lovely Anna and I are on the way back from the west coast to Minnesota (the no coast) after a fun visit to San Francisco, Santa Rosa and the Sonoma wine country. We have family in this area so it’s always a treat to come out to see them and this beautiful part of the country. While there I did a few speaking engagements and a workshop on caricature at the Cartoon art Museum and the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

At the Schulz museum, I did an adult class on drawing caricatures, then a presentation on my work and shared a few stories about MAD. Lots of fun. The people at the Schulz museum are wonderful and the museum itself is a a must-visit if you are ever in the Napa/Sonoma area. After my talks Sparky’s widow Jeannie Schulz invited us and a few others over to the studio, which is a building a couple hundred yards away on the property where Sparky’s actual studio was located. It has served a few different purposes since then, but recently his actual studio space was restored to its working arrangement, complete with Sparky’s actual drawing board, chair, etc. Fellow cartoonist Brian Narelle took the above photo of me sitting in the chair where many thousands of Peanuts strips were created. Quite an honor… Charles Schulz was truly a one-of-a-kind cartoonist who was arguably (and few would argue at all) the greatest comic strip creator who every lived. By the way, that scratch across the paneling in the wall behind me is from Sparky turning his chair back and forth and the chair back rubbing the wall.

The Cartoon Art Museum’s MAD 60th anniversary exhibit was terrific, with artists and writers represented from every era of the magazine. I loved it all, but my favorite things were probably the original Harvey Kurtzman art from the cover of MAD #4 (I used to have that actual issue), the Jack Davis pages from MAD #2 (Hex!) a Wally Wood MAD ad and several pieces from Will Elder. The show only hangs for about another month until Sept 16th, so if you are in the area don’t miss it.

Here’s a video courtesy of CAM Advisory Board member Michael Capozzola of me doing a quick Alfred sketch on a canvas for the Museum:

Cartoon Art Museum Goes MAD

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

The show “What, Me Worry? 60 Years of MAD” opened this past weekend at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Fransisco, CA.  Here’s one of many pictures you’ll find on the CAM Facebook page:


Clicky to Embiggen…

Shown above: MAD #1 cover reproduction, hand-colored by Marie Severin; Hex! splash page by Jack Davis from MAD #2; Melvin! splash page by John Severin, from MAD #2; cover to MAD #3 by Harvey Kurtzman; splash from Dragged Net! by Will Elder from MAD #3; cover to MAD #4 by Harvey Kurtzman; splash page from Shadow! by Will Elder, from MAD #4; house ad by Wally Wood from MAD #5.

From the Cartoon Art Museum Website:

The Cartoon Art Museum’s latest exhibition, What, Me Worry? 60 Years of MAD celebrates the rich history of MAD from the original comic book through the black-and-white magazine to its latest incarnation as a full-color bi-monthly publication supplemented by online content.  This is the museum’s first exhibition to include both the MAD comic book and magazine.

The MAD creators, known affectionately as “The Usual Gang of Idiots,” are among the most highly regarded in the cartooning world, and works from nearly every major MAD contributor will be featured in this gallery.  Exhibition highlights include cover artwork by MAD creator Harvey Kurtzman; pages from the MAD comic book by Will Elder and John Severin; early magazine-era artwork by famed artists Mort Drucker, Don Martin, Wally Wood and George Woodbridge; MAD Fold-ins by Al Jaffee; painted covers by Sergio Aragonés, Jack Davis, Kelly Freas, Norman Mingo. Jack Rickard and Richard Williams; The Lighter Side of… by Dave Berg; Spy vs. Spy by Antonio Prohias; a look at Tom Richmond’s creative process; the dazzling caricatures of Sam Viviano; comics from contemporary contributors Chris Baldwin, Evan Dorkin, Peter Kuper, Ted Rall, Keith Knight and Joey Alison Sayers; a look at MAD Magazine around the world; and much, much more!

The show runs through September 16th. I will definitely be going out there to see it, and will likely be doing some kind of signing or something at that time. I will make that announcement here when the dates get set.

WOW! What a show. I can’t wait to see it. If any blog readers get a chance to visit in the meantime, please share!

More on the MAD Exhibit at CAM

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The Cartoon Art Museum has posted some more specific information about the upcoming MAD art show I mentioned a few days ago:

What, Me Worry? 60 Years of MAD

Madhk4

April 21 – September 16, 2012

Programming to be announced

 San Francisco, CA: In 1952, editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines launched MAD, one of the most influential and imitated humor publications in the world.  Originally created to parody popular TV shows, movies and, inevitably, comic books, MAD soon expanded into a wide-ranging satire of modern American culture. Features like the MAD Fold-In, “Spy vs. Spy,” the wacky sound effects of “MAD’s Maddest Artist” Don Martin, the “marginal” cartoons of Sergio Aragones, and the motto “What, me worry?” have become indelible parts of popular culture, and the magazine’s mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, is one of the world’s most recognizable faces.

The Cartoon Art Museum’s latest exhibition, What, Me Worry? 60 Years of MAD celebrates the rich history of MAD from the original comic book through the black-and-white magazine to its latest incarnation as a full-color bi-monthly publication supplemented by online content.  This is the museum’s first exhibition to include both the MAD comic book and magazine.

The MAD creators, known affectionately as “The Usual Gang of Idiots,” are among the most highly regarded in the cartooning world, and works from nearly every major MAD contributor will be featured in this gallery.  Exhibition highlights include cover artwork by MAD creator Harvey Kurtzman; pages from the MAD comic book by Will Elder and John Severin; early magazine-era artwork by famed artists Mort Drucker, Don Martin, Wally Wood and George Woodbridge; MAD Fold-ins by Al Jaffee; painted covers by Sergio Aragonés, Jack Davis, Kelly Freas, Norman Mingo and Jack Rickard; The Ligher Side of… by Dave Berg; Spy vs. Spy by Antonio Prohias; a look at Tom Richmond’s creative process; the dazzling caricatures of Sam Viviano; comics from contemporary contributors Peter Kuper, Ted Rall, Keith Knight and Joey Allison Sayers; a look at MAD Magazine around the world; and much, much more!

Programming featuring MAD creators will be held through the duration of the exhibition.  Please stay tuned for announcements as special guests are confirmed.

This is a very exciting, and perhaps unprecedented, show of MAD artwork. Certainly not since the personal collection of Mark Cohen toured back in the 1990’s has this comprehensive a collection been exhibited. CAM curator Andrew Farago mentioned that he considers this one of, if not THE, greatest collection of artwork he’s ever assembled in his many years at the museum. I have no idea when, but will definitely be going out to San Francisco to see the show, and maybe some of that “programming” they mention above will take place then!

Oh, and if anyone is wondering, my “creative process” as mentioned refers to the fact that I sent them the preliminary pencil roughs, final inks and then a printout of the finished color art for two parody splash pages, which I presume they will be hanging together, so visitors will see some of the stages of a MAD job.

Cartoon Art Museum Going MAD

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Andrew Farago, curator of the Cartoon Art Museum in San Fransisco, just spilled the beans on Facebook about their upcoming MAD show:

Love MAD? Our next exhibition is going to be the greatest collection of MAD art ever assembled, going all the way back to MAD #1. Kurtzman covers! Elder splash pages! Aragones! Berg! Richmond! Viviano! Mingo! Drucker! Davis! Jaffee! Martin! Get yourself to San Francisco between April and September, or kick yourself later!

-Andrew Farago, The Cartoon Art Museum

I’ve known this was coming for some time, as Andrew has been gathering pieces from various MAD artists for months. I sent him a couple of splash pages from some movie parodies I did, plus the pencil roughs and prints of the finished colored art, but I don’t know how much will end up in the exhibit. No other details yet on the show but they will be announced shortly. I know the show will run from sometime in April through the summer, but no exact dates. I will definitely have to plan a trip to San Fransisco to check it out!

I’ll post more details as they become available.

UPDATE- Andrew tells me the exhibit dates are April 21st through September 16th. See his comment below for details on some of the work that will be part of the show!

 

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