As long as I am shilling MAD books today, I also just got my copy of MAD’s Greatest Artists: Mort Drucker last week, and it is fantastic.
Mort is a visual genius who influenced generations of cartoonists over fifty years (and counting) of work in MAD. Of course Mort was also one of the most successful freelance humorous illustrators of the 20th century, and his work was just as incredible outside the pages of MAD, but this book concentrates (obviously) on just his MAD work. From his early “Bob and Ray Dept.” art through his defining the movie and TV parodies in the magazine, his covers, and his color work, the only bad thing about this book is the necessity to have left so much out . . . the man did approximately 1,900 pages of art in MAD (that’s just a guess, averaging 4.5 pages in each of the 403 issues he’s appeared in…it might be even more). Throw in an intro by Michael J. Fox, an interview of the artist by longtime MAD editor Nick Meglin, quotes gushing about Mort and his work from the likes of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and more, and a great pull out vintage poster, and the magic just won’t stop. Even the dust jacket is fantastic, with spot gloss embossing. A fitting tribute to one of the greatest cartoonists ever.
Damn…my bookshelves are starting to creak from the weight of all the great MAD books that have come out in the last two years . . . maybe it’s good the lightness of my wallet is counterbalancing it. Go lighten your wallet and challenge your bookshelves, this one is worth it.
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