Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Everybody Loves Mort

Mort Drucker. Who doesn't love Mort Drucker and his work? Everybody loves Mort and his work. 


These days Mad readers are used to full-color in all the artwork. Back in the 60's only the cover paintings were in color, and Drucker's work was strictly in black and white...until this 'poster' in one of the annuals. Wow. I studied it time and again, and practiced watercoloring my drawings in a similar palette. This is an amazing assemblage of mid 60's pop culture. Look, Johnny Carson had dark hair then:

And the visual joke of David Jansen as The Fugitive chasing the 'one armed bandit' is/was funny. How does someone design such chaos in such a fun and organized way?

Drucker had the fortune to be caricaturing in the Nixonian era, when balloon-popping began as a national sport:

Below is a double page spread from Playboy. Wow is all I can say whenever I see Drucker art:

Farah Fawcett and her Major(s) running with Jor-el. An everyday occurrence in Drucker's world:

Nixonian Madman

Time Magazine was a great venue for Drucker in the Nixonian era. Drucker's take on Nixon and his cohorts was neither vicious nor kind. It was pure Drucker, unerringly accurate.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Favorite Nick Cardy Cover

It's amazing how comic book covers have memories embedded within them. That is to say, seeing a certain comic cover will trigger a specific memory, usually of the first time I saw it. 

Nick Cardy—Bat Lash #2-January 1969

The Snow Maiden

Another set of illustrations  by Boris Zvorykin, this time for The Snow Maiden,  from The Firebird and Other Stories. His jewel colors combine with pastel hues to transcend a drear world.

Peanuts—to read or to eat?

45 years ago today, it was Easter, and Kelly had his usual fun with it. He homaged  Charlie Schulz, who was at the top of his game at the time. It must have been about the time of Schulz's Great Pumpkin, since here it's the Great Rabbit.

Kelly's lettering and typography add so much to our visual pleasure. I know that much of that was supplied by his able assistants, but I know that he directed all of that.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunday, Kelly Sunday

Forty-five years ago today this Sunday strip ran in that old fashioned thing we called a newspaper. Yes kids, it was printed on paper and a whole parcel of em was dropped right on our front porch--EVERY DAY! And there were great comics in em and Pogo was just about the best of em. 

(I just checked this post and the date shows Saturday, but only because of daylight savings, and I'm not gonna stay up till 1:00 am just to be chronologically correct) (besides I'm leaving today for a week in the land of enchantment, so this'll probably be my last post for a week, unless I can find a cyber cafe in the desert).

March 22, 1964

This panel of Bemildred cracks me up

Back cover of Pogo #7 I think (I already put it away and I'm lazy enough to guess)

Kelly's art was always an extravaganza

And his swamps were always someplace you'd want to explore

That Other Porkypine

As a young sprat, I was hungry for all things Kelly, but starting out, of course, had very little to call my own. In elementary school one day, I discovered in the library an encyclopedia entry for Kelly. And it had this single panel illustrating his life story. It's an odd choice by an editor, especially knowing the extant of fabulous Kelly art and story available.

Presenting the Eighth Wonder of the World

Before the King Kong film could be made, the idea of the big guy had to be sold to the big guys at RKO. This art was drawn up to do just that. I think it's a gorgeous drawing. Kong was drawn by Willis O'Brien, the skies by Mario Larringa, the city by Byron Crabbe.

It was used as the basis of one of the ads, but it was slicked up a bit, including a sleeker dame in the paw. I still like the above drawing better. 

The above drawing is also by Willis O'Brien and Byron Crabbe, demonstrating a sequence that looked a little different on film.

The book jacket. Imagine reading that on the subway without drawing attention.

Merian Cooper 'dreaming it all up'.

Eighth Wonder of the World

Fay Wray, a number of years after the best date of her life.

Eighth Wonder of the World

Merian Cooper relating the plot to Fay Wray.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Favorite Dave Stevens Cover

YAY! It's a three-way tie!!!

Dave Stevens—Airboy #5 Sept 1986

Dave Stevens—DNAgents #24 July 1985

Dave Stevens—Sheena 3-D Special #1 May 1985