Friday, April 10, 2020

R.I.P. Mort Drucker

We sadly lost another comic book legend yesterday, and today, THOIA pays tribute to the heroic hand and masterfully MAD mind of Mort Drucker, who passed away at the age of 91. It's hard to put into words how much this mans art meant to me from my earliest years as a young MAD magazine reader, up to discovering all of the other great work he created elsewhere later. And speaking of, here's a weird little vampire story he penciled from the July 1954 issue of Strange Tales #30. Also note that my archive contains a few more fine Drucker examples as well, just CLICK HERE, and HERE.













And if you're looking for more madcap Mort, head over to my other blog for classic parodies of Rosemary's Baby, and The Exorcist!

6 comments:

Diablo666 said...

Thanx for all the great work you do, Mr. Karswell...it is profoundly appreciated...if anyone asked me who illustrated this story, the last name I would say, would be Mort...great artwork, but nothing like we all became accustomed to, in the pages of Mad magazine! Wow!...We definitely lost two legends in the span of a week, with the loss of Hy Fleishman, as well...Safe travels to them both..rest in peace, fellas....

Nequam said...

The middle panel of the final page looks far more like the Drucker art we came to know and love in MAD (but it's all quite good).

Brian Barnes said...

It's sad that we keep having these types of posts one after another, and soon we will probably have none of the old guard left. Davis was a real blow, and Drucker hurts because, like you, I grew up with MAD and his parodies were always a highlight.

This is not the best Atlas story, though. The art is incredible, but it suffers from something Atlas usually avoided, which is walls of text. Unlike other ones I've talked about, though, you can't skip some of the captions, but there is a lot of extraneous text. Let the artist breathe!

The splash has a great line, the text and balloons follow a line going from lower left to upper right, as with the people. The last panel on page 2 is awesome, and Drucker equates himself nicely with what ends up being a bit of a talking head collection later on. The final vampire is, of course, a great image with the blackened eyes rimmed by glasses.

RIP Mort.

Mr. Cavin said...

This is a neat set up for a story. I kinda wanted the whole thing to end with his fangs growing right back after each operation, because, yeah, he always was a vampire and just never could admit it to himself. It'd be a good parable about refusing to come of age.

I know virtually nothing about Drucker's art previous to his stint at MAD. Only what I've seen here. It's kind of underdeveloped maybe, but you can totally see him striking out, trying new stuff, experimenting. Much as I love all the man's work, this is not characteristic of the stuff I'm familiar with from his later career. The MAD stuff is confident, incredibly mannered, and stone predictable from page to page. Here he's brash, and then later on he's old faithful. Some of that is certainly maturity, I guess; and some of it is likely the nature of satire itself, which kind of relies on maintaining and subverting expectation. But it's an interesting change.

Rest in peace, Mort.

Mr. Karswell said...

>suffers from something Atlas usually avoided, which is walls of text

Yet nobody ever had a problem with the wall to wall text in MAD.

Okay, thanks for the comments, I'll break the Atlas run for just a bit with a holiday horror treat that some of you may have missed when I posted it a few years ago over at my other blog. Stay tombed...

nutsilica.blogspot.com said...

My favourite Drucker is the earliest stuff he did for Mad. He was wilder than Torres.
Of the original gang of idiots, Jaffee is still cartooning in his nineties.
Maybe Arogn├ęs is too actually.
There was always a Drucker movie parody in front of the magazine.
Drucker did some great stuff for Creepy and Eerie magazine.