Mort Drucker, 1929-2020

April 4, 2006


I started not to mention the passing of artist Mort Drucker, because news of his death began circulating shortly after my previous post on Thursday. Since then, he has been much-eulogized by others more qualified than myself. However, I remembered that much of what I read comes through my Facebook feed, and I have a disproportionately large number of cartoonists and cartoon buffs contributing to my timeline. You probably have not heard as much about Mort’s life and death as I. Mort Drucker was a prolific and supremely talented caricaturist whose primary claim to fame was the work he did for MAD Magazine, particularly his movie and television-show parodies, but he had a lot of claims to fame. For most of his long life, he was in demand for magazine covers, movie posters, album covers and the like. He even did the artwork on a short-lived comic strip. If you’ve never heard the name Mort Drucker, you almost certainly have been exposed to his work. The other reason I wanted to mention Mort’s passing is because his MAD Magazine work had a large influence on me. Actually, the irreverent humor of the entire “gang of idiots” at MAD was an influence on me, but Mort Drucker was right up there with Alfred E. Neuman as the face of MAD. When I was young, I attended a few conventions of the National Cartoonists Society, and Mr. Drucker was there. So, I have seen him, but I was too shy to introduce myself. Apparently, I missed an opportunity. According to the accounts of others, that’s all I need have done to make him a lifelong friend.


29 thoughts on “Mort Drucker, 1929-2020”

  1. I subscribed to Mad, but only after I left the house and went out on my own. The humor was consistent, especially Dave Berg and Mort. In the later years some of the stuff got a little juvenile and not even funny (kind of like SNL today) and I let it lapse. I was not surprised when then ended publication.

  2. From last evening. S&W discuss this on p.1, in Rule 1 only, I think.
    Strunk: sing. Jones;
    pl. Joneses;
    poss. sing. Jones’s;
    poss. pl. Joneses’.
    Peace,

    • I have tried explaining that to my local newspaper multiple times, but to no avail. They continue to use (following your example) Jones’ for poss. sing.

      In a newspaper! Any day now I expect to see them say “he’d went”…………..

      ps – How does one italicize here?

  3. Even I will come out of my cave for Mort Drucker. I LOVED Mad Magazine and their cartoonists. Worshipped might be better word. Luckily no one paid much attention to what I read so I began reading it from earliest years and plagiarized their cartoons. I must have been in 6th grade by then about 10 years old.

    I started drawing cartoons in second grade and kept it up until I graduated college in 1967. I confess to copying Charlie Brown but it was Mad’s women and Lil Abner’s that set my style. Never lost the love

    Jimmy I really like the Arlo and Ludwig strips like this weeks and today’s archieval piece. I kept looking close because I know you didn’t go way of Garfield and not draw each panel!

    • “….it was Mad’s women and Lil Abner’s that set my style. ”

      For expressing distaff hotness in a cartoon, those two are surpassed only by Brooke McEldowney’s work in that vital area.

  4. Ah, Mad magazine. I have no doubt it contributed to my [insert adjective here] sense of humor. I had quite a collection – I’d estimate between 50-100 issues ca. 60s – that I gifted to a friend when I was trying to lighten the load for a move about 40 years ago. I didn’t understand so many of the jokes when I first started reading it so it was always enjoyable to pick up an issue years later and be able to figure out what they were talking about. I still have my record of “It’s a Gas.” Great memories of a great magazine. RIP Mort Drucker – you were important to a lot of us load codgers.

  5. My introduction to MAD was in the ninth grade when a fellow student wore a MAD tee shirt to phys ed, a large picture of Alfred E. Newman surrounded by What Me Worry. This was 1958. I started buying then subscribing and had every issue from September 1958 through summer of 1972. Before they were destroyed in a flooded basement, my children had the opportunity to read them all (several times.)
    A few years ago my daughter gave me a CD collection of all MAD magazines printed up until that time. This was the early 2000’s. I treasure this collection only wishing I had been able to save the originals.

    R. I.P. Mort!

  6. Mort and the gang at Mad shaped the comic sensibilities of people of a certain age. Among many others it begat Harvard/National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live. RIP

  7. My 6-yrs-older brother intro’d me to MAD when I was about 8 or 9, and I know that’s where I got my snarky sense of humor and my penchant for poking fun at those who take themselves too seriously. 🙂

  8. I started MAD when it was a Comic – before the CODE.
    .
    I could never understand why my dad enjoyed MAD – he was Old,
    he must have been 42. 😀

  9. Today’s Easter strip was my wife and I. Good job!

    I watched my local parish Easter service online and then saw Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral on TV.

    Cardinal Dolan: It is wonderful that so many of you can join us, whether it is thru streaming at our website, WPIX, sirrusxm or any other streaming service.

    Just please don’t get too used it.

    I had a lady say “It’s not so bad, sometimes I make a Bloody Mary and stream the Mass” I told her “Oh c’mon on Mom!”.

  10. Same URL. 3 eggs, no folks.
    My cleaning lady has just finished Easter dinner, will bring a plate, call me on her cell, and leave it by my “cell” door. It is good to be well taken care of. Peace,

  11. JJ, keep that head down buddy. Lots of tornados just north and NE of you. It’s already blowing hard here and the rain is still not due until about midnight. They predict 60 mph and for once they may be right.

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