R.I.P., Mort Drucker

Mort Drucker at work.

Another of Mad magazine’s “usual gang of idiots” has shuffled off.

Mort Drucker made it to 91 before the Source called his name. And damn, was he ever good.

You know you’re good when Will “The Spirit” Eisner gives you your first recommendation.

Also, when the lawyers send you cease-and-desist orders without consulting the boss first. Quoth The New York Times:

According to [Grady] Hendrix, Mad’s 1981 parody of “The Empire Strikes Back,” “The Empire Strikes Out,” prompted the Lucasfilm legal department to send a cease-and-desist letter demanding that the issue be recalled. “Mad replied by sending a copy of another letter they had received the previous month — from George Lucas, offering to buy the original artwork for the ‘Empire’ parody and comparing Mort Drucker to Leonardo da Vinci.”

Mr. Lucas knew Mr. Drucker’s work well. He had commissioned one of Mr. Drucker’s classic multicharacter pileups as the poster for his first hit, “American Graffiti” — a nostalgic movie set in the same summer “The JFK Coloring Book” was a best seller. And, of course, Mr. Drucker had illustrated Mad’s sendup, “American Confetti.”

I bet John Prine is offering him a vodka and ginger ale for a caricature right now.

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5 Responses to “R.I.P., Mort Drucker”

  1. CHRIS MURPHY Says:

    I got to meet Mort back when I was in high school So cool. He was one of the all time greats !

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Seriously? How cool. I got to meet Pat Oliphant, and Jef Mallett, and that was excellent. But I’d have given a healthy organ to meet one of the Mad guys Back in the Day®.

  2. carl duellman Says:

    i loved mad magazine back in the day. i’m surprised my parents let me buy it. i’d forgotten this guy’s work but it brought back a bunch of memories seeing some of his caricatures.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Mad was one of the things that gave me a shove, said, “You don’t have to be normal, y’know.” You could draw a line straight from Mad to Zap, Bijou, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, etc. And I did. The line wasn’t exactly straight, but still.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    MAD made real life seem…almost normal.

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