Best of the Usual Gang of Idiots

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Hopefully Morbs didn't do this one 14 months ago. :O

I'm including only artists/writers and artists (sorry Danny Kaye fans, if you in fact exist).

Left out some of the less famous ones, too. Sorry in advance.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Sergio Aragones 3
Mort Drucker 3
Al Jaffee 3
Will Gaines 2
Harvey Kurtzman2
Antonio Prohías 1
Don Martin 0
Don Edwing 0
John Caldwell 0
Wally Wood 0
Norm Mingo 0
Dave Berg 0
Paul Peter Porges 0


Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:26 (twelve years ago) link

ha, I don't remember who did what (aside from Don Martin, kinda). Amazing what 3 decades can do.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:28 (twelve years ago) link

Sergio Aragones - little doodles in margins
Dave Berg - "The Lighter Side of..."
John Caldwell
Don Edwing
Al Jaffee - Mad Fold-outs
Don Martin - SCHPROING!
Paul Peter Porges
Antonio Prohías - ---...-.--
Mort Drucker - Illustrated movie parodies.
Wally Wood - Forgot he did Mad. (I started reading with the Superman issue)
Norm Mingo
Will Gaines - Bearded Publisher
Harvey Kurtzman -

Pleasant Plains, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:36 (twelve years ago) link

Aragones' scribbles are SO FUCKING GREAT, but Groo is not. :(

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:37 (twelve years ago) link

Norm Mingo did the best cover paintings of Alfred E. Neuman. Thought I'd include him as a sweet tribute.

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:38 (twelve years ago) link

Spy vs Spy or Captain Klutz. which should I choose?

Thomas, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:42 (twelve years ago) link

Sergio Aragones, no doubt. Some of the others may be better writers or artists technically, but he's just full of energy and ideas.

Tuomas, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:44 (twelve years ago) link

Don Martin. Loved that shit as a kid. Floop flab-a-blap. Also Aragones.

Anything, anyone but Dave Berg. Not too big on Jaffee or Drucker, either.

contenderizer, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:45 (twelve years ago) link

didn't aragones do spy vs spy also?

n/a, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:45 (twelve years ago) link

No, that's Prohias.

Tuomas, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:46 (twelve years ago) link

Aragones is Mexican(?) and Prohias was a Cuban who fled the Castro revoltuion.

Tuomas, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:46 (twelve years ago) link

Not too big on Jaffee or Drucker, either.

ok waht?

Pancakes Hackman, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:48 (twelve years ago) link

"I like The Beatles, but I'm not too big on that Lennon or McCartney."

Pancakes Hackman, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:48 (twelve years ago) link

Gaines would take them all on vacation every year. Typically, around the office, Prohias acted like he knew almost no English. Then they'd go to Latin American countries and act like he didn't know Portugese or Spanish. They were all eventually like "What the fuck is this guy's deal?"

Natch, that boosted my mad Prohias love.

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:49 (twelve years ago) link

i guess i would have to vote drucker because the movie parodies were always my faves

n/a, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:49 (twelve years ago) link

Jaffee probably came up with the most unique ideas, I loved all those "weird inventions" and stuff like that.

Tuomas, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:49 (twelve years ago) link

Gaines was a HUGE wine aficionado, as was Roald Dahl, and the two had a semi-frequent tradition of getting hold of an extremely rare & expensive vintage and sharing the bottle at one of their pads.

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:50 (twelve years ago) link

I was never all that crazy about Drucker, but I just read his take on the Exorcist while I was smoking and it was pretty damn funny.

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:50 (twelve years ago) link

I wonder why Prohias did almost nothing else for Mad except Spy Vs. Spy?

Tuomas, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:50 (twelve years ago) link

If you didn't speak any language I guess you can only make silent gag comics?

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:51 (twelve years ago) link

I LOVE his art style so much.

Voting Gaines tho because he is the most badass bro of all time.

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:51 (twelve years ago) link

no will elder or jack davis, no credibility

am0n, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:54 (twelve years ago) link

oh fuck me

what hath god wrought?

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:55 (twelve years ago) link

"LIGHTER SIDE" was easily the most dire portion of any MAD issue, shit SUCKED

elmo argonaut, Thursday, 28 August 2008 18:58 (twelve years ago) link

Dave Berg punchline I remember from having read like 30 years ago:

"The NEW MORALITY is just the OLD IMMORALITY!"

Eff Dave Berg.

xp if you're going to go that route, then Wally Wood:

http://www.paulgravett.com/articles/048_wood/wood_superduperman.jpg

Still, Drucker:

http://www.linesandcolors.com/images/2006-04/drucker_400.jpg

Pancakes Hackman, Thursday, 28 August 2008 19:03 (twelve years ago) link

al jaffee for this poll, barely edging out drucker

bill elder died in may this year apparently :(

am0n, Thursday, 28 August 2008 19:03 (twelve years ago) link

Not too big on Jaffee or Drucker, either.

ok waht?

-- Pancakes Hackman

Great illustrators, lots of respect on that level, just never made me laff.

contenderizer, Thursday, 28 August 2008 19:09 (twelve years ago) link

There was some joek I saw in a Pogo compendium, a riff on how Wally Wood had been doing spot-on Pogo parodies. Looking at an issue of Mad, and the dialogue went something like this:

Alli: Have you ever noticed that presidents have a lot of Ws in their names?
Pogo: Well then there's one man we REALLY have to watch out for!
Ally: Who's that?
Pogo: Double-you a double-ll y double-yoo double-oh dee.

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 19:13 (twelve years ago) link

Maybe it was "double letters." I think it was – the punchline would make more sense.

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 19:18 (twelve years ago) link

I haven't read it for 12 yrs, plkaz cut one break for me?

Abbott, Thursday, 28 August 2008 19:19 (twelve years ago) link

shit, bill elder is the right answer

n/a, Thursday, 28 August 2008 19:45 (twelve years ago) link

n/a OTM til that last post

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 28 August 2008 19:47 (twelve years ago) link

No Basil Wolverton?

Whiney G. Weingarten, Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:04 (twelve years ago) link

Al Jaffee had the best paperbacks

Whiney G. Weingarten, Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:04 (twelve years ago) link

Whiney FTW! Wolverton in a heartbeat, no second thoughts. Can't believe I didn't think of him earlier.

contenderizer, Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:05 (twelve years ago) link

Plus, WTF me for bad-mouthing Jaffee and Drucker.

contenderizer, Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:07 (twelve years ago) link

No love for Paul Coker? :(

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:17 (twelve years ago) link

Or Jack Rickard for that matter?

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:22 (twelve years ago) link

I submitted an article to Mad once.

Whiney G. Weingarten, Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:41 (twelve years ago) link

Wolverton only made a v. few contributions to Mad, and his best work (ie Powerhouse Pepper) was done elsewhere.

It seems mad (ahem) to include Gaines but not Al Feldstein, who actually edited MAD for something like thirty years.

Aragones is Spanish, not Mexican.

I agree w/ Elvis Telecom that Paul Coker is seriously underappreciated - a beautifully distinctive line, and actual funny drawings too. Jack Rickard (and other 2nd-stringers like George Woodbridge and Bob Clark) on the other hand - ugh.

The correct answer is of obv Harvey Kurtzman, cos apart from actually creating MAD he 's also prob. the greatest American cartoonist/writer+editor of all time.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:49 (twelve years ago) link

I've only seen MAD v. infrequently over the last ten years or so, but you do get the odd piece by Drew Friedman who deserves to be on this list more than say Porges or Edwing

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:50 (twelve years ago) link

Interestingly and somewhat unusually Gaines paid his writers exactly the same rates as the artists, so it seems a bit harsh to exclude them from the poll. Dick De Bartolo, for example, holds the record (unlikely to ever be broken) for most consecutive contributions to the mag.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:56 (twelve years ago) link

Aragones is Spanish, not Mexican.

According to Wikipedia he was born in Spain but his family emigrated to Mexico due to the Spanish Civil War when he was just a little kid, and he lived there until 1962 when he moved to the US. So I wasn't totally wrong there.

Tuomas, Friday, 29 August 2008 04:48 (twelve years ago) link

kurtzman! kurtzman! kurtzman!!

A B C, Friday, 29 August 2008 04:59 (twelve years ago) link

i am so glad someone repped for paul coker though

A B C, Friday, 29 August 2008 05:00 (twelve years ago) link

When I was about 10 years old, and bedridden with illness, I wrote Al Jaffee a letter, and he wrote me back and included a "get well soon" cartoon. It was the coolest thing of all time. And during some traumatic military brat move, it got lost :(

When I visited New York when I was about 12, I showed up on the doorstep of 485 MADison Avenue and asked for a tour, and they seemed strangely taken aback - but they gave me one, and I met Bill Gaines! I was in utter heaven.

Savannah Smiles, Friday, 29 August 2008 07:17 (twelve years ago) link

four years pass...

RIP Bob Clark. Not my favorite of the gang, but worth noting nevertheless.

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 3 April 2013 22:22 (eight years ago) link

Whoa, I meant to revive this today for a wholly different reason! I just tore through Al Jaffee's biography and it was amazing. I figured it'd be like the Gaines and Kurtzman books, mostly about grownup artistic life and work, but really 2/3rds or so of the book details his life before high school. And justly so! His parents were Lithuanian immigrants, and after having four boys in six years, his mom decided to move just her and the boys back to Lithuania, largely to be closer to Jewish traditions she was comfortable with. Al, the oldest, picks up some Yiddish and deals with culture shock (and his mom's religious proclivities for giving all their money away instead of feeding her boys), and a year later dad smuggles the crew home. Then mom moves her & the boys back to Lithuania AGAIN, this time for five or so years. Al hears a crying shop full of his neighbors bemoaning the arrival of Hitler the same day dad comes to re-rescue them, although mom and the youngest boy stay behind. The second to youngest brother was rendered deaf and mute by a disease, which pops never learned, and when they get back to the States at the height of the great depression, the boys all have to live with random relatives, shuffled from house to house. I am not giving anything away, it's all way more enthralling than just this bare skeleton. Al is a real no-bullshit artist and hearing how this youth turned him into the satirist and artist he became ––– just, wow.

I wish every slot machine had EAT THE RICH printed on it (Crabbits), Thursday, 4 April 2013 02:08 (eight years ago) link

three years pass...

RIP Jack Davis

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 27 July 2016 19:54 (four years ago) link

People still alive who contributed to EC comics = Marie Severin, Angelo Torres... anyone else?

Foster Twelvetrees (Ward Fowler), Wednesday, 27 July 2016 20:33 (four years ago) link

Al Jaffee started at MAD while Kurtzman was still editor, but after it converted to magazine format, if that counts. 95 and still doing the fold-in almost every month.

(Jaffee and DeBartolo were on Gilbert Gottfried's podcast together a few weeks ago, btw thread)

Shakey δσς (sic), Wednesday, 27 July 2016 23:07 (four years ago) link

Yeah, I'm never sure if those early MAD magazines count as EC comics (they probably still say (c)EC on the indicias). Nick Meglin might also qualify, too.

Foster Twelvetrees (Ward Fowler), Thursday, 28 July 2016 08:57 (four years ago) link

D'oh, Russ Heath.

Foster Twelvetrees (Ward Fowler), Friday, 29 July 2016 19:39 (four years ago) link

Sergio is still alive

Sentient animated cat gif (kingfish), Friday, 29 July 2016 19:54 (four years ago) link

he didn't do EC

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 July 2016 19:56 (four years ago) link

Moved to America in '62, comics line closed in '55, Kurtzman left Mad in '56.

Shakey δσς (sic), Saturday, 30 July 2016 01:20 (four years ago) link

I don't have any idea about EC or non-EC MAD, but Bill Elder is the correct answer for me.

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Saturday, 30 July 2016 02:53 (four years ago) link

Elder, being so professionally conjoined with Kurtzman, was in the comics, apart from some 1980s post-LAF painted or grey-airbrushed faded glory returns as WEHK.

Shakey δσς (sic), Saturday, 30 July 2016 09:04 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

Happy 100th, Al Jaffee!

Hongro Hongro Hippies (Myonga Vön Bontee), Saturday, 13 March 2021 06:32 (one month ago) link

So glad he made it. Jaffee now generally agreed to be the longest-lived American comic book artist.

Ward Fowler, Saturday, 13 March 2021 09:13 (one month ago) link

AL JAFFEE 100

AL00

armoured van, Holden (sic), Saturday, 13 March 2021 09:41 (one month ago) link

Is today Al Jaffee’s hundredth birthday?

No, the candle store was having a buy one, get 99 free sale.

No, he always walks around tooting a horn and wearing a paper hat.

No, it’s Shakespeare’s birthday, everyone makes that mistake.

Happy @jaffee100!

Art by Drew Friedman pic.twitter.com/SR2S4FFoae

— Michael Tisserand (@m_tisserand) March 13, 2021

armoured van, Holden (sic), Sunday, 14 March 2021 00:06 (one month ago) link

An excellent article in the Chicago Reader about cartoonist Johnny Sampson being, at press, the last MAD artist standing (including lots of Jaffee content).

armoured van, Holden (sic), Monday, 15 March 2021 23:26 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

RIP Frank Jacobs:

Longtime MAD magazine writer Frank Jacobs passed away this morning at the age of 91. When Harvey Kurtzman stepped down as editor of MAD and was replaced by Al Feldstein, Frank was the first writer Feldstein bought material from and over the years, he and subsequent editors bought a lot of it from Frank.

That first piece of his for MAD appeared in #33, cover-dated June of 1957. He had work in 312 issues, making him the seventh most-prolific contributor to the magazine ever. (Beating him out: Jaffee, Aragonés, DeBartolo, Drucker, Coker and Berg.) Frank's last new work seems to have been in #529, cover-dated October of 2014. Work of his is reprinted in almost every issue of the last few years.

armoured van, Holden (sic), Tuesday, 6 April 2021 08:08 (two weeks ago) link


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