Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Putting the Mad in Madison.

Wednesday advertising Day.

Posting more Harvey Kurtman stuff on monday rewarded me a lot of response. I was surprised some of the visitors sisn't know Harvey Kurtzman was the man who started Mad. Anyone who likes this stuff should go out and get any reprint of his 23 comic book Mad issues avaiable. Unfortunately, the first five magazine issues he also wrote and edited are not as widely avaiable. I have th actual issues myelf, but the best way to see them is by getting the complete Mad cr-rom. If you haven't got that, you should treat yourelf. You'll be surprised. After that, order the Complete Humbug from Amazon. Sight unseen if necessary. You'll thank me. It contains some of the best satire and art ever. All that plus new commentary and goodies from the Kurtzman Archives. I can't wait. For those of you who don't want to go out and bu some acual books, I will show some of the early Mad magazine stuff here sometime, but it is not my intention to use this blog as a place where you can get free scans of stuff that is available elsewhere. I hope to highlight forgotten masters and rare material.

As far as Harvey Kurtzman goes, what I am about to show next is almost as rare as they come. In 1959 Kurtzman started a monthly gag page for Madison Avenue Magazine. A magazine for people working in the advertising industry, so it fits in with today's advertising theme. The pages I have are scans of black and white copies a German fan made in the eighties. So probably not the best quality. I am not even sure if I have all pages or if they were in black and white or color. I think they were in black and white and there are only two months missing in my group of copies. So who knows, this may be it. It will take more than one week for me to show them all. In the meantime, if anyone has an actual issue of this magazine, I'd love to know. The subject is fascinating (and great research for anyone who wants to write a spec script for the series Mad Men) and I would like to know how Kurtzman was billed and announced.

Jan 1959:

Feb 1959:

March 1953:

April 1953:


ComiCrazys said...

OMG!!! Ger, these are amazing!!! Thanks so much for posting these, A truly rare feast for the eyes. Looking forward to the rest. So these are scans of xeroxes that you have?

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Yes, I have two more sets like this, missing June, august and october...

And these are the second most rare Kurtzman samples I have... I see you have placed a couple of Varsity pieces on your blog. I could make a cd of my Kurtzman stuff (actually it is more than fits on one cd), including all his Varsity pieces. I first found these and wrote about them for Alter Ego. I was sort of grumpy about the fact that they were used in the Fantagraphics Kurtzman special without any mention of that previous publication. Thank God I was recognized for another contribution to that book. There is only one Varsity piece I haven't got. It's in the issue after the 'inside the mind' piece you used and it is also signed Harvey Harmon as well.

If the Kurtzman frenzy keeps on I will have to write Glen Bray and as him if I can use the Pot-shot Pete daily try-out and the unused cover for a never produced sequel to Jungle Book.

ComiCrazys said...

I have 4 more Varsity pieces, that I'm sure you have: the football pile-up 2-pager; the college campus spread; the fraternity piece; and last the teacher pov of the students.

What issue of Alter Ego was that?

So who has the rights to Kurtzman's work? Is it Denis Kitchen, Glen Bray, yourself? Why isn't a serious retrospective done of his wor rather than these constant repackaging of the same 3 Comics Journal articles from ages ago? How much unseen Kurtzman stuff is there?

I was hoping after the Grasshopper book that more would be released, but nothing happened.

Are you offering that CD of the Kurtzman stuff? That would be awesome. Is the Pot-Shot Pete try-out and unused cover on there too?

I have a lot of Kilroys, did Gross continue past issue 18? I also have the first 3 issues of Picture News Comics.

Maurizio Ercole said...

There are tons of fantastic comics and illustrations in this blog!!! Ger thanks for this one.

Vince M said...

Why doesn't someone publish a book collecting all of Kurtzman's magazine work? Softcover will do nicely.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I am pretty sure much of Kurtzman's work is in public domain. Denis Kitchen is the executor of the estate, which means he is the only one talking to his wife Adèle. I have met Denis several times (even interviewed him once with Will Eisner, thirty years ago). He is a nice guy and has been working to keep Kurtzman's work in the public eye (inclduing puttin all seven installments of Silver Linings in his two part 100 years of newspaper strips book a couple of years ago, in color too), so I would never do anything that would hinder him in his efforts to bring out the best stuff. The next big project will be the collected Humbug, which will be shot from the originals. And Denis' involvement might mean he will include some of the background material which is also in the estate. Kurtzman did elaborate sketches of just about everything. How that sells will determine if other projects, such as a Kurtman coffee table book will appear. A mass market softcover at a lower price would never be feasable. Did you all get the Kurtzman catalogue from the San Fransisco Museum exihibition? That had a Jack Davis wash version odf one of the And You Know Who Gets Killed episodes, which Kurtzman rejected and had Davis redo in pen line, which he preferred - and rightly so. Did you get the issue of Comic Art that had an article on two of HK's rejected efforts for Playboy plus all correspondence (#7, see here; It's the reaction to pieces like this that determine the fate of future pojects. Kurtzman fans are a small group, almost always animators or comic book artists.

And yes, I could do a cd of all Kurtzman material, but I am still waiting to get the last Varsity piece and the last of the MaM pieces. I have about everything he ever did, including single pieces for Humpty Dumpty and Why? magazine in the early fifties, most of Varsity (which was never mentioned in Bray's indispensable catalogue and was covered fully in Alter Ego #33 and #34) and several rare pieces of Kurtman's work in WW II which I uncovered myself and will probably show here eventually. It won't have any of his EC work or Humbug or Trump, as that is readily available. I also have both issues of Trump twice, if anyone is interested. For trade (original art if you are a name creator) or a huge sum. And several double issues of Help. Some time ago someone mentioned a Trump collection, so that will come out eventually. But probably not before a Help trade with all the art. And a Trump collection won't mean anything without the help of Playboy, who are still supposed to have the material fort the unpublished #3.

I will continue to show stuff here at a lower dpi rate (everything on the disc is either 200 or 300 dpi).

I am also slowly compiling two cd's of everything Krigstein did outside of EC and I will be showing some of that here as well, later on.

ComiCrazys said...

Ger, I'd love a copy of that CD, send the info to me via comicrazys at

Also, do you have an extra copy fo the HELP! issue that contains the Requiem for a Heavyweight story?

I do have the SF catalogue, the Kurtzman Index and the Comic Art issue, as well as the Pageant, TV Guide, Why? and Crime digests. Do you have the Dracula strips from the French Les Echos de Savannes (sp?) magazines, and the Chicago Tribune MIDWEST cover? I lost out on that ebay auction a few years backk and have never seen it up again.

I posted those Silver Linings strips on my site a couple of months back. Awesome stuff!

So let me know about the CD. That would be great! Thanks.