Tuesday, June 06, 2017

From There Comes Insanity

Friday Comic Book Day.

It seems my book about the Mad magazine imitations of the late fifties, Behaving Badly (follow the link on your right to buy it) has arrived in the US. A copy is being sent to me right now. Official delivery is now early August, so look for it soon.

One of the biggest finds for me in researching it, wasn't the fact that there was so much very well drawn and very funny material in these books. Or not even the many suprising big names among the artists working for them (from Joe Kubert and Bill Elder to Jack Davis, Bob Powell, Angelo Torres and Russ Heath), but some of the more obscure artists doing such great work. Of course Craig Yoe wanted as many of the big names in it as possible, but I managed to sneak in a couple of lesser known but surprising ones. One of them was Fred Ottenheimer, a school mate of Bill Elder and Harvey Kurtzman as wel as a friend of Al Jaffee. He did children's puzzle books in the late forties for the same company as Kurtzman and seems to have inherited the family publishing company in the mid fifties (later publishing the Flintstone picture books). He was a regular at Charton's Mad imitation titles, from the comic book Eh! and From Here To Insanity to the later incarnations of that title: From Here To Insanity #12 and Crazy, Man Crazy. And don't worry, Behaving Madly has a handy list of all of Charlton's impossible to follow titles, volumes and dates. I could not include all of his work, but opted for a great four page television commercial satire (that was really hard to clean, as well). here is one that didn't make the cut (so at least I didn't have to clean it):

He never did a lot of comic book work, but I am pretty sure these Fawcett funny fillers are by him.

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