Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Other Mort

Sunday Dedication Day.

Last week Mort Drucker passed away at age 91. Like the rest of the world I was a fan of his work. Almost too familiar with it, as a lifelong fan of Mad, who discovered the magazine with his cover of Murder on the Orient Express. SO I have always been on th elook-out for his lesser know and earlier work. One of the drawbacks of being one of "Mad's Maddest Artists" was that you only got publicity as on eof "Mad's Maddest Artist", although Drucker did somewhat break out of that with his Time covers. But he started working in the late forties (as an assistant to Maurice Whitman's Debbie Dean), got into the art department of DC (where he corrected art where needed and did a lot of filler pages) and started freelancing for Marvel and DC. I showed material from each of these over the years. There is even an interview with Drucker online where they use my scan of a letter non Drucker, non Whitman revival of Debbie Dean in the short running Arrow tabloid of the fifties as a sample of his Debbie Dean assisting (I guess the editor liked the fact it was in color). I even shared a couple of samples of the period when Drucker took over the weekly cartoon of Paul Webb's Mountain Men in th elate fifties. But I also have a rare set of scans of a completely unknown )or never mentioned by those who do know it) series of gag strips he did for Bradburys American Air Force Features. Followers of this blog will know I have been showing rarities from this paper over the last half year. It was assembled by someone at the Bradbury company (my guess is Herbert Rogoff) and features short gag strips and some real fact realistic stuff by various artists, incluidng a couple of big names. It was offered (or probably sold) to air Force newspapers, who used it as a Sunday newspaper bonus. Starting in 1955, it went on deep into the sixties, although judging by the quality of the contributions, the budget must have dropped along the way.

And Mort Drucker was one of them. He was know to work fast and easy in the stories he did for Timely/Atlas (the later Marvel) and DC, but here he really seems to have whipped them out. What we are left with is his incredible style and facillity with a brush.

I found an online source for six of the years this paper ran. Click the link for more from that (and stand by for even bigger releases).


Shawn Cromwell said...

This is a treasure trove!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Yes I wish I had all of them - in color!

Manqueman said...

Sometime in the 70s, I'd guess, DC reprinted a few war stories Drucker did. These stories were probably done around the same time as Drucker was starting at Mad. They had a powerful Neal Adams vibe (obviously, Adams was still years away from starting in the business). Gorgeous work, exciting, and not in the relatively sterile, overly slick then-house style DC of emulating the Toth/Barry team.
And speaking of Adams, what the world needs is a book, The Art of Johnson Cushing(sp.), and you're the one to do it, Ger!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I'd jump at it as well, but sofar no one has given any indication that they would like to publish it. I will have an article about Haegisen in the new Hogan's Alley.