Friday, May 02, 2008

A Mort Look At...

In the short period Mort Walker worked for Varsity between the end of 1949 and the start of 1950, he did two similar Mad-type features. A panoramic look at a student event. One is a cover and the other a two page spread. The sort of thing that Sergio Aragones would later excell at in Mad. Harvey Kurtzman did two more not long after that. Now I am not saying that Mort Walker or Harvey Kurtzman were the inventors of this type of humor feature. They must have either grown organicly from the sort of stuff that was published in the student magazines or maybe even have their direct precursors in any of the cartoon magazines from the first half of the last century (although I have never seen one that looks as much as these as these look like the later spreads in Mad). Most of what I have seen from the university magazines were lots and lots of single gags, which were not vey different from anything done in the normal magazines of the time. As I said in one of the comment sections, at the very least someone at Varsity was putting a lot of effort and creative thought in the idea of turning single gags into features with series of gags.

The first is a two page spread from the october 1949 issue. This must be one of the first things Mort Walker did for Varsity. Look how he is still trying to put some weight into his inking line.

The second is the cover of the december 1949 issue, revisiting a similar idea, but now in color.

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