Sunday, April 19, 2020

Drucker Ink

Sunday More Of What I Showed Before Day.

Last week Mad giant Mort Drucker passed away. I celebrated his career by sharing one of his rarest and least know comic series: the two gag series he did for the Air Force newspaper AAFF. There is another series he did in the late fifties. In 1956 Mort Drucker got what every crtoonist of his generation wanted: his own daily panel. He was taopped to do a daily cartoon series based on the hillbilly characters created by cartoonist Paul Webb in the forties for Esquire , which were a huge hit and generated a lot of merchandise. Drucker based his characters on Webb's design and Webb was credited instead of Drucker himself. Mort Drucker was not interviewed a lot about his career outside of Mad (the downside of being one of Mad's Maddest Artists), but I believe I have read somehwere that he was asked by the older cartoonist himself. The cartoons themselves (and all new characters) were typical Mort Drucker - or at least in the style he still used in all his work not involving caricatures.

But the panel was not a succes. It was not widely distributed, And indeed, the syndicate doing that, Columbia Features, was not one of the major players in the field. Other notable failures they launched were the Bat Masterson strip by Howard Nostrand (and Bob Powell), Nero Wolfe by Mike Roy and a slew of ghost artists, Davey Crockett, Frontiersman by Jim McArdle (where Jack Kirby ghosted three Sundays) and Rip Tide by Jerry Grandenetti (I am going to look for that one). Still, Mort Drucker slogged on for more than two and a half years. The last daily gag appeared on December 12 1959. I have found two sources for this panel strip, although the only one that has the earliest months seems to have regularely skipped the Saturday panel, leaving me one short.

Here are the first six weeks, missing those saturdays.

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