Mort Drucker of Mad Magazine fame has died. He was 91.
When you draw for the world’s most celebrated pop culture comic book, there are certain rules you must follow: Make sure the caricatures look like the intended people, don’t lose the integrity of what’s being lampooned, and inspire generations to continue the work.
Mort Drucker, who died on Thursday, seemed to embody all of those things as an artist. He has been drawing for Mad since late 1956, Drucker was a self-taught cartoonist who dabbled in drawings for western-themed and science fiction comic books.
His works became a staple for Mad Magazine and were featured in nearly every issue until his retirement in 2008 with his final storyboard, “The Chronic-Ills of Yawnia: Prince Thespian.”
But for most of us horror fans, it was his genius at not only illustrating scenes ripped from the silver screen but making fun of what we held dear.
Take for instance his artwork for “The Amityville Horror.” Margot Kidder and James Brolin are immediately recognizable as terrified homeowners in the house of the devil. Their black and white visages react to scenes that take place in the movie, but their speech bubbles are more camp than consternation.
For many of us who grew up in the 70s, buying an issue of Mad Magazine was a lot easier than trying to get into an R-rated feature on our own. The content may have been comedically altered, but it gave us a sense of what we were missing in the theater.
Thank goodness for artists like Mort Drucker who honored our love of comics and our love of movies without insulting our intelligence unlike our clueless parents.
RIP Mort Drucker.