Todd & Art with Details
These two pictures above and bottom) are examples detailed type of pictures that Will Elder was known for in MAD. The black & white is a take-off on Ralph Edwards’ “This Is Your Life” in the first MAD magazine and the color one from a MAD comicbook look at restaurants. They are both the introductory splash. While you have it in front of you click again on either cartoon and study the details and thought that was put into each figure drawn.
Now, about Todd:
Todd was a strange guy. As preteens, my friend and I knew Todd was strange. He boarded with my friend’s aunt. I remember he collected cans and jars of strange and exotic foods. One time Todd and my friend’s aunt had a fierce argument and Todd got mad and stormed out to his car with several of his picked or spiced whatever and sat there and ate and sulked.
We lived in an old house In about 1955 our parents decided to move to a new house.
In the old house my bedroom was off the kitchen. I had model airplanes hanging from the ceiling in dog fights that I very carefully posed. On one wall that had no window or door, nothing but a blank wall, I cut out pictures out of magazines and comic books and put on the wall. I had politicians pointing at each other laughing, hitting each over the heads with gravels; Tarzan creeping up on a sexy movie starlet with a dagger; The Monster From the Black Lagoon climbing out of a make-believe pool with above him three or four boys were cannon-balling, soon to be hitting the monster; Superman flying high up near the ceiling with Mighty Mouse in hot pursuit and looking mad; Captain Marvel up high also, dropping the little baldheaded mad-scientist Dr. Sivanium; and endless more. I cut out hundreds of figures from Life and Saturday Evening Post Magazines, comic books and my sister’s movie magazines. It was a gigantic piece of art where every clipping somehow was related to the other pieces of clipping near it. I paid close attention to composition and balancing. There were many details. Friends stood in front of my masterpiece for hours studying it. I could almost believe I was divinely inspired.
I got the idea of multi-actions details in a single picture from my hero Bill Elder of MAD comicbook. I stole the general idea I admit, but the picture clippings and decided what would and would not go on the wall and near what was my creation.
I wished I had taken a picture (it would last longer).
Our house had a for sale sign in front. Real estate agents from time to time would show a potential buyer the house. One day an agent showed the eccentric man Todd the house. He was in awe of my wall clipping art work. Todd told the real estate agent if he bought the house he wanted my art to stay where it was.
He bought the house and my clippings stayed on the wall.
Next door was a little boy who had his swing set near our yard line. When we lived there the kid would swing and sing to the top of his lungs, usually popular songs.
Within a year or so after we moved out and Todd moved in he was arrested and ended up in prison for molesting the little boy.
At times I have wondered if my bedroom wall was not cluttered with clip-art would the molestation have taken place. Todd may not have wanted the house without the pseudo artsy wall.
About twenty years or so later I was in the same Political Science class at Kennesaw Junior College (now it is a fully accredited university) as the little boy’s sister. She had not changed. She told me her brother was a manager of a mini-theater.