Thursday, July 20, 2017

Harvey Kurtzman Cip-Art


This is mostly about the art selections of Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993), editor and creator of MAD Comic book and the art of his artists and how the stuff they produced is natural raw clip art.
My old friend Archie Richardson introduced MAD Comicbook to me when we were in the 7th grade.  It literally sent my mind in directions I never dreamed of.  I became an instant fan and I still go over old MADs and Kurtzman's other satirical magazines.
At first I was completely amazed and transfixed by the bold art with human body language expression.
I soon swooped up the three back issues of MAD and subscribed.  I was  at the age of making friends and seeing a lot of them move away with their parents.
I took it upon myself to keep my friends that moved updated on the latest news in Marietta that I thought they would be interested in.  My friend Sam Carsley was also doing the same thing and pasted clip art that was cut from the funny papers, mostly LI'L ABNER.
I thought I could do better with clip art clipped from MAD, which I thought was more expressive.
In time MAD metamorphosed itself into MAD Magazine and Harvey Kurtzman got fired and had a history of three other magazine before he and his same original  MAD artists started Annie Fanny in        PLAYBOY.
When I approached middle age I had a want to review the old MADs and the other magazine only to remember most of my satirical magazine was cut in shreds for the sake of having funny expressive envelope s.
I, just like the officer in River Kwi, said, "What have I done?"
It just so happened in a timely manner, about the same year,  the first 300 or so issues of MAD were digitized on 5 CDs, named TOTALLY MAD.
Not only did I get to re-study the stories and art, I could copy and paste old home made clip art like old times.
I took the old idea of putting clip art on correspondence to putting clip art on much of my blogs and facebook posts.
Harvey Kurtzman was the editor for E.C. Comics MAD, FRONTLINE COMBAT, and TWO-FISTED TALES.  He wrote every story except some war stories that historically wrote themselves.  After he wrote a story he would meet with the artist he assigned to it and with body language explain just what he wanted to see.  I would have loved to have been invisible watching Kurtzman demonstrated what he wanted by swelling up like a bully, or waving his arms and legs like a ballet dancer, to holding his arm out to catch an invisible baseball.  Kurtzman was a bald short person.  He probably put on an amazing show.  It's a shame Youtube wasn't around then.
I sorted out the artists works so you can see their personal styles better.

Not all the artists here worked for MAD.  Robert Crumb was his assistant editor  at HELP Magazine.  Don Martin was and artist for MAD after Kurtzman fired, but he had the Kurtzman visual  spirit and excellent clip art creator. 

Harvey Kurtzman


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