Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Behind the Scenes at CRACKED

Here's a look at another page of original art that appeared in CRACKED magazine #363. As you can tell my original art was manipulated slightly to accommodate the gag. I wasn't crazy about having an ad smack dab in the middle of my page as this in my opinion was a big no no. The art should stand on its own unless it's a letters page or something similar to MAD's Fundalini pages or CRACKED's Backwash pages. I know of at least one prominent cartoonist that left the magazine due to this new direction the owner took.

American Humor Magazines book

I stumbled across this book while putting a search for humor magazines and was quite surprised that such a periodical existed. After tracking down the book's author David Sloane (a professor if I'm not mistaken, who has written other books) we exchanged lists of humor magazine titles.
I was able to order it from my local library who had to get it from elsewhere in the country. The book was published in '85 and at 683 pages has an immense listing of literally 100's of different humor magazines, from The Harvard Lampoon to MAD and everything in between. There is a detailed introduction and then in depth essays on the 100 most influential titles with shorter chapters dedicated to many others. The appendix also includes a complete listing. I feel the book is highly detailed and in depth from a researchable point of view and would therefore be a welcomed addition to most University libraries. I personally would have felt the entire book and its content would have been majorly enhanced if it had some visuals of different magazine covers, mascots, interior pages, anything really just to break up the text.
Still I would recommend it to the die hard humor magazine fan. I looked into purchasing it but it is very rare and has a $200 price tag last time I checked Amazon. Try your library.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Action Figure Collection

I remember getting my first Action Man (UK's cousin of GI Joe) back in 1970. Over the next 6 or so years I was enthralled with them and although I never had that many, playing with them certainly helped stimulate my imagination until I discovered MAD magazine which helped further warp my mind.
Over the last 10 years I have rekindled that love of Action figures, specifically Action Man and GI Joe (I have been involved with JOElanta, helped start The Great Atlanta Toy Show and helped out at various National GI Joe Conventions around the country) and more recently Johnny West and Marx Action figures. Strangely enough I had never even seen Johnny West as a child but after seeing so many of these great figures at various shows I was tempted beyond the breaking point to start collecting them.
Here then is my collection which includes various JOElanta exclusives. Check out www.joelanta.com and come to our 10th anniversary show next year on March 27th & 28th. We are in the process of putting together next years exclusive set. Pretty exciting!
Also check out http://www.circlexranch.com/ to see the latest from MARX TOYS, including many great head sculpts.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sergio Aragones flier

Here is one of the fliers that were strewn around UGA and Athens Ga for Sergio Aragones's lecture. See earlier posts.

Friends of THWAK - CFAAPA

There are collectors for every genre you can think of including those who love to acquire original art drawn by their favorite comic book and magazine artists and painters. There is one such group based here in the Atlanta area and their publication Comic and Fantasy Art Amateur Press Association (CFAAPA) a very limited/exclusive membership is truly amazing. Each issue is dedicated to a different genre of art and its members (from around the country) each contribute their own entries which are then edited and compiled here locally. The publication only comes out 3 times a year and provides serious fans and collectors the opportunity to discuss topics, ideas and opinions relative to the comic and fantasy original art history and marketplace. This group also sets up and displays many original works every year at Dragon Con, many a fan has been blown away while looking at an original Frazetta, Wood or Davis piece. I know I have!

Issue #63 from July 2004 was dedicated to my favorite genre "Humor Magazines" and starts off with a huge BANG! a wonderful Don Martin penciled, Jack Bender inked and Dave Newton colored illustration. This particular image originally appeared as the front man in a 1975 poster for the band FREE FARE in Concert. Incidentally I am fortunate enough to have this original poster as well as another one entitled FREEDOM JAM also from this time period.

Dave Newton (THWAK/CRACKED/JOKESTER) does a great job of a introducing the issue with a History of Satire Magazines. What follows is a fantastic assortment of articles and images of various humor magazine art, prelims, including material from Kelly Freas, Jack Davis, Spumco art, EC inspired dungeon scene by XNO, Will Elder, Sergio Aragones, Harvy Kurtzman, Antonio Prohias, Bruce Bolinger, John Severin, Wally Wood, Russ Heath and culminating in an excellent interview with Jack Bender who inked Don Martin's NUTHEADS panels and various other posters and paperback covers as well a a few CRACKED pages.

For more on this great zine check out

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

WHY? - JOKESTER magazine 2 pager

This is one of my favorite pieces that I ever did. Mike Arnold (my JOKESTER co-publisher) wrote and laid it out and I illustrated it. I adapted my style slightly to just sketch it out once ala Sergio Aragones or Art Bouthillier, so the initial feel was not lost by overworking it.
Incidentally I still have a few JOKESTERs, Southern Fried Comics and THWAK magazines as well as some Gosar/Jallad era CRACKED magazines for sale. Just contact me for a list.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Unused THWAK cover concept art

Artist Marty Hirchak (Pop Art Funnies publisher) came up with this crazy "Be kind to Animals" cover idea back in 2002. I really like all the little animals trying to get in on the action, especially the turtle to the left. The whole concept is a little reminiscent of an Al Jaffee type piece. Had the run not ended with #5 this would have been the cover to #7. See earlier post that has this idea rendered as a full blown painting.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ventures into the Art of Caricature

I've been drawing ever since I was 10 and have realised that with much practice an artist can resort back to their "memory banks" in order to draw various objects or draw people from a number of different angles with differing facial expressions. Caricature on the other hand, although utilizing many of the same skills is a completely different animal.
I have been enamored by those who can capture a likeness and exaggerate it just enough to make it funny while still being instantly recognizable. Mort Drucker of MAD magazine fame is who immediately comes to my mind as "The Master" whenever I think of this topic. Two of my other favorites who incidentally were also both influenced by Mort is Kent Gamble (CRAZY, CRACKED, THWAK) and Tom Richmond (MAD, CRACKED). I always wondered how they did it?
Back in 2007 I had the opportunity to learn and practice these techniques from my buddy Wade Collins (Caricature Bliss), a then just starting caricature artist. Like myself Wade could draw and taught me, as he had been taught (and with the use of the book "Face Off by Hamernik"). Wade has since developed a great business doing everything from setting up his own operations at various Theme Parks to doing Caricature Maps and everything in between. I myself did a number of special request family portraits/caricatures as well as drawing at Stone Mountain Park here in Georgia. The above caricatures of Austin Powers, President Bush and Condeleeza Rice were all examples for the folks to see. It was certainly an enjoyable experience if not a little exasperating to entice folks to sit down in front of you to be caricatured all the while you are trying to talk to them to keep them entertained while trying to capture a good likeness in black and white or color within about 5 to 10 mins. All I can say retail caricature is not easy. The pros make it look that way but it really takes a tremendous amount of skill and experience to bang out sometimes 100's of faces a day. It's been a minute since I've practiced myself - time to dust off the old pens, paper and drawing board!

Unused CRACKED art

These are 2 of many additional pieces that were rendered for CRACKED #361 that were to be part of the whole California gubernatorial issue when all the celebs were throwing their hat into the ring. As I have explained in earlier posts the issue was postponed many months which rendered a decent amount of the issue no longer viable. These 2 illustrations were done by artist Ben Boling. The 1st one is a nervous Gray Davis (the California Governor being recalled) and the second was CRACKED's answer to the whole mess, non other than our mascot Sylvester P. Smythe himself!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Humor Magazine listing

Here is a list that was initially compiled back in 2003 and appeared in THWAK #4/The Journal of MADness #15 double issue. I have since revised it slightly and although I am not claiming it to be a 100% complete listing of all MAD like American humor magazines I feel it comes pretty close.

For the purposes of trying to stay as concise to the MAD type magazine I chose not to include College magazines, general single panel gag magazines, National Lampoon types, genre specific ie CARtoons, CYCLEtoons etc. Enjoy and I hope this proves to be a good reference.

PUCK 1877 – 1912
Keppler & Schwarzmann

JUDGE 1881 – 1930’s
Judge Publishing Co.

BALLYHOO 1931 – 1954
Dell Publishing Co.

FOO May 1952
Monarch Publishing Co.

MAD Oct. 1952 – present

SNAFU Nov. 1955 – Vol. 2 #2 1956 (3 issues)
Atlas Comics (RCM)

LUNATICLE Feb. 1956 - #2, April 1956
Whitstone Publications

Dec. 1955 Vol. 2 #1 - June 1956 Vol. 2 #2
Humor Magazines (Charlton)

TRUMP Jan. 1957 - #2 March 1957
HMH Publishing Co.

July 1957 Vol. 3 #2- Vol. 4 #8
March 1959
Charlton Publications

HUMBUG Aug. 1957 - #11 Oct. 1958
Humbug publications
(last 2 issues magazine size)

NUTS Feb. 1958 - #2 April 1958
Health Knowledge

CRACKED Feb. 1958 – #365 Nov 2004
Vol. 2 #1-#3 2006
Cracked Publications

FRENZY April 1958 - #6 March 1959
Bimfort Magazines Inc.

THIMK May 1958 - #6 May 1959
Counterpoint Inc.

PANIC July 1958 - #6 July 1959
Vol. 2 #10 Dec. 1965 – Vol. 2 #12 1966
Panic Publications

LOCO Aug. 1958 - #3 Jan. 1959
Satire Publications

ZANY Sept. 1958 - #4 May 1959
Candor Publishing Co.

FRANTIC Oct. 1958 – Vol. 2 #2 April 1959
Pierce Publishing Co.

SHOOK UP Nov. 1958 #1
Dodsworth Publishing Co.

SICK Aug. 1960- #134 Fall 1980
Charlton Publications

HELP Aug. 1960 - #26 Sept. 1965
General Promotions Co.
(Warren Publishing Co.)

FOOEY Feb. 1961 - #4 May 1961
Scott Publishing Co.

POW Aug. 1966 - #2 Feb. 1967
Humor – Vision

YELL April 1966 - ?
K-M-R Publications Inc.

WILD Jan. 1968 - #3 1968
Dell Publishing Co.

SPOOF Oct. 1970 - #5 May 1973
Marvel Comics Group

BLAST Feb. 1971 - #2 May 1971
G & D Publishing

UP YOUR NOSE (and out your ear)
April 1972 - #2 June 1972
Klevart Enterprises

GRIN Nov. 1972 - #3 April 1973
APAG House Publications

PLOP! Sept./Oct. 1973 - #24 Nov./Dec. 1976
National Periodical Publications

CRAZY Oct. 1973 - #94 April 1983
Marvel Comics Group

3 Strikes Publishing

Mayfair Publications

PARODY March 1977 - #3 Aug. 1977
Armour Publishing Co.

TRASH March 1978 - #4 Oct. 1978
Trash Publishing Co.

WACKO Sept. 1980 - #3 Oct. 1981
Ideal Publishing Co.

BARF April 1990 #1
Revolutionary Comics Inc.

WARPED June 1990 - #2 Oct./Nov. 1990
Empire Entertainment

JAB Spring 1993 - ?
Cummings Design Group

MEAN 1996 #1
Draculina Publishing

NUTS June 1997 -?
Nuts Magazine Inc.

THWAK Spring 2001 - #5 Winter 2003
Tool/Thwak Publications

GAG Sept. 2004 #1 -2
Barrister Publications

JOKESTER Jan. 2005 #1
Tool/Thwak/Jokester Publications

If anyone knows of any items not on this list please contact me.

New DON MARTIN website

I just received a postcard from the Don Martin Studio in Miami announcing the brand new Don Martin website http://donmartinwebsite.com/ hosted by Norma Martin. The site is rudimentary but does have a variety of his post MAD magazine work, including CRACKED pages, Don Martin Magazine as well as Nutheads strips. Also featured is Don Martin's Brain Games for Kids (see earlier post) as well as a new upcoming book "The Completely CRACKED Don Martin" an idea that I had talked to Norma about over 2 years ago. Anyway I sure hope that whoever puts this project together takes the time to get it right and uses a cover image other than the one shown above from the Don Martin Digs Deeper paperback, HONK #1, CRACKED special and poster and the Brain Games book. Can't wait for it to come out!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Unused THWAK art (Illustrated Lyrics) #2

Originally intended for inclusion in THWAK #3 the All Monster issue, this piece by artist Billy Genius (THWAK, CRACKED, JOKESTER) was part of 4 different illustrated lyrics. I am pleased to be able to share it now (6 years later).
For more on Billy's art check out posts from June.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Nick Cardy & Russ Heath

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have these two legends autograph some of their work when I met them both a few years back at Dragon Con here in Atlanta. Both artists have done plenty of work in a variety of genres.
As I've always focused on humor I was familiar with Nick Cardy's covers for CRAZY magazine, so it was natural for me to pick one of my favorites for him to sign.
Russ Heath worked on some of the early MAD comics back in the fifties. While perusing my CRACKED back issues I came across this excellent back cover of Smokey The Bear.

A couple more Gag cartoons

THWAK - Good for Indigestion?

Here's a series of pictures that were taken just after the 1st issue came out. We had been invited somewhere fancy (hence the rented Tux) and I figured it would be a while before I'd wear another one so ..... Anyway I was going to use it as an ad in THWAK #2 to encourage people with an air of sophistication about them to (dine) enjoy an issue of "America's favorite humor magazine-that they didn't even know existed yet". Anyhow I didn't use them, choosing instead to use illustrated spots. Just as well I suppose!