For longer than I’ve been alive on this planet (or any other), so has MAD magazine lived. I took this as subconscious proof that I chose the right path in life. That there was an artistic point and purpose to living as a satirical cartoonist.
An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest.
From “Prince Variant: Seller of Collectibles”, BIUL #2 (2015).
More accurately, an object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless a force acts upon it. This is Newton’s law of motion. It applies to the average blogger thusly; if you’re having a good posting run, it will continue until some force acts upon it.
If I could go back in time 20 years, and tell my 24-year-old self that I’d be signing my own comics at Criminal Records in Atlanta’s Little 5 Points, I wouldn’t believe it. Mostly because at 24 I was incredulous about the feasibility of time travel.
Three years ago, in jail, more than one dude told me I looked like Bruno Mars. I don’t see it.
I’ve guested at comic conventions before, but this was Criminal Records. They’ve had an almost mythical status since the 1990s, and their old location (it’s now Stratosphere Skateboards, another local business I highly recommend), which I visited often even before I lived here. It had cartoons drawn on the walls by Skip Williamson, Evan Dorkin and Bob Burden, just to name a few. I want to say Patty Leidy was up there too, but I’m going on memory here. Continue reading →
1941 is a not-very-good comedy from 1979, directed by a young Steven Spielberg. It has an all-star cast; John Belushi, Robert Stack, Slim Pickens, Ned Beatty, and Christopher Lee, just to name a few. The score, from the dependable John Williams, is rousing and bombastic, with a great send-up of Glenn Miller that plays before a “zoot-suit riot”. The movie is a farce about a small California town that descends into chaos when a Japanese sub appears off the coast, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The destruction effects, and Slim Pickens faking a forceful shit by chucking a boot in a toilet, greatly endeared 1941 to me as a boy, to the point where I drove my dad nuts with it. He knew it was a stupid, leaden bomb. I saw Dan Aykroyd with nylon hose on his head and oranges in his eyes screaming “I’m a bug”, and I lost my mind. Then I tried it myself one day, and I almost lost my eyesight. Continue reading →
Print is important and always will be. Secret messages are sent on paper; on computers, they have to be heavily encrypted. This still doesn’t work as well as something that has to be photographed before someone burns or swallows it.
I’d call it a safe bet that money will always be printed, from elaborate etchings.
It is illegal in America to burn or otherwise destroy currency. Since 2000, new watermarks and patterns have been added, to make counterfeiting totally impossible. That’s how important these little rectangles of printed linen are. Continue reading →
Mea culpa. You know what? In all my apple polishing of cartoonists I admire, I’ve never mentioned Rick Altergott. What the fuck.
I even saw Altergott in person, at a MOCCA Festival years ago. I didn’t approach him, because his abilities as a cartoonist scare the bejeezus out of me. He’s got the touch that the old MAD guys had. He’s not only a caricaturist on par with Mort Drucker, he’s an inker like Wally Wood, with the gift for rendering faces and objects as though they exist in actual space. Continue reading →
The venerable satire magazine MAD has had countless imitators during its lifespan. CRACKED, one of the strongest, went from a gag periodical to an online site in 2007, and is now devoted to politically correct clickbait in numbered list form. But the best MAD rip-off came and went in a scant ten years. It showcased artists and ideas too edgy and weird for Will Gaines’ flagship “of idiots”. Like many great things in life, it was called CRAZY.