Ralph Reese is a brilliant illustrator whose art I first discovered in Choose Your Own Adventure books; he was my personal favorite. His work leapt off the page more than the others, owing to his apprenticeship under the great Wally Wood. In my teens, I found reprints of Ralph’s collaboration with Byron Preiss for National Lampoon, “One Year Affair”. I dreamed of being able to draw like Ralph Reese.
When Ralph did a feature in CRAZY magazine, it was a cause for celebration. Because Ralph wasn’t just a master illustrator.
Ralph was also a master of making you crap your pants.
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
I don’t know why people are sad about the Great Deathwave of 2016. It’s a remarkable opportunity to make a stranger’s life all about yourself.
Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, 1942-2016. A multifarious and complex personality that’s tough to categorize (especially for a pugilist), not a prop for your opinions.
When a celebrity dies, you now own them. You can take the life’s work of someone you never encountered and reduce it to a personal inspiration. You can interpret their efforts as empowerment for your own agendas. Oh, and you can cherry-pick the qualities of their persona that you agree with, and ignore everything else. A corpse will never call your bluff. Continue reading