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MAD's Greatest Artists: Mort Drucker: Five Decades of His Finest Works [Hardcover]

Mort Drucker
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 23 2012 Mad's Greatest Artists
A contributor to 'MAD' since its earliest years of the fabled Humor magazine, Mort Drucker is recognized throughout the art world as one of the greatest caricaturists of the twentieth century.
He has won numerous awards and honors including the National Cartoonists Society's prestigious Reuben Award, the Will Eisner Hall of Fame Award, and an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Art Institute of Boston.
Drucker's most famous features are his movie and television satires. From 'The Godfather' to 'Star Wars', and from Hulk Hogan to Woody Allen, he has captured our culture's most popular characters with one master stroke after another. Michael J. Fox once told Johnny Carson on 'The Tonight Show' that he knew he had made it when Mort Drucker drew his caricature in 'MAD'. And George Lucas personally traveled to Drucker's Long Island home to convince him to illustrate the poster for 'American Graffiti'.
Drucker's greatest 'MAD' works are collected here for the first time ever, hand-picked by the artist himself. It is a celebration that has been more than 55 years in the making!

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Review

Steven Spielberg, Director, Jaws
"Mort Drucker's timely sense of parody mixed with commentary first made me aware of the culture of our generation. Mort's irreverent and historical caricatures have never been nor will they ever be equaled. He poked fun at all my favorite movies when I was a teenager and when I was a filmmaker, he started going to town on the ones I was making and I loved every frame of his."

Joe Dante, Director, Gremlins
As a lifelong MAD devotee from the time it was a four-color comic, I can tell you that there are few thrills in life quite like seeing your own movie parodied in the pages of MAD! So you can imagine my shock and glee when I glommed on to the cover of the September 1984 “Grimlins” issue with Alfred E. Neuman as Gizmo, surrounded by horrified Gremlins holding their noses behind him. And even better, what was inside was almost too good to be true: several hilarious pages of clever spoofery by Stan Hart illustrated with the usual brilliant Mort Drucker comic art!
What an honor.
Let’s be clear—Mort Drucker is simply right up there with Hirschfeld as the master American caricaturist.
His pure, unmistakable graphic style has captured an astonishing array of 20th century celebrities and public figures. Even if you didn't know a performer’s name you could always place the face. His movie-like staging and composition were unmatched, and the result was artwork that could be revisited time and time again and still yield something new. That particular facet of MAD influenced many nascent filmmakers, including myself.
I never actually met the absurdly prolific Mr. Drucker, but I feel I know him through his years of work.
Now there’s a legacy few of us can even aspire to!


George Lucas, Director, American Graffiti
Since I first read MAD Magazine as a kid, I've been drawn in by its mix of highbrow satire and lowbrow laughs that pokes very funny holes in the stuffiest of institutions. Mort Drucker's signature artwork captures and exaggerates the world around us and the people in it in a way that makes them more real. His caricatures are the best, and he is the artist that defines MAD for me.

When I had to choose an artist for the American Graffiti poster, Mort was the first and only person who came to mind. Since then, he's been redrawing my movies as funny parodies. You never mind being the subject of one of Mort's jokes, because he executes them so artfully.


JJ Abrams, Filmmaker
The influence of Mort Drucker on readers of MAD Magazine cannot be overstated. I remember with vivid clarity sitting in my elementary school classroom, while I was supposed to be working, desperately trying to copy his brilliant caricature style. It didn’t work. Not then and not now. Drucker’s eerie ability to absolutely capture the heart and soul of his subjects—and put them in hysterical tableau—is unmatched by anyone. Even the way he signed his work was something of inspiration; I remember as a kid trying to create my own signature in a style as cool as Drucker’s. I wished I had an “M” and an “O” in my name so I could do the three lines and circle thing like he did. I am and always was, like so many others, a huge fan of Mort Drucker. One of the greatest comic artists of all time.


About the Author

Mort Drucker is one of 'MAD' magazine's longest-tenured cartoonists; he joined the staff in 1956 and still contributes today. He lives on Long Island, NY, with his wife of over 50 years, Barbara. Please
visit him at mortdrucker.com.

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Most helpful customer reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - nothing about Mort :-( Nov. 24 2012
Format:Hardcover
The book is basically a compilation of some of Mort's movie parodies - and not necessarily the classics that you'd expect. Which is OK compared to buying back issues of MAD magazine. What is disappointing is the lack of any info about Mort himself, how he works, background, biography, etc.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars COULDA BEEN BETTER! Oct. 22 2012
By Paco Calderón - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First of all, I'm rating the BOOK, not the cartoonist!. Mort Drucker is the best one around; PERIOD!

That's why his work deserved a much better anthology than this one. I think the editors of MAD (now owned by Time-Warner) picked the most commercial movies ("Gremlins", "Jaws", "Batman") instead of the artist's finest works. Mind you, there's no such thing as a "bad" Drucker movie satire -each one is drawn superbly- but there are good ones and outstanding ones. "The Oddfather Too", for instance, is rendered in pen and ink when depicting the Pacino scenes (1959) and in gorgeous shaded pencil work for the DeNiro ones (1920). "Blue Eyed Kook" has the funniest Paul Newman likenesses ever caught, and "The Great Gasbag" or "Chinaclown" look better than the actual movies! None of these are featured in the book. Also, I would have liked to see Mr. Drucker's first MAD assignment, his first movie satire, his first cover, and his first full color parody. Last but not least, I would have loved to get a meatier interview by about his work and career. Still, it is a lovely edition (compare it with the awful Fantagraphics book on Jack Davis), but for my money, I'd wait for a truly great retrospective of Mort Drucker, done in the same luxurious manner!

P.S.: In the meantime, try "Familiar faces: the art of Mort Drucker" by David Duncan, or the now unavailable "The art of Humorous Illustration" by Nick Meglin. Books on Drucker for "druckerians", if you know what I mean.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master himself highlighted in a handsome book! Nov. 15 2012
By Fernando Llera - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First of all, this is a beautifully edited volume with great reproductions of Mort Druckers' fine artwork for MAD magazine, spanning 52 years of first-rate contributions. Most are in crisp black and white but there are some color reproductions of several of his fantastic covers. Included is a beautiful pull-out poster from 1965 in color, originally published in Mad Follies #2. You will find here some of his best parodies from movies and TV shows like Bonanza, Batman, True Grit, The Godfather, American Graffiti, Serpico, Jaws, Raging Bull, Law & Order, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Rocky, Spider-Man, Mission: Impossible and many, many more! I am old enough to remember Mort's work from the earliest years and to me, he was the main reason to buy MAD. That was the first thing I turned to when picking up every new issue and I miss his work from the current editions. No artist has come close to capturing celebrities' likenesses like he did. His line work was extremely precise but somehow loose and free-wheeling and he enjoyed filling his panels with little gags and funny details. You had to go back several times to absorb every nuance Mort inserted here and there. And every satire mirrored the original inspiration exactly. His feel for ambiance, settings and space composition has gone largely unmatched by subsequent Drucker wannabes. All in all, a beautiful volume and a fine tribute to one of MAD's greatest artists. If I had to quibble, I'd only wish some of my favorite parodies had been included, like Bullitt, The Towering Inferno, The Fugitive, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Spy Who Loved Me or The Godfather II...but that's only on a personal note. If you admire Mort Drucker, if you're a MAD magazine reader from way back or if you appreciate the fine art of caricature, this book will not disappoint. I only hope we get a Volume 2 sometime in the future with more jewels from Mr. Drucker, my all-time idol!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected Feb. 9 2013
By harveymushman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I grew up with Mort Drucker's work. I love his attention to detail and his humor in his artwork. I thought I was going to get his finest work here. No way. Of course being a realist, I understand that his finest work is subjective to anyone who is choosing it. If Mort chose the work then so be it, I disagree. Left out were many of his older works in favor of the new stuff. I think its obvious the target audience they were going for her was a younger generation. I grew up in the 60's and read MAD every week. The older we get, the numbers drop off, so much of his newer TV shows were chosen to attract a younger buyer. I can understand this being commerce minded, but the words "sell out" come to mind. Either way, Mort has always been and always will be an artist who inspired me. If you like Mort's older stuff, chances are its not in this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing Oct. 15 2012
By Chris Melton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a struggling cartoonist, Mort Drucker has been a huge influence and inspiration to me as far back as I can remember. In the first 20 pages this book has already brought back so many memories of reading MAD magazine and being mesmerized at the talent that was within. The most surprising element is to hear and read about the other iconic actors and film makers and their memories of being awe struck and inspired as well, e.g. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, J.J. Abrams and the list goes on. This is an encyclopedia of greatness and every artist regardless of genre or medium would benefit from this book. If not to learn tricks of the trade but to simply read some of the funniest comics you'll ever come across, period.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mad Fans Rejoice... Aug. 1 2013
By Stan Grindstaff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a hefty compendium of Mort Drucker's art as published in Mad Magazine. As a mature adult now, I'm marveling at each caricature drawn by Drucker. The special foldout poster featuring many movie stars is included at the end of the book; take it out & mount it on a wall!
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