In a 1985 Tonight Show appearance, when Johnny Carson asked Michael J. Fox, "When did you really know you'd made it in show business?", Fox replied, "When Mort Drucker drew my head."
I have been a fan of the caricaturists at Mad Magazine for almost as long as I've been able to read. But first, and foremost, among my favorite artists there is Mort Drucker.
Welcome to the June issue of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.
To me, this octogenarian still has it all -- a core understanding of human (and, occasionally, animal) anatomy, economy of line when rendering his technique and, of course, an almost other-worldly ability to capture likenesses.
"In the fall of 1956, shortly after the departure of Mad's founding editor Harvey Kurtzman, Drucker found his way to Mad. His first visit to the magazine's offices coincided with a World Series broadcast, and publisher Bill Gaines told Drucker that if the Brooklyn Dodgers won the game, he would be hired. The Dodgers did win. Capricious though Drucker's alleged audition process may have been, it made for a good anecdote. Years later, Gaines unsurprisingly confessed, 'We would have hired him anyway.' More than a half century later, Drucker held the longest uninterrupted tenure of any Mad artist.
"At the time of Drucker's arrival, Mad did not regularly feature TV and movie satires; editor Al Feldstein credited Drucker's style and ability for the decision to start featuring them in every issue.
Charles Schulz once wrote, 'Frankly, I don't know how he does it, and I stand in a long list of admirers... I think he draws everything the way we would all like to draw.' In 2012, referring to Drucker's splash page for Mad's parody of The Godfather, the Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeonwrote, 'The way he draws James Caan's eyebrow is worth some folks' entire careers.'"
"Mort Drucker's Time covers are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. He was recognized for his work with the National Cartoonists Society Special Features Award (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988) and its Reuben Award(1987).
Drucker was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Art Institute of Boston."
As for yours truly, I can only aspire to be influenced by Mort Drucker, who has raised the bar starting somewhere at Mount Olympus...
Nevertheless, I humbly submit some of my own recent work:
"Selfie" done for article In B2B Tribe Magazine
Commissioned birthday gift art for Harold Rousso, Brownlee Jewelry
Commissioned birthday gift art for client's daughter
Commissioned Sign-In Board for client bride
See you again the first Tuesday of next month for another mad-dening dose of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.