Saturday, August 11, 2012


This lovely drawing was a single panel in a story by Mort Drucker for MAD Magazine in 1972. 

It occupied a mere 3.75 inches x 12.75 inches in the magazine. You could not possibly see or appreciate the variety of faces in this panel.

Until now.

Here are 25 of my favorites, larger than life:


The brilliant Drucker drew for MAD for over 50 years,  producing hundreds of stories containing thousands of such panels overflowing with distinctive faces.  Also hands, figures and complex backgrounds.  He dispensed his talent with an abundance that I still find astonishing.


Anonymous MORAN said...

Drucker is a genius.

8/12/2012 12:15 AM  
Blogger Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Its humbling to see his linework at this level of definition and see how much his masterpiece seem almost indistinguishable from scribble lines, and yet when present the right way its downright inspiring.

8/12/2012 12:43 AM  
Blogger Nathan Fowkes said...

Thanks for taking the time to zoom in on all the different characters for us, guys like this need to get their due appreciation.

8/12/2012 2:13 AM  
Blogger kev ferrara said...

Comic Genius!

8/12/2012 12:30 PM  
Blogger अर्जुन said...

JPEG: Godfather wedding 033i, is that Tricky Dicky creeping about?

8/12/2012 1:45 PM  
Blogger bill said...

Oh the time I spent copying Drucker and Davis. Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad world. Thanks for this.

8/12/2012 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Katana Leigh said...

those faces are SO much fun - true master making it look easy :D

8/13/2012 12:12 AM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

MORAN-- Agreed.

Erik Johnson Illustrator-- Glad you like them. Keep in mind that these images are two or three times the size of the original drawings, which accounts for some of the roughness.

Nathan Fowkes-- Good to hear from you. Yes, there are a lot of great, unsung talents out there whose work deserves more attention. It seems to me that Drucker is an artist who is revered by other artists, and who was hugely influential because his work was read by young adults at formative stages, but who still doesn't get the fame and respect he is due from the broader establishment.

Kev Ferrara-- right on!

8/13/2012 10:46 AM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

अर्जुन -- Thanks for the slice of history. The good thing about Drucker is that when he wants to draw Tricky Dick, you know exactly who it is. His caricatures of Nixon were the best.

bill-- Me, too.

Katana Leigh-- Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed them.

8/13/2012 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

incredible understanding of facial variations.USA's greatest caricaturist?

8/13/2012 12:32 PM  
Blogger Joel Brinkerhoff said...

The writing in Mad sometimes didn't do justice to the artistry of the images. Drucker filled panel after panel with well staged, composed, spot on gestures and caricatures that captured the actors likenesses no matter what the angle or lighting. He also got the backgrounds right. What a draftsman! I often wonder how he did his research and if a copy of the film or production stills were available to him?

8/14/2012 10:33 AM  
Anonymous ScottLoar said...

There was a time when a copy of Mad poking out of the back pocket of Levi's defined cool.

8/15/2012 5:17 AM  
Blogger David Apatoff said...

Alex-- Different caricaturists excel at different things,so it is very difficult to say unequivocally that a particular artist is the "greatest." However, if you want my purely subjective opinion, I'd say "yes."

Joel Brinkerhoff-- I understand that Drucker was permitted to see movies before the general public, as studios were happy to have MAD parody their work. However, Drucker has also said in interviews that it would be impossible to do what he did taking faces from movie stills because the angles, shadows and expressions would all have to change to adapt to the script.

ScottLoar-- for me it still does (as long as the issue of MAD is an older issue. I don't care much for what MAD is doing these days).

8/15/2012 1:31 PM  
Blogger flatterland said...

Mad magazine from inception to the early 80's should be it's own required course of study for design and illustration students.

9/10/2012 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Craig Banholzer said...

Thanks so much! No question but that my ten-year-old self didn't appreciate these drawings as much as I do now, but I now that the gist of Mort Drucker's style got into my bones at that tender age. I hardly had a clue what most of the stories were about (what parents was going to take their ten-year-old kid to see "The Godfather?"), but I was solidly addicted to the look and feel of the art, and I still am.

10/03/2012 12:48 AM  
Anonymous gutscheine zum ausdrucken said...

sehr guter Beitrag

11/07/2012 5:21 AM  

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