Saturday, November 16, 2019


When artist Mort Drucker was a boy, he was left handed.

He wrote and drew with his left hand but his parents forced him to change to his right hand-- a now discredited practice that conflicts with the natural wiring of the brain, leads to inferior results and can cause developmental problems in a child.


This is the brilliant work Drucker was able to create using his "second best" hand.

Makes you wonder what Drucker might've been capable of doing with his left hand if he'd been left to develop naturally.


kev ferrara said...

Wow. Never saw this before. Such great caricatures: Bogart, Cagney, Cronyn, Robinson, Lorre.. and others I recognize but don't know the names of. Drucker at the top of his game. Even the pile of dirt shows mastery.

On your post's conceit: Since it is pretty much impossible to draw more fluently than this, the practice of forcing right-handedness would seem to have been neutral in its effect on Drucker. Unless it somehow caused him to be funny and introverted. In which case, it was a clear net benefit.

al mcluckie said...

Now I know what always bothered me about his work !

MORAN said...

You've been preaching that Drucker is a genius for years. You've finally convinced me.

David Apatoff said...

Kev Ferrara-- No argument here. Actually, Drucker didn't seem to mind changing to satisfy his parents. He loved them dearly, and as you note his drawing seemed to work out just fine. I do wonder whether his left-hand style might have looked different.

al mcluckie-- yeah, can't you just see that left-hand screaming to come out?

MORAN-- you mean it took this long for you to figure it out? I thought it was obvious.

al mcluckie said...

How did George Woodbridge strike you ?

Tom said...

He is so good with the empty spaces between his inked lines in the actors faces, your close ups really show it!

What was the illustration for?

David Apatoff said...

al mcluckie-- I like George Woodbridge's work-- he had consistently high standards-- but it's difficult to think of any artist who could shine working in the shadow of Drucker, Davis, Coker, etc.

Tom-- this illustration was not commissioned by a client, it was a personal piece, done for pride (and perhaps self-promotion).

Richard said...

From my own experience, I’d wager this helped him considerably.

I’ve found that while drawing with my offhand is slower and requires significantly greater focus, I also get vastly superior results.

Gianmaria Caschetto said...

I've always thought that I should force myself to learn how to draw and write with my off hand (the left one, in my case) for two reasons.
First: if I were to lose (even temporarily) the use of my right hand, I'd have a backup plan.
Second: I suppose much of my style and mannerisms (a term itself derived from the Latin word for hand: "manus") are born out of muscle memory, rather than deliberate choices. Drawing with the other hand could free me of tics and gestures that aren't actually pondered on.

Plus, my brother says that if I were ambidexter, I could draw simoultaneously with two hands, hence produce twice as fast!

Anonymous said...

I grew up with Mork Drucker and MAD in the 1960's. He was the pinnacle of MAD genius. His Star Trek (Star Bleech) illustrations are incredible. The single most hilarious drawing of all time is Capt Kirk after beaming down, resulting in a mashup of human body parts . . .