Will Elder, RIP

(Click on image for enlargement)

From the Comics Journal blog: "I’ve just received word that Mad Magazine pioneer and Little Annie Fanny co-creator Will Elder has died at the age of 86. I have no specifics regarding the cause of death; the funeral will take place on Sunday in New Jersey."

As Fantagraphics Eric Reynolds said, "A finer cartoonist never lived."

Link | (A-HAA just reposted a piece about Elder and Harvey Kurtzman's Little Annie Fanny for Playboy)


  1. Bill Elder had some of the absolute best panels ever seen in Mad Magazine. “Restaurant” was an all-time favorite, as was his take on Tarzan and Popeye.

  2. He had the best panels in -any- magazine in which his work appeared. He was a genius and an inspiration. This news makes me very sad.. rest in peace Will Elder.

  3. That is a fabulous panel. I can’t believe I’ve never seen it before. Thanks for posting.

  4. ugh. A little piece of me just died as well. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent poring over his work and just laughing my arse off. If any of you are unfamiliar with his work in the early run of Mad, go and get any of the great reprints available. They do not disappoint and hold up as some of the best comic artworks ever. No hyperbole.

    Long Live Chicken Fat!

  5. Elder’s work definitely made a huge impression on me in my formative years. From Mad to Playboy, he helped steer my young mind and creative outlook. He and John Severin teamed up on those Two-Fisted Tales stories still give me goosebumps.

    if you aren’t acquainted with his stuff, do yourself a favor and remedy your situation post-haste.


  6. Oh, God.

    Frank N. Stein

    “Restaurant” looks like the Raft of the Medusa, only funnier. And I like the little HMV doggy in the foreground.

    Like the Klingons say, he will be remembered with honor!

    By the way, if any BoingBoing readers are in Amsterdam, the Jewish Historical Museum there has an exhibit, for another two weeks, called Supermen and Schlemiels, about Jewish cartoonists Siegel & Schuster, Will Eisner, pretty much everybody at Mad, Jack Kirby, Art Spiegelman and others.

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