This is the latest in my ongoing series of "portraits of the legends of comic books", the late artist John Severin (1921-2012), one of the original MAD/EC comics artists. I portrayed him at work in his studio circa the mid-seventies, putting finishing touches on his latest cover painting for Cracked, the MAD imitation magazine where he worked for 45 years and was their signature artist. My blog from earlier this year on John Severin's Cracked paperback covers.
Here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry for Cracked:
Cracked was an American humor magazine. Founded in 1958, Cracked proved to be the most durable of the many publications to be launched in the wake of Mad magazine. In print, Cracked conspicuously copied Mad's layouts and style, and even featured a simpleminded, wide-cheeked mascot named Sylvester P. Smythe on its covers (see Alfred E. Neuman). The Smythe character was Cracked's "janitor." Unlike Neuman, who is mute and appears primarily on covers, Smythe sometimes spoke and was frequently seen inside the magazine, interacting with parody subjects and other regular characters. A 1998 reader contest led to Smythe finally getting a full middle name: "Phooey." An article on Cracked.com, the companion website, joked that the magazine was "created as a knock-off of Mad magazine just over 50 years ago", and it "spent nearly half a century with a fan base primarily comprised of people who got to the store after Mad sold out."
Cracked's awesome motto was: "We're number two because we don't try as hard."
High-end printers began decorating the edges of books as the craft developed, including dyeing and gilding the edges, but in the 17th century, artisans began creating fore-edge paintings that could only be seen when books were fanned. Below is another example:
Now there are three: Neil Gaiman’s best-loved novels are being re-released with gorgeous pulp covers; back in August, it was American Gods, in a month you’ll be able to marry it up with the stupendous Anansi Boys, to be followed in November by Neverwhere (painted by Robert E McGinnis, lettering by Todd Klein). (via Neil […]
The lovely brown hues in Eugene Delacroix’s 1830 painting above, titled “Liberty Leading the People,” were actually pigments made from ground-up mummies from Egypt. From National Geographic: The use of mummy as a pigment most likely stemmed from an even more unusual use—as medicine. From the early medieval period, Europeans were ingesting and applying preparations […]
If you own a dog, you’ve most likely heard of BarkBox – the monthly subscription box for dogs. What started as a simple idea to try out the subscription model on pet owners has since developed a cult following of dog lovers. If you haven’t given it a try yet, this one month free deal is the […]
With the iPhone headphone jack having gone by the wayside, we’re excited about the addition of the FRANKLIN Bluetooth Headphones in our store. These headphones are foldable so they’re easy to carry around, but most importantly, they pack impressive sound. Our biggest struggle with Bluetooth headphones is the worry of them dying at the worst moment. This pair lasts an impressive 8-10 […]
Evan Kimbrell, founder of the digital agency Sprintkick, recently released a series of online courses that feature some of the best advice we’ve come across. These courses are well worth your time, and will save you from making many typical mistakes down the line if you ever want to start your own business.With this Business […]