Will Elder is one of the greatest cartoonists of all time. He and Harvey Kurtzman were responsible for the early MAD (when it was a comic book) and he went on to illustrate for other humor magazines (usually partnering with Kurtzman). One of Elder's talents was his uncanny ability to mimic the styles of other illustrators. He did so in a way that both honored and lampooned the artist he mimicked. Here's a funny 1957 illustration he did based on the style of the wonderful pulp magazine illustrator Virgil Finlay.
From The Pictoral Arts:
Among many talented cartoonists over the years, Will Elder was one of the top, even though he specialized in satire, and much of it with his compatriot Harvey Kurtzman.
Originally published in Trump magazine in 1957, this illustration satirizes good girl pulp illustration from a decade before. Elder brings his usual 'chicken fat' (extra little sight gags) to the drawing and shows that he could have given Virgil Finlay a run for his money if he had seriously worked for the pulps.
Fantagraphics has two books about Will Elder, and I cherish them: Will Elder: The Mad Playboy of Art and Chicken Fat: Drawings, Sketches, Cartoons and Doodles.Discuss Next post