Kurtzman's ground-breaking color rough for the cover of MAD #1 along
with the printed cover (1952).
“I think Harvey’s MAD was more important than pot and LSD in shaping the generation that protested the Vietnam War. . . . Kurtzman was the single most significant influence on a couple of generations of comics artists.”
— Art Spiegelman, creator of Maus
“In many ways Harvey was one of the godparents of Monty Python… [he] was one of the great idols of my generation of cartoonists.”
— Terry Gilliam, director
“The covers of MAD #11 and Humbug #2 changed the way I saw the world forever!. . . Even though I’ve made a name in my own right, I still feel like a worshipful fanboy.”
— R. Crumb
“After MAD, drugs were nothing!”
“Had he not existed, I’d be a dull, humorless lout working in a muffler shop somewhere, and so would practically everyone I know. I shudder to think how horrible the world would be today without that which Harvey Kurtzman begat!”
—Dan Clowes, creator of Ghostworld
My friends Monte Beauchamp and Denis Kitchen have curated a 120-piece exhibition showcasing the work of MAD creator Harvey Kurtzman. It opens March 8, 2013 at the Society of Illustrators in New York. It looks incredible.
The Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators is proud to present "The Art of Harvey Kurtzman," a diverse exhibition spanning the career of the man who created MAD and who had a broad and profound influence on American popular culture. This eight-week exhibit showcasing over 120 works will be on display March 6th through May 11th in the museum’s two-floor gallery in New York City’s Upper East Side.
Co-curators Monte Beauchamp (founder, editor, and designer of the comic art/illustration anthologies Blab! and Blab World), and publisher/cartoonist Denis Kitchen (co-author of The Art of Harvey Kurtzman and representative of the estate) have assembled the most comprehensive assemblage of Kurtzman art to date, culled from select private and family collections. Highlights include: Kurtzman life drawings from 1941; rarely-seen late '40s strips done for the New York Herald-Tribune as well as for Marvel's Stan Lee; key covers, strips and full stories Kurtzman created for MAD, Frontline Combat, Two-Fisted Tales, Humbug and Help!, sometimes in collaboration with fellow comics geniuses Will Elder and Jack Davis. In addition, "Kurtzmania," numerous rare artifacts and ancillary publications seldom seen by the public, will be on display.
Classic Kurtzman cover art to Frontline Combat #7 (1952)
Cartoonist, writer, and editor Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993) was the founding editor and creator of the most important comics satire magazine in twentieth century America — MAD. He later founded the satire publications TRUMP, HUMBUG, and HELP!, and created "Little Annie Fanny" for PLAYBOY, considered the most lavish comic strip ever assembled. The New York Times called Kurtzman “one of the most important figures in postwar America.”
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