Friday, May 16, 2008

Will Elder. R. I. P.

I was sad to hear of the death of the great artist Will Elder the other day. I discovered the original Mad comic book through reading the early paperback collections like Inside Mad and The Mad Reader and Elder's brilliant funny parodies of comic strips and TV shows were the essence of that type of humor to me. I knew Wally Wood, John Severin and Jack Davis from their work on other comics and humor magazines but those paperbacks were the only place I ever saw Elder's craziness up to that point. I wouldn't find out about his later work with Harvey Kurtzman like Goodman Beaver and Little Annie Fanny until much later.

It's sobering because it brings to mind how many of the great classic comics creators are left, Davis, Severin, Steve Ditko, Stan Lee among others and now there's news that Gene Colan, the great artist of Iron Man, Tomb Of Dracula, Howard the Duck and other books, is in ill health. Even when they are essentially retired, it hurts to see the legends go.

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