Will Elder passed away last week. If you don’t know that name, you’re missing out on some absolutely hilarious and outrageous artwork. He was one of the founders of Mad magazine, when it was a comic book before becoming a magazine. Along with Harvey Kurtzman, Elder blazed a trail of irreverent parodies that has yet to be equaled. I had about a dozen or so of those original Mad comics, and they were insanely funny. You may remember Elder and Kurtzman from Little Annie Fanny, the lavishly rendered comic strip that used to run in Playboy.
The Comics Journal ran a good article about Will Elder, including a link to the Archie parody that was sued out of existence for a while. There’s also something about Gene Colan and his illness on the same page. Gene is one of my favorites, and I’m sorry to see that he’s ill.
Oh yeah… Kurtzman once called Elder’s unique style “The Chicken Fat School of Art.” Nobody knows why.