Will Elder (1921-2008)

along with Wally Wood, was a manic force on the pages of MAD when it launched as a comic book under Harvey Kurtzman in the early 1950s. (See Drew’s portraits of Wood, Kurtzman, and Al Jaffee, also available as limited edition fine art prints.)

Elder, who had a unique gift for visual mimicry, often concocted savage parodies of tame mainstream strips (e.g., Mickey Mouse, Archie, Gasoline Alley). His panels were dotted with background gags and peripheral gremlins making absurd secondary dialogue. In 1957 Elder and Kurtzman left MAD to partner on several short-lived humor magazines, including Trump, Humbug, and Help! In 1962, he launched (with Kurtzman) the bawdy Little Annie Fanny series, which ran in Playboy until 1988.


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