Mort Drucker, who did as much as anyone to create the look and feel of Mad Magazine for decades, passed away yesterday of non-coronavirus causes. He was 91.
Drucker began his comics career at 18 as an assistant on the newspaper strip Debbie Dean, and started work at DC as a production assistant shortly thereafter. Eventually he drew war, romance, western, and humor stories at DC.
In 1956 he was hired by publisher Bill Gaines at Mad Magazine and continued working there for over 50 years. He specialized in movie and TV parodies, a regular feature in the magazine for decades.
Drucker continued working for DC, with four years on The Adventures of Bob Hope beginning in 1959 his longest run. He also did art for coloring books, movie posters (including American Graffiti), album covers, magazine covers (including Time), kids books, and a newspaper strip (Benchley).
Drucker was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2011 (see “2011 Eisner Award Winners”), received the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the year in 1987, and the National Cartoonists Society’s Medal of Honor in 2015. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston.
DC (which owns Mad Magazine) Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee offered his praise in a statement. “Everything about Mort was legendary — his achievements, his spirit, his career,” he said. “He will always be remembered for the incredible body of work he created for MAD and DC.”
A collection of Drucker’s Mad work was published in 2012 by Running Press; it’s currently out of print.