Wednesday, December 16, 2009


MAD's Greatest Artists: The Completely MAD Don Martin
A couple of weeks ago I was at the Pioneer Square art walk with my friend Marshall. We were browsing at Elliot Bay Books (a great bookstore) and Marshall drew my attention to this collection. The cover price is $149.99. They had it for $29.99. So, I just had to get it. I actually bought two. One is a gift for someone close to us who also adores Don Martin.
What can I say about Don Martin and MAD Magazine? Well, one thing I can say is, I doubt I would be an artist today if it weren't for that crazy magazine. I loved it as a kid and read them until the covers fell off. My favorite artists were Sergio Aragones (I still have several of his paperbacks that I bought in the 70's) and Don Martin. I learned how to draw cartoons mostly from these guys. Of course, I had many, many influences, but these guys were in the top ten for sure. I can't tell you how many times I heard (when I was a kid), "Your cartoons look like MAD Magazine." Well, of course they did. Duh.
So, I bought it and read both volumes cover to cover. Some of it's dated but most of it's still pretty funny. The main thing that I bought them for is the art. Martin was an incredible artist and I don't have to invest in the gags to actually appreciate the work. Great stuff. I am so glad Marshall pointed this bargain out to me...even though the book weighs a bloody ton and I nearly killed myself lugging 2 of those bad boys back to the truck. Ugh.

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