Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who was Harvey Kurtzman?

Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993) was a cartoonist, writer, editor and comics genius. He is probably best remembered for MAD, which he founded in 1952. He created 28 revolutionary issues with such talent as Will Elder, Jack Davis, and Wally Wood but left after a bitter falling out in 1956 with E.C. publisher Bill Gaines (for whom he also created Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat).
Kurtzman then created the short-lived satire magazine Trump for Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner in 1957. He followed with the comic-sizeHumbug in 1958, then Help! magazine. During his Help! tenure he discovered such diverse talent as Terry Gilliam, Gloria Steinem, Gilbert Shelton, and R. Crumb. In 1962 he and collaborator Will Elder began producing the long-running and elaborate "Little Annie Fanny" comic for Playboy. In the ‘70s he became known as the "father-in-law of underground comix" for inspiring a new generation of media-bending cartoonists.

“To historians of pop culture, Mr. Kurtzman is one of the most important figures in postwar America.”
[ The New York Times ]

“Kurtzman has been the single most significant influence on a couple of generations of comic artists.” 

[Art Spiegelman]

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