A couple of weeks ago as we were approaching US Customs during our road trip, I was thinking about what questions I might be asked. One possible question was “What is your occupation?” and as I thought about the answer I was a bit surprised. I guess my occupation is now “Cartoonist.” That is what provides me with most of my non-pension income. The answer surprised me because although I have always drawn cartoons, it was never my main source of money.
That got me thinking about how much I owe to a misspent youth, wasting my time reading Mad Magazine. As a very young kid I loved to read comic books, but once I saw my first Mad Magazine, I was hooked, and comics just seemed to childish after Mad Magazine. For those who don’t know, Mad Magazine was a satirical magazine that skewered contemporary society; everything from popular movies and TV shows, political events, to current affairs. Its art work was amazing and its humor superb.
My favorite features were the cartoons of Don Martin--goofy looking characters, with big feet and hands and buck teeth. The situations were absurd and unexpected, but they fit my sense of humor at the time and I loved them. I so admired his characters that I spent hours trying to draw them, and in the process learned to draw characters that I now use in my own cartoons. Above you can see an example of a Don Martin Cartoon.
My parents always scolded me for “wasting my money and time” on Mad Magazine. It is strange how insignificant things in your youth can sometime flower into something important in your life.
Thank you, Mad Magazine and Don Martin.
You can view my paintings at: www.davidmarchant.ca