Friday 29 March 2024

Mad Magazine & Don Martin

         I think I was in the sixth grade when I discovered Mad Magazine.  For those who don’t know, Mad Magazine was a monthly satirical publication with amazingly creative art and humor that made fun of everything.  My father was always upset with me when I spent the money I had earned working on my summer jobs, to buy Mad Magazines.  Not only did Mad bend me over in laughter, but it also made me aware of current events (because I had to know what was going on, to understand the humor).  That need for awareness of news events is something I have carried with me for the rest of my life.

    One of special attractions for me in Mad Magazine were the cartoons drawn by Don Martin.  His goofy-looking, stupid characters, and situations really appealed to me at that age.  I liked them so much that I began trying to draw them myself.  Below is something I drew for a friend, probably when I was in the eighth grade.  I’m sure you can see how heavily I copied those Don Martin characters.


    I continued to draw Don Martin-inspired characters whenever the need arose, (making a birthday card ,a poster, or something for the classroom when I was teaching.   As an adult, living in McBride, often when I got upset or wanted to make fun of something that was going on, I would draw a cartoon about it and submit it to our local weekly paper.  Eventually the paper asked me to submit a cartoon every week, and it became a “side hustle”  for me.

    Slowly my characters took on a look of their own, but certainly their nose, ears, and eyes, continued to reflect my early love of those Don Martin cartoons in Mad Magazine. 

    I have now been doing those weekly cartoons for the local paper for 40 years.  I just submitted my latest one to the paper last night.  Below is a cartoon I did for the paper a couple of weeks ago.

    I often think about my father’s anger at me whenever I bought a Mad Magazine, and wonder if he ever recognized just how beneficial those magazines were to my life.

You can view my paintings and a weekly cartoon at:

No comments:

Post a Comment