Drucker, MAD Magazine Legend, Dead Of Natural Causes
Mort Drucker, the legendary MAD Magazine artist, has died at the age of 91. His death was announced on April 9th, having passed the previous day. He was living in Woodbury, NY. The cause of death is natural causes unrelated to COVID-19. The famed caricaturist was a staple at the famed humor magazine from the early 1960s to 2008. Upon the news of his passing, the National Cartoonist society issued a statement saying:
The incomparable Mort Drucker passed away last night. The World has lost a not just an extraordinary talent but a shining example of kindness, humility and humor. He was recognized for his work with the NCS Special Features Award, Reuben Award and induction into the Hall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/OvvbIv4liH
— National Cartoonists Society (@NatCartoonSoc) April 9, 2020
Mad Magazine also paid tribute to the cartoonist:
RIP, Mort Drucker, whose caricatures revealed as much as they ridiculed. In your memory, we will continue to satirize even in dark times, and laugh like Idiots while doing it. pic.twitter.com/AUWEaIMWUe
— MAD Magazine (@MADmagazine) April 9, 2020
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, his daughter said: “The amazing talent, his full body of work, pales to the man.”
A Cartoonist’s Life
Mort Drucker was born in Brooklyn in 1929. He got his first job in comics at 18 with a recommendation from family friend Will Eisner. He began working on Debbie Dean, Career Girl, before joining up with DC Comics. Titles he drew there included titles starring Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis.
He joined Mad Magazine, then an EC Publication before being bought by DC, in 1956. There, he quickly became noted for his film parodies and caricatures. Drucker would end up drawing half of the regular movie parodies in MAD from the fifties until he retired in 2008 with a savaging of Prince Caspian. Drucker also pioneered the adult coloring book. In a 2000 interview, he stated to the New York Times, “I think I’ve drawn almost everyone in Hollywood.” He also wasn’t above political satire, skewering things from the Israel-Palestinian Crisis to Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Reagan, in a weird twist, was a major fan.
Another fan was George Lucas. Lucas hired Drucker to do the poster for his first hit, American Graffiti. In a weird story, when MAD published a parody of The Empire Strikes Back, Lucasfilm sent a cease and desist letter, only to be told that Lucas himself bought the original art from Drucker out of appreciation and had praised the parody.
We would like to offer our belated condolences at this time.