Fun_People Archive
15 Jan
"MAD" Magazine Cartoonist Dies

Content-Type: text/plain
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 100 12:21:04 -0800
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: "MAD" Magazine Cartoonist Dies

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Forwarded-by: Bob Stein <>

    "MAD" Magazine Cartoonist Dies
    by E! Online News Staff
    Jan 07 2000 04:15:00:000PM

Don Martin, whose bizarro comics filled the pages of MAD magazine for over
three decades and inspired the likes of Far Side creator Gary Larson, died
in a Miami hospital today. He was 68.

    A representative of Baptist Hospital says the cartoonist died of cancer.
No further details were disclosed.

    Martin's goofy, grotesque strips weren't afraid to punish the lazy,
sinful or just plain unlucky. There was the man who spies a change machine,
inserts a bill and--SPLIF!--he becomes a woman. The guy at the bus depot
who sees a door marked "the quick way out," pulls the knob and--SPLOP!--the
door flattens him. The ravenous cave family, mom, dad and junior, that sits
down to Sunday dinner and--WHOMP! CHOMP! SKLIK! GORK!--in the last panel,
mom and dad exchange blank looks when they realize that the suddenly missing
junior must have been caught in the feeding frenzy. The woman in the French
bistro who nibbles on her frog legs only to--PAF!--see them become the
disembodied legs of a prince.

    "Is it funny? That's the only test I know when it comes to cartooning,"
Martin once said. "Not whether it's sick, or whether it's going to ruin
people's values or morals. You only have to ask a simple question: Is it

    Beginning in the 1950s, the "Don Martin Dept." was a MAD fixture for
30-some years, earning him the nickname "MAD's Maddest Cartoonist."

    He severed ties with the magazine in 1987 after a dispute over reprint
rights and profits with the late publisher William Gaines, and took a job
at the like-minded rival, Cracked.

    He also published dozens of paperbacks of his cartoons and, while he
could not use his MAD panels, he would often bill himself as "MAD's Don
Martin" on the cover. Martin--who kept cranking out comics despite a
degenerative eye condition that required him to undergo cornea transplants,
wear painful contact lenses and use a magnifying glass to draw--sold more
than 7 million copies of the books, although most are now out of print.

    When asked by the Miami Herald of his influences, Gary Larson said:
"Don Martin was the one who really stood out. I really always loved his
work. He was such a great artist."

prev [=] prev © 2000 Peter Langston []