Mad about the man
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Mad about the man

I was thrilled to read Dan Pine’s article on the 60 years of Mad magazine at the Comic Art Museum in San Francisco (June 22). I was not so thrilled that Will Elder’s name was left off the list of “usual gang of idiots.” Elder was not only one of the gang, it has been argued that he is the actual source of Mad’s bedlam. Bill Gaines, Mad’s publisher, called Elder “The funniest artist Mad ever had. Just pure mayhem.” Elder also was the first artist to have painted Alfred E. Newman for Mad. Not only that, Elder was featured on the cover of the Jewish Standard on May 15, 2009. Because of his seminal influence on Mad and as a long-time resident of Englewood, his name should have been included in that short article. The original art for Elder’s parody of the radio show “The Shadow” is on display at the Cartoon Art Museum along with several others. Many of the stories written by Harvey Kurtzman were brought to excessive heights of hilarity by Elder’s art. Mad would not have been Mad were it not for Will Elder; born Wolf William Eisenberg with a pure yiddishe kup!

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