Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Nick Meglin Memorial

Last night, 9/9/18, I spoke at the very funny and very touching memorial for the author, playright, artist, teacher, and longtime MAD magazine editor Nick Meglin, at the SVA theater in New York on West 23rd St. The evening for Nick's family and friends to celebrate this much-loved Mensch was organized by Charlie Kochman and Nick's family members.

Nick Meglin by Mort
Speakers included Dick DeBartola, Sam Viviano, John Ficarra, Grant Geissman, John Reiner and Angelo Torres, as well as Nick's wife Linda Maloof and various members of Nick's family. I spoke about having Nick as a figure drawing instructer at the School of Visual Arts in the late seventies, and later doing work for him at MAD. The evening also included several of Nick's TV appearences, including the famous 60 Minutes MAD profile, as well as  several songs Nick composed for the theatre that were performed.

The evening's program booklet was designed by Sam Viviano

program cover

program centerfold featuring portraits of Nick by MAD artists.  My portrait of Nick as Whistler's mother was drawn as a gift for his MAD retirement party in 2003, inscribed: "To Nick, not the retiring type"
(click to enlarge)

with Nick Meglin in 2013

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

SCHTICK FIGURES: Drew Friedman in discussion with Karen Green, 9/25

(click to enlarge)

Artist Drew Friedman discusses four decades of drawing old 
Jewish comedians, legendary and forgotten comic book artists, 
sideshow freaks, and Donald J. Trump, in a VISUAL TALK 
moderated by Columbia’s curator for comics and cartoons, 
Karen Green, and hosted by Ben Katchor as part of his 
continuing series of talks, The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium.

Friedman was instructed at the School of Visual Arts by comics 
legends Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner and Art Spiegelman, and 
his comics with his brother Josh first appeared in Spiegelman’s 
RAW. R. Crumb’s WEIRDO also published his early work. 
Friedman would go on to create monthly comics and 
BLAB! and SPY, where he would first render a relatively 
still unknown short-fingered New York real estate developer. 
He conceived concept art for TOPPS, including the legendary 
BARFO candy, and has produced regular illustration work for 
publications such as ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, TIME, MAD, 
well as for Howard Stern's two bestselling books.

Drew Friedman will discuss the highs and the lows, and 
lawsuits, of an award winning career as a comics artist, 
illustrator, and pop-culture historian. The evening will also 
include a sneak preview of his upcoming book project. His 
recent books will be on sale and available for inscription after the talk.

logo design by Kevin Dougherty

This Marx Bros Book Marx will be a free gift to all who attend, along with this
Larry Storch Postcard. One to a customer, while supplies last:

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Sam Norkin Bookcovers

Sam Norkin (1917-2011), was a renowned caricaturist and illustrator who created over 4000 published drawings over a seven decade career, depicting theater performers, film and TV actors, opera singers, ballet dancers, and jazz, pop and classical musicians. These are some of the book covers he drew:

thanks to John Wendler

front cover
back cover

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

New Portrait of Lon Chaney, Jr

This is my new, privately commisioned portrait of one of my favorite actors, Lon Chaney, Jr. It'll be included it this years Halloween issue of Filmfax magazine.

Lon Chaney, Jr was a wonderful horror movie star and character actor.  My friend, the crazed comedian and fellow classic horror-film fanatic Gilbert Gottfried agrees, in fact Gilbert has gone on record that Lon Chaney, Jr is his favorite actor. He even has a Chaney, Jr. life mask on display in his apartment. Gilbert and I would watch Chaney, Jr in countless films back at my small apartment in the East Village in the eighties, (I had an early VCR and Gilbert lived near-by). At that time I had acquired a fairly large collection of vintage schlocky VHS horror films, including one of our favorites, The Manster, aka The Split. but Gilbert usually insisted on films with Lon Chaney, Jr. So, until my wife Kathy would return from work in the late afternoon,  we would both sit in respectful silence and watch, and re-watch The Indestructible Man, The Cyclops, The Haunted Strangler, Dracula vs Frankenstein, or the Route 66 TV episode “Lizard’s Leg and Owlet’s Wing”, which we enjoyed for the conclusion: When Boris Karloff is finally in his old Frankenstein makeup, and Chaney, Jr is once again transformed into the Wolfman, the best they could come up with for Peter Lorre was to have him donning a top hat.  Chaney, Jr. went on record as being proudest of portraying The Wolfman. He felt, unlike the Frankenstein monster or the mummy, that he owned the Lawrence Talbot/Wolfman character because no other actor ever played him.  I’ve always felt he had a great face, especially as he aged, sad, weary, expressive and unlike his father, didn’t really need to be covered over with heavy makeup, although he no doubt felt the urge to continue the Chaney tradition. My painting  features Chaney, Jr sans makeup, baggy-eyed, red-nosed and bloated, after his fortunes had turned, but with the horror movie actors seemingly never-ending desire to send chills down your spine. Old comedians still want to make you laugh. Old horror film actors still want to make you scream.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

All of them Fagins

Walter Slezak...

Jules Munshin...

John Carradine...

Vincent Price...

Leonard Nimoy...

John Astin

Ray Walston

Sid Caesar...

Dick Shawn
Harvey Lembeck

Victor Spinetti

Rip Taylor

Jack Carter

Davy Jones

Robin Williams

Richard Kline

Ron Palillio

Thanks to John Wendler