Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Drawing Stan Lee

Stan Lee (1922-2018), Born Stanley Martin Lieber, was a complex man. He was both worshiped and vilified, and has been described as a tireless and shameless celebrity spokesman for Marvel comics. He was an imperious comics writer and editor, a persistent self-promoter, and a credit and publicity hog. His public persona was charming, funny and affable.  He was the face of Marvel for over half a century and probably the most famous man to have ever worked in the comics industry.
Christmas card sent to me from Stan Lee
in late 1972 after I briefly interned
at Marvel
I got to know Stan when I was a young kid in the early to mid 1960's. My dad was a magazine editor at Martin Goodman's "Magazine Management" publishing company, and he shared an adjoining office with Stan for a decade, between 1954-66. Mario Puzo's editorial office was also nearby. My brothers and I would often visit and I always made a beeline for the Marvel comics offices, where Stan held court. He couldn't have been nicer to me, like a favorite uncle handing out candy, although in Stan's case, brand new Marvel comic books. Stan took a liking to me, especially after he learned I liked to draw cartoons. He'd often exclaim "Someday Drew is going to draw for MARVEL!". That was not to be although I did intern at Marvel for a week at age 14 in 1972 as part of a school work-study program. Stan was still as kind and attentive to me as ever.

Some of my Stan Lee drawings from over the years:
Stan Lee, drawn for my book Heroes of the Comics (Fantagraphics)

two pencil sketches included in my introduction to Heroes of the Comics...

a 1960's Stan

and a 1970's slimed-down, toupee'd Stan

Stan cover art for The Comics Journal, early 1990's
(the original art owned by Daniel Clowes)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Zacherley's Centennial

My new portrait of the legendary TV horror host Zacherley, "the Cool Ghoul" is based on a small black & white postcard image I created 
in the mid-1980's for collector Glenn Bray,  and included in my book Warts & All. FILMFAX magazine commissioned a new color version for the cover 
of their fall 2018 issue, #152, to commemorate Zacherley's centennial. The issue hits the stands on Oct 10th.

My article "Drawn to Monsters", featuring new portraits of Boris Karloff, 
Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, George Zucco and Lon Chaney Jr., among 
others, is also included in the issue. Zach almost lived long enough (98) to attend his own celebration.

The entire uncropped Image is availble as a large, high quality signed print (25 have been made), 
by ordering here:


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