Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Will Elder Goes Hollywood

From 1962, Will Elder's first illustration created for the movies.
This silhouette of a vacationing Jimmy Stewart was also used
as a "standee", a 6-foot tall cardboard display for theatre lobbies.
This was a solo Elder effort, not involving Harvey Kurtzman.
The legendary cartoon satirist Will Elder, the "MAD PLAYBOY of Art",  spent the majority of the sixties and seventies creating the lush comic strip "Little Annie Fanny" with his collaborater Harvey Kurtzman for Playboy magazine. Fortunately, he also managed, again in collaboration with Kurtzman, (who provided the rough layouts) to work on a handful of freelance assignments, including several comedy movie posters, and a series of adds promoting ABC movies and series that ran in TV Guide and several other showbiz trade publications.

Back in the seventies, I was thrilled to see one of my cartoonist hero's full page B&W ink-wash illustrations in my issue of TV Guide (as thrilling as seeing covers by Jack Davis), filled with his signature "Chicken Fat", although I had absolutely no desire to go so far as to ever actually watch the stupid looking TV movies that were being depicted. I somehow sensed, even then, that the posters were probably far, far superior to the actual products.

The Elder image was also "flipped" during the Mr. Hobbs advertising campaign.
1976, Elder & Kurtzman's first add created for TV Guide.
and the inevitable sequel from 1977, which led to the series
This time In collaboration with Kurtzman, Elder's second film poster, from 1977

TV Guide ad from 1978

A VARIETY add from 1978, created to pitch a delightful TV film that sadly never came to be.
Also appearing in VARIETY in 1978, and a simply brilliant concept: combining "Happy Days' with "Animal House"!  Sadly, the world was deprived of ever enjoying this masterwork.
from 1978
A TV Guide add from 1980
From 1982, a short lived series based on the popular film of the same name
Another TV series premiere add, from 1983
"New Comedy Smash". Not.

TV Guide add from 1983
Elder's last film poster art was created for this gem from 1984

Elder & Kurtzman's last adds created for TV Guide, from 1985

1 comment:

  1. I remember watching a single episode (pilot?) of SORORITY '62