Not Your Usual Caricature Artist
Volume 7, No. 8
Did you read Mad Magazine as a kid?  
 One of the iconic publications of my youth, anyway, whose irreverence towards just about every convention in society helped fuel a safe-distance disdain for politics, smug celebrities, entitled sports figures, religion, technology, even parents, has decided to end its 67-year run. Of new content, anyway.  

Welcome to the August issue of
Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from
Caricatures by Joel.

While most fans regaled in Mad's scathing satire, I enjoyed the superb cartoons and caricatures, via the artistry of industry giants Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, Kelly Freas, Wallace Wood, Jack Rickard, Don Martin and, more recently, Tom Richmond, with whom I studied at his workshop back in March.

(And here, throughout this page, are samples of commissioned work from yours truly, in celebration of Mad's influential style.)

According to — and, let’s face it, you have to have had some significant import or influence to have your story covered by the online arm of the venerable Smithsonian Institution — “ the satirical publication, which regaled generations of readers and influenced leading comedic figures, will disappear from newsstands after the release of its August issue. The magazine will reprint old material with new covers, which will be available in comic stores and via subscription. But aside from end-of-year specials and other one-off features,  MAD  won’t be creating any new content.

“Though silly, the magazine had a serious mission: to encourage readers to think carefully and skeptically. “The editorial mission statement has always been the same: ‘Everyone is lying to you, including magazines. Think for yourself. Question authority,’” longtime editor John Ficarra once said. In  MAD ’s early years, this was a radical, subversive notion.’[T]he profusion of advertising and Cold War propaganda infected everything in American culture,” writer Michael J. Socolow explains. ‘At a time when American television only relayed three networks and consolidation limited alternative media options,  MAD ’s message stood out.’

“But the magazine struggled to keep its edge during the internet era, when satirical takes on our culture are everywhere and instantly available. One can scarcely log onto Twitter or Facebook without seeing a clip of John Oliver or the cast of  Saturday Night Live  attempt to skewer the latest in political absurdities.  MAD  helped lay the groundwork for these modern comedians, but it can no longer compete with them.

“A particularly telling sign of 
MAD ’s fading star came in May, when President Trump mocked Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg by comparing him to Alfred E. Neuman. Buttigieg, who is 37, said he had to turn to Google to understand the insult.

‘I guess it’s just a generational thing,’ Buttigieg said. ‘I didn’t get the reference.’”  
What, me worry?
See you again the first Tuesday of next month for another edition
— “with the usual gang of idiots” (namely yours truly) — of
Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.
Joel Kweskin