Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Respect your Elder
Will Elder was more than one half of the Kurtzman/Elder partnership. Elder was also pretty great on his own, without Kurtzman, as this 1954 story from EC's Panic #2 shows.
This is another of those times where I say the artist could not have been paid enough for all the work he put into a story. Every panel is packed with "chicken fat," the extras that Elder specialized in. He was much admired, and Lord knows several artists working on Mad imitations tried to capture the essence of what made him great, but no one succeeded.
I'm dedicating this posting to my friend, Eddie Hunter, who named his blog Chicken Fat in honor of Elder, and slips in the occasional posting about Mad, Kurtzman, Elder, Jack Davis, etc., alongside his funny essays, genealogy or articles about his hometown, Marietta, Georgia. Eddie is an Elder/Mad comics fan through and through.
I found the original art pages at Heritage Auctions. The comic book scans are from Panic #2. The Clark Gable/Mogambo bit at the end is part of a running gag throughout this issue. The ugly face on page 6 is by Basil Wolverton, maybe the only time Elder shared the page with anyone but John Severin, whose pencil art he inked on many stories before their solo careers took off.