Saturday, August 04, 2007

Number 170

The Earlier Side of Dave Berg

When cartoonist David Berg died at age 81 in 2002, he had drawn for Mad for over 40 years, appearing in over 350 issues. His wry observations about everyday life, "The Lighter Side" reflected his own life.

Before he worked for Mad Berg was a comic book cartoonist, contributing to different publishers over the years. I have two stories here from 1954, a Mad Comics-styled satire and an Archie-clone.

"King Arthur and His Squares Around the Round Table" appeared in Atlas Comics' Crazy #2, and the Merton story, "A Heck Of A Hair-do!" is from Meet Merton #3, published by Toby Comics.

I'm also posting a scan of the printed cover of Meet Merton #3, and a scan of the original art I found on the Internet. This will be kind of a test, fans…see if you can spot the differences between the original and printed versions of the cover illustration . Click on the pictures for full-size images.

Berg had a great pin-up style. He could draw really cute chicks! Marcia from the Merton strip is vivacious and pretty, and unlike the stupid guys in her life, I can appreciate her Italian hair-do. I appreciate everything else about her, too. The Merton story was aimed at pre-pubescent kids, but even they might've wondered why Merton isn't shown as being horny. I mean, two teenagers, a tunnel of love, a beautiful girl…and he brings garlic? I don't know if Berg wrote his own story, here, but he showed with his Mad output that he was more than capable.


Chuck Wells said...

Pappy, the skaters that were visible in the see-thru glass door went missing on the published cover.

Pappy said...

Marcia's breasts were more accentuated by Berg with the use of a couple of brush lines between them. Those lines were removed before printing.