Mort Drucker, a longtime contributor to Mad journal identified for his caricatures of actors, politicians and other celebrities, died on Wednesday at his dwelling in Woodbury, N.Y. He was 91.
His longtime close friend, John Reiner, verified the death.
Mr. Drucker, who specialised in illustrating Mad’s film and tv satires, encouraged many generations of cartoonists. “To me, he’s the dude,” the caricaturist Drew Friedman mentioned. “I applied to imitate his function in Mad when I was a child. I required to be Mort Drucker I even beloved his title.”
Mr. Drucker’s facility was ideal expressed in multi-caricature group scenes. His parody of the 1986 Woody Allen movie, “Hannah and Her Sisters,” opened with a panel depicting a Thanksgiving supper that, in addition to most of the movie’s ensemble solid, bundled caricatures of Mr. Allen’s 1st spouse, Louise Lasser the film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel Mayor Ed Koch of New York and Mad’s mascot, Alfred E. Neuman. His drawing for a 1970 Time magazine protect, “Battle for the Senate,” now in the Nationwide Portrait Gallery, showcased a pileup of 15 independently characterized political figures, together with President Richard M. Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew. Mad’s takeoff on the MGM retrospective element “That’s Leisure,” printed in 1975, necessary Mr. Drucker to caricature more than two dozen stars.
“I feel I have drawn nearly everyone in Hollywood,” he told The New York Occasions in 2000.
Some of Mr. Drucker’s most ingenious is effective have been double satires. The 1963 Mad piece “East Side Story,” published by Frank Jacobs, is a parody of “West Side Story” as performed out by outstanding international figures. Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro and Charles de Gaulle are amid the many world leaders drawn cavorting towards photographed backdrops of New York Metropolis streets. “It’s a Blunderful Lifetime,” created by Stan Hart and posted in 1996, current “It’s a Amazing Life” to star Richard Nixon as Bill Clinton’s guardian angel.
A self-taught freelance cartoonist who experienced labored on war, western, science fiction and romance comedian textbooks as perfectly as individuality-pushed titles like The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and The Adventures of Bob Hope, Mr. Drucker arrived to Mad in late 1956, before long just after Al Feldstein succeeded Harvey Kurtzman, the magazine’s founder, as editor. Mad experienced operate only occasional Television set and motion picture satires, but Mr. Drucker’s arrival “changed almost everything,” the pop-lifestyle critic Grady Hendrix wrote in a 2013 Movie Remark appreciation of Mad’s film parodies.
“No one particular noticed Drucker’s talent,” Mr. Hendrix wrote, until eventually he illustrated “The Night That Perry Masonmint Misplaced a Scenario,” a takeoff on the tv courtroom drama “Perry Mason,” in 1959. It was then, Mr. Hendrix managed, that “the simple movie parody structure for the next 44 years was born.”
From the early 1960s on, approximately each challenge of Mad included a motion picture parody, and in advance of Mr. Ducker retired he experienced illustrated 238, far more than 50 % of them. The past 1, “The Continual-Ills of Yawnia: Prince Thespian,” appeared in 2008.
Mr. Drucker as opposed his strategy to creating a film storyboard: “I develop into the ‘camera,’” he when claimed, “and seem for angles, lights, close-ups, large angles, very long pictures — just as a director does to notify the tale in the most visually attention-grabbing way he can.”
Mr. Hendrix known as Mr. Drucker “the cartoonist’s equivalent of an actor’s director” and “a grasp of drawing arms, faces and physique language.” Mr. Friedman praised Mr. Drucker’s restraint: “He was not really hung up on exaggerating. He was much a lot more delicate and nuanced — intrigued in how people today stood and so on.”
Morris Drucker was born on March 22, 1929, in Brooklyn. His father, Edward, was a businessman who fixed jukeboxes and ran a bar, between other items. His mom, Sarah (Spielvogel) Drucker, was a homemaker. He attended Erasmus Hall Higher School, exactly where he met his foreseeable future wife, Barbara Hellerman.
His survivors incorporate his spouse two daughters, Laurie Bachner and Melanie Amsterdam and 3 grandchildren.
Mr. Drucker started his specialist occupation at 18 when, recommended by the cartoonist Will Eisner, a family close friend, he got a occupation helping on the comedian guide Debbie Dean, Profession Lady. He also worked on a syndicated single-panel strip, “The Mountain Boys,” in advance of obtaining continual function with National Periodical Publications, now known as DC Comics. He continued to freelance for DC even following joining Mad’s “usual gang of idiots.”
Doing the job in a studio at his home in Woodbury, on Very long Island, he also drew journal illustrations, album handles, motion picture posters and adverts.
Mr. Drucker was modest about his gifts. “When I started doing work for Mad, they assigned me Tv set satires and asked me to attract well known individuals,” he recalled. “So I just did it. It took me a prolonged time to understand the techniques I have, and it was time-consuming. With me, every little thing is trial and error.”
Mr. Drucker also illustrated children’s textbooks and contributed to the vogue for adult coloring textbooks, collaborating with the comedy writer Paul Laikin on “The JFK Coloring E book,” which marketed hundreds of 1000’s, if not millions, of copies in 1962. Between 1984 and 1987, he collaborated on the syndicated newspaper strip “Benchley,” which revolved all over a fictional assistant to President Ronald Reagan.
Reagan, whom Mr. Drucker as soon as caricatured as the Godfather, Moses, Scrooge and a slavering Mr. Hyde in a 1982 Mad story, “Ronald Reagan — Now Starring at the White Residence,” written by Stan Hart, was evidently a supporter of the strip and handled Mr. Drucker and his wife to a personal tour of the White House. (There would be a Ronald Reagan coloring ebook as very well.)
In 2014, Mr. Drucker was the initial winner of the National Culture of Cartoonists’ Medal of Honor for life time achievement.
Mr. Drucker not only satirized well-liked society he also turned a element of it. Appearing on “The Tonight Show” in 1985, the actor Michael J. Fox instructed Johnny Carson that he understood he had created it in present organization “when Mort Drucker drew my head.” The director Joe Dante wrote that “there are handful of thrills in daily life pretty like viewing your own movie parodied in the internet pages of Mad.”
But not absolutely everyone was so happy. According to Mr. Hendrix, Mad’s 1981 parody of “The Empire Strikes Again,” “The Empire Strikes Out,” prompted the Lucasfilm legal division to mail a cease-and-desist letter demanding that the situation be recalled. “Mad replied by sending a duplicate of an additional letter they experienced received the earlier month — from George Lucas, providing to invest in the primary artwork for the ‘Empire’ parody and comparing Mort Drucker to Leonardo da Vinci.”
Mr. Lucas knew Mr. Drucker’s get the job done effectively. He had commissioned 1 of Mr. Drucker’s common multicharacter pileups as the poster for his to start with hit, “American Graffiti” — a nostalgic movie established in the same summer season “The JFK Coloring Book” was a best seller. And, of system, Mr. Drucker experienced illustrated Mad’s sendup, “American Confetti.”
Julia Carmel contributed reporting.