Saturday, March 15, 2008

Don Martin - In a Department Store pt 1 - The Gift Of Fat Jokes

Here is some real pure cartoon thinking.
This is the kind of stuff that parents thought would ruin our minds when we were kids.
It's the number one duty of cartoonists to ruin kids' minds.
Many kids used to have to hide their Mad Magazines from their folks. I sure did.
My Dad would open them up and turn purple. "This stuff could never happen!! It'll turn you into a mass murderer!"
Cartoons should make you feel guilty, like you're getting away with something that the normals don't understand and disapprove of.
Don Martin was a very moral responsible cartoonist.
Look what he did to me and Eddie.


Fat is one of God's great gifts to cartoonists.
Cartoonists are God's gifts to kids and immature grownups.

Put fat and real cartoonists together and you get gold.

Executives, cartoon scriptwriters and cartoon critics are Satan's gifts to normals. People whose mission in life is to make cartoonists make cartoons that make sense.

"This talking duck could never fly apart! That doesn't make sense!"

more to come...fertilizer jokes, another gift from God and cartoonists.


David Germain said...

Executives and cartoon critics are Satan's gifts to normals.

I found a whole nest of critics recently . Look what they did to So White.

Zack said...

Love this post.
The text is brilliant

wastedpapiers said...

This is great to see again. Took me back to my missent youth in the 60's when I collected MAD and Don Martin was my favourite of all. Great stuff!

mindwrecker said...

Now there's a cartoonist who's a bit under-appreciated! Nice to see some pages from the MAD paperbacks, too. They sure had a terrific talent pool at that magazine from the beginning. This is a particularly spare and basic Martin strip. They're on the way to the "music and art department"??

MasterK said...

People really need to get a sense of humor about themselves. I feel that one of the basic purposes of a person, besides their job, is to be made fun of (I include myself in this). Fat people probably don't like being fat, and they are insecure about their fatness, and so are easily offended by things like this. People who recognise that they are fat can usually laugh at themselves. Recognise, accept, make fun of, laugh at, change. It's probably one of the healthiest ways to solve a problem.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

HawHawHawHaw!!!!!!!!!! Well said! Well said!

litlgrey said...

What happened to Don Martin in the years before his death? With whom did he fall so far out of favor that he drastically scaled back his inventiveness (I still remember the feature in one moth's MAD Magazine that was listed as a selloff of Martin's whole shikka-shikka sound effect collection, along with hinged arms and sausage-like noses ... funny at the time, but by god it really was the end of Martin the visionary), and eventually stopped even writing his own work?

I tend to think that what befell Martin was not terribly different from what happened to Krazy Kat's kreator, George Herriman, except that Herrimann never lost sight of his artistic vision, while I feel Martin clearly did.

In fact, spend a minute with the otherworldly genius of Herriman right now:

That was a man who was too good for this world.

Don Martin, from such a wholly different perspective, had a similar view about the malleability of living forms that made him just too good for this world. He was reigned in. His final years are a mockery of his work in the 1950s and, to a somewhat lesser extent, the 1960s.

Anonymous said...

"Fat is one of God's great gifts to cartoonists."

Amen to that. Thank god for the obese.

Pete Emslie said...

(Hi John. You don't need to post this - I just wanted to point out that a couple of the pages are out of order and thought you might like to correct it if you weren't aware of the error.)

JohnK said...

Thanks Pete

I think I fixed it.

The Butcher said...

What a coincidence you'd bring up the subject of normals who don't get cartoons. Last night I introduced a classic episode of Ren and Stimpy (Big House Blues) to a "normal" who had never seen the show before and it was something to behold. He was laughing histerically at how phallic Stimpy's nose is and other suggestive things about the drawings, but was talking shit about the show at the same time. He was giggling uncontrolably while simltaneously saying "I don't get it! This sucks!" Then after I turned it off and the laughter calmed down he turned to me and said very seriously "Why do you like this Ren and Stimpy shit? No offense. It's like they're not saying anything, just a bunch of stupid shit happens for no reason." He couldn't even follow what was basically going on because he just laughed at all the crazy drawings the whole time. It was like he didn't even realize he thought it was funny. It was a culture shock in the truest sense. I couldn't even begin to describe to a person like this why I liked the show so much. Not like I needed to though. He was fucking laughing the whole time. It was phenomenal.

He's a normal guy, not very keen on anything artistic. Instinctively he picked up on the entertainment value crammed into the cartoon, but because he is someone who's most likely only watched modern, conservative cartoons he wasn't able to anaylize or rationalize it.

Tommy said...

Don Martin is my favorite.

He totally rules my face.... hard.

Mr. Semaj said...

David Germain,

I read some of the comments in your link, and that is just depressing. With those guys, ANY Black characterization, even the positives, are ripped apart. Then they come back again and complain when Blacks are excluded from cartoons/movies.

There's just no pleasing them! :(

San Francisco Photos said...

Brings back memories ... worked in the animation industry for 6 years in the Bay Area and these do remind of those days. Fun stuff!

Car2oon said...

"It's the number one duty of cartoonists to ruin kids' minds."

Haha! Yes!

PCUnfunny said...

Great post John. Fat and cartoonists are a god send.

Germain: Thanks for the article. What a douche nozzle !

Bitter Animator said...

Mr.K, have you ever checked out some of the classic UK children's comics? Most people know the Beano and the Dandy but there are many more (Whizzer and Chips was a particular fave). Whether you like the drawings or not, there were some great characters I think you'd enjoy.

Most of the stories featured children being naughty and usually trying to outsmart or lie to their dads (who would beat them with their slippers if caught). Fun stuff and definitely contributed to the downfall of UK society but in some of the funniest ways possible.

Some really playful creativity. You may well enjoy them.

Salty Pete said...

Hey John, here's a link to that new Don Martin hardcover collection. It'd be great if you could add this to the post.

A good post, but what good is fat without the skinny comparison? If all the characters in this cartoon were fat, would the joke have worked as well?

Booo Tooons Ltd. said...

Don Martin has such a fun way of drawing! Does he still draw for MAD?

- trevor.

litlgrey said...

You will find that Don Martin is no longer extant within the dominion.

He is decessatory.




The Butcher said...

(Regarding David Germain's link)

We should all leave comments on that page about how much we loved the clip, thank them for it, and not even mention the article written about it.

Booo Tooons Ltd. said...

(Regarding David Germain's link) and the butcher:

That beats my idea! I seriously considered writing an angry letter berating these folks on their uncanny ability to be so blinded by hate and guilt that they completely overlooked a fantastic work of art, but decided I didn't have the patience for writing it out, and also having to defend myself later.

But you're idea, Butch, is better. Kill 'em with kindness, don't fight fire with fire. You only get a bigger fire.

Right on.

- trevor.

Taco Wiz said...

Hey, John. This isn't about your post, but this is the only way that I know how to contact you. Have you ever considered making a webcomic? It's not as good as animation, but it would still be funny. I'd love to see a weekly webcomic starring George Liquor or Ren and Stimpy. If no executives will accept your pitches, the least that you can do is have fun making webcomics.

Tony said...

Hi John,
Don Martin is still the king of my childhood, I loved the Mad Comics when I was young and a teenager. Thanks for this great post!!

PCUnfunny said...

"That beats my idea! I seriously considered writing an angry letter berating these folks on their uncanny ability to be so blinded by hate and guilt that they completely overlooked a fantastic work of art, but decided I didn't have the patience for writing it out, and also having to defend myself later."

Don't bother anyway Trevour. The mod Nazi deleted my comment. What basically said is I rather have funny charicatures then angry tudey characters who just talk about how life sucks. *cough* Boondocks *cough*

Adam T said...

That fat lady was so close to exiting the escalator! Just a few more inches and she'd been out of there.

Escalators are pretty funny places when you think about it. Especially when they're packed. Just the other day I was leaving the subway on a busy escalator and realized that they're probably the only public space where you can see a stranger's ass less than a foot from your face for a 20 second stretch... which can be a blessing or a curse depending on who's standing in front of you.

Spizzerinktum said...

"Why do you like this Ren and Stimpy shit? No offense. It's like they're not saying anything, just a bunch of stupid shit happens for no reason."

Er, isn't that pretty much the description of any worthwhile cartoon?

I suppose this retar--I mean, friend of yours would enjoy a Boondocks cartoon, 'cause those really say important stuff about things, the way a cartoon should.

Wait-- there aren't any plans in the works to bring Boondocks to the big screen, or even the small(er) screen, are there? Because I'll need advance notice so I can make sure I'm suitably dead before the commercials hit town.

litlgrey said...

"The Boondocks" premiered as an animated series on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" late in 2006, and soon won a prestigious writing award for its episode "The Return of The King," which posited that Martin Luther King had only been shot into a coma in 1968, and awoke in 2006 to find African Americans both socially and morally adrift - lost in a world of Oprah on the one hand and gang banging on the other, with smug creeps like Limbaugh and Hannity somewhere in the middle.
The series, though (perhaps intentionally - I'll be damned if I can tell) poorly animated in a 1990's era fake-anime style, and with a slow pacing that could not possibly appeal to every viewer's taste, nevertheless delivers from the standpoint of compelling writing - and has probably already delivered the phrease "the nigger moment" to our lexicon as only Boondocks creator Aaron MacGruder could have done it.

Mr. Semaj said...

The Boondocks' anime is likely intentional, since that's the way it was designed in the comics.

The show itself is more intelligent than many Black cartoons I've seen. I'm still embarrassed to even think about The Proud Family!

PCUnfunny said...

Yes the Boondocks is intelligent and makes good points but were is the entertainment value ? That's my gripe with it. Anyway, I won't contaminate any more of John's post talking about that dreck. Back to Don Martin's cartoony fun. You know what trademark of his is I love ? Harry palms !

J. Garibaldi said...

Fat gags are surefire hits, on the same level as butt gags. A fat butt gag is pure gold.

I was always partial to The Nutheads, though Don Martin does Quasimodo has me rolling on the floor every time I see it.

Jeff Read said...

the butcher:

Your experience is concomitant with my experience of introducing my mom to R&S. Round about the time Games took over the show is the time when she said it "started getting weird". That's because the Spumco animation was funny and offensive at the same time, so much so that she failed to stifle more than one guilty laugh[1]; whereas the Games animation was, mainly, just offensive.

[1]Particularly at Ren's lengthy "What I'm going to do to yoooooou" scene from "Sven Hoek". Because she realizes she's like that: she'd fly into a rage and then suddenly turn maniacally calm.

Juan Pablo said...

Hehe... I was talking about the same thing with a friend the other day, how we were traumatized by some crazy or cruel cartoons when we were young.

And the conclusion was, we hoped to disturb some kids' minds too, and freak some parents out, with our own cartoons!

Jim Rockford said...

Don Martin had such a unique style,the "hinged" feet and funny way his people walk and carry thier hands.
the drawings alone would make you laugh,but when paired with his offbeat sense of humor,you got gold!
My Favorite MAD would have to be the 50's and 60's MAD.
Wally Wood,Jack Davis,Will Elder.MAD at its finest.
I dont really care for the current MAD though,todays MAD just isnt the same.Even worse is the terrible TV show that bears its name.