Mad Man: New Biography of Harvey Kurtzman

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Mad Man: A Local Writer’s New Biography of Harvey Kurtzman

By Mark Rahner

mad man kurtzman

“If you could shine a blacklight on American pop culture, you’d see Harvey Kurtzman’s DNA splattered all over it. And not just a little bit. A lot. Everywhere. (Under a microscope, it would look like Alfred E. Neuman’s face.) It’s hard to overstate how Jackson-Pollocked America’s pop culture, humor, and sensibilities are with Kurtzman (1924–1993). And yet, I’ll make you a bet: If you sample any random 10 people—not just on the street but at a comic con—you’ll be lucky if one or two light up at the name.”

“An impressive new biography aims to fix that, starting with the title: Harvey Kurtzman, The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America ($34.99, Fantagraphics). This 642-page doorstop from award-winning comic-book historian Bill Schelly is a thorough, loving chronicle of Kurtzman’s life, struggles, art, and influence. I didn’t want to place it on the shelves alongside my beloved Mad and EC Comics archives. It made me want to take them off the shelves and sit on the floor surrounded by them, giving every page a fresh look.”

sp_g Direct link to the review

 

 

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