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Harvey Kurtzman (American, 1924-1993)
Comic Book Art
Harvey Kurtzman (American, 1924-1993): was one of the most innovative cartoonists ever to work in the comics. After jump-starting his career with a brilliant series of short gags titled “Hey Look” for Stan Lee at Timely/Atlas Comics, Kurtzman made his way over to EC Comics, where he became one of their three accomplished editor/writer/artists. A perfectionist, Kurtzman would break down stories he did not draw himself, using detailed and comprehensive layout overlays that his accomplished collaborators strictly adhered to for the finished art. In 1952, he became the creator and founding editor of the comic book sensation Mad. The irreverent humor comic had a bombshell effect on popular culture, and Kurtzman was later described by The New York Times as "one of the most important figures in postwar America." Director and comedian Terry Gilliam, who worked with Kurtzman on Warren Publishing’s Help! title said, “In many ways Harvey was one of the godparents of Monty Python.” Underground cartoonist Robert Crumb added that one of Kurtzman's cover images for his self-published Humbug title "changed my life," and that another Mad cover image “changed the way I saw the world forever!” Writing for Time, Richard Corliss noted Kurtzman's wide-spread influence: “Mad was the first comic enterprise that got its effects almost entirely from parodying other kinds of popular entertainment -- To say that this became an influential manner in American comedy is to understate the case. Almost all American satire today follows a formula that Harvey Kurtzman thought up.” . Kurtzman is also celebrated for the lavishly produced and long-running Little Annie Fanny stories in Playboy (1962–88), and he often lampooned the lifestyle that the magazine promoted. Harvey Kurtzman was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1989
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