"Will Elder, whose frantic, gag-filled illustrations helped to define the comic identity of Mad magazine and who was a creator of the Playboy cartoon serial "Little Annie Fanny," died Wednesday in Rockleigh, N.J. He was 86.The cause was Parkinson's disease, said Gary VandenBergh, his son-in-law. A dead-on caricaturist with an anarchic sense of humor, Mr. Elder stuffed the backgrounds of his Madison Avenue parodies and comic-strip spoofs with inane puns, silly signs and weird characters doing strange things."
I'm all whatever about The New York Times, but I love, love, love me some MAD magazine! "Is this the end of the line?" "No, it's a freight train and I'm the caboose, you clod!" Ha! I remember learning what "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice" meant when I was five because of a Sergio Aragones margin cartoon in which a clever hippie has those slogans written on two different picket signs so he can pick up chicks at rallies for both sides. It's also where I first read "The Raven"-in a 1979 or 1980 "Super Special". And I think an artist's depiction of Lois Lane in "Super-Dooper Man" in that same issue gave me my thing for leggy "gal" reporters in heels.
• "I used to be Dan Rather," says the CBSer. "I used to cover hurricanes." He then burst into tears and burned an effigy of Anderson Cooper. [LAT]
• The rumors were all true: Newsday continues to whither away, as 45 newsroom jobs are cut and the city edition is decimated. [Newsday]
• Bryan Curtis hits F1 on his Slate keyboard to produce today's expectedly unexpected lead — verbatim, "TK has been dusted with so much glory lately that it's high time [his/her/its] reputation got a good sullying" — and decides to insert "Ray Bradbury." [Slate]
• Paper mag launches new website, featuring — you'll never guess! — blogs. [Papermag.com]
• Coming soon: MadKids. For those who find old-school Mad magazine too old-skewing and highbrow. [Baltimore Sun]