Legendary Mad Magazine artist Jack Davis departed this mortal realm today. He drew many classic Mad covers and contributed countless hilarious images to my favorite magazine of all.
He was also a well-known artist in the world of horror comics. Look how well he captured the greatest monsters of all time!
Here’s his take on Tarzan.
And his anti-smoking look at cigarette advertising. Don’t smoke, people!
Thank you for bringing so much fun to life, Jack Davis!
And by the way…Mad Magazine is alive and well in the 21st Century. Take a look!
Just when a kid is a good enough reader to check a book out of the library—not a picture book, but one with a hundred pages all crowded with words—there is Beverly Cleary, ready to make a reader laugh and think and laugh again. Here’s to a very happy birthday for the writer who taught me Ramona was a name and convinced me that a mouse could ride a motorcycle. Thank you, Beverly Cleary!
Like almost everyone I know (and probably almost everyone I don’t know), holiday food is something I especially celebrate this time of year. Holding a special place among my favorites are…
Chocolate, whether wrapped in gold for gelt…
Or tree shaped.
And fruity rugelach…
And sugar cookies…
And perhaps my most favorite of all, at any time of year…
Potato latkes and applesauce!
Start celebrating and tuck in to your favorite holiday treat today!
Happy birthday to one of my all-time favorite book illustrators, Edward Gorey! Mr. Gorey long ago passed from this world to the next, but his beautiful and strange drawings will live on as long as there is imagination, humor, and weirdness in the world.
Master special effects artist Ray Harryhausen passed from this world to the next today. He excelled in the animation technique known as stop motion, where physical models are moved very slightly and photographed many, many times, so that when the film is played back, the models appear to move on their own. Mr. Harryhausen’s creations never failed to steal the show. Here he is at various stages in this career with a few of his stars.
And here is a wonderful compilation of the master’s movie magic. Thanks for showing us that anything is possible, Ray Harryhausen!
The wonderful illustrator Yuri Vasnetsov was born in Russia in 1900. He studied modern art but found his greatest inspiration in traditional Russian folk art and his love of wildlife. Animals of all kinds spring to life in his drawings and paintings with much humor and sometimes a touch of dread. Bears were a favorite subject. Here are some terrific examples.
Mr. Vasnetsov was able to give all his animal creations a strong and distinct personality. Despite having lost a leg and trekking in deep snow, this bear seems to be looking on the bright side of life. It’s good to be home!
⌃Here are the famous Three Bears in a happy daytime woodland scene.
⌃And a different trio in a nighttime setting.
⌃This bear has found a reluctant sailing companion, who also serves as a boat!
⌃And this painting shows Yuri’s love of bears is shared by all.
Edward Gorey is one of my all-time favorite writers and illustrators. Celebrate his birthday by checking out his awesome art!
He created the cover of one of my all-time favorite books. Celebrate his birthday by checking it out of the library!