This is without doubt well worth the asking price. To call Don martin a cartooning genius is not an overstatement. Some of the humour is as dark as anything by Charles Addams. While the artwork is enough to make you laugh out loud on its own. If you like cartoons I fail to see how you could not love this collection. No suprise that Gary Larson does the intro as Don's influence is apparant in his workI just hope the proposed collection of his work for Cracked magazine comes out soon.
I earn my meagre living from drawing cartoons and caricatures. Mad magazine was my(and everybody elses)inspiration. All the artists were and still are wonderful. But the one who i originally latched onto was a certain Mr Don Martin....Totally surreal,crazy ,animated and strangely for a comic strip,often without a caption, noisy...Due to his self invented sound effects. These two massive beautiful hard back books in an illustrated box binder weigh about a ton and a half. Which is understanable as you have in your hand a whole world, the manic crazy world of Don Martin. And it is a world like no other. It is fascinating to see the evolution of Martins humour and drawing style. The characters are flattened and angular in the earlier strips, but as you move on the trademark Martin style starts to make increasing appearences and the nuggets of gold appear with greater and greater frequency. The fair, but odd cartoonist become a weird ,but good cartoonist. And he becomes a deranged total one off wonderful cartoonist. This is wonderful stuff and will take ages to read, so make sure you've something to rest it on, or you'll sever the blood supply to whatever body part your leaning the volumes upon. I was given it as a christmas present and was absolutly chuffed, it is by the coffee table almost permamentally and i still dip into the crazy world of Don Martin.
This is nearly as comprehensive a collection of his works as it claims to be. However, I could find no Captain Klutz or Fester Bestertester. This could be due to these characters having had seperate books rather than having been printed in the magazine itself (I believe). However, owning the original books of both aforementioned characters, I can confirm they were published under the MAD moniker and therefore, I feel, merit inclusion in this collection. This, however, is the single, solitary reason I do not give this release five stars (I would actually give it 4.5 but do not seem to be able to). Otherwise it is a sheer joy to read (although it IS quite heavy and cumbersome to do so - I recommend using the armrest of the chair for additional support), and not a single page was turned without producing at least a chuckle - and then only a chuckle because I had read the strip so many times before. Highlights are too numerous to begin to list here, but I would draw all attention to the some of the wonderful portraits included, as these one really would need the original magazines to find anywhere else. My favourite is the Beatles one, and I would, could I, purchase the original just so I could frame it and display in a prominent location. Please buy this book so that the genius of Don martin may once again enrich not only your lives, but those of all who enter your home, as well.
The Completely MAD Don Martin (Mad's Greatest Artists Series)The sixties didn't start out swinging...us baby boomers still schooled rigidly to produce forelock tugging drones.We found escape in MAD magazine,especially the Don Martin cartoons which in a few surreal panels presented a situation you would laugh about for weeks,regardless of teacher sanctions. In the pre-Beatles world Don Martin was bigger than Elvis - no surprise then when he had his own books published.Ah those cheap USA paperbacks with the cheap glue that dislodged pages if you opened them too wide...but you didn't care,what was Fester Bestertester doing next? As previously noted those books are not in this anthology which is two HEAVY volumes.Clearly marketing men want Don Martin seen as an "old master".He was as surreal as Dali,and funnier.
I bought this for my brother, a Mad's huge fan, and i grant you that it was the best X-Mas present ever. It is a fine quality edition and its worth its 14 pounds in gold :) Very very happy with the purshase.