Bob Clarke, longtime artist for Mad magazine, died in March of this year at age 87.
Clarke was an artist who joined Mad soon after the original editor, Harvey Kurtzman, left and took artist Will Elder with him. Clarke had been an advertising artist, and had a light touch. A little too light, I thought at the time. I found his uncluttered and ad-like artwork lacking, and it wasn’t until many years later, as I looked back at the history of the magazine, that I began to appreciate what he’d done.
This article from 1958, published in Mad number 40, is a satire on the successful “Of the Month Clubs” that popped up in the fifties in the wake of the popularity of the original, Book of the Month Club, in 1926. When I was growing up in the fifties my mother belonged to the Book of the Month Club, and I belonged to the Science Fiction Book Club. There was always something to read in our house, and that included Mad, which I bought faithfully, every issue.
Copyright ©1958, 2013 E.C. Publications, Inc.