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Harvey Kurtzman

(1924 - 1993, USA)

comic panel by Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman was one of the founders of modern American comics. The style and humor he showed in Mad magazine was (and still is) a great influence on many young underground comix artists. His first published work appeared in 1939 in 'Tip Top Comics'. Between 1946 and 1949, Kurtzman worked for Stan Lee at Timely/Marvel doing a one-page humor strip called 'Hey Look!'.

In 1949, Kurtzman joined the E.C. Comics crew and worked on the horror and science-fiction stories before editing 'Two Fisted Tales' and 'Frontline Combat' - gutsy, realistic war comics with a moral. He also did other publications, such as 'The Silver Linings' and 'Pot-Shot Pete'.
Annie Fanny, by Harvey Kurtzman
In 1954, Harvey Kurtzman started the revolutionary satire comic book-turned-magazine 'Mad', which soon became a publishing sensation, and one of the biggest successes in the history of comics. Harvey was the editor, and he contributed art, wrote scripts, designed page layouts, and gathered around him some of the finest cartoonists ever. However, Mad was owned by William Gaines, the publisher of E.C. Comics. After an acrimonious tussle with Bill Gaines, Kurtzman left E.C. in 1956 to start Trump (with Playboy's Hugh Hefner), Humbug, and Help!, which had no commercial success.

Kurtzman also published in non-comic magazines, like Magazine and Esquire. From October 1962 until 1988, he did 'Little Annie Fanny' for Playboy, along with Bill Elder.
Little Annie Fanny, by Kurtzman and Elder
In 1973, Kurtzman started teaching comics at the New York School of Visual Arts and taught many artists who became famous themselves. His work has appeared in several anthologies which are often reprinted.
Little Annie Fanny, by Kurtzman and Elder (for sale by Lambiek)
'Little Annie Fanny' for sale
by Lambiek
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Artwork © 2001 Harvey Kurtzman and Playboy
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Last updated 28/7/04
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