The evolution of outrage, by Mike Gold

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, and on iNetRadio, (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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10 Responses

  1. Michael H. Price says:

    Discovered Don Martin via MAD around the same time I picked up on Spike Jones (and kindred artists Red Ingle and Mickey Katz) and Homer & Jethro and Stan Freberg. All provide workable demonstrations of constructive anarchy (as opposed to nihilism), and all remain perfectly capable of holding up into the present day — although Martin remains his own self-sufficient frame of reference.A fuller appreciation of Spike Jones, for example, requires more than a passing familiarity with the straight-faced pop-tune and classical compositions that his arrangers would lampoon. Red Ingle's hoedown overhaul of Paganini's "Moto Perpetuo" might sound merely weird to ears unaccustomed to the genuine article; Ingle compounded the spoof by calling it "Pagan Ninny's Keep 'Er Goin' Stomp."Favorite Martin 'toon here involves a gents'-room paper-towel dispenser bearing these instructions: "Pull Down — Tear Up," or words to that effect. You can take the gag from there. I noticed a dispenser bearing those very words last week at a Borders store … been backflashing to that Don Martin gag ever since.My Dad was a big-time admirer of Virgil "VIP" Partch but never could make the leap to Don Martin. I've always held both artists in more-or-less equal esteem, although of course VIP seems as safe as milk by comparison with prime Martin.

    • Marilee J. Layman says:

      Have you seen the hot air dryers with the wavy lines above an outline of a hand? We call those "bacon dispensers."

      • Michael H. Price says:

        Wow. "Bacon dispensers." Hadn't heard that one, but it sure-enough applies. So here's Don Martin's Fester Bestertester, hands outstretched in front of the dryer, waiting impatiently for that hot air to finish cooking his bacon…

  2. mike weber says:

    First, MAD premiered in 1952, not '54 (though it transitioned to magazine, as opposed to comic, form in early '55).Second, i was already aware of Don Martin from illos in SFC magazines {"Galaxy", at least, where he illustrated Scortia's "The Bomb in the Bathtub" [huh – i was sure that was Sheckley, but i just looked it up…] in 1957,, and, i think, one of the "Triple A Ace Planetary Decontamination Services" stories, and Pohl's "Knights of Arthur", as i recall just offhand…} years before i evere saw him in"MAD"

  3. Rick Oliver says:

    The "pull down, tear up" gag is one of my favorites. Then there's the one with the guy who gets run over by the steam roller, and his distraught friends fold up his flattened body, presumably to cart him off to the hospital for emergency treatment or something, only to be interrupted by a body builder who thinks the folded up body is a phone book…But nothing comes close to National Gorilla Suit Day.

    • Michael H. Price says:

      You betcha — National Gorilla Suit Day. The WAR AND PEACE and/or TALE OF TWO CITIES of the gag comics. Something like that.

      • Mike Gold says:

        As Rick well knows, National Gorilla Suit Day is my favorite as well. He knows because back in the 1980s, I threw a gorilla suit-themed party. Peter B. Gillis came dressed as Frank Nitti; brilliant.

        • Michael H. Price says:

          Yes, and one never forgets one's first Gorilla Suit, finer new models notwithstanding. Mine was fashioned from a great big stuffed-toy ape won at the Tri-State Fair's carnival midway, with a water-filled beach ball for abdominal ballast. Inspired as much by Don Martin's magnificent story as by the gorilla-suit movies of Charles Gemora and Ray Corrigan. No need to wait for a costume party — just climb into the thing and go lumbering about annoying the neighbors. "Arargh," indeed!