§ Nick Meglin, the long time editor of MAD Magazine, passed away at age 82 over the weekend. As a writer and editor Meglin had a huge influence on the history of American humor, and since he retired from editing Mad he’d been working on writing books for musicals. He was remembered by many associates, including Mark Evanier:
Meglin was funny. He wrote much of MAD’s editorial material (intros, ads, etc.). He rewrote or punched-up articles that were in need of extra laughs. And he recognized comedic talent in writers who submitted work and encouraged them and guided them. At least half of MAD’s best writers during that period were “found” by Nick as were many of its artists. When I researched my now-outta print book, MAD Art, I interviewed just about everyone who’d ever worked for the magazine and was still around to be interviewed. A lot of those folks told me that had it not been for Nick, they never would have had their proud association with the magazine.
“Feldstein was not humorous. He appreciated humor, but he didn’t inspire humor,” Jaffee tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs. “Nick inspired humor. “He was a bit zany. . . . He had a great appreciation for the satirical viewpoint — he was gifted with that kind of natural understanding.” Meglin also helped MAD grow from being “a satire of other comic books” to spoofing politics and pop culture at large. At its circulation peak during President Richard Nixon’s administration, MAD had more than 2 million readers. “Nick’s sense of humor was a defining part of MAD magazine,” says Tom Richmond, a Reuben Award-winning caricature artist at MAD. “No other single person had as much to do with creating and perpetuating the MAD ‘voice’ as he did. Both as a humorist and as a person, he was without peer.”
This is a comic I made inspired by BG 5 years ago. I have never said publicly that it was inspired by him. I won an Ignatz for this. It's the year I made that speech about treating women in comics better. https://t.co/NNEP91gUQr
— Cathy G. Johnson (@cathygjohn) June 4, 2018
§ Artist Brandon Graham, a highly influential creator and editor who inspired a whole generation of artists with his “nü-Moebius” take on science fiction comics, including editing the anthology ISLAND, committed career suicide yesterday with a “diss comic” that I won’t link to. In recent weeks, allegations of harassment and misconduct against trans women by Graham surfaced, with many trans creators speaking out against his behavior. Further concerns regarding misconduct going back for years also circulated. Graham left Twitter, but posted his comic on Tumblr today, and it’s a hateful, confused mess.
Instead of reading it, I suggest you read the Ignatz-winning comic by Cathy G. Johnson linked to above, as we should be paying attention to victims and not harassers.
— Star Wars Facts (@SWTweets) June 5, 2018
§ Speaking of crappy things, another Star Wars actress (following Daisy Ridley) has been driven off social media by trolls. What is wrong with people?
§ Long read of the day: Transmyscira: ¡No Pasarán! is a long, hard to summarize look at conservatism, superheroes, C*micsgate, and more that digs deep by Véronique Emma Houxbois.
§ Now to more chipper things. I wrote a rather lengthy look at how comics publishers are targetting libraries for PW. Believe it or not this is very very important!
The interest is mutual. At this year’s ALA meeting, the members of the organization’s Graphic Novel Member Interest Group will state their case to become a roundtable. While the difference between an interest group and a roundtable may not be readily apparent to a nonlibrarian, according to ALA membership specialist Tina Coleman, roundtables have more structured memberships and budgets based on member dues. If the GNRT is approved by the ALA, it can create resources including tool kits and best practices, or even create its own prizes, as the LGBTRT does.“It’s not a done deal yet, but I am very hopeful,” Coleman says. “The members of the member interest group are very active and have done some very dynamic work.”
A prize for graphic novels presented by a library roundtable – similar to the Printz and so on – would be a HUGE seller in libraries. That’s just a supposition, but trust me, many things will happen if this goes through.
There’s also a sidebar on Lion Forge by Calvin Reid, as covering them for the article would have been a conflict of interest for me.
Anyway, Libraries + comics = AWESOME.
§ A Marvel Star Wars comics has dug deep and revealed Admiral Ackbar’s Last Words – he died off screen in The Last Jedi. Although he went out with a valiant “It’s been an honor serving with you all.” I think it would have been more interesting to have him say “concentrate rear shields!” Don’t you? Around the survivors a perimeter create!
§ Jules Feiffer is 89 and has a movie and a graphic novel coming out!
On the phone from his home in Sag Harbor, N.Y., Feiffer expresses great enthusiasm for his latest project, which is something he never imagined would actually happen. A screenplay he wrote some three decades ago, based on characters he devised for his comic strip in the late 1950s, was actually made into a movie. “Bernard and Huey” opens nationwide Friday, June 8. Feiffer credits director Dan Mirvish for rescuing the screenplay from obscurity. Originally written for producer Michael Brandman, who was going to get the movie made for Showtime in the early ’80s, “Bernard and Huey” is inspired by an experience Feiffer had at a party in Greenwich Village in the 1950s.
§ Well, this is odd: There was actually a mistake in the announcement of the Reuben awards by the NCS!
The National Cartoonists Society has discovered that two awards were given out erroneously last Saturday at the Reubens banquet in Philadelphia.From NCS President Bill Morrison’s note to the membership: When compiling the names of the winners to send to our award manufacturer, I accidentally took the names for the four online voting categories (Newspaper Panel, Newspaper Strip, Editorial Cartoon, and Gag Cartoon) from the preliminary nomination results rather than from the final online member-voting results. This caused two incorrect awards to be created and announced at the Reuben Awards show. I have personally contacted the cartoonists who were incorrectly announced as winners, along with those who actually won, and offered my sincere apologies and regret. The two categories are Gag Writing and Editorial Cartoons. The actual winners are Pat Byrnes and Clay Bennett respectively.
There’s a bit of a Poochie vibe about the Russia 2018 mascot. Can’t see if the wolf is wearing a bum bag from that angle, sadly. pic.twitter.com/9erpc05XCc
— David Squires (@squires_david) June 4, 2018
§ The World Cup is coming any minute now, although without Italy, the Netherlands and the US, it was be a bit lacking in fun. However, Zabivaka, the wolf mascot of the Russian-located games, has been found to resemble Poochie, the Simpsons ultra-90s icon.
§ Someone on Reddit wrote a lot of DCEU rumors, including SDCC plans, Green Lantern and a possible name change for the cinematic universe. All to be taken with a grain of salt, but another leaker on Twitter suggested that Ben Affleck might still want to be Batman, which is…unexpected.
§ In the best story of the week, apparently Benedict Cumberbacth is a bit of a real life badass. Te Doctor Strange/Cherlocok Holmes actor was peacefully riding around in an Uber when he saw a Deliveroo bike rider being accosted by four thugs. What happened next will amaze you!
Cumberbatch … jumped from the car and intervened. Cumberbatch then yelled at the men, saying: “Leave him alone.” He pulled the four men off the cyclist, and was almost punched by one of the men, but managed to duck. Eventually, the attackers fled.
I guess all that fight training for the movies really does pay off.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.