Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dave Berg

Occasionally I pick up a copy of MAD magazine and look through its pages.  To tell the truth I’m not a big fan of MAD magazine ever since it shifted to full color.  
I devoured each page of MAD magazine back in the 1960s and 1970s and sporadically during the 1980s and 1990s.

I have my favorite artists: Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, Don Martin, Sergio Aragones and Dave Berg.

Drucker was the king of caricatures, Davis visual gags, Martin the bizarre, Aragones physical humor and Dave Berg quiet observant humor.

Running Press presents, as part of its MAD Greatest Artists series, Dave Berg Five Decades of “The Lighter Side of…”, with a Foreword by Drew Friedman.

The consummate artist, Dave Berg was the master of situational humor.  His unique observations on day-to-day events and popular culture phenomenon always generated a few chuckles.

While not as flashy or stylized as other MAD artists’ work, Berg’s characters looked like ordinary people caught in unusual situations.  

By following his career over 50 years the large hardbound book offers the perfect opportunity to observe the maturation of an artist.

As with most young artists Dave’s style started out a bit cluttered and packed with details.  As his style progressed and matured, his art, while not spare, became more finely honed and to the point.  Facial expressions and body language overshadowed backgrounds and settings
Represented in the book are Dave’s “The Lighter Side of…” strips and paperback compilations and material specifically drawn for paperbacks.

Unfortunately the world lost Dave back in 2002, but his humor lives on in this delightful new collection.