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MAD's Greatest Artists: The Completely MAD Don Martin (MAD's Greatest Artists Series) Hardcover – Box set, October 23, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"...fans of Don Martin's genius will rejoice in this double-decker omnibus." -- Washington Post

"Balm for the funnybone, bruising for the back." -- Rocky Mountain News, November 24, 2007

"Can't see enough of the magazine and cartoonist that kept you sane through your coming-of-age in the '60s and '70s? How about two volumes and more than 1,000 pages? ... Exquisitely brewed for the coffee table." -- Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 2007

"In short, it's a masterpiece befitting a genius." -- The Sunday Star-Times, December 2, 2007

"The Completely MAD Don Martin" by Don Martin (Running Press) THWACK! That's the sound of this 25-pound, two-volume laugh riot dropped from 25 feet up. It's filled with everything Martin drew for MAD, in his slapstick-y style, during his 30-plus years in the mag's subversive universe." -- NY Post, December 16, 2007

"The Completely MAD Don Martin" is gorgeously printed. For the MAD maven, it's the gift of the season." -- The Houston Chronicle, December 2, 2007

"This mammoth two-volume hardcover set collects every single piece of art that 'MAD's Maddest Artist' created from 1957 to 1987 - a 1,000-page body of work that displays astounding consistency, as well as provoking endless laughs. Illustrating absurdist gags that routinely bordered on the berserk, Martin's artwork featured a keen and detail-rich comedic sense. Terrific stuff: no wonder he's regarded as one of the all-time greats." -- The First Post, October 5, 2007

You can have your high-tone, filled-with-stunning-color-plates retrospectives of Goya and Picasso -- none come close to "The Completely MAD Don Martin" ("1,000 pages, 2 volumes, 1 slipcase, 25 pounds, $150 -- Cheap!"). This insanely special gift to the ages from Running Press has every piece of art that MAD's Michelangelo published during his 30-year run at the magazine, plus letters, sketches, photos and an intro by the "Far Side's" Gary Larson.

The jokes still work, the visual cues are timeless, the artwork identifiable from a city block away. This is like watching Dimaggio, Hope & Crosby, Paul Robeson -- clips from our collective memory bank. Personal favorites: The "One Afternoon ..." and "Scenes We'd Like to See" panels.

$150 is too much, you say? Genius has no price -- you'll get more benefit from this than that Starbucks habit. -- The San Diego Union-Tribune, October 14, 2007 Sunday

About the Author

Don Martin (1931-2000) was known as "Mad's Maddest Artist" during his 30+ years with the magazine. His wacky sound effects, memorable characters and signature style made him an icon, and a key influence on the generations of artists who followed him.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; Slp Rep edition (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762430508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762430505
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 10.5 x 3.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian Reaves VINE VOICE on October 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Of all the artists to ever contribute to Mad Magazine, Don Martin's work is probably the most recognizable. The hinged feet, long fingers, crooked noses, and expressive sound effects (like THOINK! or FLUGGLE!) made him the first comics I would really slow down to read when getting the latest issue of Mad as a boy. Now every single bit of his work for the magazine has been collected here in a beautiful box set.

The pages are roughly the size of the old magazine, so you still get the same effect of first reading it. The colors are amazing on the acid-free paper. His first comics are a little rough artistically and don't really look much like his later work, but it's interesting to see it evolve from the more detailed "sketch comedy" to the four-panel funnies he later made popular.

The only shortcoming these books have is that they neglect Don's paperbacks that he wrote under the Mad title (ex: "The Mad Adventures of Captain Klutz", "Don Martin Forges Ahead", "Don Martin Digs Deeper", etc). Characters such as Captain Klutz and Chester Bestertester don't show up here, and to me those books were some of his funniest material. Maybe the Mad guys will release those as a similar set later on so we don't lose any of Martin's madness.

These books are heavy and are obviously meant to last. If you're familiar with the "Absolute" sets DC Comics puts out ("Absolute Kingdom Come") then you'll be familiar with how this is laid out. It's pricey, but holding 30 years worth of comics by one of the funniest cartoonists around makes it worth the expense.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this set and it finally came today. I was going nuts waiting for this collection. Like another reviewer mentioned, the first thing I noticed was that these are some heavy books. Pages are printed on pristine archival paper which has some heft and reproduces the black & white comics fairly well. Besides all of his art, most of the "usual gang of idiots" - the core of MAD artists & writers during it's heyday - provide commentary throughout. I especially enjoyed Dick DeBartolo's pieces, as he seems to have been the closest of Don's friends from the magazine. Sergio Aragones also has a nice two-page tribute.

Another nice touch is all of the comics (which are in chronological order) have a legend at the bottom with the issue and publication date.

As great as this set is, I do have a few gripes - some of the color pages (particularly a few of the back cover gags and the different stickers from Super Specials) were poorly reproduced with colors being "off", muted, or slightly blurry. It's possible that only some copies (including mine) were part of a bad printing run, I don't know. I drop my rating by a star for this and also because some of the B&W art is not as crisp as it was in the magazine, but even this problem is not enough to spoil the overall presentation and uniqueness of having all of Martin's MAD work in one place. It's a bargain at this price.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you love Don Martin, Mad Magazine, or just the comic art, this book deserves your attention. A classy trophy like package of all of Martin's work for Mad Magazine, in one larger than life, heavy stock page after another. It won't take long to get through, which makes the price a bit steep for an average laugh seeker, but for those of us that can laugh time and time again looking at our favorite Don Martin 'toon we've seen a thousand times, this is a feel good investment.

Alternately a cheaper and more technology savy solution to see Don's work is the Absolutely MAD DVD, which has 600+ issues of Mad Magazine - Don Martin and all - veiwable on your computer through Acrobat.Absolutely MAD Magazine - 50+ Years
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Format: Hardcover
The memory is an amazing thing. Most days I can't remember where I left my car keys and yet I can vividly remember events from decades ago like they were yesterday. One of those memories, I was probably around 12 or 13 at the time, found me at my local bookstore checking out the new comics. I had some extra money from Christmas and it was burning a hole in my pocket. Then I saw a book featuring Don Martin strips from Mad Magazine. This wasn't one of those little paperbacks but rather a magazine-sized book that I think cost around four or five bucks. Considering these were the days when comics were around 30 or 35 cents that was a LOT of money to me. I spent the night by my friend's house that night, cracking up all night reading Martin's wild strips.

The stable of cartoonists that Mad Magazine boasted throughout the 50's through the 80's was simply amazing: Jack Davis, Dave Berg, Al Jaffee, Sergio Aragones, Antonio Prohias, and, of course, Don Martin, the man known as Mad's Maddest Artist! These men were all geniuses in their own right and all had very lengthy tenures with Mad. Martin worked for the magazine for an incredible 32 years from 1956 through 1988. Martin's strips were the most off-kilter and insanely silly things I had ever seen and I've been a fan ever since I first saw his work. His characters are instantly recognizable by their droopy eyes, round bulbous noses, and the trademark hinged feet.

Now there have been many artist collections, summary sampling's of greatest work and things like that, but here we have something most unique. This isn't a sampling or a best of type of work...this is EVERYTHING...the whole nine yards, the whole shebang...the whole...well, you get the idea.
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