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The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics

4.45 of 5 stars 4.45  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Harvey Kurtzman discovered Robert Crumb and gave Gloria Steinem her first job in publishing when he hired her as his assistant. Terry Gilliam also started at his side, met an unknown John Cleese in the process, and the genesis of Monty Python was formed. Art Spiegelman has stated on record that he owes his career to him. And he's one of Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner's favo ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Abrams ComicArts (first published November 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 188)
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Orion
The Art of Harvey Kurtzman is a large-format well-illustrated overview of Harvey Kurtzman's work. The book is divided into 5 chronological chapters based on major periods in his life. Each chapter is illustrated with rough sketches from Kurtzman's personal archives and other half-finished pieces or sections, as well as at least one finished work from the period.

Chapter 1 is entitled "Hey Look! It's the '40s" and is an outline of his earliest work in cartooning. Included are six of the 150 "Hey L
...more
Brenna
True to its title, The Art of Harvey Kurtzman focuses primarily on the creative output of the famed satirist and cartoonist, rather than the personal circumstances which afflict every person. Authors Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle spend a little time on Kurtzman's upbringing, education, family life, and professional careers, but delve much further into the work itself, keeping the mindset of Kurtzman clearly in focus.

This book features a number of treats for the Kurtzman fan, including rare thumbn
...more
Wayne
Books about comics or about specific creators can't get any better than this. Genius! Exhaustive! Complete! What more can I say ? This Kurtzman guy must have been really great. Until last year when I met Spiegelman, I didn't realize just how many great Jews there were in comics. Trust me , I don't mean that in a bad way. It just didn't really occur to me. Obviously, Kurtzman was one of the greatest of all. If you want to talk about influencing a generation, he has to be near the top of the list. ...more
Russell Grant
Just about as perfect a review of Kurtzman's work as you could want. Covers all the bases with lots of unpublished examples of his creations. Not much else to say, if you ever wondered what the big deal was about the man and his art, this will fill you in. If you're a fan of Kurtzman, it's a must read as it really gives you an appreciation of everything he did.

My nitpick negatives is that there are numerous instances of art examples that appear before you read about the period in the text that
...more
Chris
I knew a decent amount about Harvey Kurtzman before reading this book (did War Comics in the 50's, created MAD, left MAD and floundered, ended up on Little Annie Fanny), but this book definitely fleshed out the picture with a lot of nice reproductions.

It's an art book so the focus was on individual images and short excerpts, but I would have enjoyed seeing more of the comics in their entirety. Highlights were seeing his earlier drawings and working process on the war comics. I've never been a bi
...more
Alex Robinson
Fascinating look inside the brain of a cartooning great, also somewhat depressing because it seems like MAD was his genius idea and after he walked away from it he spent the rest of his career trying to recapture that lightning in a bottle.
Erik
Kurtzman's art is fantastic, but this comics in this book never made me chuckle at all. Most of his jokes are just horribly unfunny.
Brent
May 19, 2012 Brent marked it as to-read
For sale at the Carlos Museum Bookshop!
http://carlos.emory.edu/bookshop
Bob
Excellent overview of Kurtzman's career, lavishly illustrated. It's wonderful.
Rog Harrison
Some wonderful artwork in this book.
Jamil
MAD Genius, for reals.
Steve
I read this before.
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