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Multiple Years / Mad Cartoonist Don Martin
Don Martin was a feature cartoonist for Mad Magazine from 1956 to 1988. Martin's immediately recognizable drawing style (which featured characters with bulbous noses, enormous chins, and hinged feet) was loose, rounded and filled with broad slapstick. His inspirations, plots and themes were often bizarre and bordered on the berserk. In his earliest years with Mad, Martin used a more jagged, scratchy line. His style evolved, settling into its familiar form by 1964. It was typified by a sameness in the appearance of the characters. (A strip's punchline often was emphasized by a character's deadpan take with eyes half open and the mouth absent or in a tight, small circle of steadfast perplexity.) Martin punctuated his work with his own unique onomatopoetic sound effects, such as "BREEDEET BREEDEET" for a croaking frog, "PLORTCH" for a knight being stabbed by a sword, or "FAGROON klubble klubble" for a collapsing building. (Martin's dedication to onomatopoeia was such that he owned a vanity license plate which read "SHTOINK," patterned after the style of his famed sound effects.) Martin left Mad in 1988 after a dispute over royalties from reprints of his older cartoons. He worked for rival magazine Cracked for six years. A typical Don Martin comic strip featured far-fetched humor. One example featured a man who was run over by a steamroller being saved by a concerned passerby who folds the victim into a paper airplane and throws him in the direction of the nearest hospital. Martin died of cancer in 2000 at the age of 68.