Mad #277 (Nick Meglin and John Ficarra) - Last Don Martin Issue - March 1988

Don Martin (1931-2000) was an unknown cartoonist when new editor Al Feldstein hired him for Feldstein's first issue (Mad #29) in 1956.  Mad brought Martin fame and popularity but he wanted more.  Like Wally Wood (1927-1981) before him, Martin wanted a bigger piece of the pie.  Martin departed from Mad to the inferior rival, Cracked where he stayed for six years.  Like Wood, Martin also produced his own magazine but it did not last.  Martin thought that he should profit from the reprinting of drawings that he sold to Mad.  Have you ever heard of a corporation that did not retain the rights for products produced by its employees and subcontractors?  Martin and Wood both learned that the distribution of printed material is not as easy as it appears.  In the later years, ideas for Martin cartoons were developed by Don Edwing and other Mad staffers.  Ironically, the final Mad page by Don Martin was based on an idea by Mad artist, Antonio Prohias whose long-running "Spy vs. Spy" feature was now being produced by other, uncredited artists and writers.  I like Martin's drawings but I never felt that he was a dedicated member of the Mad gang mainly because he did not participate in the inside jokes.  [JAM 8/17/2011]

Reader Anthony Perodeau noted that the prison guard in "One Special Day in the Dungeon" has a surgical scar similar to one that Publisher William Gaines had.  Was this a message from Martin to Gaines within Martin's last contribution to Mad?

Assault And Battery - Roboslop
Certain-T-Formations - Every Super Bowl Week We're Sure to See
Tales From the Duck Side - The Colossal Courtroom Confrontation
Chore-Fire Solution - Dual-Purpose Office Supplies for Working Mothers
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side
Promotion Sickness - Stages in the Life of an Ad Campaign
Frank on a Roll - Sad
Pranks for the Memories - The 10 All-Time Greatest Legendary Practical Jokes
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
Jabber-Wacky - Wonderland Revisited
Cassetting New Lows - Junky Video Collections We're Sure to See
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at Optics
Awe-Full - Why Are We Always Impressed By ...?
Ask Kickers - If "They" Had to Fill Out "Your" Questionnaires
Network Correspondunce - Mad's TV News Reporter of the Year
Don Martin - One Special Day in the Dungeon
Better Dead Than Bled - The Movie Sequel Graveyard
The Scanish Inquisition - Mad's UPC Symbol Explained

Fold-In - Lottery Ticket