Will Elder, whose frantic, gag-filled illustrations helped to define the comic identity of Mad magazine and who was a creator of the Playboy cartoon serial “Little Annie Fanny,” died Wednesday in Rockleigh, N.J. He was 86.
A dead-on caricaturist with an anarchic sense of humor, Mr. Elder stuffed the backgrounds of his Madison Avenue parodies and comic-strip spoofs with inane puns, silly signs and weird characters doing strange things.
“That approach to humor seeped into the rest of the magazine and the DNA of its contributors,” said John Ficarra, the editor of Mad. “It set the tone for the entire magazine and created a look that endures to this day.”
read more in this New York Times article
The following came from Lambiek.net, which has an interesting short biography, photo clips of artwork and annotated links.
During the early years of his comics career, he worked mainly as the inker of John Severin. Between 1948 and 1951, they produced 'American Eagle' in Prize Comics Western for Crestwood, and did occasionally comic book art for National and Nedor. In late 1950, they joined EC Comics, where they cooperated on stories for 'Two-Fisted Tales', 'Frontline Combat' and 'Weird Fantasy'. Elder illustrated two Al Feldstein scripted stories on his own for 'Weird Science' issues 14 and 19. From 1953, he also contributed some stories to EC's horror and crime titles, sometimes in collaboration with Jack Kamen.
Via A&L Daily