A 1960 classic from "The Usual Gang of Idiots."

With apologies to Don Draper and Roger Sterling ... we’re talking Mad Men here, aka “The Usual Gang of Idiots.”

Jim Morekis and I both think this may be the most exciting event announcement we’ve seen this year. Eight cartoonists, editors and artmen from MAD Magazine are coming to Savannah Nov. 11–13, to work with SCAD illustration students. And on Nov. 12, they’ll hold a panel discussion – open to the public – from 5–6:30 p.m. at the Trustees Theater.

Anyone who’s over the age of, say, 30, will remember the glory days of MAD, and the side–splitting, often irreverent humor these guys put on the page. This was pre–Internet, pre–Comedy Central and Cartoon Network, pre–Simpsons, pre–pretty much everything that makes people laugh these days.

It wasn’t complex stuff.

Can we talk names? Here’s who’s coming to town: Jack Davis (at the magazine since its inception in 1952), Al Jaffee (with the second–most recognizable MAD style, after Davis,’ he’s created every one of those famous fold–in cartoons since the mid 1950s), Sergio Aragones (a personal favorite of yours truly, Aragones drew those weird little one–panel cartoons in the page margins), Duck Edwing (he handled “Spy vs. Spy” for a dozen years, and was featured in nearly 500 issues of the magazine), longtime editor Nick Meglin, Paul Coker Jr. (an artist who also did the character design for all those Rankin–Bass holiday TV specials in the ‘60s), Sam Viviano (MAD’s current art director) and longtime contributor Tom Richmond.

Don Martin, whose illustrations (along with those of Jaffee, Davis and Aragones) defined the classic MAD look, passed away in 2000.

The Nov. 12 panel discussion is free. See you there!

Case study

If Peter Case hadn’t done anything but contribute “A Million Miles Away” to the lexicon of perfect power–pop songs, it’d still be a pleasure to announce that he’s coming to do a show in Savannah Nov. 10.

But Case, who wrote and sang “A Million Miles Away” as part of the sadly short–lived band the Plimsouls in 1983, had a prolific – and inspirational – career before that, as a member of the punk group the Nerves. And his solo journey, through such albums as the T–Bone Burnett–produced Peter Case and The Man With the Blue Post–Modern Fragmented Neo–Traditionalist Guitar, has revealed an intrinsically smart singer/songwriter. Since then he has explored various forms of folk/rock and Americana, pop and rock, and even reunited the Plimsouls more than once.

Today, Case is one of indie music’s revered godfathers. You can catch up with him at 8 p.m. at Muse Arts Warehouse, courtesy of your friends at Knocked Out Loaded Concerts. He’s on the road behind his recent CD rarities collection, The Case Files.

Advance tickets are $20 at Knocked Out Loaded’s Facebook page.

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor from May 2009 to August 2014.

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