Monday, June 19, 2017

Daniel Clowes: When He Was Cracked 1986-1989

Cracked Magazine began in the late 1950's and was one of the many imitations that popped up in the wake of the phenomenal success of EC Comics MAD when it transitioned from a four color comic book to a B&W magazine in 1955 with issue #24. Cracked eventually outlasted all of it's competitors outside of MAD. MAD Magazine in the 80's seemed staid and a former ghost of itself, but Cracked seemed exciting and filled with new blood (and old) that spoke to my budding anarchic mind. I eventually became an EC Fanatic in the early 90's, but back in the mid 80's I was an avid fan of Cracked. It was only a few years later that I learned why. The magazine was briefly edited by a guy called Mort Todd. Todd brought into the fold a fresh batch of talent (a few who also happened to be his friends) that included Bob Fingerman, Rick Altergott, Milton Knight, Gary Fields, Bill Wray, Steve Ditko, Gray Morrow, Shawn Kerri among others. He also hired his good friend Daniel Clowes. Clowes would produce work for Cracked from 1985 through 1989. During this period he was also writing and drawing his own comic book Lloyd Llewellyn for Fantagraphics. After six issues, Llewellyn ended with a Special in 1988 and Clowes began Eightball in 1989. Clowes became one of the prominent alternative creators that helped fuel the 90's indie comic scene and he's still producing personal works to this day. His latest book, Patience, was released last year. But before his huge successes in the 1990's and beyond, he was creating fun little stories for the masses laced with his 1950's and 60's aesthetic and warping tiny little minds like myself. Thankfully.

Cracked Collectors Edition #73, 1988 Back Cover

Cracked Monster Party #5, 1988

Cracked #220, 1986 Written by Peter Bagge

Cracked #224, 1986 Written by Mort Todd

Cracked #228, 1987 Written by Mort Todd

Cracked #229, 1987 Written by Mort Todd

Cracked #232, 1987 Written by Mort Todd

Cracked #234, 1988 Written by Mort Todd

Cracked #235, 1988

Cracked #244, 1989


  1. My god...I've always wondered why Clowes drew in a style that made me think of Cracked...