(October 3, 1924, Brooklyn, New York — February 21, 1993) was a U.S. cartoonist and magazine editor. Kurtzman often signed his name H. Kurtz
, followed by a stick figure (i.e., H. Kurtz-man
In 1952, he was the founding editor of the comic book Mad.
Kurtzman was also known for the long-running Little Annie Fanny
stories in Playboy
(1962—88), satirizing the very attitudes that Playboy
had a considerable impact on popular culture, Kurtzman was later described by The New York Times
as having been "one of the most important figures in postwar America." Director and comedian Terry Gilliam said, “In many ways Harvey was one of the godparents of Monty Python.” Underground cartoonist Robert Crumb asserted that one of Kurtzman's cover images for Humbug "changed my life," and that another Mad
cover image “changed the way I saw the world forever!” Writing for Time Magazine, Richard Corliss touted Kurtzman's influence:
- "MAD was the first comic enterprise that got its effects almost entirely from parodying other kinds of popular entertainment To say that this became an influential manner in American comedy is to understate the case. Almost all American satire today follows a formula that Harvey Kurtzman thought up.”
He was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1989.