Some artists of advanced age might feel that they’re too old to really make a mark in their field. The business belongs to the young, they might think.
Consider the career of Norman Mingo (1896-1980), Mad Magazine’s most celebrated cover artist. A veteran of the World War One, he painted his first Mad cover in 1956 at age 60.
And what a cover! It was the definitive portrait of the cheerful simpleton Alfred E. Neuman. Every Mad artist thereafter has been required to match Mingo’s version, and they agree: no one can top it. The painting sold at auction two years ago for more than 200,000 dollars.
Norman Mingo went on to paint well over a hundred classic covers for Mad, up until his death in 1980. His influence on the current generation of American picturemakers is right up there with Frank Frazetta, Jack Kirby, R. Crumb, Chuck Jones, and Jim Henson.
The book “Mad Art” by Mark Evanier tells the story of Mingo and the other Mad artists.
Norman Mingo on Wikipedia