Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Great Spudnut Story

(Fictitious disclaimer :all persons portrayed in it are fictitious Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.) All rights reserved. No part of this manuscript may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical,photocopy, recording or otherwise without the written prior permission by J. Robb Montana.

The Great Spudnut Story

I’m not sure of the exact year that I started to attend The Church of the Immaculate Spudnut, but I remember the day like it was yesterday. To this day I remember the smells and tastes with a crystal clarity that I have been able to recall, on demand, for near fifty years.

I was 10 or 11 years old, on my way home from doing my paper route I think, as I had money in my pocket. I was walking down the main street of Vernon B.C., without having any knowledge of what was about to happen to me. I stepped into the exhaust air vent of the Spudnut Shop Portal. The effect was instantaneous, my entire body became weak from the effect of the smell. I believe that it was the spirit of the Great Spudnut that grabbed my shirt and pulled me through the front door and set me down in front of the cash register, at the feet of the spudnut wizard. The spudnut wizard was disguised as a old man with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his lips. He turned to me and said the words that would change my destiny. “What can I do for you young man?” I replied hesitantly,”I-I-I wooould liike a dooonut please.” He looked me in the eye with a gaze that was as steady as an old oak, then he looked sideways over his right shoulder. That’s when I noticed two other old men sitting on stools at the counter, the old chrome stools with the padded vinyl top. They both had half smiles and also had some of the same twinkle in their eyes.

The wizard then turned his full attention on me and in a very serious voice said, “We don’t have any doughnuts here, son.”

I could see the fryer, the glazing pan and the racks full of glazed doughnuts, so I replied, “There’s doughnuts everywhere.”

“Oh, you mean these”, he said sweeping his hand to indicate the wall behind him that seemed to me to be entirely covered with doughnuts. “These are not doughnuts, son, These are SPUDNUTS. If you want DOUGHnuts there are other places in this town that make very DOUGHYnuts. I would be happy to tell you where they are. But since it is obvious that you have never had a spudnut, I will give your first one free. This is a very good business move on my part, because after you have had your first one, you will be coming back here to give me all the rest of the money you can get your hands on.” Having said that, with a great flourish he, with one smooth motion whirled around and had a plate in his hand with a spudnut neatly in the middle. He set it on the counter in front of an empty stool and said “Hop up son and try your first spudnut. You’ll never eat a doughnut again.” He then went to the cooler and got me a milk, plopped it on the counter in front of me and said, “Nothing like a milk to wash down a spudnut.”

Then the spudnut wizard and his two apprentice wizards that he referred to as his “regulars” sat and watched me with great intensity as I contemplated the orb of beauty on the plate in front of me. One of his ‘regulars’ said ” might as well not put it off. One bite and you are part of this club for the rest of your life.”

The lifetime commitment sounded a little scary, but the spudnut could not be resisted. I picked it up and cautiously took the first bite. Very quickly I ate the rest. I had barely swallowed the last bite when the prophecy fulfilling words came out of my mouth, “How many more of these will fifty cents buy?”

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Don Martin and Mad Magazine

Art Magazines are along with all the popular comics; you might say they are in full "competitive edge" mode. All the artist are pumped with adreline to show-off their skills. Just the slightest mistake or concentration can leave an artist empty-handed.
Gold medal give you world class standing and if it were such a thing as Gold medals when it comes to Artist or Cartoonist, then it would have to be Don Martin.

Don Martin was a very popular American cartoon artist known best with his most remarkable cartoons in MAD Magazine from 1956 to 1988. His art work lead to edge of expression in a good way. It was called many things in those earlier days, from bizarre to outrageously funny. His work may have lead to our now berserk style of humour with South Park, Family Guy and The Simpsons. Don Martin's cartoons would lead your imagination into the most awkward positions, with his cartoons leaving a very distinct message that will make you laugh and think about for years later.

Don Martin was born on May 18 1931, a time of conservative thinking. Mad Magazine knew exactly what they were doing when they hired Don Martin as one of their cartoonist - Mad Magazine wanted out of the ordinary and on the edge of controversy. The founder of Mad Magazine was Harvey Kurtzman, a well known cartoon artist himself. Can you imagine a typical day at the office of Mad Magazine? Pumping out zany outrageous tears of laughter cartoons on a daily basis – Talk about Fun – how could you call that work?

Don Martin was in the frontline of cartoons, such as The MAD Adventures of Captain Klutz in 1967. His favorite copyright sounds came out like : ''GLUP! GLIK! SPLORP! SLOOPLE! CHOMPLE! GARK! SKLORSH! GLUK! KLOONG! KAPLAM! SPMAM! POONG! BOONG! KLOON! I just love the sound effect - croaking frog or "FAGROON klubble klubble".

If you don’t know Don Martin, you have missed out on the most comical comics distributed with Mad Magazine. Mad Magazine changed hands a few times throughout its career, but it has lasted since 1952 and still going strong in 2010. The Politics may have changed but so has Mad Magazine – along with the Politics.

I’m sure Mad Magazine is missing Don Martin because his cartoon’s “touching the hearts” of his followers. My first Mad Magazine was in 1967 – I saved enough money from my paper route in Vernon, British Columbia to buy that year’s full edition. I remember taking the magazines and folding it to receive a “hidden cartoon message” within the fold.

As an avid cartoon follower I would cut out Don Martins Cartoons and paste them up on my wall, which helps me during exams. A laugh or two or three made exam studies go quick. I’m really not sure how much Mad Magazine realized how their magazine touched so many kids. Each magazine I picked up I would be scrambled to see Don Martin’s comics...laughing and thinking how great it would be to be a cartoon artist.

Boy – I wish I was smart enough to keep them...can you imagine the collection price on those magazines today? But, then again, you had to keep them in the plastic cover to be worth anything. It was well worth the time dissecting the Mad Magazine.

Check out more stories with James Montana Scripts by Bari Demers 

To me Don Martin made Mad Magazine - the bizarre and outrageous.

If you were to give out Gold Medals to Artists, I would think Don Martin would have collected a world record of Gold Medals for his zany superhero characters like Fester Bestertester and Captain Klutz that was adored by all of America, Canada, and then, came the World.

Unfortunately Don Martin passed away in January 6 2000, but his cartoon art works will agelessly be passed on from generation to generation.

If anything, Don Martins cartoon style will come back with a vengeance as new comic followers and artists catch eye of his humorous timeless cartoons.

I can just see it now in heaven, Don Martin is making God laugh over and over and over. Looks like God knows what he was doing – placing Don Martin in heaven.

Here is to you Don Martin, Congratulations to the best in cartoons.

By Bari Demers - screenwriter