I hope you all know about Mercer Mayer's One Monster After Another. It's a GREAT book and one of my all-time favorites. I LOVED looking at all the detailed illustrations, and, of course, the story is fabulous.
Flash-forward to me leafing to books in The Strand. There I found this really cool book called The Man with the Can by Jan Sanders, published in 1978 (a year after I was born!). There's lots of dirty stuff in it... lots of sex... lots of crazy, busy cartoons. And then I saw this--
How about now?
Mayer's book was published in 1974 BUT the Jan Sanders book is a compilation. Sanders's most likely came first. So here's my question-- was Mayer consciously or unconsciously borrowing from this image? In college I'd known students who
would literally copy an illustration and then claim it was their own (little did they know I have a large art collection!). Here's another thought--was Mayer doing this as a private joke? Was he paying homage to this other artist? When my Strong Man book comes out, you will see I have given a wink to Norman Rockwell. You must know lots of Rockewell work to recognize it but I hope all of you will figure it out!
But back on topic here--If he was, what kind of joke was it? Jan Sanders's art is kind of dirty. A giant nude hag mermaid is being pulled out of the sea!
So is this plagiarism? Is it a joke? Do other artists do the same thing? Do they hide dirty little jokes in
their kids' books? I'll let you all ponder over this one. Stay tuned for part two. You won't want to miss it! You might be shocked... annoyed... enlightened... who knows!