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Chicken Fat is a documentary legacy of Will Elder, seminal MAD Magazine cartoonist. We bring the true insanity of MAD to life through Elder's work.

We want to finish this documentary! In order to do that we need to travel to California to interview Hugh Hefner; director, Joe Dante; writer, Daniel Clowes and artist William Stout. We also have Terry Gilliam lined up in England for an interview.

The funds raised here would enable us to complete the California interviews and begin the final edit stage of the production. We are trying to work out the logistics of Gilliam's interview right now. We already have the post-production crew lined up to bring this project to the finish line.

David Wachtenheim and Robert Marianetti of Saturday Night Live's TV Funhouse will produce an animated open. Award winning composer/mixer Peter Fish will give us a killer soundtrack. Award winning editor Gary VandenBergh will do the edit and the finishing. Chicken Fat is poised to be completed, with a little help from our Kickstarter friends! Once completed we already have attained interest from WNJN in New Jersey. Beyond that we plan on doing the festival circuit and provide the documentary online and in Colleges and Universities throughout the country. Elder also had an incredible following across the globe and we are confident we will land an international distribution deal upon completion. To be a part of this amazing journey should be enough of a reward BUT, if you donate to this long overdue project you will get some pretty cool stuff!

In case you don't know, Will Elder is one of the best-known unknown artists of the last half of the Twentieth Century. His technique became the defining look of the early MAD and, subsequently, the visual style that defined a generation. While MAD's first editor, Harvey Kurtzman and publisher Bill Gaines are often credited with the birth of MAD, it is Elder who gave MAD it's sense of humor and visual style. He packed his comic panels with gags upon gags upon gags. Terry Gilliam in a1998 interview said, "I don't think there is anyone who worked on that level before or since. Just gags on gags on gags without distracting from the story's center."

"Chicken Fat" is the term Will Elder used to describe his unique style that included more gags per panel than almost any other artist...ever! "It's the part of the soup that's bad for you but makes it taste so good," Elder is quoted as saying. Will Elder started putting all these gags in the background of the layouts that MAD co-founder Harvey Kurtzman created. Elder was one of the only artists that was able to color outside of Kurtzman's lines.

In addition to those mentioned above, our interview subjects include Pultizer Prize winning author and artist Art Spiegelman; Underground cartoonists Bill Griffith and Jay Lynch; Actor and Comedian Andy Kindler; MAD Fold-in creator, Al Jaffee; Award winning cartoonist, Arnold Roth; renowned artist Drew Friedman, MAD editor Nick Meglin; the late Harvey Kurtzman, Bill Gaines and Will Elder himself, plus so many more. We also present Elder's artwork in stunning HD.

Kickstarter is the perfect venue to help bring this documentary to fruition and all of you who help will get wide recognition every time I open my mouth to talk about the film!

Thanks for anything you can do!
-Gary VandenBergh


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Funding period

- (90 days)