National Lampoon‘s original art director Peter Bramley has died at the age of 60. Peter and fellow Massachusetts College of Art graduate Bill Skurski co-founded Cloud Studio in 1967. Cloud Studio was hired by National Lampoon to produce the magazine during its first year. He created the “duck” mascot that debuted on the cover of the first issue and was used for a while in the magazine, and did a perfect Peter Max parody on the cover of the second issue. After Michael Gross replaced him as art director with issue number 8, Bramley continued to contribute illustrations and cartoons to the magazine through the mid-seventies. Among his classic pieces were “Sextraterrestrials” and “Toilets of the Extraterrestrials” (both written by Henry Beard), and the recurring comic strip “Vinny Shinblind, The Invisible Sex Maniac.” (Some of these can be seen on the official NatLamp website here.)
Just last summer I received a brief email from Peter which he closed with, “…give my regards to all the little Lampoonatics. Vaya con carne, Pete.” R.I.P.
Profile of Peter by Steven Heller in the New York Times (from the archives–fee required to view. Alternate link.)