Your Unauthorized Guide to the Golden Age of National Lampoon Magazine

77. Rockwell-esque Cover Illustrator

February 2, 2004

Q: There was a artist who used to do pictures for the National Lampoon that were Norman Rockwell-like. Can’t remember her name for the life of me.
If you know it, do you also happen to know if there is any book of her work?

A: Her name was Mara McAfee. She died in 1984 and had been an actress in Hollywood before becoming an illustrator. There was a book of her work published in 1981 called “The Art of Mara McAfee.” I’ve never seen it myself and I don’t know how hard it is to find. If you search Google for the title, you will find a number of online book stores which list it.


i have a copy of mara McAfee's it many years ago at a store that ,sadly ,no longer depicts Brookke Shields on the cover with her"parents" looking on in disbelive

—john holcombe

March 30, 2004 12:56 pm

The woman on that cover really was Brooke's mom. The guy posing as the father was former NatLamp art director (at that time consulting art director) Michael Gross.


March 30, 2004 7:12 pm

Mara passed away in 1984. She was also an actress briefly during the 50s (look her name up in iMDB).


September 6, 2005 5:33 pm

although it was many years ago, i ordered "the art of mara mcafee" from, i believe, amazon. even though it was out of print, they found it for me very quickly. it is a cherished posession, although, i must admit that, with no exception, i thought the artwork works better as the cover, with the nl logo , the theme of the issue, and the always worth reading contents above it. i say that only because, especially with the theme, it puts her wonderful artwork in perspective, and give it a "title" of sorts. anyway, good luck.

—chad shuttleworth

July 1, 2006 3:21 pm

Footnote: I'd mistakenly filed away as Mara's work the September 1975 cover, which depicts a college prof fanning the bare bottom of a female student who's gotten an F in his class. Actually, that's Bernie Lettick rocking the Rockwell impression.

—John F.

December 23, 2008 12:44 pm

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