Frontline Combat no.7, 1952.(MAD Magazine)

Harvey Kurtzman was one of the most important comic-book artists of all time. R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, and the creators of Saturday Night Live and Monty Python are all in his debt. In a new gloriously comics-filled biography called The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics, authors Paul Buhle and Denis Kitchen go deep inside Kurtzman’s life and art. Paul Buhle spoke with Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry about Kurtzman’s secular Jewish upbringing in the Bronx, his success at MAD, and his failures later in life.