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Cartoonist Dead At 81

Dave Berg, the cartoonist who affectionately spoofed what he called “the human condition” in the pages of Mad magazine for more than 40 years has died of cancer. He was 81-years-old. Berg, who created the humor magazine´s “The Lighter Side of” comic strip, died May 16th at his Marina del Rey home. Born in New York City in the 1920´s, Berg received a scholarship to attend a Saturday morning class at the Pratt Institute when he was 12.

He began working for Mad as a free-lancer in 1956, introducing “The Lighter Side of” in 1961. Berg often put friends, family members and colleagues into his cartoons — among them Mad´s late publisher William M. Gaines, whose head appeared mounted, like a deer´s, on the side of a wall. He also drew himself into the strip regularly, as Roger Kaputnik, an everyman with an always-present pipe.

Berg´s final “Lighter Side of” panels are scheduled for the September issue of Mad, marking the magazine´s 50th anniversary.