Lance Parkertip

Created by Don Martin

Public notary, private eye?

In one of the more surreal take-offs on the shamus game, MAD Magazine cartoonist Don Martin wrote several stories featuring noted notary public LANCE PARKERTIP.

As notaries go, Lance was no babe magnet. With his squarer-than-square tweed jackets, flyaway hair and ever-present pipe, nobody was ever going to mistake him for Mike Hammer. But when push came to shove, he was suitably hard-boiled, acting more like your classic tough guy P.I. than anything else, regularly squaring off against statuesque babes and ill-mannered thugs of all varieties, and referring to his assignments as “cases.” And like any self-respecting private eye, he had a personal code that he clung to…

Sort of.

Like, his code would never allow him to hit an old woman. Of course, this being Don Martin, Lance reminds us that he never said anything about shooting one.

And what would a Don Martin comic be without a crazy sound effect? Or three dozen? Lance’s embosser–which he used frequently–went “KLIL-RUNK!”




The stories never appeared in MAD, as far as I know, but in a string of paperbacks featuring all-original stories by Martin. In a later adventure, Lance even gets a partner, Hercules, the Semi-Wonder Dog, to help him out on his “cases.”

And for those craving real private eye action in the imitable Don Martin style, check out Fester Bestertester, Private Eye that he did ten years earlier.

It’ll make your heart go KER-SPICKETTY-SPLONK!


  • “Lance Parkertip, Noted Notary Public” (1971, MAD’s Don Martin Comes On Strong)
  • “The Case That Absolutely Nobody Cared About” (1977, MAD’s Don Martin Forges Ahead; written by Dick De Bartolo)
  • “The Case That Everybody Knew the Solution To” (1986, MAD’s Don Martin Sails Ahead; written by Dick De Bartolo)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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