Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mad Magazine

It's abursb! It's insane! It's Mad!
The First Issue of Mad
Debuting in August 1952 (although the cover incorrectly says otherwise), Mad (commonly called Mad Magazine) was a satire comic created by EC Comics. Harvey Kurtzman wrote most of Mad. The artists included Wally Wood, Will Elder, Jack Davis, John Severin and even Harvey himself. However, Wood, Elder and Davis were the main artist for the first 23 issues. To try to keep Harvey as the editor, Mad gained a magazine format in issue 24, but he left anyway. Despite Harvey leaving, now, due to it's magazine format, Mad no longer needed to obey the Comic Code of Authority. Al Feldistein became the new editor and brought new staff members: Don Martin, Frank Jacobs and Mort Drucker, and later Antonio Prohias and David Berg. Feldistein retired in 1984 and Nick Meglin and John Ficarra replaced him. They both edited it for the next two decades. Nick retired and Ficarra took over. Gaines sold his company to Kinney Parking Company and Warner Brothers co. Gaines became a staff member of KPC and ran Mad. Later, Time Warner started to publish Mad, after Gaines' death.
In the early days of the comic, their were no real ads, but parodies. Eventually, real ads would be added.
Alfred E. Neumen
He is the mascot of Mad. He possesses misaligned eyes and gaped teeth. A recurring gag is that his face would replace that of the person being parodied on the cover.
Due the success of Mad, there has been many "Mad Copycats". The three longest-lasting were Cracked, Sick and Crazy. Other short-lived series (which lasted at eight issues at best) included Nuts!, Get Lost, Whack, Riot, Flip, Eh!, From Here to Insanity and Madhouse. However, DC Comic's Panic and Marvel's Not Brand Echh (also Mad knock offs) were slightly more successful. Harvey Kurtzberg made several similar comic series (Humbug, Help!, Trump, National Lampoon, Spy and The Onion), but had a more distinct approach and didn't directly mimicked Mad.

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