Mad magazine C/D

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I just bought a (cheap) CD-R of the complete run of Mad magazine from 1969 to 1974, and I had forgotten just how fantastic Mad was way back in the day. Yeah, it could get terribly trite and silly but there was some spot-on satire and distrust of everything that I never found condescending.

I have vivid memories of my mom getting really upset when I brought home an issue of Mad - I was nine years old and the issue feature was a parody of The Exorcist.

Anyway, Mad died when Bill Gaines did. I still can't believe that succumbed to running advertisements now.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 22:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

When I was a lil' girl me and my cousin used to sneak into my teenage uncle's room and do his fold-ins. this would make him furious.

up till about 11 I spent my allowance money on mad mags and books.

utterly classic.

Ask For Samantha (thatgirl), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 22:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

classic!!! making grade school teachers mad since before i was born, yay

Morley Timmons (Donna Brown), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 22:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

search: the first 25 (?) issues, all written by harvey kurtzman. the greatest comic book writer of all time. "starchie"! "ping pong"! "superduperman"! "batboy and rubin"! i think all the stories are available in those cheap little paperbacks - "mad strikes again" and so on. the later stuff is good too, but the early issues are sheer genius.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 23:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

classic when I was about 12 rather dud now. But I must say to my credit I was the only girl I knew who read it with any regularity. I tried reading Viz, but I didn't get it at all.

ipsofacto (ipsofacto), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 23:03 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

also search anything by sergio aragones. needless to say the current stuff is pretty poor.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 23:05 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Let us also celebrate Prohias. Spy vs. Spy is the apex of one-note humor.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 23:06 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Complete classic, at least until Gaines died.

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 23:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

when i was 13 years old my family took a trip to new york, and i spoke up and told everyone that i wanted to visit the mad magazine office, on MADison avenue, and my grandfather said he'd take me!! so off we walked and MAN it took a long time on my little legs. i think we walked all the way from the upper west side. anyway we got there and they had this tiny, grotty little waiting room with gray carpeting and fluorescent lights, easily dominated by a full-length bronze statue of alfred e.neuman in the corner. i think he was wearing safari gear. anyway somebody came out to meet us and we were told we'd get a "tour" of the offices. we were introduced to a black lady sitting in front of a computer. the computer had a tatty list of names scotch-taped to the side of its monitor. "do you have a subscription?" i did! well your name's on that list! i was shocked - there were only like 75 names there! they were probably fucking with me. my grandfather and i were led down a fluorescent-lit corridor lined with framed portraits of alfred e., and classic covers from the past. we came to a real, working, old-timey slot machine that had been thrown in one of the hallway corners. my eyes lit up. you have to understand what a naive little kid i was, despite mad magazine's best efforts. "can i play it?" "SURE you can. got a dime?" i looked at my grandfather. he gave me a dime. "alright now put it in, and then pull the handle." i did so. the handle was big and hard to pull. ker-CHIIING the wheels went around. they stopped. nothing. i looked at our tour guide. "oh well!" we went down the hall and our guide tapped on a door. NICK MEGLIN!! i was stunned. he was tanned. i can't remember anything that was said. i wanted to meet bill gaines, too. our guide said bill gaines was in a meeting. my grandfather kind of insisted i think so our guide was like "oh alright" and knocked on his door. "come in." we came in and billg aines was honestly sitting in his chair STARING VACANTLY out his window. heh "in a meeting." i looked around. the place was filled with stuff, most of which i can't remember. there were lots of model dirigibles hanging from the ceiling with string. i had the raiders of the lost ark copy of Mad with me, and he SIGNED IT@@!! (of course i have no idea where this is now..@@## fuX0r#@) needless to say i fairly floated all the way home.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 23:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

classic classic classic. the magazine AND CD-ROMs of complete magazine runs and/or printed matter. (e.g. the complete Playboy Interviews one I have that unfortunately no longer works on machines made after 1995 or so.)

Matos W.K. (M Matos), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 00:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Classic! The gateway to National Lampoon, for what's that worth. It was the one magazine I would buy rather than read at the bookstore/market/etc.

nickn (nickn), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 00:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

that's cool tracer. you got a better deal than Bart when he went there.

what's viz ipso? I also read cracked but it kinda sucked. This is weird b/c I saw an issue of Mad up at the front counter of 711 today and I thought that was weird, having not seen one in forever.

Ask For Samantha (thatgirl), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 00:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i still have the board game. it's not that fun.

lauren (laurenp), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 00:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i have the board game too. It's Spy Vs Spy, right?

I loved it when I was little - would stay up past my bedtime, lying on the floor by my bedroom door and reading by the hallway light. But, as has been stated above, it has no relevance now whatsoever.

I loved Duck Edwing best.

Anyway, it's hard to enjoy after the repeated shellacings at the hands of The Simpsons. I guess you could say the satirical torch has been passed, huh?

roger adultery (roger adultery), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Viz is an english magazine sort of in the same genre as MAD but kind of not Samantha.

Very crass and bawdy but not in a good way.

ipsofacto (ipsofacto), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 01:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

socking it to that spirew agnew guy again!
yes, it was spy vs. spy. my mother thinks that she should be up for sainthood based on the 100s of times she uncomplainingly played it with me.


lauren (laurenp), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 01:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"no relevance" as in its attitude has permeated the entire culture

xpost: Viz is my favorite comic ever! goldfish boy! FELIX AND HIS AMAZING UNDERPANTS!Drunk Bakers!!!

xxpost: there was a spy vs spy computer game as well. terrible.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 01:05 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

why do things have to be "relevant" anyway?

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 01:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

classic! classic! classic! kiss my ass classic! second only in childhood significance to garbage pail kids and badge-a-minit!

x Jeremy (Atila the Honeybun), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 01:21 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

oh i'm totally with you on the garbage pail kids thing!

ipsofacto (ipsofacto), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 01:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

classic, but NatLamp's "You Know You've Really Outgrown MAD When..." is also way classic. The one that gave me the giggles longest had a picture of a kid maybe sixteen years old, mouth open in half-laugh, holding a stone in his palm at eye-level. Caption: You know you've really outgrown MAD when... You find a richer source of humor in other things, like rocks."

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 01:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I like how everybody says that MAD stopped being good after THEY outgrew it. Sorta like Sonic Youth. While I haven't read MAD lately, I will tomorrow. A new one. I almost bought one last week, but I chose Harper's instead. Because Harper's has better fart jokes.

Huck, Wednesday, 19 May 2004 05:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

harpers bazaar?

ipsofacto (ipsofacto), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 05:06 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I think Huck meant Harper's Proctology Monthly.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 05:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"The MAD Magazine Game" referred to upthread isn't the Spy Vs Spy one, it's a sort of reverse Monopoly where you try and lose all your money. Some nice Jack Davis drawings, but I don't think anything new for the game board.

Viz Comic - British institution. Based more on DC Thompson-type titles (Beano, Dandy etc) than TV parody, although for several years c-list celebrities have made appearances in strips where they have unlikely adventures (didn't Esther Rantzen originally own the vibrating arse-faced mountain goats?). I've been buying it since #23 (mid-80s), and it's only had about five new jokes since. THIS IS A GOOD THING.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 08:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i also went to the MAD offices when i was 13! (they weren't in madison avenue anymore then). i think i was even more wide eyed and floaty than mr. hand. i was given the office tour, but was too stunned to really say much. bill had passed away by then, but annie gaines gave me some mad pins. and nick meglin signed my copy of "completely mad" and lied about joe raiola being mort drucker (which confused my dad). the magazine is classic and recently i've been poring over the reprints of the original ec comics, which are also grand. but, yeah, MAD's about the only thing in my life that i'm still a rockist about - when they went glossly and started accepting ads, i felt cheated. haven't read an issue for quite a while and it's been years since i stopped my subscription (but the thing is so permanent a feature in my subsconscious that just last night i had a dream about buying a copy). i suppose the movie parodies are still alright, but everything else seems to have suffered. 'monroe' is very unfunny and terribly drawn. too many articles about WWE and nascar (though to accuse MAD of 'pandering' seems wrongheaded when they've always dealt in lowest-common-denominator popculture humour, maybe i AM getting too old). still a lot of quality artwork, though (big ups to herman mejia!). but however sore i feel about the whole shebang now, the mag was the most formative of influences on yours truly, for better or worse.

m. (mitchlnw), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 09:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

some lovely pre-mad paul coker illustrations posted here:

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 21:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

Nice, I've heard about Help! but seen little from it.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 22:45 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

John Landis working on a biopic of Bill Gaines.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 May 2010 13:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Every time I need to feel better in an implacable way I always check out his bio, The Mad World of William M. Gaines, from the library. I find it so inspiring. Him & Roald Dahl were wine buddies!

This is four-dimensional art; the 4th dimension is incredibly powerful. (Abbott), Monday, 17 May 2010 02:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

William Gaines favorite movie was "Inherit the Wind." He said he could relate to it.

This is four-dimensional art; the 4th dimension is incredibly powerful. (Abbott), Monday, 17 May 2010 02:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Mentioned on the rolling obit thread but RIP John Severin:

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 14 February 2012 16:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

Aww. Dude was an awesome draftsman and always game for anything. And he'd been doing it forever! I was always surprised in recent years when I saw new stuff of his. These guys who practically die at their drawing boards are such an inspiration to find something you love doing until the day you bow out.

SNEEZED GOING DOWN STEPS, PAIN WHEN PUTTING SOCKS ON (Deric W. Haircare), Tuesday, 14 February 2012 16:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

I thought he was immortal. spent 60+ years working in comics.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 14 February 2012 17:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

Some Severin greatness here:

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 14 February 2012 18:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

This is a great interview from '99. Nice to see Comics Journal post it, if only because it means I don't have to dig out those issues.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 14 February 2012 20:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...,91785/?mobile=true

An important Kickstarter!

Director Alan Bernstein hopes to change that with When We Went Mad! A Documentary Of Ecch-ic Proportions, a film chronicling the magazine’s development through the decades. But he needs your help! Bernstein is looking to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter to complete his film, and is a little over halfway past his goal, with nine days remaining. Considering the magazine’s impact and legacy, it’s shocking that a film like this doesn’t already exist, but you now have an opportunity to help correct that oversight.

The New Jack Mormons! (kingfish), Wednesday, 30 January 2013 19:38 (six years ago) Permalink

I can still recall the first time I read a Mad Magazine. It was in Reno, NV, on a summer vacation car trip with my parents in 1964. A few moths later I discovered some paperbacks that reprinted the first several years of Mad from the mid-fifties. I still think that Mad's golden age was before my time, as captured in those paperbacks. Every panel was crammed with background visual jokes.

Aimless, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 19:45 (six years ago) Permalink

does everything need a fucken documentary now?

Whiney G. Weingarten, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 19:49 (six years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

everything that's exploitable from boomer era, yes WGW

Grady Hendrix on the movie parodies:

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:20 (six years ago) Permalink

shall be going to see this when i'm in NYC:

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:23 (six years ago) Permalink

Nice article

The New Jack Mormons! (kingfish), Thursday, 14 March 2013 18:33 (six years ago) Permalink

yeah great piece. last paragraph is extra lols

The magazine once received a letter from Lucasfilm’s legal department after their Empire Strikes Back parody, demanding that they recall all printed copies of the issue and destroy them. MAD replied by sending a copy of another letter they had received the previous month—from George Lucas, offering to buy the original artwork for the Empire parody and comparing Mort Drucker to Leonardo Da Vinci and the parody’s writer, Dick De Bartolo, to Mark Twain. They never heard from Lucasfilm’s legal department again.

his girlfriend was all 'ugh and he wears a solar backpack' (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 March 2013 19:56 (six years ago) Permalink

so, MAD gets lots of love.

for a reason i can no longer recall when young, i used to get CRACKED on a regular basis - which being UK based is really weird.

my mountain of CRACKED mags has long since gone missing .. which i often regret dearly.

should i waste time/money/energy on this regret, or, would i take one look at an old copy and realise the errors of my ways ..

mark e, Thursday, 14 March 2013 20:46 (six years ago) Permalink

CRACKED had gd distribution in the UK for years, for some reason

CRACKED also managed to secure former MAD/EC artist John Severin and, near the end of his life, Don Martin - but on the whole their contributors were def second (or third) division compared to the likes of Mort Drucker

so mark e i wld say that it's prob best not to spoil a happy childhood memory (also, I suspect that back issues these days are not that cheap - don't see them that often in the UK)

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 14 March 2013 20:56 (six years ago) Permalink

yeah .. i know that stuff is ££ now - hence my concern re tracking some old copies down.
weirdly i did wonder re don martin ..
i thought i had seen his stuff in CRACKED but given previous posts re him and MAD etc, thought this was a false memory ..
used to have some DM books as well.
he was such a massive talent ..

mark e, Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:04 (six years ago) Permalink

for some reason I thought CRACKED grab Sergio Aragones at one point too

his girlfriend was all 'ugh and he wears a solar backpack' (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:05 (six years ago) Permalink

but yeah they were always 2nd-tier

his girlfriend was all 'ugh and he wears a solar backpack' (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:05 (six years ago) Permalink

us brits always love the underdog ..

mark e, Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:10 (six years ago) Permalink

p sure aragones never worked for CRACKED

mark, if you like don martin it's worth hunting round for this MASSIVE complete box set of all his MAD magazine work (doesn't include the original paperback material as that's still owned by the Martin estate) - i picked up my copy in a London remainder shop for well under £30 (and then had to lug it all the way back to glasgow!), and i'm sure there are copies to be had online - it's a stunner

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:12 (six years ago) Permalink

ah yeah a friend has that. it's amazing to thumb through.

his girlfriend was all 'ugh and he wears a solar backpack' (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:14 (six years ago) Permalink

I got a remainder from The Strand, and they shipped it to my house for whatever their flat fee is - $4.50 or something. It's amazing.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:16 (six years ago) Permalink

oh my god.
that looks properly fantastic ..
f*ck ..
i want that.

mark e, Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:16 (six years ago) Permalink

£125 on amazon ..

dream on ..

mark e, Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:17 (six years ago) Permalink

unless his recent illness has slowed him down, Aragones has only missed one issue of Mad in forty years - of course he's fast enough to have had a falling out, done a year's worth of work for Cracked in an afternoon and then gone back to Mad, but I doubt it

( ͡° ͜ʖ͡°) (sic), Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:22 (six years ago) Permalink

I'm probably just misremembering when they got Don Martin, thought there were some other MAD guys that went with him for some reason

his girlfriend was all 'ugh and he wears a solar backpack' (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:29 (six years ago) Permalink

no, that was a big and solo deal - iirc Cracked didn't generally grant copyright but they made the exception to snag Martin. and only because he'd already walked from Mad over royalties - it wasn't a headhunting per se.

( ͡° ͜ʖ͡°) (sic), Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:49 (six years ago) Permalink

(actually if Mort Todd was still editor then he might have relaxed copyright policies generally - I think he and Clowes own The Uggly Family)

( ͡° ͜ʖ͡°) (sic), Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:52 (six years ago) Permalink

but they made the exception to snag Martin.

fascinating stuff ..

this is proper 'mad men' styled politics but with fat noses as opposed to ... well, you figure the rest out ..

mark e, Thursday, 14 March 2013 21:54 (six years ago) Permalink

Film Comment on Mad's movie parodies:

clemenza, Saturday, 23 March 2013 21:48 (six years ago) Permalink

r.i.p. bob clarke:

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 2 April 2013 18:35 (six years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

This has to be one of the most trenchant and cutting(and clever) political gags(on the cover, even) they've done in, what, decades?

Your Own Personal El Guapo (kingfish), Monday, 16 September 2013 07:20 (five years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

Al Feldstein has passed

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 19:16 (five years ago) Permalink

ah man RIP. thanks for the excellent comics. the art book that came out recently was great.

fit and working again, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 19:31 (five years ago) Permalink

great interview.

fit and working again, Friday, 2 May 2014 16:53 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Hey, does anyone remember a piece in Mad from the early-mid 80s that was like "honest stickers on albums" that had lots of sick burns on Springsteen, and Stevie Nicks solo albums, and Stevie Wonder's Musiquarium was a rip-off for anyone who had his albums? And (and this is a longshot) anyone remember which issue it might have been, or somewhere I can find it online?

please don't shampoo your eyes (stevie), Monday, 12 October 2015 12:46 (three years ago) Permalink

There were at least 2 installments, of which the second ran in Mad #270 - which includes Springsteen ("This may be your last chance to enjoy this artist before marriage turns him into a wimp").

Sebastian (Royal Mermaid Mover), Monday, 12 October 2015 15:45 (three years ago) Permalink

First installment: Mad #262 - this one with Stevie Nicks ("Solo album by member of a hit group. One artist out of five means album is only one-fifth as good").

Sebastian (Royal Mermaid Mover), Monday, 12 October 2015 15:53 (three years ago) Permalink

holy shit - thank you so much sebastian!

please don't shampoo your eyes (stevie), Tuesday, 13 October 2015 19:19 (three years ago) Permalink

i swear i have never stopped thinking about that stevie nicks one

please don't shampoo your eyes (stevie), Tuesday, 13 October 2015 19:19 (three years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Wow, this is critical:

Al Jaffee Explains How Mad Magazine Made American Humor Jewish

The adamant refusal of the editors to explain the made-up word became a running joke. Today, Mad scholars theorize that potrzebie was in fact based on a Polish word that Kurtzman discovered on a jar of aspirin. According to Jaffee, though, this is not the case: “There was an expression in Lithuania when I was a kid — “putz-rebbe.” Harvey must have heard that. Putz is genitals and it is applied as an insult to the rebbe. It’s like saying, ‘Oh that stupid teacher’ or ‘putz-rebbe.’”

Darkest Cosmologist junk (kingfish), Tuesday, 23 February 2016 17:42 (three years ago) Permalink

Reaching mass new readerships and training them to laugh at and challenge broader trends, Mad Magazine can be seen as a central force destabilizing mainstream platforms, and at times doing so from a Jewish American perspective. And as Jaffee pointed out, not only were they writers and artists taking down the mainstream world, they were also “making fun of ourselves. We made fun of a certain kind of Yiddishkeit just by using these words. Farshimmelt. Furshlugenner. Potrzebie.” Yet in the act of satirizing both worlds, the magazine transformed itself into a mainstream American voice. And in its evolution, Mad taught its broad readership to be more comfortable with New York Jewish culture. By the 1970s and 1980s, the writers’ rooms in virtually every sitcom on American TV were filled with men who had grown up reading Mad. If “Seinfeld” became the number one show in suburban Texas or in Boise, Idaho, it was in part because Mad had paved the way.

Read more:

Darkest Cosmologist junk (kingfish), Tuesday, 23 February 2016 17:51 (three years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

Jack Davis valentines

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 14 February 2017 18:46 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Bought my first Mad in 25 years and I’m going to read this bastard cover-to-cover

— Matt Prigge (@mattprigge) August 10, 2018

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 16 August 2018 14:47 (nine months ago) Permalink

theoretically v intersted in looking at an issue of the Morrison / Goertz Brand New Gang Of Idiots era but literally never occurs to me to go and find a place that sells it

16, 35, DCP, Go! (sic), Thursday, 16 August 2018 18:22 (nine months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

I've spent the last few days since I saw this photo trying to work out what the lion's facial expression reminds me of, realized this morning that it's one of those Mad Magazine covers where someone gags at the sight of Alfred E Neuman

soref, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 08:18 (six months ago) Permalink

six months pass...

whom amongst us is actually too young to know about this storied publication

mh, Monday, 13 May 2019 20:10 (one week ago) Permalink

no one who should be president

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 13 May 2019 20:21 (one week ago) Permalink

I’ve checked out a few issues of the Burbank version now and: it’s good!

blokes you can't rust (sic), Monday, 13 May 2019 20:39 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah, I picked up the recent issue with the Plop #1 reprint inside and enjoyed it - great Drew Friedman page especially - shame that they've given Bill Morrison the elbow

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 08:35 (one week ago) Permalink

oh? [googles] ha ha ha oh man, DiDio and Lee sitting on an executive panel to decide which executives to fire, and picking Chiarello and Morrison without bursting into flames from shame immediately

blokes you can't rust (sic), Tuesday, 14 May 2019 08:57 (one week ago) Permalink

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