Mad #1 (Harvey Kurtzman) - First Kurtzman Satire Comic Issue - 1952

Kurtzman's cover illustration for (Tales Calculated to Drive You) Mad (Humor in a Jugular Vein) introduced the reader to "Melvin," the first running joke in his new satire/parody comic book.  The cover and the first story, HooHah! were parodies of the most successful EC subject: horror/terror.  The book contained four illustrated stories separated into departments (Terror, Science-Fiction, Crime, Western).

Stories one (HooHah!), two (Blobs!), and four (Varmint!) are rather tame compared to subsequent Mad offerings.  The artists generally followed Kurtzman's story line without background embellishments.  The exception is story three (Ganefs!) with Will Elder's drawings.  He managed to get about 20 of his "chicken fat" jokes into the six-page article.  Thus began the Elder touch which caused his fans to examine every frame for obvious and hidden non sequiturs.  "Ganef" is the Yiddish word for "thief."

Some experts have claimed that the stories in the first Mad are actually parodies of radio programs.  Apparently, the Kurtzman family did not own a television. [Potrzebie Statistical Abstract Volume 1]

Galusha is holding onto the divider between frames. ("HooHah!" - page 3)

Terror - Hoohah! (Jack Davis)
Science Fiction - Blobs! (Wally Wood)
Crime - Ganefs! (Will Elder)
Western - Varmint! (John Severin)