Mad #23 (Harvey Kurtzman) - Last Mad Comic Issue - 1955

With plans for graduation to the magazine form, it would be understandable if the last issue was not up to par.  Such was not the case.  Mad No. 23 was an excellent platform for the transition from comic to magazine.  Wally Wood and Jack Davis were in fine form, but Will Elder was absent.  This would be the only EC satire comic (Mad and Panic) without an Elder drawing.  He was probably busy drawing some of the 18 pages of his that would appear in the first issue of the 64-page Mad magazine.

Kurtzman brought back Mad names "Melvin" and "Galusha" that appeared in the first Mad.  He also introduced the "Believe It or Don't" parody, drawn by Wood, which would become the source of numerous Ernie Kovacs jokes in future Mads.  Davis echoed Mad No. 2 with a Dick Tracy cameo and his signature nut.  Wood proved that Elder was not the only Mad artist who could do a newspaper comic parody.

Number 23 was one of several Kurtzman editions (Mad Nos. 13 & 17, Trump No. 2) that had a mostly blank cover.  His readers deserved more than that.  Harvey Kurtzman was never satisfied.  It should not have been surprising that he would only edit five more issues of Mad. [PSA1]

Duck is wearing an army uniform.  ("Gopo Gossum!") - page 2

Newspaper Cartoon - Gopo Gossum (Wood)
Cliche - Scenes We'd Like to See! (Davis)
Newspaper Cartoon - Believe It or Don't! (Wood)
Hollywood - The Barefoot Nocountessa! (Davis)