Mad #235 (Albert Feldstein) - Conan the Barbarian Issue - December 1982

When we had a bookstore in Long Beach, California in 1981, the paperback books starring Conan the Barbarian were among our best sellers.  Robert Ervin Howard (1906-1936), the creator of Conan, published 17 of his stories in Weird Tales but completed just one Conan novel (The Hour of the Dragon) before his suicide.  Howard did not realize the rewards of his very popular character, but his estate has profited greatly over the years.  The success of the Conan books are due in part to the excellent cover drawings by Peruvian artist Boris Vallejo.  Mad readers received a real treat with issue #235 as the one and only Vallejo drawing for Mad appeared on the cover ("Mad Cuts the Baloney").  Mad editors again tried to confuse readers by printing a fake "Rocky" cover upside-down on the back.  Since the fake cover contains the issue number, date, price and barcode, it is widely regarded as the actual cover but the page-48 statement clearly indicates the opposite.  Dick DeBartolo and Don Martin combined to produce the excellent movie parody ("Conehead the Barbituate") wherein our hero displays his swordplay and unusual eating habits.  This was the best of the four parodies in the issue.  [JAM 12/21/2010]

Popeye, Howard Cosell and the bird-hat lady are in the "Rockhead III" fight crowd; Dennis the Menace is one of the graffiti artists on page 35; Nicky kicked the bucket on page 8; there is a Clearasil vending machine in the school for girls ("The Yaks of Life"); Subtotal is roasting marshmallows at the funeral pyre.

A Rolling Stallone Gathers More Gross III - Rockhead III
Accounts Deceivable - Hidden Costs in Typical Bills
We're Running This Movie Satire - Even Though the Movie Bombed Out And Quickly Had a Pryor-Commitment - Dumb Kind of Hero
Porpoise Delecti - A Desert Island Game Plan
Putting "Hah" on Your Chest - T-Shirts with Messages We'd Like to See
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side
Nothing Personnel - Help Wanted Ads We Never Get to See
Boomerangles - The Second Edition of Mad's Real Life Catch-22's
Campains-in-the-Neck - If Elected, I Solemnly Promise
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
Prep Talk - The Yaks of Life
Another Sworded Tale - Conehead, the Barbituate

Fold-In - Shooting Bear