Mad #263 (Nick Meglin and John Ficarra) - William M. Gaines Issue - June 1986

William Maxwell Gaines (1922-1992) was the publisher of Mad from its beginning in 1952 until his death in 1992.  Gaines built his father's EC Comics into a successful enterprise in the early 1950s with a series of horror, crime and military titles.  EC almost collapsed in 1954 with the advent of the Comic Book Code that Gaines refused to follow.  Although he was not a writer, artist or editor for the magazine, Bill Gaines created the atmosphere and freedom for the "usual gang of idiots" who made Mad the greatest humor publication of all time.

Mad artists and writers loved to make fun of the publisher who also loved to be the foil.  In this issue, Mort Drucker put Gaines in the theater ("The Fool of the Nile") holding a giant sandwich behind "Sissy and Ebore," and Angelo Torres drew him in the introduction to "The Olden Girls."  Sergio Aragones put the publisher in one of the concert crowds in "A Mad Look at Rock Concerts" and in a margin at "The Thin Gym."  Dave Berg found a place for Gaines with editor Meglin in "The Lighter Side of Fast Cures."  Gaines may also be the bearded guy in the bank line in Al Jaffee's "Consumer Revenge Bills."  What publisher anywhere would be willing to take this kind of abuse in issue after issue? [JAM 7/3/2011]

Duo Unto Others - The Fool of the Nile and Young Sureschlock Homely
Common Cents - You'd Be Rich if You Had a Nickel
Don Martin - One Day in the City; One Day in the Suburbs; One Day in the Country
Drawing Verse Blood - Violent Mother Goose
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
Sergio Aragones - A Mad Look at Rock Concerts
Due Unto Others - Mad's Consumer Revenge Bills
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side
From Gags to Richie - All White Song and Jello
Many Unhappy Returns - Mad's IRS Agent of the Year
Observa-Shuns - Mad's Not So Obvious Warning Signs
Oscar-Mired - Customized Academy Awards for Current Movie Trends
Dick - Ads We Never Got To See
Humor in a Varicose Vein - The Olden Girls
Speck-Tickles - Mad Dots

Fold-In - Madonna