Mad #353 (Nick Meglin and John Ficarra) - Mars Attacks Issue - January 1997

In 1962, The Topps Company issued a series of 55 bubblegum trading cards based on a fictional Martian invasion of Earth.  The cards were drawn by the great comic artist, Wally Wood who was also still working for Mad magazine at the time.  The series was widely criticized for its content but the cards have become favorites of some collectors.  In 1996, director Tim Burton brought the trading cards to life with a satirical movie that can also be viewed as a parody of 1950s science fiction movies.  The Mad parody of the parody was written by Stan Hart and drawn by Angelo Torres.  Hart used the late movie critics Gene Siskel (1946-1999) and Roger Ebert (1942-2013) as narrators for the Mad treatment of the movie.  There was really not much that Hart could do with a movie that definitely did not take itself seriously.  The Martian on the cover is wonderfully drawn by Mark Fredrickson and the classic back cover trading-card parodies are drawn by Tom Fluharty.  It takes a terrific feature like this one to drive Al Jaffee's "Fold-In" out of an issue.

Of special note is the return of EC artist Joe Orlando (1927-1998) with "Now That the Aliens Have Landed" after an absence from Mad of  27 years.  Orlando had been listed in the magazine as a staff member since Mad #330.  He produced drawings in only three more issues after this one before he died.  Orlando was one of Al Feldstein's artists for Panic comics, the in-house EC Mad-copy that was published in 1954-1955.  He returned to work for Feldstein's Mad from 1957 to 1969.

One of the worst articles to appear in Mad is "You'll Probably Win That Sexual Harassment Suit If ..." written by Andrew Schwartzberg.  There is nothing funny here - just a bunch of lame, sexist, stereotypical jokes.  The progressive members of the Mad editorial staff never should have allowed this article to appear in their excellent publication.  I could also do without Butch D'Ambrosio's four-page Dennis Miller routine.  [JAM 4/23/2013]

More Gore: Duck Edwing's "Masked Mountie" times three.

Look for DeBartolo and Viviano on page 45.

Red Planet Hollywood - Marred Attack!
From Badge to Worse - Realistic Police Shows We'll Soon Be Seeing
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
You're a Dead Man, Charlie Brown - Obituaries for Comic Strip Characters
All Jaffee - More Mad Mini Movies
Canuckleheads - The Masked Mountie and His Wonder Dog, Biscuit
Hit on Miss - You'll Probably Win That Sexual Harassment Suit If ...
Call-Waiting Room - The US HealthScare HealthPhone
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side
Gross Encounters - Now That the Aliens Have Landed
Everybody Wants to Fool the World - Dennis Miller Rants About Dennis Miller
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at Winter Vacations
Heaven Can Grate - Tortured by an Angel

Fold-In - (none)