Mad #374 (Nick Meglin and John Ficarra) - Ecch Files Issue - October 1998

Timothy Shamey is an excellent artist but he is not really a caricaturist.  His drawings are so accurate that they are almost photographic.  Other than the Prohias spies, a strange bee-person and the unsmiling fat guy who is reading Mad #374, there is little humor in the drawings for Dick DeBartolo's parody of The X-Files: I Want to Believe.  The movie was more of the same from the hit television show except with a larger special effects budget and 104 minutes to leave more loose ends and never resolve anything.   Roberto Parada's cover drawing showing the FBI agents as Grant Wood's American Gothic is equally humorless.  There was much more angst than humor in this issue.  Compulsive gambling?  Suicide cards?  Boring talk shows?  Road rage?  Barbed-wire volleyball?  Bird haters?  Shoot me now.  The best jokes in the issue were on the "Letters and Tomatoes Department." [JAM 7/17/2013]

Carrey, A Big Schtick - The Truedumb Show
Playing in the Wager Leagues - Are You a Compulsive Gambler?
Angster's Paradise - Monroe & ... The Big Game
Prose And Condolences - When Suicide Cards Really Catch On
VH-Dumb - Mad Pop-Off Video: Hanson "Weird" and Backstreet Boys "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"
Chatological Humor - Leo's Talk Show Adventure
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at Armageddon
You Can Always Get What You Want - Dream Classified Ads
What You See Is What You Fret - Visual Instructions for the Way Things Really Work
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
A Dork in the Road - Fume-Off
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side
Let the Games Be Grim - Adding Pay-Per-View Excitement to Other Sports
Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind - The Ecch Files - Fight This Feature
Grieving Las Vegas - Mad's Celebrity Cause-of-Death Betting Odds

Fold-In - Tuition