Mad #438 (John Ficarra) - Ficarra Fundalini Issue - February 2004

After sharing the editorship with Nick Meglin for 183 issues (#255-437), John Ficarra became only the third person (after Harvey Kurtzman and Albert Feldstein) to be the sole editor of Mad magazine.  Co-editor Meglin took the title of "Contributing Editor".  Ficarra immediately put his stamp on the magazine by introducing "The Fundalini Pages" with 12 items squeezed into three pages.  Sixteen contributors are listed as "Friends of Fundalini" on the bottom right portion of page 8.  One can only guess who might have been responsible for any of these.  With all of these jokes crammed into three pages, Mad was reduced from 64 to 48 pages within the cover.  "Fundalini" is a nonsense word meaning "small drawing and lower prices paid per drawing per contributor". 

Two excellent articles can be found in the first Ficarra.  The first is "Fools of Rock", an excellent movie parody by Dick DeBartolo and Tom Richmond.  The caricatures of Jack Black by Richmond are right on the money.  There are Richmond background jokes galore here including a very helpful "FIRE EXIT" diagram.  DeBartolo correctly identifies the plot of School of Rock as nearly identical to several other movies.  The amazing feature and major coup by Ficarra is "The League of Rejected Superheroes.  Seven famous comic book artist have joined the Usual Gang of Idiots to draw the strange superheroes invented by writer Jeff Kruse.  The best one is "Scantily-Clad Woman" drawn by J.Scott Campbell.  The issue also contains some cheap shots at Michael Jackson, a target much too easy for the likes of Mad.  [JAM 6/13/2014]

Color Pages: 38 of 52 pages (73%)
Humorous Content: 47 of 52 pages (90%)

Random Acts of Mindless - The Fundalini Pages
Chronic Black Pain - Fools of Rock
Lexicon-Job - Mad's Handy Glossary to the War on Terror
Angster's Paradise - Monroe and ... Survivor Jr.
Title Wave - 2003: The Year in Film
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at the Super Bowl
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
Tales From the Duck Side - The Mourn Identity
Power to the Feeble - The League of Rejected Superheroes
The Butt Stops Here - Mad's Celebrity Colonoscopies  [fake department]
Pedo-File - An Open Letter from Michael Jackson
A Word to the Guys - The Dos and Don'ts of a Super Bowl Party
There's Something About Larry - Absurd, Their Enthusiasm
Paint Misbehavin' - If Norman Rockwell Depicted the 21st Century
A Term for the Worse - Now Playing at the California Statehouse: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor

Fold-In - Overloaded Donkey