Mad #5 (Harvey Kurtzman) - Kane Keen Issue - 1953

Editor Kurtzman was in the hospital when Mad No. 5 was published.  To his chagrin, the Mad staff added a satirical biography of the publisher on the inside of the front cover.  The comic distributors were not amused.  Among other things, his hobbies were listed as "... peddling dope, running his scarlet-illuminated establishment, and collecting snakes."  The issue received the lowest distribution of any Mad issue as thousands were returned or destroyed.  This "biography" is the first deviation from the comic book formula that Kurtzman started with Mad No. 1.

It is unfortunate that distribution was low, because number five was an excellent issue.  Elder (Outer Sanctum!) and Davis (Kane Keen!) were in fine form.  Wood did another adventure comic (Black and Blue Hawks!) and the forgotten artist, John Severin fared well with Miltie of the Mounties!  Half way through the "formula" Mads (Nos. 1-10), the artists were getting wilder and wilder with Elder leading the charge.  Kurtzman, the perfectionist was apparently straining to keep them challenged. [PSA1]

Two mummies in the tomb are commuters. ("Outer Sanctum!" - page 1)

Horror - Outer Sanctum! (Elder)
(none) - Black and Blue Hawks! (Wood)
Tales from the Northwest - Miltie of the Mounties! (Severin)
Crime - Kane Keen (Davis)