Mad #517 (John Ficarra) - Election 2012 Issue - October 2012

Bending over backward to be neutral, the Mad gang devoted eleven pages to the never-ending Obama/Romney contest.  Mark Fredrickson's cover drawing shows Alfred E. Neuman in "Election Hell" with two devils on his shoulders.  The Mad subscription ad shows the candidates approving of the yet-again Neuman presidential campaign.  See Mad #56 (July 1960).  Desmond Devlin and Tom Bunk see Transformer Romney turning into the campaign bus with his name misspelled as "RMONEY."  The staff added two magazine cover parodies: 1) "Men's Wealth" with venture-capitalist Romney "pumping gold" and "helping the poor shed pounds by eliminating their food stamps," and 2) "The Obama Magazine" shows Hawaiian Obama drinking from a pineapple and speaking frankly about Joe Biden: "When a Loved One Suffers from Dementia."  Stan Sinberg's two-page "If Their Candidate ..." and Jeff Kruse's "How Mitt Romney Plans to Win Every State" seem like little more than page fillers, but Kruse Was much better with "How to Make the Presidential Debates More Interesting."  I like the improv, polygraph and Halloween formats for questioning.

Articles in the issue that were better than the presidential stuff are "Scavengers" by Dick DeBartolo and Tom Richmond and the "Enchanted Lake Storytown Forest" theme park brochure parody by Scott Maiko, Scott Bricher and Gary Hallgren.  Artist Richmond's caricatures of the super-hero super-movie are excellent.  The addition of the Minions from Despicable Me is a nice touch.  I also like "Cockeyed's" variety of specialty arrows and "Low-Key's" giant can opener.  Note that "Thaw" has a liquid dispenser filled with mead.  Maiko's brochure parody is perfectly imagined.  This could be any of the second-rate parks are found throughout small-town America.  I was also very happy to see an ad parody "Native American Sputum" on the back cover in the tradition of Mads of old.  The use of the back cover for paid ads has disappointed me for many years. [JAM 8/10/2012]

Random Acts of Mindless - The Fundalini Pages
Heroes, Sandwiched - scAvengers
Lifestyles of the Rich and Heinous - Men's Wealth Magazine
There's No "I" in Scheme - Minor Sports Cheaters and Their Shocking Confessions
The Perfect Dorm - Mad's Practical College Prep Courses
In Blog We Trust - Planet Tad!!!!!
Bias Beware - If Their Candidate ... If Your Candidate ...
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at the Zoo
Disappointment with Destiny - O: The Obama Magazine
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
Show's Improvement - How to Make the Presidential Debates More Interesting
Pen And Stink - The Mad Strip Club
Abusement Park - Enchanted Lake Storytown Forest Brochure
Rotten to the Encore - The Mad Vault
Absence of Mallets - Signs You're at a Cut-Rate Croquet Tournament [fake department]
No Campaign, No Gain - How Mitt Romney Plans to Win Every State
Our Daily Dread - The Best of The Idiotical

Fold-In - Money Bag