Inside Mad (John Ficarra) - Time Home Entertainment - 2013 - 256 pages

I am not a fan of reprints but this book is much more than that.  The Mad editors have assembled 60+ current and former members of the UGOI (Usual Gang of Idiots) and some guests to identify their favorite Mad articles with explanations.  For many of them this was an impossible task but the examples given are certainly representative of the publication.  While every page is a gem of inside information and/or childhood memories, there are several entries that struck me as better than excellent.

Artists Rick Tulka and Tom Richmond used their space to pay tribute to the artwork of the great Wallace Wood (1927-1981) who was the artistic bridge between the Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993) comic book (and five magazines) and the early years of the Albert Feldstein magazine after Kurtzman took his show on the road.  The Wood drawings were the core of the magazine that I remember when I started buying them in 1957. 

Charter Mad contributor, 88-year-old Jack Davis delivered an original drawing for this event and paid special tribute to his fellow comic book artists Bill Elder (1921-2008), John Severin (1921-2012) and Wood.

Sergio Aragones drew an original triple-splash-page fold-out that illustrates that Mad the office through the years with numerous delightful inside jokes from the 60 years of Mad.  This single feature is worth the price of the book for me.  Aragones has generously drawn most of the significant artists, writers and staffers of this cultural treasure.

Photographer Irving Schild gave the behind-the-scenes story of the Mad photo ads and released a terrific extra black-and-white photo of Feldstein, Aragones and "Lesley" that they made just for fun. 

Penn Gillette took more effort than some of the other guests to explain his Mad moments ("It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide").  His appearance in "Totally Recalled" is only one of many "chicken fat" jokes that artist Mort Drucker added to his parodies, continuing the tradition of Elder, Davis & Wood from 1952 and beyond.

Missing from the volume are any words from former editor Al Feldstein.  There have been disagreements between Mr. Feldstein and the current editors since his retirement.  This could have been the time to mend those fences but it was not to be.  I hope that a future publication from Mad will right this wrong and recognize the very important role that Al Feldstein filled during the years that Mad Magazine achieved its greatest commercial results.  [JAM 11/5/2013]

Mad Staff in Aragones Fold-Out
T.N. = Tom Nozkowski
L.B. = Lenny Brenner
D.M. = Don Martin
P.K. = Peter Kuper
M.D. = Mort Drucker
A.P. = Antonio Prohias
A.B. = Anthony Barbieri
S.H. = Stan Hart
L.S. = Larry Siegel and Lou Silverstone
F.J. = Frank Jacobs
F.S. = Frank Santopadre
A.K. = Arnie Kogen
S.M. = Scott Maiko
T.W.Ch. = Tom Cheney
N.S. = Nadina Simon
A.V. = Amy Vozeolas
R.W. = Richard Williams
S.B. = Scott Bricher
G.O. = Gloria Orlando
R.G. = Rick Geary
H.N. = Harry North
I.S. = Irving Schild
A.F. = Al Feldstein
J.K. = Jeff Kruse
J.L. = Jacob Lambert
D.E. = Don Edwing
N.M. = Nick Meglin
D.S. = David Shayne
D.C. = Dave Croatto
J.B. = James Bennett
J.F. = John Ficarra
T.B.P. = Teresa Burns Parkhurst
C.K. = Charlie Kadau
J.R. = Joe Raiola and Jack Rickard
D.D. = Desmond Devlin
M.F. = Mark Fredrickson
D.F. = Drew Friedman
S.V. = Sam Viviano
B.W. = Bill Wray
R.F. = Ryan Flanders
M.G. = M.C. Gaines
J.W. = James Warhola
P.D. = Patricia Dwyer
B.S. = Bob Staake
P.C. Jr. = Paul Coker Jr.
J.C. = John Caldwell
W.E. = Will Elder
J.S. = John Severin
B.W. = Basil Wolverton
H.K. = Harvey Kurtzman
W.W. = Wallace Wood
T.B. = Tom Bunk
B.C. = Bob Clarke
J.P. = John Putnam
J.D. = Jack Davis
A.T. = Angelo Torres
R.T. = Rick Tulka
T.R. = Tom Richmond
M.S. = Mike Snider
D.DeB. = Dick DeBartolo
J.A. = Jack Albert
D.deD. = Dan DiDio
C.B. = Christopher Baldwin
D.N. = Diane Nelson
J.O. = Joe Orlando
A.G. = Annie Gaines
B.G. = Bill Gaines
S.A. = Sergio Aragones
P.P.P. = Paul Peter Porges
D.C. = Dorothy Crouch
J.d.F. = Jerry deFuccio
D.B. = Dave Berg
B.L. = Barry Liebmann
K.P. = Kevin Pope
A.J. = Al Jaffee
H.M. = Herman Mejia
T.K. = Tom Koch
L.L. = Liz Lomax
D.T. = Doug Thomson
T.C. = Tim Carvell
M.B. = Max Brandel
Norman Mingo
Frank Kelly Freas
Bob Elliot & Ray Goulding
Stan Freberg
Ernie Kovacs
Mark Evanier
George Woodbridge (Civil War soldier on horse)
Ray Alma (signature)
Dick Nixon (honorary)