Mad Panic Fanzine (Ed Norris)

Editor Ed Norris published 71 issues of Mad Panic from 1990 to 2002.  The publication primarily focused on the interests of Mad collectors but also provided news and articles of interest to the Mad community.  Mindsnackbooks has received permission from Mr. Norris to reprint portions of his fanzine.  It is anticipated that this page will grow as more copies of Mad Panic are obtained for review.  If you have copies of Mad Panic that we can purchase or borrow, please contact us at madandson1@aol.com.  Current needs are Nos. 1-13, 15-45, 51, 53, 55-56, 58-59, 61, 66, 69-70.

In issue number 11 (July 1998) of Mind Snack MADlog, Ed Norris was interviewed in our silly feature called "Ten Questions for Ed Norris."

"MS: When did you purchase your first Mad?
EN: I didn't buy Mad as a kid.  I read my cousin's copies.  I only saw him 3 or 4 times a year.  He would give me a bunch and I would toss them a few years later.  My father would buy me a copy every so often.  I'd read a friend's copy if one of them would get an issue.  I'd purchase a copy of Sick once in a while.  Never remember buying Cracked or Help! but would flip through them at the newsstand.  I think I purchased Sick because I knew no one else reading that magazine, so it was my only chance.  I had chances to read Mad.  It wasn't until 1982 that I started buying Mad on a regular basis.  My wife knew she was in trouble when I framed a copy and mounted it to the wall.  It took me about 6 years to get them all.  The last issue I needed was #21.  My favorite comic shop found that issue for me, and charged me an arm and a leg knowing they would get the money from me!  I got my first Mad collectible about a year after I started buying the magazine.  I think it was the Mad Magazine Game by Parker Brothers.  A few months later I purchased a small collection.  The collection contained Musically Mad, one red bookend, 80 German Mads and 100 regular and special issues.  My wife really knew she was in trouble at that point.

"MS: Why did you decide to start printing the Mad Panic fanzine?
EN: I was going into a collecting slump and I wanted something to do when the collectibles weren't rolling in.  Most collectors I talk to have peaks and valleys in their efforts to find things.  Looking back, my first issue was terrible.  I'm surprised anyone subscribed.  Most of those that asked for the sample first issue sent me more cash, so I had to go at least 7 issues.  I set goals for myself.  First it was to out-live Mad Freaks USA which ran 6 issues, then I took a shot at MADzine which ran 13 issues.  Next it was to make it to 25 issues, and then to 50, which I'm closing in on.  Issue #48 went out in May.  I don't know what the next goal will be, maybe 75 or 100 issues.  Getting back to the question, I called Grant Geissman and Michael Lerner, which at the time, were the only two collectors I knew, about the idea.  They both told me to go for it.  Michael said he would subscribe as long as I didn't charge him.  So with a promise of $6.50 from Grant, I went full steam ahead.  I believe I printed 25 copies and sold 21 of those.  About 10 of those people still get the fanzine today.

"MS: Do you have a day job?
EN: How many unemployed Mad collectors do you know?  Just because I produce a cheap little fanzine doesn't mean I don't have a job. [We deserved that.  With this question, MADlog was trying to learn what that job was]

"MS: Who is your favorite Mad artist of all time?
EN: Which Mad artists receive your fanzine? [A copy of MADlog #10 was sent to Bill Elder's biographer]  I'd have to say Bill Elder.  There was so much to look at in the stories he drew.  I usually 'read' those stories multiple times.  Guys like Martin, Prohias, Aragones and Berg I'm able to take it all in the first time.  That's not to say I don't enjoy their work, it's just a different style.  Elder really knows how to utilize a panel.  I'd love to get a piece of his artwork for Mad.  Someday the right opportunity might arise.  Don Martin and John Caldwell receive the fanzine.  I know Sergio Aragones and Mort Drucker have seen issues.  Maybe some look at it during their visits to the Mad offices.  I don't measure the fanzine's success by the number of Mad staff that read it.  The fanzine is for collectors and I measure their continuance to subscribe as the success factor.

"MS: What distinguishes Mad from all the others?
EN: Besides the fact that none of the others spell their title M-A-D?

"MS: Have you ever met a member of the Mad staff?
EN: Annie Gaines has been over the house to visit.  She spent part of her childhood in the town next to the one I live in now.  She's a very charming person and I had a great time.  I attended one of Mark Cohen's Mad Art Show premieres.  Annie, Mort Drucker, Bob Clarke, Nick Meglin, Angelo Torres, John Caldwell and Rick Tulka were there, so I got to meet them all.  I sat with Nick and Angelo during the cookout and they couldn't understand why anyone would drive 3 hours to see them.  I've never been to the Mad offices.  Every time I've been in New York, I haven't been able to free up enough time. [Now I'm really jealous]

"MS: If you could bring back one feature from the early years of Mad, what would it be?
EN: The .25 price!

"MS: Have you ever sent a letter, article or drawing to Mad?
EN: I've sent some letters, and they've never been published.  Sent in a couple of story ideas, and got back some rejection letters.  I guess having a bunch of articles published in information security magazines and journals didn't prep me enough for a satire magazine.  Some of those security articles were a riot.  I've recommended two character passwords, world writeable system files and giving Netcom your credit card number!  I'm still laughing about those articles. [Ed, see first letter in Mad #350.]

"MS: What do you like and what don't you like about MADlog?
EN: I can't give you an answer, I don't read it.  Do you know who publishes it?  Maybe I'll pick up an issue. [I deserved that.]

"MS: Who is Max Korn?
EN: It's one of the many inside jokes Mad would put within the pages of the magazine.  In this case, it's an anagram for Okn Marx, the sixth Marx Brother.  Okn was bitter because the rest of the Marx Brothers wouldn't include him in their publicity stunts.  Chico Marx once told Bill Gaines that Okn was mad and the rest is history."

THE MAD PANIC Volume: 1 Pint Number 1 May 1990
Cover: "Mad Marches On"

"New York - We begin with a fact to truly warm the hearts of the hundreds of groty little adolescents who regularly read Mad magazine: Its offices are as trashy as the humor mag itself.  The walls are grimy, the furniture is mismatched and there's a pathetic artificial Christmas tree squatting atop a table in what passes for a lobby.  Yeccccch.  But there's more.  Step into the inner sanctum of 66-year-old William Gaines, where Mad's portly publisher is surrounded by abject clustter [sic].  Notice that all the windows are covered  and - this is in January, remember - that the air conditioner is humming.  (Gaines passionately despises real light and fresh air.)  Notice that there are 29 rubber stamps hanging from a stand on the desk.  Notice there are 11 toy airships hanging from the ceiling.  Can it really be that this is a subsidiary of Warner Publishing Co. Inc., itself a subsidiary of Warner Communications Inc.?  Where's the tinted glass?  Where's the glitzy chrome?  Jeez, where are the secretaries?  That's one of my secrets for running the business cheap, including employing only seven full-time and five part-time staff members who he invariably calls 'the boys.'  'I go over to Warner offices and every flunky has a secretary.  That takes up twice as much space.  And twice as much money'  Although he gives 'the boys' free editorial reign, Gaines himself expedites each and every business detail within his small kingdom - especially if that detail can save him a dollar or two.  Woe, for example, to the employee who doesn't fill out a Long Distance Phone Call Report each and every time he dares to dial beyond the 212 area code.  An unexplained 73-cent call to Congers, N.Y., once threw the publisher into a dither that lasted for two days.  Then there is Gaines' appearance.  He is a bearish, pear-shaped, bearded man who seems to have lumbered out of the pages of his own magazine.  His stringy, shoulder-length white hair is held in place more or less, by a pair of barrettes.  His tortoise-shell glasses are invariably askew, his belt seems to have been wrapped at least twice around his high-waisted trousers and he carries enough medication for a variety of ailments to qualify as a pharmacy.  He loves food and travel, maintains a private wine cellar, has been married three times and collects replicas of the Statue of Liberty.  He is a compulsive list keeper, a rabid TV watcher, an atheist and, in some political matters a conservative.  'We have such respect for him that a day doesn't go by without abusing him,' says Nick Meglin, Mad's 52-year-old co-editor.  All of which may or may not explain why Mad has survived 36 years, or ever since the day in mid-1952 when Gaines quietly published a new, 32-page satirical comic book with the unwieldy title of 'Tales Calculated to Drive You Mad: Humor in a Jugular Vein.'  Created before rock 'n' roll and before color television (before TV dinners, even), Mad emerged from the Truman era to thumb its nose at the rip-off artists, hucksters and schmegeggies of post-World War II America.  Fronted by its gap-toothed protonerd, Alfred E. Neuman, Mad's self-described trash was just the ticket for a generation that would grow up to appreciate 'Saturday Night Live.'  Although the magazine has never undertaken a significant readership survey, [p]revailing in-house wisdom has it that teen-age boys make up an important chunk of the people who currently plunk down $1.50 for each of its eight issues per year.  (Meanwhile, 29-year-old associate editor Sara Fowler, who became one of 'the boys' in 1985, is the first female editorial staff member.)  Mad itself recently - and typically - described its average reader this way: 'Low achiever; Social misfit; Mumbler.'  'We're an institution,' Meglin says.  'And we should be put in an institution,' counters John Ficarra, 33, Mad's other editor, as he picks up a drumstick and taps the snare drum and cymbal he keeps next to his desk for purposes of punctuation.  Ka-splash.  But it's true: Like much of what it satirizes, Mad has become an icon.  'Now everyone takes us for granted,' laments Gaines.  'We need to be able to make waves.  We used to get sued.  Now we attack people and they laugh.'  Make fun of Carol Burnett and what does she do?  She shows up in the office, unannounced, to convey that the reclusive Robert De Niro who dropped in a few weeks back, not only paying his respects but also allowing himself to be photographed for publication with the staff?  What's next?  Ed Meese doing lunch with Alfred E.?  What's more, to open an issue of Mad today is to think that you haven't missed any of its cheaply produced, black-and-white pages in say a decade or two.  There's the regular movie satire, the one-page Spy vs. Spy episode by Antonio Prohias, the back page fold-in, the punned 'department' headings and so on.  The work of contributing writer Dick DeBartolo, 47, hasn't been absent from an issue in 23 years.  Until recently there was also the presence of Don Martin, the 56-year-old Miami artist who[se] zany characters had populated the magazine's pages with the March 1988 issue, unhappy because Mad - meaning Gaines - would neither relinquish its copyright on his Mad material nor its ownership of his original artwork.  Gaines may count paperclips, but he does get high marks from contributors for offering high rates - up to $600 per page - and for paying COD.  Which may be why many of Mad's two dozen or so contributing artists and writers - 'the usual gang of idiots' as they're called on the magazine's masthead - seem to have been around as long as Alfred E. Neuman himself.  'We've all had so much experience working together that we work in a kind of shorthand,' points out Al Jaffee, who's been writing drawing for the magazine since 1955.  'They haven't done anything new in the last 10 years,' snipes Michael Della-Femine, 26-year-old editor of Cracked magazine, the only Mad knockoff, of many, to survive into the 1980s.  (and the competition to which the disgruntled Martin defected.)  But if Mad seems less outrageous than it once did, perhaps that's because real life in America - Jim and Tammy, Gary and Donna, Sly and Brigette, etc. - has become stranger than satire.  Consider Paul Peter Porges, a Mad contributor for 17 years, wrestling with a proposed story intended to be a catalog of products for spoiled pets.  'The trouble is, reality has become so ridiculous,' Porges complains in an accent that is part Dutch.  'My ideas on this aren't crazy enough.  I mean, did you see the story in People magazine about pets in tuxedos?  How can I top that?'  The birth of Mad - Mad's birth was kind of an accident.  Gaines' father Max, had been a comic book pioneer who had died in a motorboat accident in 1947 and left behind a company that published educational and children's comics.  (God's truth, parents: The 'E.C.' in E.C. Publications, Inc., which publishes Mad, originally stood for 'educational comics.')  Gaines the younger, who had been born in the Bronx and raised in Brooklyn, wanted to be a chemistry teacher.  But he and a partner, Al Feldstein, found themselves concocting a new line of horror, crime, suspense and war comics.  Unfortunately, a newly created watchdog known as the Comics Code took a dim view of such efforts, and the line was gone by 1954.  In the meantime, the pair had hired a quirky, creative artist named Harvey Kurtzman, who was paid on a per-page basis, was unhappy about his income.  He wanted to do more than the two war books Gaines had assigned him.  Gaines suggested a humor comic, and the new 32-pager was born.  At first it satirized only other comic books and lost money.  Soon it was profitable and attacking everything in sight, particularly advertising.  When Kurtzman demanded a bigger slice if [sic] the financial pie, Gaines bid him adieu, although he is a Mad contributor to this day.  Feldstein became the editor, and stayed until he quit in 1984.  The birth of Alfred E. Neuman - The other main character in all this was the irrepressible coverboy and Ted Koppel lookalike, Alfred E. Neuman.  There have been many stories about how Neuman turned up at Mad.  As Gaines recollects it, the kid was an advertising gimmick for a late-19th-century Topeka dentist who called himself Painless Romaine.  He had also appeared on postcards, armed with his now-famous 'What, me worry?' slogan.  Kurtzman spotted one such card and adopted the kid for Mad.  His name was later lifted from a national character on the old Henry Morgan radio show, which in turn had been lifted from the composer Alfred Newman.  Except Mad misspelled it.  Got that?  Mad has not accepted advertising since 1955.  Gaines says that's because he's afraid advertisers might try to influence the magazine's editorial content.  But you also get the feeling that he believes ad would make Mad ... well, too much like a real magazine, maybe even with secretaries.  'You'd have to have color pages and salesmen and all that stuff,' he frets.  Meanwhile, the notion that Mad has never promoted itself is simply not true.  There have been several spin-offs, most notably a successful board game and an off-Broadway show.  What's more, the magazine recently signed a merchandising contract that will result in just the kind of hucksterism it has traditionally lampooned: T-shirts, buttons, watches and so forth.  But, after all, Gaines admits that circulation is down from a high of 2.3 million in the 1970s to about 1 million today.  Even worse, the all-expense-paid vacation junkets to foreign parts for the staff and contributors have become both shorter and less frequent than in the past.  Mad staffers blame several culprits for these turns of event, including electronic competition - how can you compete with anything as absurd as TV? - to kids who simply don't want to read anymore.  And anyway, Gaines figures Mad's 11 foreign editions fetch another 500,000 or so in circulation, and let's not overlook the approximately 200 Mad paperbacks that have been published over the years.  The publisher says that Warner, which acquired Mad in 1967, still asks only that he show up in corporate headqua[r]ters once a year and dream up some vaguely plausible reason why he still won't accept advertising.  'I turn a nice profit for them and they don't bother me,' he says.  What, him worry?" [photo of Gaines and 'the boys']  (The above article ["36 madcap years of Mad magazine"] came from The Boston Globe, February 3, 1988.  It was written by Nathan Cobb.)

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division): This is my first attempt at doing something like this.  I hope you enjoy it!  Some of my plans ... I'd like to take any money made by selling classified ad space and return it to the MAD artist and writer that produced your favorite story during the year.  The reward will be in the form of a plaque.  Current subscribers will vote on their favorites.  More later.  I want you to help me write this publication.  The more input from you the better this publication will be.  I'd like the main focus to be MAD, but include information about its sister PANIC.  I'd like to put together a history of Alfred E. Neuman.  And now some thank yous ... Grant Geissman and Mad Mike Lerner for providing me information to get this publication going.  William Gaines, Harvey Kurtzman and Al Feldstein for starting MAD and PANIC.  My wife for putting up with me.  You readers for buying this trash!  If you want to write a guest editorial, be my guest.  MADly, Ed"

"Letters Destined for the Round File Dept: Dear Editor, If I miss an issue, I'll be sick over it! - Huckleberry Fink - Dear Editor, My friends think I'm cracked, so send me some issues! - Sylvester P. Smythe - Dear Fool, This magazine is trash.  Why are you wasting your time publishing this junk.  Do something useful like painting the house. - Carol Norris.  This space needs your letters, please write!"

"PANIC According to Feldstein - Frankly, no one asked us for a companion magazine to MAD.  The only reason we are publishing PANIC is because MAD is selling well!  But wait ... do not rush for pen and paper to sarcastically insinuate in some bitter missive that PANIC is an imitation of MAD!  For this is not true!  MAD is an imitation of PANIC!  Yes, PANIC was created many months before the first issue of MAD ever appeared.  It was all ready to go.  It was locked in the 'New Book' file drawer, safe from prying eyes of our competitors.  But did a rival publishing company's editor spy on us?  Did a rival publishing company beat us to the stand ?  NO!  It was our own HARVEY KURTZMAN who jimmied the lock and peered into the 'New Book' file drawer, and scooped us by a full year.  Why then, you ask, did we wait?  Why then, you ask, did we file away PANIC in the 'New Book' drawer after it was completed and ready to go to press?  Why then, you ask, didn't we come out with it?  Why?  We'll tell you why!  FRANKLY, WE DIDN'T THINK IT WOULD SELL!  It was only after learning of the frantic attempts of rival publishing companies to rush out imitations that we realized MAD must be selling.  So we flipped open the aforementioned jimmied 'New Book' file drawer, shot PANIC No. 1 to our engraver, popped soggy blobs of evaporated Hadacol into our choked up throats, and collapsed hysterically into our shock couches.  But if we may become a bit serious for a few moments, we should like to give credit where credit is due!  Actually, MAD was Harvey Kurtzman's brain child.  He conceived and wrote it himself, and has done so, and will continue to do so.  PANIC is in no sense on a par with MAD.  It's much funnier."  (The above is from PANIC's No. 1 "PAN-MAIL.")

"Mad Items Dept: Do you have unusual MAD or Alfred E. Neuman items?  Please send a photo or photocopy and history if available.  Let others know what is out there.  (Things never pictured in the pages of MAD.)  [photocopy of idiot kid - 'Sure - I'm for Roosevelt']  Pre-MAD Alfred E. Neuman postcard.  This b/w 4-1/2 x 5-1/2" anti-FDR postcard was probably from the 1940 campaign.  Inscription on back, 'If you are opposed to the Third Term send these to your friends.  15 cards for 25c.  Send coin or stamps.  Low, quantity prices on request.  Send to Bob Howdale, Box 625, Oak Park, Ill.'"

"The mad, mad world of Mad: The Monday Q&A - In Mad's world nothing is sacred - In August 1952, the first edition of 'EC's Mad Mag - Horror [sic] in a Jugular Vein' was published.  In the late 1950s and 1960s, the magazine, its name shortened to Mad, became required reading for the younger generation of Americans.  William M. Gaines has been publisher of Mad for all 31 years.  He discussed Mad and some of its lore with staff writer Mark Simon in a telephone interview from Mad's offices in New York City. 
Q: Let's start with the question everybody would want to ask: Where did Alfred E. Neuman come from?
A: Alfred has been around for, like, a hundred years.  The earliest we've found him was an advertisement for a painless dentist in Topeka.  The guy's name was Painless Romain and he used the face with the legend, 'It didn't hurt a bit.'  Alfred had a tooth missing and the idea was that he had a tooth pulled by this dentist and it didn't hurt.  That is the earliest we found it and it was the 1890s.  The name we stole from Henry Morgan, the radio and television comedian.  Henry Morgan used the name Alfred Newman on his program, and I think he did that because he stole the name from the old Hollywood orchestra conductor.  If you watch the late show, you'll see many movies in the '30s and '40s where Alfred Newman is in charge of the music.  I think Morgan either knew the guy or, for reasons unknown to me, started using the name Alfred Newman.  We stole it from Henry but inadvertently misspelled it, and we put the little initial in, which Newman didn't have.  When we used the name back in the '50s, the name wasn't always with the face.  It was one of the house names we would use.  Al Feldstein (the editor of Mad), back in 1956, when we first ran Alfred for president, put the name with the face." (This is the beginning of the article.  I'll reprint more of it in the next issue.  The above article is from The Peninsula Time Tribune, Monday, September 26, 1983.)

"Filler Dept. (Part II Division): There is a variation of the Mad Sticker Album: No Price or 35c."

"The MAD Book Review Dept: 'The Weather MAD' is the 83rd book in a series of rehashing past MAD material.  It starts with a classic Kelly Freas' cover (from MAD #55, which by the way was just sold at auction).  The first story is Davis, DeBartolo and Jacobs' 'Raiders of a Lost Art.'  The last is Drucker and Silverstone's 'magnumb, p.u.'  In between is the usual assortment of MAD stuff.  There are a couple of Prohias' 'Spy vs. Spy' strips.  Not that Clarke and Edwing haven't been doing a good job, it's just nice to see the master again, even if reprinted.  It's hard to knock a book of classic MAD material.  If you collect MAD, it's still a must.  What else are you going to do with your $3.50?  Buy some penny candy?  I'll give this book 3 Ecchs!  Now I suppose you want the scale ...
5 Ecchs! - Buy every copy you can find.
4 Ecchs! - Buy two copies, you'll wear out one copy.
3 Ecchs! - Buy one copy, you'll enjoy it.
2 Ecchs! - Buy one copy, and stick it on your book shelve. [sic]
1 Ecch! - Buy one copy, and feed it to your gergils.  (The views are my own, please don't sue me!)"

"Classified Ads Dept.  (Get Rich Quick! Division): All display ads are the same size 3-1/2 x 2" (standard business card).  $5.00 per issue.  Other ads are 10c per word.  All money collected will be used for our 'MAD Story of the Year' plaques.  I have the right to refuse any ad.  Wanted - Back copies of old MAD Fanzines.  I have MADzine #1-4, 11.  Would like to see other issues so that I don't duplicate to [sic] much.  Photocopies are okeh.  Thanks. - Ed Norris.  This space could be yours!"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 14 July 1992 
Cover: Photograph of William M. Gaines (1922-1992) in his office.

"Guest Editorial Dept. - A Mad World Loses Its Creator - Those corrupting MAD magazines.  We hid them under our beds to read late at night and smuggled them into study hall.  When adults discovered our punk periodicals, they railed about what we were learning from reading such 'trash.'  In truth, we learned a great deal from William Gaines, mastermind of MAD, and his gap-toothed creation, Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD was countercultural before there even was a counterculture.  MAD ragged on authority before it was popular to question authority.  MAD celebrated non-conformity and lampooned everything under the sun with its blend of satire and silliness.  MAD awakened a whole generation - the baby boomers, who later became marchers against the Vietnam [War] and the movers and shakers of Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue.  MAD influenced our comedy and our literature.  Its zaniness reverberated around the world.  Anyone who ever read the magazine was saddened at the passing of the slob genius, William Gaines.  He symbolized MADness, which fell somewhere between complete lack of pretension and subversiveness.  For a while during childhood, Gaines shaped our hearts and minds more than our parents did." (Edited from the San Francisco Examiner June 7, 1992.)

"William M. Gaines, Publisher of MAD Magazine, is Dead at 70 - William M. Gaines, who as publisher of MAD magazine conferred immorality on a goofy, gap-toothed cover boy named Alfred E. Neuman, died June 3rd at his home in Manhattan.  He was 70 years old.  He died in his sleep, editors at MAD said.  The cause of death was not given.  The first issue of MAD hit the newsstands in 1952, with sharp-eyed sendups of movies, advertiding, celebrities and comic strips.  To the delight of its largely teen-age audience, it brought satire into the mainstream, along with up-to-the-moment New York humor sprinkled with Yiddish, nonsense and non sequiturs.  MAD's wacky brand of humor influenced everything from The National Lampoon to 'Saturday Night Live' to a recent issue of Esquire magazine.  Presiding over those margins was the 240-pound publisher who filled the office water cooler with wine and celebrated hitting the million mark in circulation by packing his staff off to Haiti, where MAD had exactly one subscriber.  He was not a pinstripes-and-suspenders type but a shaggy, rumpled man in baggy trousers and stringy hair that was 'styled only by the force of gravity,' according to Frank Jacobs, Mr. Gaines's biographer.  Mr. Gaines fought a never-ending war between his willpower and restaurants of the world.  Every few months he would have an on-again, off-again flirtation with a new diet.  At MAD's office, Mr. Gaines was a sounding board for jokes, but left the writing and drawing to others.  'My staff and contributors create the magazine,' he said, 'What I create is the atmosphere.'  He is survived by his wife, Annie, and three children, Cathy Missud, Wendy Bucci and Chris Gaines.  A memorial was held at the Time-Life Building.  He was to be cremated and his ashes scattered over Paris and the Statue of Liberty." (Edited from The NewA York Times 6/4/92 and other sources.)

" 'Mad' publisher Gaines leaves madcap legacy - By David Landis USA TODAY - (with photo of Gaines reading Mad - Non-conformist: No subject was safe from William Gaines' magazine.) - William M. Gaines, whose off-the-wall Mad magazine taught generations that no cow was too sacred, died in his sleep Wednesday in Manhattan.  He was 70.  In the 1950s, Gaines pioneered the horror genre of comics, publishing such series as Vault of Horror, Weird Science and Tales From the Crypt (later a cable TV series).  When a 1953 magazine article linked comics to juvenile delinquency, Gaines became a principal figure in the ensuing controversy and testified before a Senate subcommittee.  Rather than sanitize his comics to conform to the resulting Comics Code, Gaines turned a satirical comic, Madinto an eight-times-a-year magazine.  Its mascot was gap-toothed Alfred E. Neuman, whose slogan was, 'What - me worry?'  Mad's parodies of everything from politics to movies to suburban life introduced baby boomers and later generations to 'the idea that anything is an object of satire,' says New York writer John R. Tebbel, who is writing a history of the Comics Code.  'I think it's one of the most important things in American culture.'  Mad now is owned by Time Warner, but publisher Gaines never adopted anything resembling a corporate culture.  He said he was too lazy to cut his long white hair and beard, and treated his staff to annual vacations in such exotic locations as Paris, Tahiti and Suriname.  [Co-editor Nick] Meglin said Gaines' death will not change the magazine's content or its policy against accepting advertising.  'What's going to change is our own personal feelings about having lost the captain and coach of the Mad team.'" (Reprinted from USA Today 6/4/92)

"A Perfect MAD Man - William Gaines' splendidly zany magazine taught irreverence to a generation by Kurt Andersen [with photo of 'the publisher in his office in March' and five magazine covers] - Obituaries tend to be occasions for breathless hyperbole and for reducing rich, messy lives to tidy summations.  Why should this one be any different?  After all, no postwar American literary institution has had a more profound cultural influence than Mad magazine and William Gaines, the aggressively idiosyncratic impresario who launched and then ran the magazine for four decades, is a singular character in 20th century American publishing - the anti-Luce.  For such a happily unkempt man - he wore shoulder-length hair and bargain-basement clothes, and weighed an eighth of a ton - Gaines' death last week seemed curiously neat: he had turned 70; his creation was turning 40; an exhaustive coffee-table-book history (Completely Mad) was in the bookstores; and, as if to reaffirm Mad's relevance, the current issues of two other magazines (Esquire and Texas Monthly) feature Alfred E. Neumanesque cover caricatures of would-be Presidents (George Bush and Ross Perot).  Is there any American under 50 who did not as a youth experience Mad's liberating, irreverent rush?  Without doubt a certain New York Daily News obituary editor did: WHAT? ME DEAD? was a headline - tasteless, abusive, funny - worthy of the man who allowed Mad to happen.  If Dr. Spock is responsible for a whole generation of spoiled brats, it was Bill Gaines who propelled baby-boomer smart-aleckism to giddy new heights.  Long before the Nickelodeon cable channel (whose sensibility is significantly Mad-derived), before Father Knows Best seemed campy, before every-other ninth grader wore sideburns and shades, Gaines' magazine was the only place for children to have an uncensored glimpse behind the perky facade of '50s bourgeois life.  It was where they could get clued in to the fatuousness of civics-book sanctimony, to the permutations of suburban phoniness to grown-up dissembling and insincerely sincere hucksterism of all kinds, Mad infected children with a healthy streak of antiestablishment skepticism, a Dada-dissectionist attitude toward all media.  Where else could you see Donald Duck baffled by his three fingers and white gloves.  Mad readers eventually grow up and thus Gaines bears paternal responsibility for a large swath of pop culture from the past quarter-century.  Virtually every stand-up comedy routine is a regurgitation of Dave Berg's Lighter Side strips.  Underground artists from R. Crumb on have taken inspiration from Harvey Kurtzman (Gaines' editorial genius, who left after four years to launch a doomed satirical magazine for Hugh Hefner) and Mad's dense, rude cartoon style.  Parodies of advertising and TV did not really exist before Mad invented the form.  Ernie Kovacs, along with Bob and Ray, wrote free-lance for Gaines in the '50s, and Kovacs and Mad begat Saturday Night Live and David Letterman (who is, physically as well as spiritually, Alfred E. You-Know-Who come to life).  Without Gaines and Mad there might have been no National Lampoon, no Maus, no Ren & Stimpy, no Spy.  'I was a behavior problem,' Gaines told Maria Reidelbach, author of Completely Mad, 'a nonconformist, a difficult child.'  What a surprise.  Yet Gaines was born and raised (in New York City, of course) to be precisely who he became.  His father had been a comic-book publisher in the '30s, and when young Bill took over the company after the war, he turned to lurid fun, producing a line of successful gore-and-monster comics that 1) subsidized less profitable publications in his stable, 2) inspired and influenced future horranteurs from Stephen King to Wes Craven and George Romero, and 3) were the subject of a 1954 Senate subculture investigation into the causes of juvenile delinquency.  Gaines soon stopped publishing the spook stuff and staked his fortune on Mad.  Circulation peaked at 2.4 million in 1973, when the last of the baby boomers were in grade school, but today, with versions of the Mad world view available elsewhere, it is only a third of that.  Gaines sold Mad in 1961 but stayed as publisher and paterfamilias through a succession of corporate overseers (including its current owner, Time Warner, Inc.).  Gaines, says editor Nick Meglin, who started at Mad in 1956, was 'a very, very casual person - which is a euphemism for being a slob.  He became uncomfortable if people started to wear shirts and ties and pinstripe suits, because he figured they were looking to become corporate creeps, as he would call them.'  The money saved on wardrobe went to subsidize Gaines' various follies, including restaurant feasts, his collection of small-scale Statues of Liberty (including one of Bartholdi's original models, which he bought for $104,000) and his annual junkets abroad for Mad's editors and contributors.  Gaines didn't really invent the magazine, didn't toss in ideas, didn't recruit new editors or writers or artists.  Rather, he carefully oversaw the details of the business and by the (mainly) happy force of his personality helped whip up the wiseacre clubhouse chaps from which Mad emerged.  'He always said, 'You're going to have to carry me out of here,'' Meglin remembers, 'because he didn't many interests.  Mad was his life's work, his hobby, his social life.'  With reporting by William Tynan, New York."  (Reprinted from Time 6/15/92)

[Two-page centerfold of Alfred E. Neuman - "We'll carry on with the laughter, the irreverence, the mischief and, oh yeah, the magazine, too.  We'll miss you, Bill.  Love, 'The Usual Gang of Idiots' " (Reprinted from The New York Times 6/10/92)

"No Tears, Please, Laughs Only - by J.D. Considine, Baltimore Sun - Obituaries and appreciations are serious business.  Intended mostly as memorials, they require sanctity, sobriety and reverence.  None of which William Gaines ever had any use for.  Gaines, who died in his sleep at age 70 in New York June 3rd, was the mad genius behind MAD, a magazine that never took anything seriously.  MAD made fun of movies, politicians, TV stars, religious figures, fast-food chains and anything else that happened to provoke the addled mental processes of its staff, a group habitually referred to as 'the usual gang of idiots.'  Needless to say, MAD has never had room for 'appreciations,' 'memorials' or any other form of journalistic politesse in its 'What, Me Worry?' view of the world.  Forget memory -- all Gaines and his staff cared about was funny.  This wasn't just a gag mag but a genuine satirical journal, and its japes were biting, sarcastic and, above all, irreverent.  MAD wasn't kids' stuff, even if its readership was mostly kids.  In fact, Gaines found the magazine specifically to avoid the restrictions and stigmas of youth-oriented comic books.  Before founding MAD in 1952, the New York University graduate was the impresario behind E.C., a faltering publishing concern he took over from his father in 1947.  Under the younger Gaines' direction, E.C. specialized in grisly, gory horror comics like 'Tales From the Crypt,' 'Weird Science' and 'Vault of Horror.'  Today, they're considered classics of the genre, but back then they were denounced as threats to the moral fiber of America's youth.  Indeed, after Frederic Wertham's parent-scaring 'Seduction of the Innocent' provoked a Senate hearing on the scary side of funnies, other comic publishers caved in to demands that comic books clean up their act. Gaines, however, bailed out, and repositioned MAD in July 1955 as an advertising-free magazine, free from outside influence and exempt from the Comic Codes Authority.  It may have started as an act of desperation, but it turned out to be a stroke of genius.  Particularly in its early days, MAD was outrageously, audaciously, screamingly funny.  Built upon the talents of writers and cartoonists such as Wally Wood, Jack Davis, Bill Elder and the immortal Harvey Kurtzman, MAD was a grown-up's magazine that just happened to appeal to millions of smart-aleck kids.  Needless to say, its impact was enormous.  For most people, MAD will forever be tied to the gap-toothed grin of Alfred E. Neuman, whose eternal 'What, Me Worry?' smirk has long since become part of the cultural landscape.  Its impact ran much deeper than that, though.  In addition to introducing an entire generation of goyism to terms like schlemiel and meshuga, MAD planted the seeds for much of today's humor.  Admittedly, age hasn't been kind to the MAD men.  MAD was a child of the '50s, and much of its humor remains stuck in that decade, preserved like an Ike joke in amber.  Circulation hovers around 1 million worldwide, down from a one-time high of 2.3 million.  But, even as the modern MAD seems to slide, the magazine's golden days seem all the more luminous.  Still, anyone who truly wanted to appreciate William Gaines shouldn't bother with such musty stuff as history.  Better to flip through one of the dog-eared back issues you've meant to throw away for all these years.  Because, if you find yourself laughing at what you see, that's appreciation enough." (Edited from The Cleveland Plain Dealer 6/6/92)

"OF NOTE ... According to sources at MAD, the letters section of issue #315 will be devoted to reader's reaction to the sudden death of William Gaines."

"William M. Gaines: The Man Who Drove America Mad - The founder of our most 'furshlugginer' institution left a legacy of profound silliness - Wizard of Ecch William M. Gaines, who died June 3 at age 70, was the hairy forefather of several generations of gleefully disgusted cynics.  From genial Jay Leno to fanged P.J. O'Rourke, there isn't a comedian, a cartoonist, or a satirical pundit alive who doesn't owe something to Mad magazine, which Gaines founded in 1952.  Saturday Night Live would be unthinkable without Mad; so would Home Alone and Tim Burton.  Even such diverse and serious types as Gloria Steinem and Art Spiegelman acknowledge the stunning impact of Mad on their life and work.  Gaines' little comic book has quite possibly been the most subversive magazine of modern times, simply because it taught readers - kid readers - to giggle at the pomposities and contradictions of mainstream culture.  Mad exposed the lighter side of everything young people were taught was heavy.  Starting out in a decade fanatically devoted to the status quo ad worshipful of grown-ups, Gaines dared to muse, 'I think that 13 just may be the age of reason.'  From today's vantage point, in an age awash with irony, it's hard to grasp how astounding the first Mads must have seemed when America was liking Ike and loving Lucy.  Yet the most popular modern pastimes - the twisted celebration of distasteful, the obsessive satirical reshuffling of the pop-culture deck - derive from that willfully juvenile revolution.  Gaines got his empire from his father, publisher Max C. Gaines, who died in a motorboat crash in 1947, when Bill was a 25-year-old NYU education student.  Having inherited his dad's nearly bankrupt company, Educational Comics, Inc., the legatee renamed it Entertaining Comics, and switched from publishing his father's favorite title, Picture Stories from the Bible, to such corpse-strewn pulp as 'Ooze in the Cellar,' Crypt of Terror, and Vault of Horror.  According to the recent book Completely Mad, he dreamed up his stories by staying up all night on diet pills his doctors prescribed to counter his compulsive eating, while gorging on sci-fi and Grand Guignol fiction.  Despite the medication, Gaines stayed large; he contained multitudes - slob and nabob, hedonist and workaholic, and iron-fisted dictator of budgets figured according to what he called the 'Boogerian Constant,' a law he declined ever to define.  He paid contributors faster and better than anybody in the comic business - but strong-armed them to sign over all rights to their work.  When Mad cartoonist Sergio Aragones reportedly provoked a 1960s Paris street mob to rock Gaines' limo, shrieking, 'Feelthy fat capitalist!' there was something underlying the joke.  Yet, Gaines was paying for the trip, just as he frequently flew the Mad staff on revels all over the globe at company expense.  Could he be ... Santa?  Or Stalin with a sense of humor?  Gaines sold Mad for millions to Premier Industries in 1961, retaining the reins of power.  When Mad wound up with current owner Time Warner, Gaines refused to budge from his disheveled digs on MADison Avenue.  'His theory was that 'a grown child doesn't move in with his parents,' '  says editor Lou Silverstone, who spent 27 years in Gaines' employ before defecting to the competition, Cracked.  Over the course of his 45-year career, Gaines discovered the likes of cartoonists Don Martin, Jack Davis, and Mort Drucker - hired because the Brooklyn Dodgers happened to win the ball games Gaines was watching during Drucker's job interview - and then heedlessly drove away some of his top talents.  'Bill wasn't a nice guy,' says artist/editor Harvey Kurtzman, the creative genius who invented Mad, 'and he wasn't a bad guy.  He was bold, but he'd sit there with a slide rule every day very preoccupied with how to distribute his money.'  Gaines sold the magazine partly for pure profit, but also out of a nagging dread that 'sooner or later, there's gotta be an end to it.'  To paraphrase his ubiquitous cover boy, Alfred E. Neuman, he needn't have worried."  (Reprinted from Entertainment Weekly 6/19/92)

(Inside Back Cover) Fold-in by Al Jaffee - [full-page drawing of Gaines reading Mad that folds into Alfred E. Neuman crying] - "Fortunately, William Gaines was never portentously yearning for public esteem, eschewing those lovers of refined manners, he was a jolly schlub, a stranger to sadness." [Folds in to say: "Forty Years of Refined Madness"]

(Back Cover) - [Photo of William Gaines in his Mad office] - "William Maxwell Gaines" - "You will never be forgotten"

THE MAD PANIC No. 46 January 1998
Cover: "AND YOU THOUGHT I WAS KIDDING WHEN I ASKED FOR SOME COVER ART FOR THIS FANZINE! (by Ed Norris)

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): I decided I'd get back on a regular schedule, which means I only got 5 issues out last year.  I hope you all had a great holiday and received all those Mad items you wanted.  The winner of the word search contest is Gene Phillips.  A Mad Minute tape is on its way.  the correct answer to the puzzle was 'Another Lame Contest.'  Michael Skinner and Bruce Liber also submitted correct entries.  Michael supplied the word list with his entry, and I was happy to receive it.  I lost the list when I switched jobs.  I didn't want to solve it to supply this list: Feldstein, Wood, Meglin, Neuman, Berg, SpyvsSpy, Superduperman, Coker, Alfred, Clarke, Elder, Worry, Martin, DeBartolo, Gaines, Davis, Aragones, Comic, Drucker, Orlando, Jaffee, DeFuccio, Torres, Magazine, Jacobs, Edwing, Prohias, Arthur, Kurtzman, Potrzebie, Furshlugginer, and Freas.  I've added a new section to the fanzine, the Mad Price Guide, starting on page 8.  The Toy Shop has been around for more than 10 years, and has listed many Mad items for sale over the years.  I thought it would be a great reference source to use.  If anyone receives a different publication and wants to submit similar data, please let me know.  Stay MAD, Ed."

"MAD and Its Imitators: The Bizarre Satire Comics by David Alexander

"When a group of collectors gather to talk about comics, the subject always gets around to E.C.'s.  Entertaining Comics was the high water mark of the 1950's comics.  The art and stories were some of the most innovative in the publishing history of comics.  Comic readers had been treated to a decade-long dose of super heroes and were buying fewer and fewer of the costume character adventures as the 1940's came to a close.  Western, crime, science fiction, horror, war, romance and funny animal themes had been in comics for years.  Publishers began to exploit these nontraditional comic genres in an attempt to regain disinterested readers.  William Gaines, E.C.'s renowned publisher, helped to produce some of the milestones in the aforementioned areas.  Gaines wasn't satisfied with being at the top of the existing genre titles.  He wanted something that no one else had.  When Harvey Kurtzman entered the picture, most of his ideas became E.C. blockbusters.  None was as significant as Mad.  Kurtzman's comic genius was at its prime with Mad.  This was unlike any other comic ever published.  It poked fun at personalities, movies, institutions, and other comics - and got away with it!  Not only did kids think it was the greatest thing since Robin teamed up with Batman, but adults were slobbering over themselves trying to get a copy of it.  I can clearly recall when I first discovered Mad in a used book store in the early 1950's.  It was obvious that this was not like any other comic I had ever seen.  When I began to scour the local news dealers for current copies of Mad, I was always disappointed.  The comic format issues were elusive and I never did find one on the stands.  Actually, I never found a copy on the stands until issue #32, which was six months into the magazine format.  By the 10th issue, Mad was up to a print run of around 750,000 copies.  The other publishers were well aware of Mad's success and weren't far behind in copying the new genre.  A sub-culture of comic collectors who wanted all Mad imitators has become prominent over the last few years.  The list of these imitators, however, is more extensive than one might at first guess.  Compiled below is a list of titles that I am aware of.  Undoubtedly a few titles may be absent, but as a large cross-section of a genre that has endured into today's competitive market, I hope it widens a few eyes and tickles a few funny bones.

"The Mad Imitators
Blast (magazine): These two issues in 1971 are not for kids.  Bill Everett did the cover for #1, which features art by Berni Wrightson and Mike Kaluta, who also worked on #2.
Bughouse (comic): Struggled through four issues in 1954.  These issues contained typical Ajax/Farrell art.
Cracked (magazine): The first issue appeared in 1958 when Mad went to a magazine size.  As incredible as it sounds, Cracked has been the most successful of the Mad imitators and is currently nearing issue 350. [The final issue was #365 in 2004; three additional issues were published in 2006-2007 in a different format.]  Although this title is seldom available in comic stores, the publishers have relied on heavy sales through military base PX stores to maintain momentum.  Notable contributors include: Al Williamson, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Basil Wolverton, John Severin, Bill Elder, Bill Everett, and Don Martin.
Crazy (comic): Seven issues came from Atlas in 1953-1954.  Art by Everett, Mort Drucker, Carl Burgos, Dave Berg, Joe Maneely and Howie Post.  The title was first revived for 3 issues in 1973 with reprints of Not Brand Echh.  In late 1973 it was switched to a magazine format and lasted an incredible 10 years.
Crazy, Man Crazy (magazine): One of the transitional title changes in the Charlton satire saga.  The only issue to appear was Vol. 2 No. 2, from 1956.  It features Basil Wolverton art and is very hard to find.
Cuckoo (magazine): This strange satire magazine is a one shot that appeared in 1955.  It takes the Mad formula and uses it to satirize the famous exploitation magazine, Confidential.  This one is loaded with bizarre photos.
Eh! Dig This Crazy Comic (comic): Ran for 7 issues in 1953-54.  Issue #4 is considered to be the rudest sexual innuendo cover to ever appear in comics.  Issue #6 would be considered as rude, however paled by the vulgarity of #4.
Flip (comic): Two issues were done by Harvey Publishing in 1954.  Staff artists Bob Powell and Howard Nostrand were the major contributors.
Fooey! (magazine): Lasted for 4 issues in 1961.  Fairly bland.
Frantic (magazine): Existed for 4 issues in 1958-59.  Vol. 2 No. 1 features art by John Severin and Jack Davis, who contributed much to the success of Mad and the whole E.C. line.
Frenzy (magazine): Ran for 6 issues in 1958-59.  The most popular issue is #4 which has an infinity cover. 
From Here To Insanity (magazine): This is a title change from Eh!  memorable issues of this bizarre Charlton series include: #10 which has Steve Ditko art, #11 and #12 which feature a rare appearance by Jack Kirby and the peculiarly numbered Vol. 3 No. 1 from 1956 which features art by Bill Ward, Basil Wolverton and Ditko.
Get Lost (comic): Three issues appeared in 1954.  Favorite issues are #2, which poked fun at E.C. horror comics and #3, which is sought by John Wayne collectors as it satirizes his classic film Hondo.
Goose (magazine): As a late entry into the field, Goose never got off the ground.  These were 3 uninspiring issues in the 1970's.  The first issue is on the want list of infinity cover collectors.
Help! (magazine): This unique title had photo covers and lots of photo satire.  It also recognized both classic comic art and innovative new material.  The later issues featured early appearances of Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton.
Humbug (comic/magazine): More of the Kurtzman magic appeared in 11 issues published between 1957 and 1959.  The last two issues were magazine format.  Don't miss these.
Loco (magazine): Lasted 3 issues in 1958-59.  The classic is #3, which has art by John severin and Jack Davis.  It also features an unauthorized appearance of Alfred E. Neuman.
Lunatickle (magazine): Joe Kubert worked on the last two issues which came out in 1956.  These aren't bad!
Madhouse (comic): This Ajax/Farrell title had two runs of four issues each.  There are some bust and bizarre covers in both series - 1954 & 1957.
National Crumb (magazine): One lonely issue appeared in 1975.  The under-financed publisher never had a chance to find out if this title would gain acceptance.
Not Brand Echh! (comic): Marvel put out 13 issues in the late sixties.  Most of these make fun of contemporary Marvel super heroes.  Issue #7 takes a jab at D.C. and #10 has an E.C. tribute.
Nuts (magazine): Made it through two goofy issues in 1958.
Panic (comic): Sales were so great that Mad tried to copy itself with Panic, which hung on for 12 issues from 1954 to 1956.  Most of the Mad staff appeared in the pages of Panic during its 2 year existence, but this title didn't have the Kurtzman 'feel' that was a major factor in the eternal popularity of Mad.  The E.C. staffers appeared in #1 and the other key issue in #12, which had limited distribution.
Panic (magazine): This title was lifted from E.C. by Panic Publishing, although it has absolutely nothing to do with any item published by E.C.  It ran for 8 issues in the late 1950's.  Several of these issues were reprinted as Volume #2 issues in the 1960's.
Riot (comic): This Atlas title is a companion to Crazy and Wild.  It ran for 6 issues in 1954-56.  Atlas staffers who worked on these titles were Bill Everett, Gene Colan, Carl Burgos, and John Maneely.  Key issues are #4 (infinity cover), #5 (Marilyn Monroe/John Wayne parody), and #6, which has a goofy Dennis the Menace cover.
Sick (magazine): This bizarre entry into the satire field had an unbelievable 20 year run that started in 1960.  This is one of the many Mad clones to acquire the talents of masterful Jack Davis.  Other highly respected Sick creators are Joe Simon, who was involved with the first few issues, Angelo Torres, and George Tuska.  This title was almost never seen as a new item in comic stores and is not a big news stand item.  Sales at PX stores on military bases helped Sick survive for two tedious decades.  Aside from the special issues, does anyone collect this bizarre title?
Snafu (magazine): Atlas/Marvel finally got with the magazine program for 3 issues in 1955-56.  Art was done by the usual gang.  These are not common and #1 is the most difficult to obtain.
Thimk (magazine): Frankenstein was the dominant cover feature in the six issues that appeared in 1958-59.
Trump (magazine): In 1957, Harvey Kurtzman got ahead of himself.  The public wasn't ready for a 50 cent satire magazine.  There are only two issues and they are great.  Try to find these if you love satire.
Whack (comic): Joe Kubert was the motivator at St. John in 1953.  The first issue was created as part of the 3-D craze.  The final two issues are standard comic book format.  The art is quite good on this title and these issues are one step above most of this type.  They are not, however, easy to obtain.
Wild (comic): Atlas usually took the shotgun approach, issuing many titles of similar format and theme.  Satire comics were no exception and Wild was their third entry into the field.  It ran for five issues in 1954.  Atlas artists include Joe Maneely, Dave Berg, Gene Colan, Bill Everett and Russ Heath.
Wild (magazine): Dell finally got around to publishing a Mad clone in 1968.  This is a fairly lackluster effort and is only one the want lists of completists.
Zany (magazine): Very busy covers were the trademark of the four issues published in 1958-59.  The cover to the first issue was by Bill Everett and features: Superman, Paladin, Katzenjammer Kids, a man in polka dot underwear, Sgt. Bilko, Ernie Kovacs, a naked mermaid and lots more!"

"If you get a kick out of Mad, you owe it to yourself to try some of these titles that were aimed at the same audience.  They are fun to read and are more than slightly addictive.  Be careful, or you'll become a completist with a long want list!"

(Norris) "Editor's Notes: David left off a few that you might want to hunt down for your collection.  These were supplied by Michael Lerner without commentary: Aardvark (1961), Apple Pie (1975), BallyHoo (1925 & 1962), Barf (1990), Blast (1971), Campus Humor (1960), Foo (1952, Canadian), Grump (1965), Harpoon (1974), National Lampoon (1970), Newswreck (1977), Parody (1977), Pow (1966), Ratfink (1964), Shook-Up (1958), Slam (1978), Something Else (1971), Trash (1978), Up Your Nose (1972), Whacko (1981), Warped (1990), and Yell (1966).  Some others I know about include: Judge (1881), old Life magazines, Arrgh! (1974), Not Brand Ecch! (1967), Yak Yak (1961), Unsane (1954), Laugh In (1968), and Nuts! (1997)."

"What's New.  The November 1997 issue of Diamond Dialogue has a feature on James Halperin's Mad collection.  He's the person who purchased Jim McClane's collection.  James wasn't doing too bad on his own!  The Comic Shop News #547 has given MAD TV its 'The Bat-Madness Award.'  You should be able to find this issue at any good comic shop for free."

"MAD Price Guide" [collector stuff]

"Pre-MAD Dept:" [cloth bag with AEN look-alike and 'mother pinned a rose on me.']

"The January 4, 1998 Sunday cartoon Luann, in the last panel, one of the characters is reading a copy of Mad.  And, keep an eye open for a rerun of the Carol Duvall Show, episode 124, on HGTV.  Sergio Aragones is a guest.  Summary on www.hgtv.com/carol/cds-124.html."

"What's New Dept: Banana Peals - As it usually happens, I found the missing Don Martin Banana Peals card.  So cut and paste this entry into the last issue: Vampire in Mirror - GB10.213 - Birthday.  Test Marketing - Test marketing of the Mad magazine covers continues.  Three issues have covers with and without the yellow border.  Issues to date are #362-364.  Still no word on the number of issues the test will run through.  Swedish Mad Returns - Swedish Mad is back with a bang.  The new issue has an original cover of Alfred E. Neuman getting married.  They don't have any current plans for any premiums, but a Swedish edition of Mad About The Sixties has been released.  All articles, including the forward [sic] and section introductions have been translated into Swedish.  You can write to them at: Atlantic Forlags AB, PO Box 12550, 102 29 Stockholm, Sweden.  The EC Companion - Grant Geissman and Fred von Bernewitz have signed a contract with Kitchen Sink Press for the book The EC Companion.  The book will include major interviews conducted by Grant with Al Feldstein, Adele Kurtzman, Moon Girl artist Sheldon Moldoff, and others.  Every EC comic book cover is pictured in full color.  This project has been in the works for 3 1/2 years.  A June 1998 release is scheduled.  Groo - Sergio Aragones' Groo returns with a four issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics.  The black and white series is scheduled for a January 28 release.  A two page full colored poster of Groo has been released to advertise the publication.  Ask your local comic dealer if he has a copy.  Christmas Card - DC Comics sent a Christmas card out this year which is an Al Jaffee fold-in.  Look for his signature in the material Alfred E. Neuman is holding.  An owner of one of the comic shops I frequent gave me his card.  Ask your comic shop dealer if he has one to give you.  Thanks Steve!  More Fold-ins - The inside front cover for the Archie Comics' December and January issues has an advertisement for Kit-Kat bars.  The two different advertisements are in the form of a fold-in.  The artwork is by Jack Davis.  While not nearly as clever as an Al Jaffee fold-in, the comics are worth picking up just because they are a fold-in and are drawn by a Mad artist.  Auction Results - In the January 2 issue of Toy Shop, there is a short article on a recent Toy Scouts auction.  Two pieces of Mad Jewelry sold for four times its pre-sale estimate.  A Mad tie clip was the auction's top seller, realizing $2,200 and a pair of Mad cufflinks sold for $1,595.  Kovel' Antiques & Collectibles - Their 1998 price guide lists the following: Poster - Alfred E. Newman, Mad Magazine, Red, White, Blue, Black, Yellow, 4 x 2 In: $123, Anyone have a clue what this might be?  And when did 4x2 inches become poster size?  They also list a Cesar's mask as: Mask - Alfred E. Newman, Real Hair, Rubber, 1981: $125.  Sucker!  The Halloween Outlet in Worcester MA still has them for $35."

"Dentistry 101 - Frank Nuessel sent me this by the New York Times, September 4, 1997." [AEN has tooth gap in Mad but not in Newsweek.]

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 47 March 1998
Cover: Alf holding a picture of himself.  (by Kent Gamble)

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): I was having a good day at work when Michael Lerner sends me a mail message telling me Antonio Prohias had died.  Suddenly my day was dampened until I thought of all the laughter Antonio has given me.  His Spy vs. Spy has always been one of my favorites and will continue to be.  My 9 year old son loves to read and draw his own Spy vs. Spy cartoons.  I let him look at my old Spy vs. Spy paperbacks, so he can see how great they once were, and never will they be duplicated.  Sure the spies are still with us, but they lack the magic Antonio was able to deliver.  I never had the pleasure of meeting Antonio, but he was nice enough to autograph a Fleer sticker that I had sent to him in the mail.  You will be missed, but never forgotten!  I want to welcome all of the Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine readers that have requested my fanzine.  Seeing how you're wealthy enough to worry about personal finances, subscription rates double just for you, because you can afford to pay more!  You won't get any additional or insider information, you just get a good feeling knowing that you contributed more so that I may someday actually want to request a free copy of Kiplinger's, because I too will want to know how to best invest my accumulated wealth.  So remember, to help stimulate the economy, send $15.00 for a 1 year subscription.  Please note that you saw the fanzine featured in Kiplinger's.  Otherwise, I might credit you with a two year subscription.  Alan Greenspan won't want that!  Stay MAD, Ed."

"Antonio Prohias - Antonio Prohias, the cartoonist who drew "Spy vs. Spy" for Mad magazine, died on Tuesday [February 24, 1998] at Mercy Hospital in Miami.  He was 77 and lived in Miami.  The cause was lung cancer, said his daughter Marta Pizarro.  From January 1961 until his retirement in 1990, Mr. Prohias presided over one of the longest-running, bitterest comic rivalries since Ignatz Mouse first hit Krazy Kat with a brick.  The premise was simplicity itself.  One espionage agent dressed in white tried to eliminate his counterpart, and espionage agent dressed in black.  Both usually wore outsize fedoras and, although vaguely human in appearance, had elongated, triangular heads and shiny black insect-like eyes.  Neither spoke.  Occasionally, the plot thickened with the appearance of a mysterious gray female spy who wore a veil over her large hat.  The black and white spies made perfect cold war antagonists, bent on annihilating each other by any means necessary, but doomed to an eternal standoff.  Mr. Prohias was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba.  He studied art at San Alejandro Academy in Havana but left school after a year to find work as a newspaper cartoonist.  For many years he was the editorial cartoonist for El Mundo, a Havana daily, and his many awards included the National Association of Newspaper Journalists' first award for cartoon of the year, given in 1946.  Soon after Fidel Castro came to power, Mr. Prohias began criticizing his policies in his cartoons, a habit that earned him the enmity of the government, which accused him of working for the Central Intelligent Agency.  Mr. Prohias, aware that he was endangering his colleagues at El Mundo, resigned from the newspaper in February 1959 and found work painting trucks.  It was some satisfaction that the Association of Newspaper Journalists again gave him its cartoon of the year award in 1959, a prize that was handed to him by none other than Mr. Castro.  In May 1960, Mr. Prohias left Havana for New York.  He spoke no English, but with his daughter Marta acting as an interpreter, he walked into the offices of Mad and showed his drawings.  He was hired on the spot.  Mr. Prohias based his spies on the Sinister Man, the macabre, mute antihero cartoon he contributed to the weekly magazine Bohemia and the newspaper ZigZag.  After deciding that the character was too bleak for American tastes, he transformed him into the black spy and gave him an enemy, the white spy.  Although Mr. Prohias's cartoons had a dark quality, he himself was a genial figure in his neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, where he would buy art supplies for any local youngster who showed an interest in art.  After Mr. Prohias's retirement, "Spy vs. Spy" was taken over by a series of cartoonists and is now drawn by Peter Cooper [Kuper].  Mr. Prohias's work was collected in Mad's Spy vs. Spy (1965), Mad's Spy vs. Spy Follow-Up File (1968) and Mad's Big Book of Spy vs. Spy Capers and Other Surprises (1982).  In addition to his daughter Marta, who lives in Miami, he is survived by his wife Marta Leon, of Miami; a son, Antonio, of Miami; another daughter, Susana Schubert of Berlin; four grandchildren; five brothers, and two sisters.  Frank Nuessel sent me the above article which appeared in The New York Times, March 2, 1998.  It was written by William Grimes."

(Photo of Antonio Prohias by Hector Gabrino/El Nuevo Herald, 1997 with caption: "Antonio Prohias's 'Spy vs. Spy,' a cartoon about two cold war antagonists, caught the attention of Mad magazine in 1960.")

"I wish to thank Kent Gamble and Tom Anderson for sending me some great cover art.  I'm covered through issue #50, but I still could use some more."

"Cuban-born cartoonist Prohias dies - Antonio Prohias, one of the great Cuban cartoonists of the century, died Tuesday of cancer at Mercy Hospital in Miami.  He was 77.  'He made history with his drawings,' said Cuban cartoonist Silvio Fontanilla.  'He began at the newspaper El Mundo in 1947 and was one of the founders of the humor magazine Zig Zag.  He created unforgettable characters, such as Hedgehog, The Black Sheep, The Sinister Man and the Spy-vs.-Spy couple.'  Born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, Prohias lived in Havana from the age of 6 months.  He was 17 when he began studying art at the San Alejandro Academy, but academic rules did not appeal to his freewheeling spirit and he started looking for work in the city's daily newspapers.  In 1946, after becoming a regular contributor to several publications, he won the Juan Gualberto Gomez Award, Cuban cartoonists' highest honor.  'He was our most transcendental and prolific cartoonist, the creator of a genuinely Cuban style,' cartoonist Fresquito Fresquet said.  'A tenacious student of human nature, he captured the essence of man in his drawings.  His Sinister Man and the two spies typify the constant struggle of man vs. man.'  Marta Rosa Pizarro, one of Prohias' daughters, described him as 'an avid reader of psychology and history books.  Many of his cartoons were based on ideas that emerged from those books.'  In 1959, when Fidel Castro came to power, Prohias, then president of the Association of Cuban Cartoonists, began to draw him as a Communist.  His cartoons were denounced by the regime, and he was accused of being an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.  Castro himself went on television to show one of the caricatures that lampooned him and stated that 'a petty campaign is being waged against me.'  His life in danger, Prohias fled to New York City in May 1960.  He didn't speak a word of English, so he got a job ironing sweaters at a factory.  Later, he was joined by his family and resumed drawing.  His most popular characters, the two spies, were born at that time.  Accompanied by daughter Marta Rosa, who served as his interpreter, Prohias walked into the editorial offices of Mad magazine and submitted his drawings.  The strip was accepted immediately, the start of a relationship that lasted until Prohias' retirement in 1990, when he moved to Miami.  Spy vs. Spy has become a classic in the world of cartooning.  The strip has appeared in books, television and the movies.  'All of us at Mad are very saddened by Prohias' death,' Editor Nick Meglin said Tuesday.  'He was a gentleman.  He brought us a new image that American cartoonists did not provide.  His feeling of the absurdity of politics gave birth to Spy vs. Spy.'  The characters are 'two crazed beings who try to destroy each other but end up hurting themselves,' Meglin said.  'Prohias was brilliant, creating outlandish weapons and resources for his spies.  He was the only editorial cartoonist the magazine ever had.  When I discovered him, I never realized that the strip would last for so long and that his work would enjoy the popularity it does.'  Jose Varela, cartoonist for El Nuevo Herald, said that Prohias 'had a very special genius, because he did captionless cartoons, which are the hardest to do.  His language was universal.'  Prohias is survived by former wife Marta Leon; children Marta Rosa Pizarro, Antonio Prohias and Susana Schubert; and four grandchildren.  Visitation is at Rivero Funeral Home, 3344 SW Eighth St..  At 10:30 a.m. today, a Mass will be said at St. Raymond Catholic Church, 3465 SW 17th St.  Burial will follow at Woodland Park North Cemetery, 3260 SW Eighth St.  The above article appeared in The Miami Herald, February 25, 1998 and was written by Armando Alverez Bravo.  Michael Lerner sent it to me."

"Goodbye Antonio, thank you for years of laughter!"

"National Hot Rod Association Gears Up To Go MAD - Team Toliver and Mad Magazine have entered into a unique licensing arrangement.  For the first time ever, there will be a Mad 'funny' car racing in National Hot Rod Association events.  The Mad car will debut at races starting in late January, 1998.  At the first such race, in Pomona, CA, Alfred E. Neuman himself will present the keys to Team Toliver owner/driver, Jerry Toliver.  The deal, the first of its kind, not only gives Team Toliver the rights to drive the Mad car, but also includes a joint licensing agreement for other Mad/Team Toliver products, including die-cast collectible cars, apparel, housewares and other Mad stuff.  The Mad/Team Toliver agreement was brokered by Steve Lashever of the William Morris Agency.  Joel Ehrlich, Senior Vice President of Advertising and Promotion for DC Comics (which includes Mad Magazine) and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, said, 'This is an incredible opportunity, both for Mad and Team Toliver.  The combination of Mad's irreverent spirit and NHRA's racing excitement can only lead to one thing - a win for everyone!'  Jerry Toliver, owner of Toliver Motorsports and driver of the Mad funny car, was quoted as saying, 'We here at Toliver Motorsports are extremely excited about the 1998 NHRA Drag Racing season.  This team is poised and ready to launch its campaign.  The partnership with Mad Magazine through DC Comics and Warner Bros. is an incredible opportunity.  We can't wait for the show to begin.'  'We're delighted to welcome Mad Magazine and DC Comics to the NHRA family of sponsors,' said Dallas Gardner, president of the NHRA.  'Race teams are the foundation of everything NHRA is about, and it's particularly gratifying Mad would take their first step into this exciting market with the race team.  The fit with NHRA and DC is a great one and, after looking at demographics and target markets, we're confident the project will be an effective marketing tool for Mad.  This is one company we are going to be able to have some fun with, and we'd better be able to laugh a little at ourselves because Mad spares no one.' "

"Driver License - Dick Hanchette recently found Alfred E. Neuman driver licenses at the local flea market.  Not sure who's making them, but they aren't licensed by Mad."

"How Not To Market a Product: The Mad Case Study - Besides not letting its readers know about various Mad products being licensed, Mad usually associates itself with the market leaders.  Hardees creates a Mad kid's meal with cut-down magazines.  Doesn't Hardees sell hamburgers, I wouldn't know, I've never seen one.  Tang hasn't soared since the last moon landing.  And now Mad has sponsored a funny car.  Let's look at some of the recent activity with their newest promotion.  I found this information, as well as the article on page 6, on the NHRA website.  Randy Parks completed his licensing runs at Phoenix, as did Frank Pedregon and Doug Kalitta.  Jerry Toliver did not, aborting what looked like a good enough pass Monday to finish the licensing when he mistook the mid-track reflectors for the finish line and shut it off prematurely.  No sign of him at SIR today, but if he's going to run the Mad Magazine car at Pomona, he has to complete his licensing by this weekend.  (He gets his license.) Notes for Funny Car at the 38th annual NHRA Winternationals presented by Pennzoil, listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, position in order following run: Right Lane: Jerry Toliver  Runs 10.656/76.96 Psn #14.  Toliver made his first-ever competitive pass in the Mad Magazine car and gave Alfred E. Newman a very shaky ride, shutting off after about 200 feet.  Left Lane: Jerry Toliver  Runs 9.089/89.48 Now #14.  Toliver pedaled the 'Mad' car several times before clicking it off.  Right Lane: Jerry Toliver  Runs 9.635/86.14 Now #18.  Toliver was unable to get it hooked back up.  Now before you think 89.48 miles per hour is good for a funny car, 309.06 miles per hour was the top speed during qualifying.  The good news, there should be a bunch of Mad funny car related merchandise coming out over the next few months.  Look for it at your favorite store which carries NHRA stuff.  If it sells as fast as the car travels down the 1/4 mile, look for it in the reduced price bins."

"Mad Price Guide" [collector stuff]

(Photo of "The MAD Funny Car")

"What's New Dept: - Cracked #325 - Cracked magazine recently celebrated their 40th year.  The magazine contains a couple of Mad references, which are pictured below.  (Drawing of Mad magazine with 'Cracked' pasted over it; drawing of Cracked # 139 with AEN laughing on cover.)
Border(less) Update - Mad has finished the test of their border versus borderless issues.  My guess is the issues with borders won the battle judging by the covers of the most recent issues.  You can find the following in both versions: #363 - Spice Girls; #363 - Jerry Seinfeld; #364 - AEN as Santa.  My understanding is the next marketing test will be staples versus no staples.
Russ Cochran's Comic Art Auction - Two Mad stories are being auctioned.  Mort Drucker's 'The Irving Irving Story' from Mad #75.  It's five pages with a $600-800 estimate.  The other is Jack Davis' 'A Mad Peek Behind the Scenes at a Recording Studio' from Mad #144.  It's two pages in one piece with a $300-500 estimate.  Four total pages appear in the catalog.  Call (417) 245-2224 for availability.
Another Mad Fanzine - Jerry Moore is publishing Mind Snack MADlog, the newsletter of the MAD Collectors Registry.  Issue number 9 is the first in a fanzine format, the other 8 were in a newsletter format ... [discontinued]
Another Alfred E. Neuman Ring - I found another 'warehouse find' Alfred E. Neuman ring at the local collectibles store.  Instead of the black and white photo on a red background.  This one pictures the image from the late 1950s Asheville Post Card Co. postcard.  It's a drawn Alfred on a blue background.  I wonder if they will 'find' the same image on money clips and pill boxes?  As Mad collectibles have gone up in price and popularity, there seems to be more unlicensed stuff made.  I know the Alfred E. Neuman and bust has been reproduced.  Let me know if you've seen any other fakes."

THE MAD PANIC No. 48 May 1998
Cover: Alf reading Mad Panic hidden by Mad. (by Tom Anderson)

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): I want to start by apologizing to Gary Kritzberg and Tim Johnson.  I told them I would get this issue out early and give them a plug for their first MAD Auction.  Instead of being early, I'm about a month late.  The good news is that they had a very successful auction.  A little too successful if you ask me, I got outbid on everything!  I hope to do better in their next auction.  Gary supplied the prices realized for this fanzine.  Sotheby's is holding an auction on June 5th which is being billed as "MADsterpieces: Original Comic Art from the Mad Archives."  A number of us MAD collectors will be attending the event.  If you have a chance to attend do so.  I'm looking forward to meeting, in person, a number of you whose voice I already know.  We shouldn't be hard to find, I bet most of us will be wearing some type of MAD attire.  The auction catalog can be ordered from their web site (http://www.sothebys.com) for $32.  I hope to report more in next issue.  I don't have a feature article this issue, so I'm just going to start throwing things in as I come to them.  This has to be my most ill prepared issue to date.  It also explains why it's late.  I've picked up a bunch of short pieces and that will have to make do until the next issue.  Stay MAD, Ed"

"MAD Magazine Card Game - I was in one of my favorite comic shops the other day and spotted the card game.  I picked it up, shook it, smelled it, and put it back.  As I was leaving I decided to purchase it if it was complete.  I asked the dealer and he counted the cards, 77 of them.  I know the game states there are 76 cards, plus with four blank cards listed in the instructions, there are a total of 80, so I assumed it was near complete.  I got it for $8.95.  When I took a closer look that night, I found four cards I've never seen before.  They are advertisements for three other Parker Brothers games plus the French game Mille Bornes.  Boggle is a blue card, Mille Bornes is green, Rook is red, and Flinch is yellow.  These cards have the same backing as the other 80 cards. [shows copies of four cards.]  Not being part of the game, I can see why kids tossed these cards.  So if you're purchasing an open MAD Magazine Card Game, make sure it has all 84 cards.  I think I now own a complete game, does anyone know of any other cards?"

"Do It Yourself Publishing - For years I've wanted business cards to give to dealers and fellow collectors.  I've been too lazy and cheap to get them made.  I wanted something more than a black and white card.  Recently one of the guys I work with showed me his business card that he designed and printed himself.  I hurried down to the local office supply store and purchased the business card stock.  It came with instructions for formatting using numerous word processors.  I was off and running.  I was able to print up 100 for around $5.00 and about an hour's worth of time.  I have a color printer, so my business card was done in full color. [shows copy of business card.]  Richard Landivar recently sent me his card which he mounted on a magnetic backing.  So have fun and create your own.  I'm one of those sick collectors who saves these things, so send me your business card and I'll send you mine back.  I'll also send one to anyone who includes a SASE."

"Jerry Toliver's MAD Funny Car suffered some damage at the Mopar Nationals in Englishtown, NJ.  As the Mad Magazine Firebird neared the lights there was a flash from under the hood and the blowout panel (right in the middle of Alfred E. Neuman's forehead) went sailing through the air.  No fire, the onboard extinguishing system doing its job, so after a quick cleanup we'll be back to racing.  The car couldn't be repaired at the track so Toliver competed in an all black Firebird with a yellow MAD logo painted on the side.  Toliver lost in the 4th round to Cruz Pendragon.  (Doe anyone have a picture of the New MAD Funny Car?)  Michael Lerner sent me this tidbit and I added the comment"

"For a good time type: http://www.tusco.net/wjer/rich/mad"

"MAD Action Figures - DC will inaugurate its new line with two releases from MAD Magazine.  'There'll be Spy vs. Spy [as a set], two figures; one black, one white,' said DC's Marketing Product Representative Emily Marcus.  'Each figure will have his own bag of tricks with various weapons and toys inside, and they'll both be 6 inches tall.  Aftre that, our other release will be Alfred E. Neuman.  He'll have his little sandwich board, with words that can be moved around.'  The MAD figures will ship November 18, 1998.  The above appeared in ToyFare #11, July 1998.  The Comic Shop #565, April 22, 1998, reported that the PVC figures will only be available in comic shops.  Their Mad Action Figures, including Spy Versus Spy and Alfred E. Neuman, will be articulated figures aimed at the collectible toy market."

"Antikamnia Advertisement - Gary Kritzberg recently sent me this very early advertisement found in a 1905 copy of American Dental Journal." [shows Antikamnia Chemical Company ad: 'It didn't hurt a bit!']

"MAD May Auction Prices Realized" [two pages of prices for collector stuff]

"MAD Price Guide" [more collector stuff - 1.5 pages]

"Al Jaffee Art on Display - Al Jaffee will be appearing at the East End Gallery on Friday, July 3rd, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.  Some of his artwork will be on display at the gallery from July 3rd through the 16th.  The gallery is located in Provincetown MA which is on the tip of Cape Cod.  Check out the web site at: http://eastendgallery.com."

"Cheech Martin [sic] - Look for a copy of the April 27th issue of People.  Cheech can be seen with his wife playing the MAD Magazine Game on their bed."

"Sergio Aragones - Congratulations to Sergio for winning two Harvey Awards, named after Harvey Kurtzman.  He received the Best Cartoonist and Special Award for Humor."

[another page of collector prices]

"MAD Intern Search - Have you ever wondered what it took to be a MAD intern.  Below is a notice released for the search.  Michael Lerner provided this information.  That's right!  We've begun our ninth annual nationwide search for two summer interns to join our (in)famous editorial staff.  You'll participate in brainstorming sessions and work on article conception and development.  You'll also work side by side with many of our artists and receive helpful hints about hockey and its history from a woman known as 'High Stick.'  All MAD Interns MUST arrange to receive college credit in exchange for participation in the internship program.  (You'll have to work this out with your department chairman, chairwoman, chairperson, or all three if necessary!  Official documentation is required!)  There is NO PAY involved.  To qualify as a MAD intern, here's what you need to do:  1) Pick up a recent regular issue of MAD (not a Special) and familiarize yourself with it.  2) Come up with at least one premise for an article you think should be in MAD.  (No TV or movie satires!)  Give three examples of how you would develop it.  Rough sketches are welcome but not necessary.  Originality is prized.  3) Send all non-returnable materials to MAD Magazine, Internship Program, c/o Amy Vozeolas, 1700 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.  Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and school.  All entries must be received by April 20, 1998.  All entrants will be notified shortly thereafter.  Remember, all applications are treated as submissions, which means even if you're not chosen as an intern, you can still sell us an article.  We pay top rates -- $400 per MAD page -- on acceptance!  Many of our interns have made sales and gone on to have a continuing working relationship with the editors.  The first internship begins June 1 and ends July 10.  The second internship begins July 13 and ends August 21.  Who knows?  With any kind of bad luck, you could become one of 'The Usual Gang of Idiots!'  Good luck!  MAD-ly, The Editors"

"25c Cheap? - This piece of sheet music was recently up for bid and was purchased by someone who isn't an Alfred E. Neuman collector.  The guy collects sheet music.  This piece from 1904 sold for $228.50." [shows "Maloney's Wedding Day Songster"]

"Peaberry Coffee Bag - This is the item that attracted all of the attention during the MAD May Auction." [shows "Happy Peaberry Coffee" bag.]

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 49 July 1998
Cover: Alf wearing sunglasses. (by Kent Gamble)

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): My next issue will be number 50.  I never thought I would still be publishing this cheap little fanzine for more than 8 years.  I'm still having fun and don't see an end in sight.  If you have anything special that you would like to include in the next issue, now is the time to send it to me.  This issue contains the annual MAD Interest List.  I've formatted it a little differently than in prior years.  I've included a separate section for email addresses.  I looked at the first Interest List I published and Stan Horzepa and I were the only two collectors (that we knew of) communicating on the Internet.  Boy, have things changed!  There are 25 readers, only 19 wanted to be listed, that I can now communicate with whenever I want.  I get many ideas and pieces of information for this fanzine from these guys and gals.  Jerry Moore recently interviewed me for his fanzine, MADlog, and we did it entirely over the Internet.  Jerry, John Hett, and I have talked about the directions of our fanzines over the Internet.  It's a great way to quickly communicate at little expense and at a leisurely pace.  If you're not on the Internet, seriously consider doing so.  Just looking at Dick Hanchette and Mark Cohen's web sites is worth the hookup cost.  Just stay away from the ebay auctions, I have enough trouble trying to outbid the guys already on the Internet.  Stay MAD, Ed"

"Fambly Album - Way back in issue #9 (September 1991) I reprinted an article that appeared in the New York Daily News (February 7, 1967) concerning the origin of Alfred E. Neuman.  I'm going to reprint the relevant part below: 'He doesn't go back to 1880 and neither do I for that matter.  The title of the book was 'The Fambly Album' and I believe it was written and illustrated by an artist named Frank Stafford.'  Mrs. Ehrick continues: 'I acquired the book around 1928 and it was not new then.  In it, Alfred - although I'm not sure that was his name - is a little boy of 10 or 11.  The family minister comes to call and while waiting for his mother to come downstairs.  Alfred decides to entertain the minister by showing the family photograph album.  In the process of showing the pictures, Alfred reveals all the family secrets, and on the last page is the picture which I have seen so often in Mad magazine.  For years I asked different book dealers about this book, I had to have it.  I finally found a copy and couldn't believe it after looking through the book twice.  Mrs. Ehrick had a lousy memory!  This Frank Wing (not Stafford) book told the story about an eleven year old girl (not boy) named Rebecca Sparks Peters (not Alfred) who shows the book to the minister while her mother was at the 't' Baird's t' show' (not upstairs).  The book was published in 1917 by The Reilly & Britton Co.  The closest resemblance to Alfred E. Neuman in the book is shown on the next page.  'That's young Burgstresser,' states Rebecca Sparks Peters.  Ironically, the last sentence about him reads, 'Gosh! But he was mad.'  It wasn't the last picture in the book either!  The last picture is a self-portrait of Frank Wing, who looks nothing like Alfred E. Neuman!  While scanning the book, I notice Frank Wing had previously written and illustrated The Fotygraft Album, which is also shown to a preacher.  Maybe Mrs. Ehrick had seen both books and mixed the facts!  Being a bigger idiot than Alfred E. Neuman; I didn't have a difficult time finding this book so I purchased it, again sight unseen.  Arrrgh!  Frank Wing couldn't even remember his own book.  The album was shown to Mrs. Miggs, a new neighbor.  Another $10.00 down the drain!  And this book doesn't even have anyone pictured that looks anything like Alfred E.  Below are the cover and the closest picture to Alfred E. Neuman found in The Fambly Album.  [copies of book cover and photo]  For Sale: The Fambly Album, known for Alfred E. Neuman lore, and The Fotygraft Album.  Best offer.  Call Ed at 978-365-7628."

"Sotheby's Auction - I was planning to devote this issue to the Sotheby auction, but at the last minute I decided not to attend.  Therefore, I don't have much material concerning the auction; you'll need to read about it in The Journal of MADness.  In talking with a few of you, it was a great time.  Many of the MAD pieces were available at bargain prices.  Roger Hill sent me this photo of him with Annie Gaines working in the MAD vault looking for artwork to include in the auction.  Roger wrote the almost 300 MAD art descriptions for the auction."  [photo of Roger and Annie]

"Happy Boy - Mike Slaubaugh recently found some information on the Happy Boy Effanbee doll.  I ran an article about these look-a-like dolls a while back, but didn't have a picture that shows the doll in all three available outfits.  The dolls are listed as: all vinyl, comic character face, fully joined, painted features, molded hair, and has the mark FB29."  [photo of three dolls]

"New PANIC Envelope - I recently ordered a couple of EC reprint back issues from Gemstone Publishing.  I was surprised to see the envelope had a return address that stated PANIC and contained this Do Not Bend graphic.  Not sure if it appeared in Panic or not."  [copy of graphic]

"'New' Stationary - Grant Geissman recently sent me this letter written on a previously unknown style of MAD stationary.  The MAD logo is in red.  The page measures 11 x 7 inches.  This November 27, 1956 letter, shown on opposite page, is from Bill Gaines to a person named Ron.  I thought you might be interested in what Bill tells one of his readers.  It appears to be the first page of a longer letter.  'Dear Ron - Thanks ever so much for your letter - & your noting the significance of Nov 17th!  Very kind of you - Nancy was thrilled.  No, it doesn't seem a year - & the year was well marked, because EC started really falling apart right after we returned from our honeymoon.  Boy, never had such a year before, & trust it won't be repeated.  First the Picto-Fiction laying such an expensive egg, then my distribution collapse wiping us out, Davis leaving.  (Wood still with us at this writing!)"

"Old Business Card (Submitted by Bob Barrett)"  [copy of card with 'Me - Worry? kid on one side; 'Henry H. Allen' on reverse.]

[copy of Bill Gaines letter]

"Sergio Aragones - The following info was posted on the Internet by Mark Evanier, dated Jun 15, 1998, regarding upcoming Aragones projects.  (Submitted by Mike Slaubaugh)  'Hi, gang.  I am working on the third issue of BOOGEYMAN tonight.  The fourth issue will conclude that mini-series and then Sergio and I are doing a one-shot special for Dark Horse which will be called either THE DAY OF THE DEAD or its Spanish equivalent.  It's an odd, change-o'-pace special.  Then, probably the month after, we will probably have the first issue of a new four-issue GROO mini-series which will probably spotlight Rufferto in the story that we were once going to do as a RUFFERTO mini-series back at Image.  Note all the 'probablies' in this paragraph.  The first issue of our new DC book (a six-ish mini-series) FANBOY will probably be out around October.  I am enormously happy with this book so far.  It features Sergio collaborating with a number of guest artists each month.  The first issue has Jerry Ordway, Matt Haley and Berni Wrightson in it ... the second will have Wendy Pini, Gil Kane and one other.  It's a very silly comic.'"

"Wal-Mart Display - Jared Johnson found this rack display card hanging right in front of the newest issue of MAD.  It may be exclusive to Wal-Mart because of the smiley face.  There's a date of 22 June 98 on the front of the card.  The card measures 5.5" x 9"."  [photo of rack display card]

"Comic Shop News #575 - There is a short plug in the issue for the MAD #371 South Park double covers.  But they got the information wrong, it's not an outside and inside cover.  Dah!"

"MAD Interest List - 1998"  [list of collectors]

"Interest List - Email"  [list of collectors]

"Games Magazine - The August 1998 issue of Games magazine has a puzzle that matches product mascots with their slogans.  One of the mascots is Alfred E. Neuman with the answer (of course) 'What, Me Worry?'  (Submitted by Mike Slaubaugh)"

"Vietnam Patch"  [photo of 'What Me Worry?' aviation patch]

"MADlog - Jerry Moore asked me 10 questions and he published the interview in the current issue of MADlog at: Mind Snack [old address]"

 

THE MAD PANIC NO. 50 September 1998
Cover: The Three Stooges look like Alf (Kent Gamble)

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division) - I hit another personal milestone with this being the 50th issue.  The good news, or bad if [you] don't like the fanzine but just purchase it because you have to have every Mad related that is currently, or previously, produced because other collectors will think that you're only a two-bit collector because you don't have everything related to Mad which has been produced, currently or previously, or even stuff which hasn't come out yet, but has been announced, and you don't know about it because you don't read this fanzine or the other two Mad related fanzines which are still being produced, but don't have the same longevity as this cheaply produced fanzine which costs less per issue than those other two, and is published more often, even if it is sometimes late by a day, week, or month, which is caused by me having other responsibilities having to be attended to because otherwise I may not have the money to purchase every Mad related item that is released, and if I don't have every item I may lose interest in the Mad collectible game which would cause me to stop producing this fanzine, which would be good news for the folks who believe this is bad news, and bad news for the folks who believe this is good news but will never write to tell me, is my next milestone is 75 issues.  Thanks for all that have contributed over the past 8+ years.  I couldn't have done it without your continuous support.  I'm looking forward to at least another four years and thirty more dollars from each of you!  Stay Mad, Ed."

"Subscription Cards: The Next Generation (with examples) - Not too long ago Mike Slaubaugh sent me an email message asking if I collected the subscription cards Mad started inserting loose into the magazine.  I thought I was the only collector foolish enough to consider these collectible.  Mike and I agreed on the fact that the old subscription cards were sought and some good money had been paid for some of those cards.  Now was the time to collect them, not when they were actually fetching a substantial price.  Starting with the December 1997 issue of Mad, loose subscription cards were inserted instead of the attached variety.  It was a holiday special offering the reader one year for $22.  If you didn't like someone enough to get a real gift, you could order a subscription for him or her for $18.  The card is red and black.  It only appeared in the one issue.  Three different main designs have been issued during 1998.  If you count the different color variations, there are eight different subscription cards.  Each offered one year for $24.  One of these is an Alfred E. Neuman border card stating that the offer is a 'Savings Certificate.'  The card is available with a yellow, purple, red, and blue logo.  The background of each is a lighter shade of its logo color.  The next subscription card features Sergio Aragones art work.  The mailman has placed a bomb inside Mad's mailbox and he's lighting the fuse.  This card has only been found with the main color being burgundy.  The last of the three also features Sergio Aragones art.  This time the mailman is showing a group of guys someone's mail.  They are all laughing at the letter while the letter's owner looks on.  This card has been found with the following colors: blue, red, and green.  The September 1998 issue had two new subscription cards in its pages.  Both announce a new subscription premium.  Mad is giving away a 'FREE Erasable Mad Memo Board' with each one year subscription.  The first is a red regular subscription offer card.  This one will save you $5000 assuming you fly to Singapore every month to pick up your issue.  The text within the board states, 'Our promise: This memo board looks better in reality than it does here!'  The second card is pink.  You can get an erasable board for a friend by ordering him or her Mad for $22.  You save $2!  All of these cards have codes on them which I haven't been able to decode as of yet.  The card to your left has the code 2NJG1.  Others have codes such as 7NAG6, 7NFG1, and 7NBR1.  If anyone has figured these codes out, please let me know.  I'll pass the information along in a future issue.  If you have been purchasing Mad for the past year, this next generation of subscription cards shouldn't be hard to add to your collection.  If you've been throwing them away, start saving your money.  By the time you see them in the open market, you'll be paying dearly for them.  And as always, if I missed any subscription cards please let me know."

"The Boardwalkers - The music group The Boardwalkers released this 45 rpm record (Spy vs. Spy surfer and skin diver on album cover) sometime during 1994.  The artwork is by M. Colby.  Spy vs. Spy is the name of the song on side one, with side two being titled Boardwalkers.  The record is available for $3.50 plus $2.10 postage, add .25 for each additional record.  Send to Dionysus Records, PO Box 1975, Burbank CA 91507.  Roland Coover submitted this information."

Incredibly Mad Auction - Michael Lerner decided not to run his famous Mad auction this year.  Tim Johnson has put together a great replacement.  I was drooling over some of the items.  I hope you get what you want, unless I'm bidding on that item!" (Announcement for "The 1st Annual Incredibly Mad Auction")

"The MAD PANIC Issue #1-25 Index - This index is listed by groupings.  The number on the far right is the issue number and page, example: 9.3 would be issue 9, page 3.  The editorial usually appeared on page 2 of each issue, except where listed.

Original Articles
5 Questions with Dave Berg 9.3
5 Questions with Dick DeBartolo 4.4
5 Questions with Sergio Aragones, original artwork 8.3
Article Collecting by Michael Lerner 9.2
Board Game MADness 6.9
Canadian Cover Prices by Rick Long 20.9
Gag Gift Packs 22.5
Gaines EC File Copies 24.9
I'm Buying War Bonds 10.3
Kovacs & MAD by Michael Lerner 12.9
MAD Appearances on Television by Michael Lerner 12.3
MAD Appearances on Television, update (1) 13.1
MAD Appearances on Television, update (2) 15.8
MAD Art Show Collectibles Checklist by Mark Cohen 24.5
MAD Collectibles: I'll Have Mine Rare Please by M. Lerner 21.4
MAD Discography 5.4
MAD Discography, foreign record 6.4
MAD in the Movies by Michael Lerner 13.1
MAD Office Visit by Michael Lerner 22.3
MAD Trading Cards by Stan Horzepa 16.5
MADness, article as printed by Name of the Game 8.1
Showing An Interest In MAD 21.8
Son of Happy Boy by Michael Lerner 25.7
Spy vs. Spy: The Case Of The Hidden Video Games 20.4
The Complete Australian MAD Checklist by David Williams 11.3
The Complete MAD Sticker Checklist, Rick Stoner cover 7.5
The MAD Artist Quiz by Mark Cohen 25.5
The MAD Magazine Logo by David Williams 25.3
The Parody of MAD by Michael Lerner 10.1

Reprinted Articles
A MAD World Loses Its Creator - SF Examiner 14.2
A Perfect MAD Man - Time 14.5
A Time For Panic - Fanfare #1 6.1
Collectors Network - SodaNet 16.6
Comic book circulation figures 1991 - CBG 15.8
Don't Get MAD, Get Autographs - The Press democrat 12.11
Guest Writer - Inside Trading News (Limerock) 16.4
Harvey Kurtzman Is Dead at 68 - New York Times 18.B
Images - Sidney Morning Herald 16.9
It may be MAD, but there's a method in it - Baltimore Sun 4.1
MAD About the Dellwoods, letter - DISCoveries 5.3
MAD Marches On - Boston Globe 1.1
MAD publisher Gaines leaves madcap legacy - USA Today 14.4
MAD Youth - Life 15.6
MAD: Still crazy after all these years - USA Today 2.1
MAD's Name Is Far From Mud - LA Times Calendar 7.1
Mystery Lifts a Little - New York Daily News 9.1
No Tears, Please, Laughs Only - Cleveland Plain Dealer 14.8
Now Croc of Ol'd Dundee is really MAD - The Sune (Sidney) 16.9
Of Men and MAD - Tikkun 13.6
Panic According to Feldstein - Panic #1 1.4
Radio Station 2BL, radio interview (1) 17.5
Radio Station 2BL, radio interview (2) 18.8
Radio Station 2BL, radio interview (3) 19.4
Somewhere Down Under, TV interview with Dick DeBartolo 13.4
Sporting Life: Cricket champion Waugh goes MAD - D.T.M. 11.7
Still MAD After All These Years - Newsweek 5.1
The Freaky World of Alfred E. Neuman - SF Sunday Exam. 3.1
The mad, mad world of MAD (1) - The Peninsula Time Tribune 1.9
The mad, mad world of MAD (2) - The Peninsula Time Tribune 2.9
The mad, mad world of MAD (3) - The Peninsula Time Tribune 3.4
The mad, mad world of MAD (4) - The Peninsula Time Tribune 4.9
The mad, mad world of MAD (5) - The peninsula Time Tribune 5.9
The Man Who Drove America MAD - Entertainment Weekly 14.10
When Is A Parody A Plagiarism? - Publisher's Weekly 9.9
William M. Gaines is Dead at 70 - New York Times 14.3
Youth are far from the MAD-ding crowd - Australian newspaper 24.3

(Copies of covers of THE MAD PANIC number 1 and 25)

Pre-MAD Items
All Angels Have Freckles postcard 23.10
Bowling shirt with Alfred E. Neuman 22.10
Cherry Sparkle soda bottle topper 2.5
Chester W. VA. Souvenir ashtray 17.12
Comfort Soap pinback button 6.5
Farmhouse Ice Cream Co. postcard 25.10
Generic Me Worry? No postcard 19.10
Happy Jack Beverages soda bottle 23.4
I Should Say Not thermometer 20.10
I Work For The Guv'mint postcard 8.10
I.M.A. Simp pin back button 6.5
I'm in Hollywood postcard 10.10
Jolly Boy kite 3.3
MAD's full page tribute to William Gaines, New York Times 14.6
Male and female Alfred E. Neuman postcard 16.10
Malmberg's pinback button 6.5
Me Worry? Not in Hollywood postcard 18.10
Newton - My Apologies, 8.5x11" poster 3.5
One Out of our Sunday School Class postcard 9.10
Pearl Beer Distr. Co. postcard 4.5
Responsible People Don't Drive ink blotter 24.10
Sebastian Inn tradecard 11.10
So What? postcard 3.10
Staehler's matchbook cover 15.10
Superior - 1941 pinback button 6.5
Sure - I'm for Roosevelt postcard 1.5
Tin coasters, 'Me Worry?' and 'Son of Me Worry?' 5.5

MAD Collectibles
Accuracy Is Our Watchword plastic postcard 21.10
Action Comics #386 19.3
Alfred E. Neuman puppet 20.3
Aurora 1965 model catalog 15.12
Australian MAD At Your Newsagent Now sticker 23.12
Baby Barry doll 4.3
Barf #1 2.4
Berserk Candy Works MAD candy 19.3
Berserk Candy Works MAD candy 22.8
Best of Cracked Magazine card #11 3.7
Button Exchange pinback buttons 19.3
Calendar, 1993 edition 13.8
Calendar, 1993 edition 15.9
Cherry Sparkle soda repro tin sign 17.4
Collectibly MAD book 12.7
Collectibly MAD book 22.9
Counterfeit MAD tie 24.11
Cracked #255 2.4
Defective Comics trading cards, Bad #1 19.3
Dick DeBartolo book list 4.10
DISCoveries, April 1990 2.4
Dvorak's Inside Track to the MAC 13.8
Effanbee doll response to letter from Michael Lerner (1) 22.11
Effanbee doll response to letter from Michael Lerner (2) 25.6
German MAD #118 cover, RIP Jim Henson 3.8
Gibson Greetings cards, bags, gift wrap and stickers 22.9
Greeting card by Ambassador 12.8
Greeting cards by Colorado company 12.7
Happy Chap doll by Effanbee 16.3
I Read Australian MAD sticker 22.12
Ich bin verruckt German sticker 21.12
Limerock MAD trading cards 15.4
Limerock MAD trading cards, second series 16.8
MAD bootleg busts 22.9
MAD boxer shorts and ties 13.9
MAD neck ties 19.3
MAD products that are not being released after-all 22.9
MAD ties by Watson Brothers 22.9
MAD record album, concept cover 10.8
Model and Toy Collector, Spring 1990 2.4
New York News Day article 12.7
OSP Publishing posters 19.3
Pinball machine featuring Alfred E. Neuman and MAD 12.7
Russ Cochran MAD Auction #16 12.6
Sick #2, Sick magazine's second album 15.10
Slot machine by Sega Continental 19.9
Slot machine by Sega 19.6
Stamford Museum MAD art show t-shirt 25.12
Subscription wrappers 24.8
Swing with Scooter #9 25.8
The Adventures of Jerry Lewis #89 21.7
Tri-State Multi-Media Event advertisement 15.11
Wacky Packages card #145 3.7
Warner Stores Alfred E. Neuman $2500 bust 23.5
Warner Stores Alfred E. Neuman statue 25.9
Warner Stores Dave Berg desk plaques 23.12
Warner Stores denim jacket 19.3
Warner Stores jigsaw puzzle and playing cards 24.8
Warner Stores napkins, watches, play cards, jewelry, etc. 22.9
Wimmin's Comix #17 13.9
Wolvertoons book 2.4

(Copies of covers of THE MAD PANIC numbers 11 and 23)

Stuff found in the Filler Dept
Alfred's MAD Memo Pad 10.9
Annie Gaines on life with Bill 24.4
Applause coffee cups 5.10
Calendar list 6.11
Concepts Plus watch variations 5.6
Cover variations for MAD #123 2.9
Halloween gift paperback books 6.11
Hussein Asylum Edition covers 7.15
Hussein Asylum Edition covers, update 8.9
Kitchen Sink cartoonist pinback buttons 4.3
Limerock promo card variations 17.3
MAD #220 variations (Note: info is wrong) 6.4
MAD #78, 171, 227 cover variations (Note: info is wrong) 7.15
MAD Collector's Series #5 variations 17.11
MAD Special #82 variation 20.11
MAD squirt toys by Imagineering 10.8
MAD Sticker Album variation 1.9
Mark Cohen's MAD art show schedule 17.12
Mark Cohen's MAD art show schedule 20.3
Mark Cohen's MAD art show schedule 25.5
Parent's Magazine giving MAD a "C" rating 1.4
Pre-CRACKED pinback button 9.7
Screwball, The MAD MAD MAD Game 2.8
The New Yorker, one paragraph on MAD magazine 5.9

(Copies of covers of THE MAD PANIC numbers 17 and 22)

Miscellaneous Stuff
Al Feldstein's Tom Thumb record art 13.11
Al Jaffee MAD (yeech!) Rejects - book review 3.14
Alfred E. Neuman look-a-like dolls  23.6
Alfred E. Neuman picture in advertisement - Sydney Herald 18.6
Big Bucks MAD, 1994 Overstreet prices on MAD 25.12
Bill Gaines and Don Martin letter exchange 12.7
Cecil Sutton artwork, follow-up to the cover 17.6
Classified Ads 1.11
Classified Ads 2.11
Classified Ads 3.15
Classified Ads 4.11
Classified Ads 5.11
Classified Ads 6.3
Comic Book Superstars 24.8
Completely MAD - book review 11.8
Completely MAD press information 11.9
David Williams Editorial 11.2
Don Martin Funny Papers greeting cards 25.9
Don Martin Magazine 23.12
Don Martin Magazine 24.8
Don Martin's droll Book 16.8
Don Martin's Packet PC advertisement art 21.11
EC Vidzine 12.5
First use of the name Alfred E. Neuman 10.9
Get Smart appearance for Alfred E. Neuman 21.6
Groo t-shirt and cloisonne pin 13.9
Harvey Kurtzman tribute 18.A
Harvey Kurtzman's Jigsaw Puzzle Book art 13.11
Interest List 17.3
Interest List 23.3
Jack Davis' Entertainment Weekly Batman art 15.3
Jack Davis' football towel art 17.13
Jack Davis' Frankenstein door poster 13.8
Jack Davis' Fun Fruits trading card art 18.11
Jack Davis' Great American Smokeout advertisement 11.11
Jack Davis' Jokes From The Crypt book art 16.11
Kitchen Sink trading cards 16.3
Letters to the Editor 1.3
Letters to the Editor 2.3
MAD artists with record cover artwork 12.10
MAD Collectibles Alert by Grant Geissman 24.12
MAD Comic Imitations 10.7
MAD t-shirts and boxer shorts 25.9
Mark Cohen MAD art exhibit schedule 12.7
Mark Cohen MAD art exhibit schedule 13.10
Mort Drucker's People magazine stamp art 19.11
Mort Drucker's Burger King bag 9.11
Mort Drucker's Kibbles 'n Bits advertisement 10.11
Paperback book publisher information 20.12
Paul Coker Jr.'s Hallmark greeting card 8.11
Rick Tulka's How To Get A Job comic cover art 23.11
Sergio Aragones MAD As Usual! - book review 2.10
Sergio Aragones' Smokehouse Five book 12.5
Sotheby's Comic Auction Catalog 12.6
Spy vs. Spy trading card checklist 20.11
Stop using MAD copyright stuff letter 4.2
Tales from the Crypt trading cards 20.12
The MAD Magazine TV Special 21.3
The Weather MAD - book review 1.10
Trivia Contest 18.3
Trivia Contest 23.8

Cover Art
Rick Stoner logo #1 - Issue 3
Rick Stoner logo #2 - Issues 5-10
Cecil Sutton - Issues 11-13, 15-21, 23-25
William Gaines seated at his desk, photograph - Issue 14
Matt Teske - Issue 22

Giveaways
MAD series 1 card from Limerock 15
MAD series 2 promo card from Limerock 17
Spy vs. Spy promo card from Limerock 18
Defective Comics promo card from Active Marketing Intl. 19
William Gaines trading card from Cardz 20
Free MAD magazine in poor condition 21

(Copies of covers of THE MAD PANIC numbers 3 and 19)

"The MAD Collectible of the Month (Part II) - If you don't know by now, there is another MAD fanzine trying to compete with this fanzine for readership numbers by producing better articles, graphics, layout, etc.  So I'm going to one up The Journal of MADness and add some more detail to the article John Hett was attempting to write, which appeared on his back cover entitled The MAD Collectible of the Month.  (photo of gift cards)  The card on the left is similar to card number two in JoM.  It's the same size and wording, the exception being the subscriber receives 19 issues instead of 20 issues.  It's on a pre-paid 4 cent postcard.  The card on the right is basically the same as card number three in JoM.  The difference being it's on a pre-paid 15 cent postcard, and MAD has used a rubber stamp on top stating, 'First Mailing in February.'  So, there you have it ... two MAD Christmas Gift Subscription Cards that John missed.  I'm sure there's more that we both missed.  Let me know of any others.  You can subscribe to The Journal of MADness for $25 for four issues.  Back issues of #2-4 are available for $6.25 each.  A reprint of #1 for $7.50.  Send (way more money than you pay for this fanzine) to: John Hett, 7420 Calhoun, Dearborn MI 48126.  Be sure to let John know you like The MAD Panic better!"

"GUFF! Stuff - Dark Horse Comics has released what appears to be a one-shot comic called Guff!  Sergio Aragones has one of the two covers, depending on which way the shop owner faces the comic, and 5 pages of black and white artwork totaling 30 panels.  His new character is a teenaged boy named Timoteo.  The other cover is drawn by John Pound.  He teams up with writer Jay Lynch in a 3 page black and white Meanie Babies story.  Also included is a gum card of the Pound cover."  (copies of both covers)

"DC Going MAD with Direct Marketing-Exclusive Action Figures - They've amused generations of readers for decades in print, and soon three of MAD magazine's best-known creations - mascot Alfred E. Neuman and the Black & White antagonists of Spy vs. Spy - will be brought to life as 6' tall action figures by DC Comics.  Each figure will have multiple points of articulation, and will be equipped with plenty of special features and whimsical accessories, ranging from spinning heads to outrageous weapons of comedic destruction.  Recreating the cover boy whose amiable face has greeted MAD readers to nearly each month's issue since the 1950s, the fully painted Alfred E. Neuman figure will sport six points of articulation (including shoulders, elbows, and knees), plus a spinning spring-loaded head.  Accessories will include a base stand and a removable sandwich board with 10 changeable messages that will make it an ideal complement to any home or office toy display.  Each limited-edition figure will be packaged in a four-color blister pack, and will be exclusive to Direct Market for five months.  For each increment of six that a dealer orders will be five regular figures plus one variant.  The initial shipment will be sent November 18 with a second shipment arriving by year's end.  (From Diamond Dialogue, August 1998)"  (with photographs)

"Muffler Man - Half Wit - The folks from Snow Global Industries, Inc. have produced a Muffler Men t-shirt that pictures the Alfred E. Neuman muffler man face.  You can get the order form from their web site http://roadsideamerica.com/hut or send payment to 665 Highway 35 Suite 23, Middleton NJ 07748.  The prices are $17.95 for a large or XL shirt and $19.95 for a XXL shirt, plus include $4.00 for shipping and handling.  Be sure you note that you saw this offer in this fanzine.  There's more information about the Muffler Man series of characters at their web site."  (with photographs)

"ATF Patch - This ATF Tactical Operations Officer patch recently appeared in a recent on-line auction.  The spy's hat and the highlights are in blue instead of white.  It sold for $24.65."  (with photograph)

"What Else Is New - Michael Lerner reports that the latest issue of Make-Up Artist has a feature article about the person who does all of the bizarre special effects for MADtv.  He found an issue at the local newsstand.  Dick Hanchette has put up a new domain for his MAD site, which includes Doug Gilford's MAD cover site.  Take a look at http://www.collectmad.com."

"MAD Funny Card Photos - Tanya Dvorak, an acclaimed Hot Rod photographer, has released three great photos of the MAD funny car.  The photographs are 8 x 10" full color ear splitting images.  I just hope they sell faster than the first run Jerry Toliver took down the track aith this beauty.  The prices are $19.95 each framed, any 2 for $34.95, and all 3 for $42.95.  You can contact Tanya Dvorak at 11109 NE US Highway #301, Waldo Florida 32694-4327."  (with photographs)

"MAD Man Fan Club - The first part of the long awaited MAD Man Fan Club kit arrived.  The letter on the right states that the club newsletter and membership card are on the way.  At least we got the pin (pictured below) and t-shirt."  (with photographs)

"Political Postcard - This postcard dated March 1949 states that you should 'Stop Worrying, It's In The Bag!'  It's from Mac Hanes, campaign manager.  The back states: 'Elect Alton Hanes, the craziest trader in North Texas ... For Mayor ... And have a man that has already proven his future.  The only time to ever look back is in judging a man.  Then judge that man according to his accomplishments in the past.  A city is like a man.  The city is judged by its past.  Elect a man now that will work for the future of Wichita Falls instead of himself.  Listen to Hanes smoke the politicians out from behind the smoke screen, wednesday, 8:30 P.M. on radio station KWFT'."

THE MAD PANIC No. 52 January 1999
Cover: Alf is at the bottom of the pile on a football field. (by Kent Gamble)

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division) - Another sad day for MAD Collectors and fans occurres just before Christmas.  Joe Orlando passed away.  I always liked Joe's work in MAD and PANIC.  I was lucky enough, a number of years ago, to get a five page story that he did for PANIC.  It is my favorite original artwork.  I've included three notices about this death.  While a lot of information is repeated, I thought it was worth documenting what some others had to say about him.  Joe, we'll miss you!  If you don't know it by now, John E. Hett's Journal of MADness is hitting the big time.  Diamond Distributors is picking up his journal, which means you'll see it in the comic shops.  He's done a great job in bringing the journal so far in so little time.  If you've been following the activity on the Internet, you know that MAD has been a hot collectible with many items bringing record prices.  This has lead [sic] to a number of unlicensed items appearing.  A number of fantasy PEZ makers are offering Alfred E. Neuman and Spy dispensers, see page 11.  I've also noticed an Alfred E. Neuman cookie jar, Alfred E. Neuman and MAD logo marbles, and one clever individual has taken old Limerock MAD cards and made them into magnets by applying do-it-yourself magnet material found at most photo shops.  I could make a set of 55 for less than a set of 6 has been selling for.  If you're buying on the web, make sure you know what you're getting.  Stay MAD, Ed."

"Joe Orlando 1927-1998 [with photo in front of office of William M. Gaines] - Joe Orlando, legendary comic book artist and editor, passed away December 23 in Manhattan at the age of 71.  Orlando was born in Bari, Italy on April 4, 1927, and came to New York two years later.  He studied at the High School of Industrial Art and the Art Students League, and went on to a diverse career as a writer, artist, editor and teacher.  After stenciling boxcars as a soldier in post-war Germany, Orlando began his career in the medium he loved best, comics, at the Lloyd Jacquet Studio, an enterprise that outsourced comic strips for publishers, and worked on titles including the Catholic publication Treasure Chest.  He later assisted Wally Wood, a legendary science-fiction comics artist, and then began working independently.  Orlando achieved his first fame as one of the star artists of the E.C. Comics science fiction and horror line, including key contributions to Tales From The Crypt.  His science fiction work was recently recognized in Entertainment Weekly as one of 'Sci-Fi's Top 100.'  At E.C. he became a close friend of publisher William M. Gaines, and their collaboration continued until Gaines' death four decades later.  Orlando's most important artwork was 'Judgment Day,' a critically acclaimed parable of racial justice published in 1953.  When the horror comics were pushed off the market in response to public concerns about juvenile delinquency, Orlando shifted to Gaines' new effort, MAD Magazine.  Orlando illustrated classic MAD features including the recurring feature 'Scenes We'd Like To See' and a parody of Reader's Digest, 'Reader's Disgust.'  During his career as an artist, Orlando also contributed covers to magazines including Newsweek and National Lampoon, as well as numerous stories for the latter.  He illustrated children's books, comics as diverse as Classics Illustrated and his own quirky creation for DC, THE INFERIOR FIVE, and wrote the newspaper strip Little Orphan Annie.  Orlando took on the role of editor in 1968, joining DC Comics to revive the horror comics genre in the guise of gentler 'mystery' comics.  He created the host characters for the line, which included drawing inspiration from the Bible for the modern-day character Cain, the storyteller at The House Of Mystery.  During this period, Orlando's work earned him numerous awards, and he discovered a generation of significant new writers and artists for comics.  His single most enduring contribution was Swamp Thing, a character created under his editorship by two of his young proteges, Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.  Swamp Thing has gone on to fame in film, television, and cartoons.  Over his thirty years with DC, Orlando became the company's Vice President & Editorial Director, and became the Associate Publisher of MAD Magazine when it came under DC's purview after William M. Gaines' death.  He taught for many years at the School of Visual Arts; as an educator and an editor, developing new creative talents was one of his deepest passions.  Orlando continued to work and teach until his death, and had just completed the designs for the cover of MAD SUPER SPECIAL #139, a sign hanging on the White House reading 'This Government Is Out Of Order.'  DC Comics President & Editor-In-Chief, Jenette [sic] Kahn, said, 'A Jack-of-all-trades and master of most, Joe Orlando embodied all that is best in comics.  He loved a creative challenge, and there was none he didn't rise to, infecting all around him with his own pleasure and enthusiasm.  A puckish and generous teacher, he shared his ultimate secret - that fun is as important as work.'  DC Comics Executive Vice President & Publisher, Paul Levitz, said, 'Joe Orlando was an artist who conjured human emotion with his brushstrokes.  He loved to scare, to thrill, to inspire, and most of all, to make people laugh.  He taught a generation of us how to do our best work, and his creativity will live on in his students.'  Orlando is survived by his wife Karin, a teacher, his children, Susanne, Joanna, Paul, and a son by a previous marriage, Joseph Jr.  The wake will be held at Kirtle Funeral Home in Manhattan.  The family requests donations be made to the Joe Orlando Scholarship Fund at the School of Visual Arts.  A memorial service will be held by DC Comics at a later date."  (The above is a press release posted on the MAD magazine web site.)

"Tayna Dvorak has released three great photos of the MAD funny car.  The photographs are 8 x 10" full color images.  The prices are $19.95 each framed, any 2 for $34.95, and all 3 for $42.95.  Tanya Dvorak, 11109 NE US Highway #301, Waldo Florida 32694-4327."

"Legendary Creator Joe Orlando Dead - Just a few short weeks after losing Bob Kane, the man credited with creating Batman, the comic book industry lost another giant last week, with the death of Joe Orlando.  Orlando, who died December 23 in Manhattan at the age of 71, was an artist and editor for E.C. Comics, 'Mad Magazine' and DC Comics in his long and distinguished career.  Born in Italy and raised in New York City, he studied at the High School of Industrial Art and the Art Students League, and first made his name on the classic E.C. title 'Tales From The Crypt.'  A close friend of publisher William M. Gaines, Orlando moved over to illustrate E.C.'s new magazine as the era of the horror comic came to a public outcry-caused end.  That magazine, of course, was 'Mad Magazine.'  After creating 'The Inferior Five' for DC in the 1960s, he joined the company as an editor in the late 1960s, returning to his roots by spearheading the company's new horror line, and created host characters for each book, including a cartoon version of the Biblical Cain and Abel, who would later be revived for a new generation in the 1980s in the 'Sandman' series.  Orlando rose through company ranks, eventually becoming DC's Vice President and Editorial Director, and Associate Publisher of 'Mad Magazine,' now owned by DC Comics' parent company, Warner Brothers.  Shortly before his death, Orlando had just completed the design for 'Mad Super Special' #139, a sign hanging on the White House reading 'This Government Is Out Of Order.'"  (The above is from the Comic Book Resources web sit, [sic] December 28, 1998.)

"Mark Evanier's Newsgroup Posting - Joe Orlando, a long-time comic book editor and artist, passed away earlier today.  He had recently retired from his position with DC Comics.  Orlando was probably best known in the 50's for his work for EC Comics, and he continued to contribute for many years to MAD Magazine.  In the 60's, he drew DAREDEVIL for Marvel, THE INFERIOR FIVE and SWING WITH SCOOTER for DC, various stories for CREEPY and EERIE, and many comics for Gold Key/Western.  In the late sixties, he joined DC in an editorial capacity.  He revamped HOUSE OF MYSTERY and specialized in 'weird' anthology comics and he also edited a staggering number of acclaimed series, including SWAMP THING, PHANTOM STRANGER, BAT LASH, ANTHRO, JONAH HEX, PLOP and many, many others. He may have held the world's record for giving new talent a start in the business.  We're all saddened to hear this." (Mark Evanier's new e-mail address is: me@evanier.com OFFICE: 363 S. Fairfax Ave., #303 - Los Angeles, CA 90036)

"Shook Up [with photos of cover and three interior pages] - The short lived magazine Shook Up produced only one issue, dated November 1958.  Dodsmith Publishing Co. intended to publish bi-monthly and charge $2.00 for the next 8 issues.  How many people jumped at that great offer?  Obviously not enough!  There are two visual references to Alfred E. Neuman and a few written references to MAD and Alfred E. Neuman.  In the masthead Freddie E. Neuman, Rosie E. Neuman, Philip E. Neuman, and Seymore E. Neuman are listed as MAD Spies.  On page 5, there is a picture of a boy with his back to us.  It could be Alfred E. Neuman because of the hairstyle and protruding ears.  And, on page 8 there is the top of what appears to be Alfred E. Neuman's head, again based upon hairstyle.  Neither is pictured in this article.  The above panel appeared on page 7 in an article entitled How this Magazine Got Started.  The guy is [sic] the middle is wearing a MAD t-shirt inside-out.  This same guy appears in a panel on page 8, but the t-shirt isn't as visible.  The guy pictured second from the right is reading a MAD magazine.  The article was illustrated by Sam Hayle.  The panel on the right appears on page 32 in an article called Monster Sale.  The artist was not identified.  The artists who appear in this issue are: Don Douglas, Don Orehek (of CRACKED fame), Sam Haylem, Bill Riley, Lou Cameron, Martie Friedman, and Delphina Olivieri.  the 'leader' is Jimbo Gordon, who may have been writer of the articles as no writer was listed.  Because I know of no one who has done a 'Completely Shook Up Checklist', I'll be the first with the one printed below.

"The Completely Shook Up Checklist

"Front cover - Hayle
Inside front cover - Vampire Airlines, We Fly By Night, Orehek
Page 4 - Misguided Missiles (letters to editor)
Page 5 - Customer survey
Page 6 - How this Magazine Got Started, Hayle
Page 9 - Invitation to the Dance, Friedman
Page 10 - Back to School At Zombie High, Douglas
Page 13 - Dear Abee, Riley
Page 16 - You Better Believe it!, unknown
Page 17 - Zeero!, Cameron
Page 20 - Hood makes good, Friedman
Page 22 - Don't Funk, Cameron
Page 24 - Pets You Can Own, Cameron
Page 26 - Clod's All American Team, Riley
Page 28 - Improve the calendar, 12 More Holidays, unknown
Page 31 - You and Your Lousy Manners, Friedman
Page 32 - Monster Sale, unknown
Page 34 - Make Home Movies, unknown
Page 36 - Seal of Approval, Riley
Page 38 - The Ideal TV Family, Orehek
Page 40 - Bandstand, U.S.A., Cameron
Inside back cover - Subscription ad, Orehek
Back cover - When those extra seconds count, Orehek"

"A Rookie Reader [with illustration - 'MUD' and 'I've got hundreds of baseball cards, comics galore'] - Mike Slaubaugh sent me this, it's a neat find.  The book Collecting, in the 'A Rookie Reader' series, by Bonnie Bodkin is a MAD collectible.  On page 21 is the illustration below.  The illustration is by Rick Hackney.  The book was published by the Childrens Press back in 1993.  The ISBN is 0-516-02015-3."

"Beatnik Alfred, Cool Man! [with two photos] - Not too long ago John E. Hett found a set of four decals entitled Comic College Decals.  He broke up the display and a bunch of us purchased a set of four from him.  The picture above shows the complete display.  Beatnik Cool School uses the same Alfred image used by IMPKO.  This same image has recently appeared on a clock and magnet, with the clock shown below."

"MAD Racing Online - Jerry Toliver has a new web site which can be found at http://jerrytoliver.com.  Not much there at the present time.  the most interesting thing being the bios for his pit crew.  Things should get better as they continue to develop the site."

"What's New Dept:"

"MAD Articles - Michael Lerner has released an updated copy of MAD Articles.  The checklist is 59 pages long!  Michael claims it's a) an updated listing of every major (and not so major) MAD article from MAD's humble beginnings to the present, b) what was once a beautiful tree sitting in a Vermont meadow, c) a complete waste of time.  You can receive a copy by sending $5.00 to Michael Lerner, 32862 Springside Lane, Solon, OH 44139.  Otherwise you may never know that the Akron Beacon Journal once published a review of MAD TV."

"Drag Racer [with photo] - The January 1999 issue of Drag Racer has a four page article about the Spy vs. Spy funny car.  The article is written by Dick DeBartolo.  He has also added some word balloons to the various pictures, such as Editor's note: Car is actually standing still, the grandstand is flying by.  And, how many of you know that the car has a "marshmallow suspension system".  The magazine should be on display at the newsstands until February 2, 1999.  If you can't find it, try calling 800.999.9718 and see if they'll sell and mail out the issue to you."

"Revell Spy vs. Spy Model [with illustration] - Revell/Monogram is following up on their MAD funny car model with a Spy vs. Spy Firebird Funny Car.  I haven't seen a release date for it, so you may want to ask your local hobby shop to hold one for you.  It will come with a special collector's pin."

"MAD Watch, 1998 Style [with photo] - The December 1998 issue of Previews magazine has a picture of the new MAD watch that will be released in February.  The watch can only be ordered in advance ($39.95) and only as many watches as are ordered will be produced. (Reported by Mike Slaubaugh)"

".999 Alfred - Recently the Alfred E. Neuman 1 troy ounce .999 fine silver coin has been selling in the $15-20 range on the Internet.  Tom Anderson recently sent me a 1999 catalog from Southern Coin Investments.  You can get the coin for $12 each, or $11 each if you order 10 or more.  They can be reached at (770) 393-8000.  And while you're at it, order a 1 ounce rope bezel for the coin, put them together, and get rich quick on the Internet."

"Fantasy PEZ [with photo] - The PEZ dispensers made by NaGrom, pictured below recently appeared on the Internet.  The Alfred E. Neuman was produced because once the Spies were released, NaGrom had a number of requests for Alfred.  They sell for $70 each.  Not sure if the candy is included or not."

"Other Stuff - Finally, although no Alfred E. Neuman appears (ala the DC Holiday Bash piece), Aragones provides six full color spot illustrations on pp. 78-83 of the January 1999 issue of Wizard. (Reported by Mike Slaubaugh)"

"Collegiate Football Alfred [with illustration of Miami football Alf] - The Collegiate Manufacturing Company of Ames, Iowa made this 70% wool and 30% rayon bag.  There is a metal snap, which is about a third of the way down from the top, on the back that holds a flap closed.  I don't know the date of production nor the function of this bag.  The company was one of the largest makers of stuffed animals in the nation, during the early 1950s."

"I've seen some pretty good prices being paid for MADtv tickets on the web.  Why pay when they're free?  Live studio tapings of MADtv are held just about every other Friday night through February in Hollywood, CA.  You must be at least 16 years old to attend.  For free tickets, call On-Camera Audiences @: 818-295-2700."

THE MAD PANIC No. 54 May 1999
Cover: Kent Gamble drawing of gap-toothed ape with Alf mask

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): By now I'm sure you all have your five new items from Spencer Gifts.  I'd like to share my opinions of these items.  The first ones I found were the shirt and bucket hat.  Instead of the nice graphic they pictured on their web site, the shirt has the words 'Certified MAD' on it.  And they only wanted $39.99 for it!  The hat has the same words on it, and it was only $16.99.  Let's say the guy who designs these receives $50 per hour, and with 2 seconds worth of work, he gets paid 3 cents.  That's only 1-1/2 cents per item.  No wonder MAD is considered cheap!  Next came the Alfred E. Neuman doll.  It's not bad, but I wish they had made his head smaller, so that it fit his body.  The packaging is nice, so it makes a good display item.  I'll give this item an above average rating, 5.0000000002!  Then the Alfred E. Neuman snow-globe made it to the local store.  I think this is one of the nicest items that MAD has licensed in a long time.  It has prime real-estate in my display case.  Kudos to the designer and MAD!  Finally came the bobbing head doll.  I love those baseball guys with the glass heads, but I don't think an earthquake could move that hunk of plastic head on Alfred.  Boo!  Hiss!  Find someone in ceramics and redo this, please!  Stay MAD, Ed"

"MAD Magazine introduces 43-Man Squamish - Artist: George Woodbridge; Writer: Tom Koch [drawing of squamish team] - This classic MAD article appeared in issue #95, June 1965.  The artist was George Woodbridge and the writer was Tom Koch.  Before reading any further, get out your issue of this magazine and turn to page 21.  John Hett sent me the following script, which he believes to be the final submission.  Notice the differences in Koch's version of the article and the version MAD published.

'SQUAMISH

INTRODUCTION:  For years, the nation's educators have been howling about the evils inherant [sic] in such big time college sports as football and basketball.  They contend that there is too much professionalism, that not enough boys have a chance to participate, etc.  But no one really lifted a finger to correct the situation until MAD's Athletic Council went to work and came up with a brand new sport that promises to provide good, clean, amateur fun for all.  Here, then are the rules for this great new national pastime of the future.  Digest them carefully and be the first in your neighborhood to play 43-MAN SQUAMISH:

1.  PIX:  A group of players are lined up like a football team except that there are about four times as many of them stretching row upon row.  They are dressed in uniforms that consist of helmets with propellers on top, long sleeved jerseys and hockey type gloves, basketball type pants, knee guards and skin diver flippers on their feet.  Each man carries a thing that looks like a shepherd's crook.  CUTLINE: The squamish team consists of 43 players: the left and right inside grouch, the left and right outside grouch, four deep brooders, four shallow brooders, five wicket men, three offensive niblings, four quarter frummerts, tow half frummerts, one full frummert, two overblats, two underblats, nine finks, two leapers and a dummy. 

2.  PIX:  One player is running carrying a small object about the size of a golf ball in his teeth.  Another player is pursuing him and has hooked him around the neck with his shepherd's crook.  CUTLINE: Each player is equipped with a long crooked stick known as a frullip.  It is used to halt opposing players who are attempting to cross your goal line with the ball or pritz.  The official pritz is 3-3/4 inches in diameter and is made of untreated ibex hide stuffed with blue jay feathers.

3.  PIX:  Referee dressed in a striped shirt is flipping a coin while two players from opposing teams stand snarling at each other.  CUTLINE: Play begins with the left outside line judge flipping a Spanish peseta.  If the visiting captain calls the toss correctly, the game is cancelled.  If he fails to call it correctly, the opposing captain is given his choice of either carrying the pritz or defending against it.

4.  PIX:  An aerial view of an oddly shaped five sided field surrounded by grandstands.  Players, looking like ants in the picture, are running in all directions.  CUTLINE: Squamish is played on a five-sided field known as a flutney.  The two teams line up at opposite sides of the flutney and play seven ogres of ten minutes each.

5.  PIX:  One player stands in the center of the picture with his fist upraised shouting.  To one side, a group of players are shooting craps.  To the other side, players are chasing a girl cheerleader.  CUTLINE: The defending right outside grouch signifies that he is prepared to hurl the pritz by shouting 'Mi tio es infermo, pero la carretera es verde,' an old Chilean expression meaning, 'My uncle is sick, but the highway is green.'

6.  PIX:  A mass of players in a pile-up.  Some are giving their opponents rabbit punches.  Others have knives and are stabbing the opposition.  It is a general melee.  CUTLINE: The offensive team, upon receiving the pritz, has five snivels in which to advance to the enemy goal.  If they do it on the ground, it's a woomik which counts 17 points.  If they hit it across with their frullips, it's a durmish which counts 11 points.  Only the offensive niblings and the overblats are allowed to score in the first six ogres.

7.  PIX:  Players with heads down in a huddle.  Only one head is up.  It is that of Alfred E. Neuman smiling.  CUTLINE: Special rules applicable only to the seventh ogre turn the game into something very akin to buck euchre.  During this final ogre, the four quarter frummerts are permitted to either kick or throw the pritz, and the nine finks are allowed to heckle the opposition by doing imitations of Nelson eddy.

8.  PIX:  Diagram similar to those used for football plays except that many more players are involved and arrows show that they are running in all directions.  CUTLINE: A typical seventh ogre play is shown here.  Team 'A', trailing, 516-209, is in possession of the pritz, fourth snivel and half the flutne [sic] to go.  The left underblat, going for the big one, sends two shallow brooders and the full frummert downfield.  Obviously, he is going for a woomik when the opposition expects a durmish.  A daring play of this type invariably brings the crowd rising to its feet and heading for the exits.

9.  PIX:  Referee has a player literally by the nape of the neck and is dragging him downfield.  The player has a guilty expression on his face and the ball in his mouth.  CUTLINE: A variety of penalties keep play from getting out of hand.  Walling the pritz, frullip gouging, icing on the fifth snivel and raunching are all minor infractions subject to a ten-yard penalty.  Major infractions (sending the dummy home early, interfering with the wicket men, inability to face facts, rushing the season and bowing to the inevitable) are punished by loss of half the flutney, except when the yellow caution flag is out.

10.  PIX:  Four referees looking at stopwatches are simultaneously firing guns into the air.  As a result of their shots, three ducks and a cow are falling through the air and are about to hit the refs on the head.  CUTLINE: Squamish rules provide for four officials: a field representative, a probate judge, a head cockswain [sic] and a baggage smasher.  None has any authority after play has begun.  In the event of a disagreement between the officials, a final decision is left up to the spectator in the stands who left his car in the parking lot with the lights on and the motor running.

11.  PIX:  One player has just kicked another in the seat of the pants.  The kicked player, with ball in his mouth, is sailing through the air down the field.  CUTLINE: In the event of a tie, the two teams play a sudden death overtime.  An exception to this rule occurs when the opposing left underblats are both out of the game on personal fouls.  When such is the case, the two teams line up on opposite sides of the flutney and settle the tie by shouting dirty limericks at each other.

12.  PIX:  Player in uniform except for his hat is shaving his head a la Yul Brynner,  He has a long beard that comes almost to his waist.  Somewhere across the picture is the caption: 'Squamish Star Draja Drunvnik says: 'I like the heft and feel of a heavier razor' '  CUTLINE: Amateur Squamish players are strictly forbidden to accept subsidies, endorse products, make collect phone calls or eat garlic.  An amateur may turn pro, hoever [sic], merely by throwing a game.

13.  PIX:  Front of a one-room country school.  Over the door are the words: Axolotl Twp. School.  Children are filing out.  In the yard, sitting on haunches waiting for them are four or five dogs and one dinosaur.  CUTLINE: Schools with smaller enrollments, which cannot participate in 43-man squamish, may take up a simplified version on the game known as two-man squamish.  The rules are identical, except that in two-man squamish, the object of the game is to lose.

14.  PIX:  [photocopy from Mad at bottom of page]  A group of men sitting around a conference table.  the one at the head of the table is speaking and gesturing.  The others are paying no attention to him at all.  A couple of them are playing cards, some are asleep, one is sailing a paper airplane, one with a napkin tucked under his chin is eating, etc.  CUTLINE: The original charter calls for an annual meeting of the National Squamish Rules Committee.  At its inaugural meeting, the committee approved a rewording of Article XVI, Paragraph 77, Section J.  This section, which formerly read: 'The offensive left underblat, in even numbered ogres, must touch down his frullip at the edge of the flutney and signal to the head coxswain that he is ready for play to continue,' has now been simplified to read: 'The offensive left underblat, in even numbered ogres, must touch down his frullip at the edge of the flutney and signal either to the head coxswain or to any other official to whom the head coxswain may have delegated this authority in writing in the presence of two witnesses, both of whom shall have been approved and found to be of high moral character by the office of the commissioner, that he is ready for the play to continue.' "

"What's New [photo of wooden basket that looks like Alf] - Let's start with the Best MAD Item on Ebay Award.  Pictured on the right is a wooden basket that I'm sure someone spent a bunch of time at a jigsaw, but why?  A nice fruit arrangement?  Opening bid was $15.00 and closing was $15.50.  The action was hot and heavy between the two bidders."

"ToyFare #21 - The May 1999 issue of ToyFare has a two-page ad (found on pages 82-83) for The MAD Trivia Contest.  The deadline for the contest was April 30, 1999, but it's still worth getting a copy.  The prizes are the recent Spencer Gifts' stuff.  And if you want an instant MAD collectible - 'The Mad Trivia Contest Winners List', send a SASE to The MAD Trivia Contest Winners List, c/o Wizard Entertainment Group, PO Box 118, Congers NY 10920-0118."

"The Journal of MADness - John Hett has reprinted has [sic] first issue of The Journal of MADness.  Why would anyone want another copy?  He's printed the cover in color, glad to see the finger painting therapy is helping.  He also updated the Sergiography.  The cost is $7.99 postpaid.  John only printed 100 of these. so order early.  Send payment to John E. Hett, 7420 Calhoun, Dearborn, MI 48126-1433."

"Warner Brothers Studio Store - Mike Slaubaugh reported this tidbit.  Unsubstantiated rumor: I was at the Warner Brothers Studio Store in Chicago looking at the Mort Drucker MAD About the Movies lithograph.  The salesperson mentioned that Warner Brothers would be carrying a new line of MAD items in the near future.  It's been several years since Warner Brothers last carried a MAD line (puzzle, plaques, pendant, jacket, sweatshirt, watch, money clip, etc.) so I'm not sure what would be included in the new line or if the salesperson was even correct that a new line would be appearing.  Any confirmation?"

"The paperback CRACKED Again has the Alfred in a space helmet image."

"MAD Interest List -1999: Tom & Anna Anderson, Bob Barrett, Bennett Barsk, Les Christie, Roland Coover, Jr., Ron Downard, Randal Dull, Dan Dvorak, Hal Freiman, Michael Gidwitz, Joe Groshek, Leigh Harrison, John Hett, Stan Horzepa, Matt Keeley, Timothy Johnson, Gary Kritzberg, Richard Landivar, Michael (MAD Mike) Lerner, Bruce Liber, Rick Long, Andreas 'MAD-Andy Mueller, Ed Norris, Michael Parke-Taylor, Gene Phillip, Ben Rosenberg, Richard Sherman, David Silva, Michael Skinner, Mike Slaubaugh, Jeffery Taub and David Williams."

"Spy vs. Spy Game Boy Color [with two illustrations] - Is it good vs. evil, or dumb vs. dumber?  Mad Magazine takes a look at the lighter side of Game Boy Color.  Alfred E. Neuman has us worried.  First he establishes a respectable television program, and now Mad Magazine is moving to Game Boy Color.  If we didn't know better, we'd guess that ol' Alfred actually had a brain between those big ears.  Since Mr. Neuman probably spends his time folding in the back covers of his magazine, we'll give Kemco the credit for creating this new action game based on the long-running series Spy vs. Spy.  Our intelligence agents have discovered that the game consists of 32 stages, with at least nine rooms in every stage.  The design is very similar to the NES version which was released in 1988, but Kemco has included new rooms and mission objectives.  The white and black spies are charged with the assignment of finding four objects of espionage in each stage, while avoiding comedic casualties along the way.  A natural candidate for two-player action.  Spy vs. Spy allows you to test your spying skills against a friend using the Game Link Cable.  Even though the spies are accustomed to sneaking around in black and white, Spy vs. Spy is a dedicated Game Boy Color game, which means that it works only on Game Boy color.  The above was found on the Nintendo web site, http://www.nintendo.com."

"Sunny Boy [with photo of bottle cap] - An unused very hard to find 'SUNNY BOY - ORANGE SODA' bottle cap-'crown'.  Unfortunately this crown even though unused shows surface scratches, and some surface rust on the edges and underneath.  The picture shows a small boy with orange hair, with a grin, and large ears.  He looks a lot like MAD Magazine's Alfred E. Neuman.  This crown was made in the 1935-1945 period."

"R-Rated Sergio? [with pinball illustration] - Mike Slaubaugh has way too muck time on his hands ... check out the Aragones marginal on page 42 of MAD No. 86 (April 1964) and look at the word under the pinball table.  I had to do a double (and triple) take before I saw the barely legible 'A' on the pinball table leg and realized that Aragones had actually spelled the word 'FUACK' (apparently representing the sound of pinball plunger being released).  Was the 'A' intentionally obscured for maximal subliminal effect?  You make the call!"

"Al Jaffee illustrated the paperback book The Fickle Finger of Fate, written by John Keel (Fawcett Gold Medal Book, 1966)."

THE MAD PANIC No. 57 November 1999
Cover: Drawing by Kent Gamble of Pirate Alfred E. Neuman with two eye-patches and a parrot.

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): Again, I donate a lot of space to the Totally MAD CD set in this issue.  I decided a more in-depth look at the promotional and give-away materials would be of interest.  I also put in a reprint of a 'review' of Totally MAD from the New York Times.  I think the writer gets a littleoff the subject, but he brings up some interesting points.  A quick comment on the re-release of How to Be a Successful Dog by Larry Siegel and John Caldwell, Angelo Torres did the artwork for the first release of the book.  Let me start by saying, I really enjoyed this book when it was first released, and Caldwell does a great job updating the illustrations.  But this new edition; DC charging $9.99 is not a price that will attract customers!  DC and Rutledge Hill Press have been doing a wonderful marketing job.  Here's what Barnes and Noble had to write about it on their web page: 'More on this subject -- Science and Nature' and 'Find other books using these keywords: Dogs'.  Why didn't they make the book the standard paperback book size MAD used for 200+ books?  Larry Siegel and John Caldwell deserve better!  This is the last issue of the century.  I hope everyone survives the Y2K bugs.  Stay MAD, Ed"

"Totally MAD Again! - [photos of the front and reverse of the Totally MAD insert card] I devoted a lot of space to the Totally MAD set in the previous issue, and I'm going to do it again.  I listed the five Totally MAD collectibles in the last issue and I'm going to cover them in more detail, plus I received one more in the mail that will also be covered.  This is a landmark set, and details are justified.  Lets start with the Insert Card, which even the Producer of the set wasn't quite sure what they would do with them.  I know the card never appeared in any issue of MAD, which would be the logical choice.  Pictured on the right is the front of the insert card.  It states that you get over 20,000 pages of MAD, and this is also stated on the released software box.  We'll see they changed that number later on.  This insert card was designed before the final box was designed.  The insert card also states that you will receive a free gift if you order the software from Broderbund.  Everyone who purchased the software received the toilet paper regardless of where they purchased it.  I'm assuming the toilet paper is the free gift as later marketing material mentions a second free gift -- the mouse pad.  Also, I know it's almost impossible to see in the picture above, but a Spy vs. Spy graphic appears on the left-hand side of the box.  This graphic doesn't appear on the released product, it's replaced by the classic Alfred E. Neuman eating an ear of corn artwork.  The free toilet paper graphic that appears on the front of the released box is also missing from the box graphic above.  The back of the card is pictured to the left.  Again, impossible to see in this picture, if you mention source code 6699301 you get your free gift.  The price for the software is $69.95 plus $5.95 shipping and handling.  In the previous issue I listed Sell Sheets, and there are two of these: a preliminary and final.  [photos of sell-sheet and original main screen]  The preliminary sell-sheet is pictured on the left.  Notice the box also has the Spy vs. Spy graphic which isn't on the final package.  It also states 20,000 pages of MAD.  My guess is this was produced at the same time as the insert card.  Below is the concept for the original main screen.  It's the graphic just below the box.  The center states 'Post No Bills', which is surrounded by Bill Gaines, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Billy Crystal, and Billy Idol.  The 'MAD Office' door will disappear.  The jukebox is generic instead of a graphic the one they actually used.  A Totally MAD Dumping Co. dumpster will be added.  Plus there are many other sundry differences.  The back of the sell-sheet, in the left hand column, displays two different drawings by Sergio Aragones.  On the final sell-sheet it is cut back to one in much smaller scale plus a list of credits.  It is also interesting to note the system requirements.  It was thought 16MB RAM, 25MB hard-disk space, and 800x600 resolution would be required.  It ends up being 32MB RAM, 30MB hard-disk space, and 640x480 resolution.  Broderbund also was able to take out their weight scale.  The preliminary sell sheet lists the box weight at 8-1/2 pounds and the final sell sheet at 9 pounds.  I'm glad they added the extra 1/2 pound of stuff.  I didn't know 2,000 extra pages of bits weighed so much.  Which brings us to the final sell sheet, which you should have guessed, states: Over 22,000 pages!  [photos of final sell-sheet, Totally MAD notepaper and the What -- Me Party? card]  The final sell-sheet has some graphical differences, besides stating it's the 'Final Sell-Sheet' in the upper left-hand corner.  The biggest is the five graphics on the right hand side.  The box and Trash Heap (called the MAD Alley in the preliminary sell-sheet) are the ones they released.  They changed the six MAD magazines in the middle graphic.  The preliminary sell-sheet used out of release date order covers.  The MAD page screen changed from The Odd Father to a Dave Berg Lighter Side.  Not sure why this changed, both appear in the set.  The MAD Fold-In remains the same.  On the back of the sell-sheet, the description of Totally MAD has gone through a major revision.  The next item is the Totally MAD notepaper, which features a Sergio Aragones drawing.  Notice his signature is only an 'A.' and not dated.  Neither is the norm for Sergio.  The Totally MAD logo is in full color, the rest black on white, and the sheet measures 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches.  The card on the left [sic] is an invitation to the 'What -- Me Party?' release party.  The party took place at the MAD offices from 5-8pm, July 22, 1999.  They served beer and weenies and wanted people to help trash the place.  I think the staff wants to move back to 485 MADison Ave.  The MAD editors were available for interviews.  And Dick DeBartolo did a presentation.  An interesting fact appears on the back of the invitation: MAD has sold more than three-quarters of a billion magazines since it was founded in 1952.  Is that all, my little fanzine is closing in on the billion mark and I started in March 1990.  The back of the card also shows the MAD jukebox, with the MAD Panic button.  [photos of mouse pad and Totally MAD envelope]  The last issue in the list was the mouse pad, which is pictured on the right.  It is in full color against a black background.  The wording on the bottom is: 'The Evolution of MAD'.  The mouse pad measures 8x7 inches.  This ended up being one of two free gifts if you ordered the CDs through Broderbund.  Some retailers also had the mouse pads available to give away.  As luck would have it, a couple of days after I mailed the previous issue I received a mailing from Broderbund.  The envelope appears below.  The wording in the explosion states: 'Sorry, Junk mail rules prohibit us from saying what these 2 FREE gifts are on the outside of the envelope!  You must open this envelope to find out what your FREE gifts are.'  And the wording in the black box next to Alfred states: 'Finally!  A piece of junk mail that's stupid on purpose! ...'  The envelope contains four pieces of marketing material plus a 'No Postage Necessary' envelope.  Now here's the interesting park, take a look at the letter, pictured on next page, that comes in the mailing.  Notice the mouse pad.  It's not the same as the one pictured on the previous page.  So there are really two different mouse pads available for the Totally MAD promotion.  [photos of mouse pad, Totally MAD letter and back of envelope]  The letter is the only thing in the mailing that shows the mouse pad.  Two of the other three items only show the toilet paper.  Pictured below is a close up of the second mouse pad.  It measures the same size, 8x7 inches, and it is printed black on white.  I'm going to leave you with two reviews, which are included in the mass mailing: 'It's the nicest and shiniest set of coasters I've ever seen, and oh boy, can these babies hold a drink!' -- Hans Brickface, Professional Moron; 'We love this collection and we hear it's even better if you have a computer!' -- The MADEditors.  Shown above is the back of the envelope pictured on the previous page."

"Great Moments on eBay - [photo] Mad Mag Spy vs. Spy Bath Toy 1990 McDonald's - The item recently appeared on eBay with the following description.  'Great rendition of Spy vs. Spy character taking a bubble bath!  This is a soft, squeezable plastic bath toy made for McDonald's by Warner Brothers and is in great condition.  The copyright date on the back is 1990.  It is about 3" long and 2" high and really quite unique.  If you are a McDonald's or Mad Magazine collector, this is a MUST HAVE!'  Three guys, two of whom I know are MAD collectors, must have wanted it, they battled it out, with the high bid being $10.50.  For those who don't know, it's the Tiny Toons' GoGo Dodo - [photo] Alfred E. Newman Glass Bank U Gotta See This - Here's the description of this item: 'Alfred E. Newman gallon jug glass bank.  Unreal item, even comes with a starter penny for your savings.'  The penny is that dark spot under his chain.  Someone must have thought they had stolen the crown jewels.  The person jumped in with 13 seconds left in the auction and being the only bidder won it for a $10.00 bid.  This is the second jug that I've seen on eBay.  I commented on the other one in issue #52, and that one sold for $10.00 as well.  But that one didn't come with a penny! - [no photo] MAD Jewelry - Two pieces of MAD jewelry have appeared on eBay recently.  A lapel pin sold for $2,413.90.  Six people bid on the pin and the winning bid came in with 10 seconds left in the auction.  A few days later, a chain key, with the wrong chain, came up for bid with a starting bid of $9.99 and the seller quickly pulled it off.  Seems one bright and opportunist individual offered her $250.00 and she took it.  Drat, why didn't I think of that!"

"What's New - MAD #1 - DC is releasing Millennium Editions of some of their finest comics.  'We have chosen to celebrate the dawn of a new millenium [sic] by offering our art form at its best and most vital,' said DC Executive Vice President & Publisher Paul Levitz.  'The DC Millennium Editions offer readers our most creative, most cataclysmic, and most collectible issues for their own shelves at affordable prices.'  I thought that is why DC released Tales Calculated to Drive You MAD #1-8, so we could afford the first 23 issues.  Anyway, here is your chance to own another copy of MAD  #1.  Not sure of the price, but I'll be really impressed if its 10 cents. - New Production Run - The Alfred E. Neuman and the Spy figures are being released in a new production run of 5000 each.  You should start seeing the action figures in stores around the 24th of this month.  There are no variants being made.  The Spy vs. Spy action figures were nominated for this year's Eisner Awards, but did not win. - Another Action Figure [photo] - The Diamond Comics web site has been reporting the new limited edition Alfred Santa action figure, which should be in stores November 10.  In addition to Alfred, there will be a reindeer bird, a Christmas ornament and a 32-page book with previously released MAD holiday material.  This is basically the same action figure, minus the spring-loaded head, that was released previously.  Alfred has a new set of clothes, hat, and beard.  Also, it does have the new props.  The book is in black & white with color covers. - [photo of MADRACING] - This dale Creasy MAD Funny Car handout is available at the following web site for $5.00 plus shipping: http://creasyfamilyracing.com/htm."

"Is It Still a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World? By Edward Rothstein, New York Times, September 18, 1999 - The days of potrzebie, Arthur the potted plant, the veeblefetzer and other furshlugginer ideas are long past.  Much has changed since Pronto and the Lone Stranger rode into the sunset and the 'usual gang of idiots' invented the game of '43-Man Squamish.'  But lives there a mind unsullied by the influence of Mad?  The gap-toothed, mentally challenged grin of the magazine's freckled mascot has managed to seep into the unconscious of several generations.  Roger Ebert said Mad taught him how to be a movie critic.  Andy Warhol said it taught him to love people with big ears.  But who is Alfred E. Neuman and why is he still looking at us like that, 47 years after the magazine's birth?  Isn't he showing his age a bit, now that movies have become parodies of themselves, advertisements have become Madly self-referential entertainments and 'South Park's' sound efforts have replaced 'What -- me worry?'  The answers aren't simple; neither is Alfred.  A new set of CD-ROM's, 'Totally Mad' (Broderbund), which offers scanned images of every page of Mad from its birth in 1952 to the end of 1998, is decorated with period images of Alfred E.  He appears as a 1960's yogi, a 70's disco dancer, am [sic] 80's incarnation of Max Headroom and as the original crew-cut moron; he is a man of many devices.  His face actually existed long before Mad existed, goofily appearing on matchbooks, soda advertisements and turn-of-the-century 'dental parlor' souvenirs.  In her history of the magazine, 'Completely Mad,' Maria Reidelbach suggests that Alfred is an archetypal American trickster, the outsider who becomes the lord of misrule, the inventor of reason and order, thriving in every era.  But now his weakness is unmistakable.  In 1972 Mad's circulation reached a peak of over two million; now it hovers around 500,000.  Mad once defined American satire; now it heckles from the margins as all of culture competes for trickster status.  What is left to overturn?  In a recent feature Mad compared contemporary schools with those of an earlier era: 'Thirty years ago his entire first-grade class groans when Melvin asks the teacher, 'Didn't you forget to give us homework?' ' reads the first frame.  Then comes the punch panel: 'Today his entire first-grade class cheers when Rocco asks the teacher, 'Hey, where the hell are the condoms?' '  Amid jokes about failed science fair projects ('If Dinosaurs Wore Clothing' and 'Dissecting a Hat') or a satire of Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' (where the Beast regrets not being able to shack up with Gaston), there are articles about suicide pacts and a bitter chronicle of divorce.  Is there still a grin on Alfred's face?  Immediately after World War II, though, the magazine's mission was clear: to mock culture's pretense and test its limits.  Mad's founder, William M. Gaines, following in the footsteps of his father (who may have invented the American comic book), was coming under increasing attack for his grotesque horror comics.  Psychologists, congressmen and newspapers joined in an alliance; The Hartford Courant referred to the 'filthy stream that flows from the gold-plated sewers in New York.'  Gaines responded by stirring the waters further, casting his critics into the roaring current.  The first issues of Mad were themselves a challenge to the pieties of traditional comics, ridiculing their sugary innocence, showing, for example, a seedy Micky [sic] Mouse, badly needing a shave.  But reading those early issues on the new CD-ROM's (not always easy on a computer screen), once can follow the editors and writers gradually lifting their gaze and finding similarly hypocritical forces all around them in advertising, movies and business.  Even the glories of classic verse turn banal: 'In Levittown did Irving Kahn/A Lovely Cape Cod house decree.'  So for the Mad writers, Alfred's is the moronic face left when authority is stripped of all pretense.  But it is also the unfazed vision of the 'gang of idiots' creating and reading the magazine, who are treated like clods by the surrounding world, but area [sic] really immune to its surreptitious designs.  The unknowing child with the unyielding smile helps mask adult venality: 'Mad's features often transformed children's forms - nursery rhymes and reading primers - into sardonic commentaries on adult life.  In all this Alfred E. Neuman helped enshrine the dominant view we still have of the conformist 1950's.  And as Mad's editor once explained, the magazine eventually helped shape the 1960's counterculture.  But by the late 1970's these notions of opposition had themselves become mainstream.  What pretensions could Mad puncture without repeating itself?  Young adolescents hardly needed to be tutored in distrusting authority.  American popular culture had become a culture of opposition and satire.  What could be done in response?  During the same period the British comics known as Monty Python provided one answer by creating a different kind of cultural opposition.  Pomposity was ridiculed (recall the Ministry of Silly Walks) but so was the pretense of pointing out pomposity.  In the film 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail,' when King Arthur meets a peasant in the field, the king puffs himself up with an account of how he became king when the mystic Lady of the Lake held aloft the sword of Excalibur.  The peasant ridicules using a 'farcical aquatic ceremony' as foundation for a system of government.  But as the king is being stripped of his magisterial stature the peasant pompously extols his own 'anarcho-syndicalist commune' as a more appropriate system.  All forms of politics dissolve into a kind of comic nihilism.  The comedy is born not from the brain of a Neumanesque child, but from the minds of hyper-educated adults, who know enough to depend on very little.  But I am not giving up on Mad.  These disks provide an invaluable history of American opposition to itself, sometimes just, sometimes silly, occasionally outrageous, now and then peculiar.  Despite our saturation with satire, there are still targets that come into view ('Did he need the triple bypass?' a credit card advertisement asks of a patient undergoing surgery.  'Or was it the miles?').  And now and then, while reading, I may even catch a reflection in the computer screen of a grin looking very much like Alfred's." 

"Thanks to Frank Nuessel for sending me this article."

" 'What Me Worry' Mug - [photo] The mug on the left recently appeared on eBay and sold for $50.00.  I don't know how old it is or if it was recently made.  If you have any other information about this item send it my way."

THE MAD PANIC No. 60 May 2000
Cover drawing by Kent Gamble of Alfred E, Neuman in front of an airship/balloon on a stick.

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): Now that Spring has arrived I'm back to releasing this fanzine late.  I hope to have the next issue out on time.  There's too much to catch up on when the weather gets better.  Gene Phillip sent me a letter recently asking why MAD doesn't let its readers know about new products.  I've asked the same questions in these pages before, and while I know my opinion isn't worth the paper it's printed on, it would be nice if they let us know about new stuff.  Sure they let us know about a few things, but a lot of stuff is never seen nor heard of from the folks at MAD.  Maybe if they told us about the new products, example the new 1/64 die-cast Racing Champions cars, the folks who produced them would sell more.  This might cause more companies to want to make additional MAD items, thus giving higher licensing fees to MAD.  This might lead to additional magazine sales, as more people would see the MAD logo in more places, and after all brand recognition is an important factor in sales volume.  I even ran this by Alan Greenspan and he agreed with me.  Stay MAD, Ed"

"The 100th Annual MAD Interest List - The people below want to be bothered by other MAD collectors.  If I have any wrong information listed for you, let me know and I'll correct it next issue.  If you missed out and want to be on next year's list, you have to notify me.

Tom & Anna Anderson, Bob Barrett, Bennett Barsk, Josh Centers, Roland Coover, Jr., Ron Downard, Randal Dull, Hal Freiman, Kent Gamble, Grant Geissman, Joe Groshek, Dick Hanchette, Leigh Harrison, John Hett, Stan Horzepa, Marten Jallad, Timothy Johnson, Matt Keeley, Gary Kritzberg, Richard Landivar, Michael (MAD Mike) Lerner, Bruce Liber, Rick Long,  Jack McManus, Andreas 'MAD-Andy' Mueller, Ed Norris, Michael Parke-Taylor, Gene Phillip, Ben Rosenberg, Richard Sherman, David Silva, Mike Slaubaugh, Jeffery Taub, David Williams and Ben Kanengierser."

"Filler: Michael Lerner says Fox has renewed MAD TV for a sixth season."

"Lime Rock MAD Series III - I received the following information from Gene Phillip.  Dear Ed, I'm sending this to you because you may be interested in my find.  Just recently, while participating in Tim Johnson's MAD auction, I noticed a slight mistake in the description of the MAD Final Edition collector cards.  It said they were limited to 5000 sets, but I remembered that they actually stopped printing at 2500 sets.  I sent Tim a message and attached some old correspondence from a distributor, the first letter stated 5000 sets were being produced (down from 31,000 sets) and the second letter stated that because of production problems only 2500 sets were being produced.  Tim said he'd pass the news on to Grant Geissman who is in the process of updating his book, Collectibly MAD.  At the same time, I noticed someone was selling MAD Final Edition cards on eBay, so I bid on those.  Well, the cards in Tim's auction were the Factory Set that we all know about, but the set from eBay is in a deck-sized card box labeled MAD Series Three.  There are no chase cards or promo cards in the box (nor room for them).  I sent a message to the seller to ask where he got them of if he knows any history.  The seller replied: I printed them for a company called Limerock (bankrupt) only 2000 sets were made and sold - I kept about 30 sets for myself and from time to time I sell them."

"Did You Know - This information comes from that loveable web site Roadkills-R-Us (www.rru.com).  George P. Burdell served on Mad's Board of Directors from 1969 until 1981, and from 1988 until the death of his friend and Mad Editor in Chief, Bill Gaines.  Burdell was killed , Feb 28, 1995, crossing North Avenue in Atlanta on his 107th birthday.  Helping his great, great granddaughter Tammie cross from the Varsity (the World's Largest Drive-In), he was struck down by a passing Sears truck."

"The Antiquer's Apprentice Leonard's Tip of the Week - Saturday, October 3, 1998 - Mad Magazines - Are there people mad enough to collect Mad Magazines?  Of course there are!  Hey, I've known people who collect worse -- for example, jock straps, electric meters, barn hinges ...  Items like these make Mad look rather sane!  I've actually not had very good luck in getting good money out of Mad Magazines, chiefly because there are few out there that are in the age range and condition demanded by the collectors.  The best of Mad is the first four years (late 1952-1956) with prices for near mint condition copies in the hundreds.  However, the catch is basically the same as with comic books.  The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide grades them the same as comic books.  This means that a small coffee ring on a back cover, a bad staple, or a tiny crease can drop the grading from near mint to fine, and the value to half the near mint value.  Mad Magazine was notorious for including cut-outs, removable stickers, foldable back covers, coupons, etc., making it extremely difficult to find clean and complete copies.  Generally speaking, Mad Magazine with gradings of good/near mint must be complete."

"Racing Champions Dyno-Mite Diecast Car (with two photos) - These 1/64 diecast cars were recently released.  Each of the cars, except for the 4th one down from the top in the 5-pack, has been released as a single on its own blister pack card.  Pictured below is an example of one of these cars."

"MAD Stuff vs. Home Equity - Jack McManus gives us 10 reasons why spending big money at MAD auctions is a good investment.  This is a letter he sent to Tim Johnson: Hi Tim, after our conversation yesterday about using an Equity line of credit for a Mad collection, I got to thinking.  Trying to set priorities in this world is a complicated task, however the following are 10 examples of a collection of Mad crap vs. a home.

1. If the bank forecloses on the house, you still get to keep your Mad stuff.
2. Everybody's got a house, but how many people have a 1908 Antikamnia calendar?
3. Your house can keep you warm in the winter, cool in the summer, shelter you from storms and keep the rain off your head.  My Mad crap makes me laugh.  I like to laugh.  I've never really laughed at my house.
4. Every five years or so, you have to paint the house.  I've never painted my Mad collection.
5. If you decide to sell your Mad stuff you don't have to deal with pushy real estate salespeople.
6. A newsstand fresh NM copy of Mad #1 sold in 1952 for 10 cents.  Today it's worth over $5,000.  Real Estate has appreciated as well, about 10 to 20 times.  But not 50,000 times 1952 value.
7. At your 25th high school re-union you can say, 'Hi, I'm ____ and I've got a complete collection of all the Mads from #1 to the present day as well as some of the original art, all the paperbacks, framed pictures, and a whole buncha cool Mad junk!!!.' or you can say, 'Hi, I'm Melvin and I have a house.'
8. Every year you have to pay property taxes on your house.  With my Mad crap ... TAXES??!! I don't pay no stinkin' TAXES!!
9. To buy a house, they want to know how much you make, where you work, your last 2 tears tax returns, W-2's, a credit report, an appraisal, title policy, and homeowners insurance.  To buy Mad stuff they want to know your feedback rating and address.
10. If you buy Mad junk, you anxiously wait for the postman to get there, you're not quite sure what's in the package, you open the boxes like it's your birthday and the stuff makes you happy."

"Great Moments on eBay (with photo) - An interesting item appeared recently, its title was 'MAD MAGAZINE GAME POSTER - What - Me Worry?' and the description: 'The poster pictured is 10 x 20" and in great condition.  Alfred E. Newman is shown playing the MAD game.  There are several others around him that I don't know,  I'm told this magazine was popular in the 1970s so lets assume the poster is about that age, too.  The Parker Brothers sign is in the lower left-hand corner and a voice block stating 'NOT NEW OR IMPROVED' is in the upper left corner.  Please contact me if you have any questions.'  I contacted the seller and bidder; telling them it was a framed box cover.  The seller ended up getting $35.00 from the bidder.  I have a 'poster' available of the original game for only $50.00! Let me know if you want it."

"MAD Tidbits - From Michael Slaubaugh comes: Check out the following oddball MAD sightings that have appeared recently: Smithsonian Magazine, March 2000, Page 22: A reprint of the MAD Breck (Bleech) Shampoo ad parody featuring Ringo Starr (artist Frazetta) appears in the letters column; Games Magazine, June 2000, Page 30 and 47: A puzzle called Paint By Numbers appears on page 30.  When puzzle #5 is completed, Alfred E. Neuman appears (if you don't want to waste time doing the puzzle, the solution is shown on page 47 with the caption 'What, Me Worry?).  From Grant Geissman comes: Tales of Terror!/The EC Companion will be released during the third week of June, 2000.  From John Hett comes: nothing worth printing nor reading!"

"What's New - The MAD Ugly Car Photographs (two photos) - John Gulla is selling these two full color 8x10" photographs of the new MAD Ugly Car.  These photographs were taken at the Gatornationals this year.  The prices are $14.95 each or 2 for $25.00.  Postage is $3.20.  If you only order one, please let John know which one you want.  I have both framed on the wall and they look great.  You can send payment to: John Gulla, 2929 Folklore Dr, Valrico FL 33594.  You can email John at jgnhra@aol.com.  Totally MAD - The Single (with photo) - This CD is being released as a sampler.  I found a copy at the local office supply store.  It covers the years 1969 to 1974.  I was going to use the word 'if', like one of us doesn't own a copy of Totally MAD; (If) you own the complete set, still pick this CD up as it has some new graphics.  Besides, will you want to pay the eBay prices for it 5 years from now?"

"Who Want [sic] to Be a Millionaire - (website photo) - Mike Slaubaugh sent this to me: Check out the web site version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire: http://abc.go.com/primetime/millionaire/mill_contestant.html.  Then you'll want to click on 'Play the Game', click on 'Skip Entry', click on 'Play a Previous Game', click on 'More', and click on 'Nov. 21, 1999'.  Answer the questions correctly (Editor's Note: Journal ala Mattress readers most likely will need to try to do this correctly a multitude of times, or ask a The Mad Panic reader for the correct answers.) until the $4,000 question which says: 'Spy vs. Spy' and 'The Lighter Side' are regular features in what magazine?  A. Mad; B. Cracked; C. Punch; D. National Lampoon"

"Creasy T-Shirt (with photo) - A new Dale Creasy Jr. MAD ugly Car t-shirt has been released and it's available from the web site www.nhrastuff.com.  The price is $22, and $24 for us XXL guys.  Dale Creasy Jr., Motion Sickness T-Shirt - IRTA143-B.  The madness never ends!  This year's MAD Funny Car T-shirt is the ugliest yet!  Featuring the MAD Ugly Car insignia on the left chest and full color illustration of the 'retched' machine on the back.  Get 'em while they're fresh."

"Revell/Monogram Model (with photo) - Revell/Monogram's new Mad Magazine Dale Creasy 1999 Firebird Funny Car 1/24 scale kit.  Kit #85-1340, 'Pro-Finish-Snap Tite,' (pre-painted and snaps together without glue).  Look for it in your local hobby shop."

THE MAD PANIC No. 62 March 2001
Cover drawing by Joe Groshek of someone eating a "Fig Neuman."

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): Recently MAD placed advertising in their magazine and I've heard various opinions, here's mine: How many of you wish that you were still in diapers and crawling around on the floor?  Would you like to be stuck in middle school forever?  We all change and we do the best that we can with those changes.  I believe most of us welcome the changes in our lives.  Advertising is just another change in the life of MAD and I'm sure the 'Gang of Idiots' will adapt and continue to produce a first-class magazine.  Let's take a look at some of the changes I'm sure some of you would have been up-in-arms about and dead-set against: MAD becoming a magazine, Kurtzman leaving, Gaines selling the magazine to Premier Industries, Feldstein leaving, Don Martin going to CRACKED, and the 'new' MAD.  Not one of these changes has caused MAD to change.  Sure some features go and new ones come; I liked Hawk and Dove but I would think MAD was pretty out of touch if it was still a feature.  But, we'll still get movie and TV satires, parody ads, etc.  Why would advertising change those things?  Maybe you think that the editors will stop poking fun at corporate America, I don't think so.  If the corporations were afraid to be parodied, they wouldn't advertisement in MAD in the first place.  I'm looking forward to seeing issue #403 and its ads.  But, I don't plan on reading any of the ads; that would be sacrilegious!  Stay MAD - ED"

"Culture force? Consider 'Mad' and Its Influence on Our World - The single greatest influence on the development of American culture in the second half of the 20th century was Mad magazine.  Hey, that's the kind of pronouncement you're allowed to make when you're a columnist.  In this case, I also happen to believe it's true.  All the other undeniably powerful forces -- TV, Vietnam, The Pill, Watergate, Dr. Spock -- had massive, overarching impact, impossible to characterize in any coherent way that is not at the same time ludicrously simplistic.  But Mad?  Mad made us ironic.  And nothing, these past several decades, has been bigger than irony.  Politics is reduced to a set of Letterman and Leno jokes?  Mad got there first.  World's obsessed with celebrities?  Mad was sending that up in the '60s.  Your kids won't take you seriously, and even your neighbor's two-year-old is telling wisecracks?  Blame Mad: It was questioning authority before most people realized there was an authority to question.  (I've even heard it posited, I cannot remember by whom, that the youth protests that ultimately helped end the Vietnam War were inspired by the steady diet of disrespect Mad fed its young readers.  After 'Spy vs. Spy,' how could anyone take the Cold War seriously?)  I am celebrating Mad because it is publishing its 400th issue, and learning that fact has generated in me cascades of laughter.  I first thought about the interstitial plant named Arthur (chuckle).  I recalled the old origami version of the magazine's famous zeppelin, which hung from my bedroom ceiling (hoot).  I remembered cartoonist Don Martin's onomatopoetic rendition of a meal -- 'glikle,' 'blort,' 'farp,' etc. (snort).  I recollected the moment when I realized 'Nightline's' Ted Koppel was the spitting image of Alfred E. Neuman (guffaw).  That Mad doesn't exist merely as a memory to the likes of me but as a monument to the continuing silliness of society is remarkable -- not merely because it's survived (something Life and Look couldn't do) but because much of the rest of the media business has put stakes on its turf.  Time today highlights Joel Stein, the spiritual progeny of Mad's 'usual gang of idiots.'  Comedy Central's Jon Stewart essentially does Mad on videotape.  Howard Stern -- most drive-time radio jocks, for that matter -- are aural versions of Mad.  But Mad's influence extends beyond obvious appropriations and homages.  Here is a partial list of other things that would not be possible had Mad not existed: Maureen Dowd.  Forbidden Broadway.  The Onion.  Tony Hendra.  Late night TV.  Brett Easton Ellis.  New York City.  Richard Branson.  Maxim.  Postmodernism.  Jeff Koons.  Lounge music.  Silicon Alley.  The Presidency of the United States.  And advertising.  Yes, advertising.  Long before 'media studies' existed as a college discipline -- years before even Ralph Nader was warning us away from commercialism -- Mad was casting a hilariously jaundiced eye on the products of Madison Avenue.  Paging through Maria Reidelbach's marvelous pictorial history of the magazine, 'Completely Mad,' I was reminded that many of my earliest images of advertising were shaped by its satirical takes.  Like the 'Crust Toothpaste' ad featuring a triumphant Melvin Furd exclaiming, 'Look Mom, no more cavities!' -- because his teeth had been knocked out in a gang war.  Or the photo of the angry fellow in the chef's hat, his smock riddled in red as he hammers vegetables into a tin container.  'I'm the guy who puts the eight great tomatoes in that little bitty can,' he says in disgust.  It wasn't just the wares of Mad Ave, but its environment that Mad took on.  I will never forget 'The Mad Madison Avenue Primer,' which appeared at some point in the 1960s.  Lesson 1: 'See the man.  He does advertising work.  He is an 'ad man.'  Hear his funny stomach churn.  The ad man has a funny ulcer.'  The thing was, as drawn by Wally Wood, Mad's ad man, with big black glasses, tight suit, briefcase and strained appearance, looked exactly like my Dad's friends at Young & Rubicam.  Thanks to Mad, I could never go into advertising.  Instead, I am relegated to writing about it.  What, me worry? Fortunately for all of us, others were drawn to the profession by the sense of silliness purveyed by Mad: When I asked many of the young creatives at Wieden & Kennedy what had drawn them to advertising, close to half answered, 'Mad magazine.'  So here's to Mad, in whose honor I'd like to raise a toast and say: Potrzebie.  by Randall Rothenberg for Crain Communications Inc.  Copyright November 2000."

"The April Fool T-Shirt (with photo) - Pictured to the left is the newest Alfred E. Neuman t-shirt, which will be released on April 1.  You should be able to find it at your local comic shop.  Prices are $17.95 for S-XL and $20.95 for XXL.  It pays to diet!  This is the 3rd t-shirt to be released in the past year."

"MAD Cover Variations (with photo) - MAD has pictured issues of MAD #123 and 205 with covers that were not released.  These issues' images are printer proofs.  In the case of #123, pictured in Completely MAD, the proof has a different number 1,376,485 / 2,210,000.  This printer proof was bound into MAD's file copies and Maria Reidelbach photographed it for her book.  MAD staff knew it was just a proof so they decided not to use it in the MAD Cover to Cover book.  MAD #205, pictured in Completely MAD and MAD Cover to Cover, has the unpublished cover with a yellow logo.  This proof didn't get bound in MAD's file copies.  MAD used Maria's slide for that proof cover, unaware that there was a difference in logo covers.  Charles Kochman, Editor of Licensed Publishing for DC Comics and MAD Magazine verified these facts.  Mike Slaubaugh recently discovered this variation - MAD Special #100 has two different bindings: Bagged with poster detached and unbagged with poster attached.  At the top of the plastic bag is a two-inch wide band in blue and yellow that says 'Free' and '8 Full-Color Alfred E. Neuman Celebrity Posters'."

"The Great Fall Times Editorial (with photo) - Gene Phillip sent in this editorial cartoon.  the February 7, 2000 issue of The Great Falls Times, they used an Alfred E. Neuman look-a-like [sic] to express their concern about a local Delegate (McClure) who was against a tax plan for transportation and education."

"Filler Department: Frank Nuessel reports that the December 29, 2000 issue of Comic Buyer's Guide (#1415) has an article about the career of Sergio Aragones.  The article's title to [sic] 'From Ja Ja to Actions Speak.' "

"Bad Bob, Bad Bob - Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do, when they come for you - Seems Fox Television has found a new way to transition material from one show into another.  Bob Barrett will be seen in an upcoming episode of COPS.  It all started when the notorious Barrett put this item listing on eBay: MAD Magazine Mad TV Promo Mask.  12-1/2" x 13" full color heavy glossy paper.  1995 Fox TV Show giveaway.  Has original elastic strap.  Small crease in thin part of hat bill otherwise near mint.  The opening scene has Officer Max Korn describing panic calls for response to MAD collectors, 'We never know what to expect.  Last week I was attacked by squirting staplers, cameras, cigarette lighters, calculators, and chewing gum.  And, a fellow officer in Sherman Oaks was attacked by a squirting headset!'  The SBPD police officer proceeds to describe Barrett's next mistake.  'Barrett got an email message from the lawyer for MAD TV.  Barrett promptly deleted the mail header, but after weeks of work by computer crime forensic experts the message was recovered proving that he received it.'  The letter read:

LAW OFFICES
THOMAS PATRICK ROWAN
A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
11777 SAN VICENTE BOULEVARD, SUITE 880
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90049
TELEPHONE (310) 820-7717
FAX (310) 442-0204
EMAIL: rmangel@mafg.com

January 5, 2001

VIA comixtoys@aol.com
Re: 'MAD TV'
Auction Item #541933357

Dear Sir or Madam:  This firm represents Girl Group Company ('GGC'), the producers of 'MAD' and the exclusive copyright and trademark owners of all elements to that series and to the merchandising rights therein.  It has come to our attention that you have offered for sale on ebay without authorization a promo mask of Alfred E. Neuman relating to 'MAD TV' in direct contravention of GGC's exclusive merchandising rights.  Your activities in offering this mask for auction constitute a substantial infringement of GGC's copyright and trademark, and may subject you to civil liability and criminal prosecution.  GGC deems your unauthorized attempt to offer the mask for sale to constitute a commercial venture which violates GGC's exclusive right to exploit all elements of 'MAD TV' in merchandising and otherwise commercially.  Accordingly, we demand that you immediately cease and desist from any future attempt to sell the mask and that you return to me immediately all copies of the mask and any other materials which you own or control or which are in your possession relating to 'MAD TV' or any element thereof.  Should you disregard this request, GGC is prepared to take further steps to prevent your unauthorized attempt to sell GGC's trademarked and copyrighted intellectual property and materials.  This letter is not intended to constitute a full statement of all facts, rights or claims relating to this matter.  Nothing contained herein shall be deemed or construed as a waiver, release or relinquishment of any of GGC's rights, remedies and defenses, at law or in equity, with respect to this matter, and all such rights, remedies and defenses are expressly reserved.  Sincerely, THOMAS PATRICK ROWAN

Barrett was captured after attacking an officer's jugular vein, which viewers will find humorous!  Barrett is currently serving 7 years having been convicted of gaines [sic] from illegal trafficking of MAD TV memorabilia while under the influence of gross greed!  (photo - COPS IN SEAL BEACH)  On the left is the opening title slide for the COPS show.  Barrett is coming out of the car with his hands up and holding the MAD TV mask that was his undoing.  This is no joke, it could happen to you!  Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do; When MAD TV comes after you!"

"California Adult Education Week - Now we can understand why California has forced blackouts, take a look at the 'Sample News Release - Citizenship' form letter that their government employees use. 

DATE: ____________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (Name and Phone#)

ADULT ED WEEK FOCUS IS ON IMMIGRANT STUDENTS

Alfred E. Neuman Adult School in Gotham City will announce its 'New Citizen of the Year' for 1999/00 at an open house (or other activity) from _____ a.m. until ______ p.m. on March ________.  The event is part of the California Adult Education Week, March 13-17, and is being observed by more than 400 adult schools throughout the state.  The week's theme at Neuman Adult School is ____________________, event will allow the public an opportunity to visit classes and to examine the school's broad range of programs and services.  Tours of all classes will be available and refreshments will be served throughout the day.  Neuman Adult School is located at _______________ in Gotham City.  The telephone number is ___________.  Like many California adult schools, Neuman provides a wide range of educational services for new arrivals to the United States.  English as a Second Language, Citizenship and Amnesty are among the programs offered.  'These classes enable immigrants to become productive, contributing members of society and not dependent on our state's social services,' said (name), principal [sic] at Alfred E. Neuman.  'We hope the activities of National Adult Education Week will make more of these new Americans aware of the services at our school.'  Classes for immigrants are only part of the story at Neuman Adult School.  There are educational programs for handicapped adults, senior citizens and parents.  Vocational and job training is another important element of the curriculum and the school also offers a variety of community education courses at nominal fees."

"Filler Department: Gene Phillip reported that Dave Barry mentioned Don Martin's passing in his Year 2000 Wrap Up.  Barry only gives Don Martin one sentence, but it contains 'SPLOINGGG.'  The article appeared in the Sunday, December 31, 2000, edition."

"Bernie Green (Musically MAD) - (with photo) Bernie Green was born September 14, 1908 in New York City, NY and died August 8, 1975 in Westport, CT.  His career embodies contradictions.  On the one hand, he's taking on whatever job comes next: musical director for 'The Garry Moore Show,' leading the pit orchestra for years of Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, or conducting a marching band for an RCA album (a task Henry Mancini and Ray Martin also took on to pay the rent).  On the other hand, you have some of the most innovative and memorable recordings of the genre: More Than You Can Stand in Hi-Fi; Musically MAD; and Futura.  Little record remains of Bernie Green's career.  He worked in television throughout the 1950s, mostly as musical director for several very successful (Wally Cox's 'Mr. Peepers' and 'The Garry Moore Show') and several very unsuccessful ('Cool McCool' and 'Zotz!') shows.  He scored two films that compiled comedy bits from silent and early talking pictures: '30 Years of Fun' and 'MGM's Big Parade of Comedy.'  Although his own recordings are few, they are well worth seeking out.  More Than You Can Stand in Hi-Fi is something of a parody of the craze among hi-fi buffs for unusual instrumentation and striking arrangements.  Green took this approach beyond the limits of common sense, offering such items as Brahm's [sic] 'Hungarian Rhapsody #2' as a solo piece for kettle drum and the 'Minute Waltz' played by a sax quartet.  As might be expected, Musically MAD, with Alfred E. Neuman grinning prominently on the cover, appeals to the eternally adolescent sense of humor with 'Concerto for Two Hands,' in which the melody is rendered through the old trick of squeezing your palms together to make farting noises.  And Futura anticipates the work of Perrey and Kingsley with its use of 'animated tape' and 'tonalyzers,'  Green's striking interpretation of standards like 'Under Paris Skies' led Hi Fi Magazine to comment, 'The electronic music and musique concrete boys had better watch out: surely they've never appealed so provocatively or to so wide an audience as do the present sugar-coated experiments in and divertissements on the sound of the future.'  Recordings: Mr. Peepers and Other TV Themes, Barbary Coast 33015; More Than You Can Stand in Hi-Fi, San Francisco Records M 33015; Musically MAD, RCA Victor LSP-1929; National Football League Marching Band, RCA Victor LSP-2292; Futura, RCA Stereo Action LSA-2376."

"THE MAD PANIC BUTTON SETS #1 & #2 - (with photo of six buttons) Anyone smart enough to be reading this MAD  fanzine has to be smart enough to purchase these two great sets of buttons.  Just think of the investment potential!  Each set includes three buttons.  The top set has previously been sold on eBay and over 1 set has been sold already, don't miss out.  You can get either set for $7.50 plus $1.00 postage or both sets for $15.00 and postage is free!  Send payment to: Ed Norris, 91 Kelly Dr., Lancaster, MA 01523.  These buttons will be rare items in the future; the production run is limited to only the number ordered and no others will be produced.  The top set has the covers to issues #52, 53, and 61.  The bottom set has the covers to issues #54, 58, and 59.  I'll release a new set every month.  You can order all future sets at $6 per month or subscribe to the sets (sent quarterly) for $15.00 per quarter or $59 per year and postage is free with any of the future sets.  Any cash payments via 'non-certified - return receipt of delivery requested' mail would be promptly denied having ever been received."

"The MAD Panic Back Issues - Limited quantities exist for some of these issues, so call (978) 365-7628 or email enorris@mediaone.net to reserve.  Postage is $1.00 regardless of how many you order.  $5.00 each: #37 and $2.50 each: #38, 41-61."

"Annual Interest List - The 815th annual MAD interest list will appear in the next issue.  Only current subscribers will be listed.  If you were in last year's list and still want to be listed do nothing.  If you want to be removed let me know.  If you were not in last year's list and want to be in this year's let me know.  Check your mailing label to see if you'll still (be) a subscriber for issue #63."

"What's New (with photo) - This multi-colored New York Fire Depart(ment) patch is from E326/L160 in the Oakland Gardens section of Queens.  The patch is available from Fire Patch Collector, PO Box 2393, Conroe TX 77305-2393.  The cost is $6.00 each or $55 for 10 patches.  The price includes the postage.

Spy vs. Spy Plush Dolls - (with two photos) From the pages of MAD Magazine come DC Direct's latest soft toys, the MAD Black & White Spies.  Each stands approximately 7 inches tall and has embroidered details on its face, and wields removable plush bombs (that can stick to his hands) for the ultimate in plush explosive power.  It's packaged in a 4-color window box.  The price will be $14.95 and will be available in stores on July 11."

"Filler Dept: Look for The MAD Encyclopedia to be published in 2002.  It should (be) a great addition to anyone's MAD reference library."

"First Day Cover - (with photo) In the last issue I pictured a postal first day cover and stated I wished I owned it, well I do own the one pictured below.  Don Mangus of the American First Day Cover Society produced this hand painted cover.  It features Jack Davis' Letter Carriers stamp and an Alfred E. Neuman 4 President stamp."

"Filler Department: Gene Phillip reports:  The February 6, 2000 episode of 60 Minutes II did a report on a rich inventor who developed a wheel chair that goes upstairs, a dialysis pump, and many other fabulous devices.  He's currently working on a super secret 'it', which is causing the stock market folks to go into wild speculation.  Hi name is Dean Kamen and his company is DEKA.  While touring one of his many houses, the reporter noticed the paintings of Einstein on all the walls.  Dean mentioned his dad (Jack Kamen), an illustrator for E.C. and whose artwork appeared in Panic #1, painted the pictures."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 63 May 2001
Cover drawing by Kent Gamble of Mr. Neuman (Peanut) with top hat and cane ("Nuts to you!")

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): It appears that one of the benefits of AOL Time Warner owning MAD is that they have started lobbying for the staff and the Usual Gang of Idiots to be nominated for the comic awards.  It's about time these talented folks are being recognized!  Congratulations to Al Jaffee (Best Cartoonist) and Sergio Aragones (Special Award for Humor in Comics) for winning Harvey Awards!  Also, congratulations to the following for their Harvey Award nominations: [with Kurtzman drawing]

* Best Writer - Desmond Devlin
* Best Artist - Herman Mejia
* Special Award for Humor in Comics - Bill Wray
* Best Cover Artist - Robert Parada

In addition to the above MAD was also nominated for Best Domestic Reprint Project - MAD Bathroom Companion and Best Biographical/Historical Presentation - MAD Cover to Cover (Frank Jacobs and Gang).  Stay MAD - ED"

"Great Moments on eBay - [with Alfred drawing signed by John W. Gacy] This item appeared about a year ago.  Five day auction only!  Low, low, low reserve here on this really incredible piece of fully signed and inscribed artwork from none other than the 'Killer Clown' himself, executed Illinois serial killer, John Wayne Gacy!  Don't miss out!  Here, Gacy has drawn none other than MAD magazine's own mascot, the 'What Me Worry' kid, Alfred E. Neuman!  Check out the scan!  What we have here is a very rare and very desirable piece of artwork from John Wayne Gacy, made within the confines of his cell on death row in Illinois.  As most eBay bidders know already, John Wayne Gacy was arrested in Illinois in the late 1970s and charged with the murders of 33 young men and boys, most of whom where [sic] male hustlers whom Gacy had lured home with him using promises of drugs and employment.  Gacy then showed them the infamous 'rope trick' -- i.e. a garrote -- and buried their remains under the floorboards of his Des Plaines IL ranch house.  Convicted of all the murders, Gacy was sentenced to die twelve times (on those murders having taken place after the reinstatement of the death penalty in the U.S.).  In prison, Gacy took up painting and drawing, and over the course of his incarceration he made in excess of 2600 oil paintings and drawings, which are still highly sought after today by collectors ... this piece measures eight and one half inches by eleven inches and is in wonderful condition!  The scan came out pretty dark for whatever reason, but the original art is not!  It's perfect!  Guaranteed!  It's virtually begging to be framed and matted and placed prominently in your growing Gacy or MAD magazine collection!  Gacy has signed this incredible piece at bottom right 'John W Gacy' and inscribed it at top 'What Me Worry?'!  Holy cow!  Guaranteed 100% authentic for life!  Don't miss out!  This Gacy artwork comes direct to your door from what is by far the largest and broadest collection of original Gacy art, autographs and personal effects on the planet!"

"Filler Dept: MAD Magazine's 400th 'Moronic' issue has the following mistake: In the 'Untold History of Mda Magazine,' it says that in May 1956, 'Disneyland Opens and Mad is there.'  Disneyland opened in 1955.  We always knew MAD's research department was pretty Mickey Mouse."

"Rule-Breaking Mad Magazine Shatters A Big One - Advertising taboo gets heave-ho in conversion to color - [with parody Mad cover by Doug Gilford] NEW YORK -- For the editors, it was a simple matter of covering costs.  But for those who spent their youths at the shrine of Alfred E. Neuman, it was unforgivable.  Mad magazine has finally started taking ads.  After holding out for nearly 50 years, the caretakers of this American humor institution have finally buckled, citing the need for more money to cover a long-awaited switch to full-cover publication.  What's that?  Some of you didn't even know Mad magazine was still on the newsstands?  Not only is it still around, but there are still plenty of people who care enough to sound off about this perceived sellout by Mad, once considered an edgy, even subversive, magazine in its heyday.  'It's a shame -- it's the end of an era,' lamented Michael Gallagher, a comic collector and vendor in New York.  'I'm really surprised.  But hey, everyone's doing it.  Mad used to be cool and hip, but now they're going mainstream.'  'Mad certainly is not what it used to be,' said Roger Williams, another comics store owner.  'Once it was something you'd read under the covers with a flashlight for fear of your parents catching you, but now it's pretty G-rated.'  In a note at the beginning of the March issue, the editors broke the news to their readers with a generous dose of irony.  'We offer two exciting new concepts that are sure to revolutionize the magazine business: color and advertising.'  John Ficarra, co-editor, is sure that the griping will pass.  And besides, to financier the switch to full color, they'd either have to take ads, or drastically raise the cover price, which at $2.99 is still touted as 'Cheap!'  'Some people will never accept change,' Ficarra said.  'It's the same magazine it always was, except now we'll have a better-looking magazine ... the world was in full-blazing color and Mad was still coming out in newsprint.'  Mad refused ads for decades at the insistence of its founder, the iconoclastic William Gaines.  From its old perch on MADison Avenue, a building Gaines expressly chose because it had a 13th floor, the magazine spent decades thumbing its nose at American companies and pop culture.  But with advertisements appearing everywhere -- from beer glasses to movie theaters -- Mad's editors figured that few would be shocked to see them alongside 'Spy vs. Spy,' 'A Mad Look At ...' and the magazine's other fixtures.  Besides, it's pretty clear that the magazine could use the money.  Mad won't disclose financial data, but it's circulation has declined sharply since the early 1970s from a peak of 2.3 million to around 250,000.  Mad is now owned by AOL Time Warner Inc.  Still, Maria Reidelbach, an author and artist who wrote a history of the magazine, dismisses the notion that Mad is past its prime.  She said nostalgia for the Mad of old could just be readers longing for their lost youth.  'The golden age of Mad is different for every single person -- it's whenever that particular reader was into it,' Reidelbach said.  'Mad has always been uneven.  Some stuff is really funny, and some is just filler.  But there is always stuff that's timely and relevant.'  Mad still makes regular appearances on 'The Simpsons,' a sensitive cultural barometer.  Writers at The Onion, a leading humor magazine, also swear by it.  But perhaps the most ringing endorsement of the magazine's enduring place in American culture is that prominent people still see it as a badge of honor to be skewered in its pages.  Charlton Heston wrote the magazine's editors a nice thank-you letter after Mad ran a graphic on its back page showing the National Rifle Association president polishing an assault rifle in his living room as a stuffed reindeer head hung above the fireplace.  Its nose was red and nameplate read 'Rudolph.'  Written by Seth Sutel and appeared in The Courier Journal, March 24, 2001."

"Great Moments on eBay - [with photo] Here's another item that appeared on eBay about a year ago.  This is one of a collection of original promotional photographic prints picturing Royal Toner, known in the industry as 'The Oyster King,' and owner of Lester & Toner Oyster Co. of Greenport, NY with various celebrities.  This picture shows 'The King' with Gary Moore, creator of MAD magazine character Alfred E. Newman and a man I believe to be Jack Davis.  Lester & Toner marketed oysters under the brand 'SEAPURE.'  The photo is in perfect condition and measures 8" X 10".  Luckily, someone corrected the seller.  'This is regarding your Gary Moore photo.  While it is interesting that there is a large framed 'What, me worry?' kid on the wall behind Moore, I can assure you that Gary Moore had no involvement in the creation of the character that Mad's editors Harvey Kurtzman and Al Feldstein eventually named 'Alfred E. Neuman.'  The 'What, me worry?' kid goes back to at least the turn of the century.  His face was used for decades in advertisements for patent medicines and painless dentistry before he started to be used in Mad.  There is a small connection with the Gary Moore Show.  In a comedy bit Gary took photos of his cast members and by isolating various features came up with a composite portrait that turned out to be the 'What, me worry?' kid.  I can also tell you, without fear or contradiction, that the other man in the photo is not Jack Davis.'"

"Filler Dept: Gene Phillip reported this item -- In case you missed Millionaire on April 12, 2001 the $32,000 question was, 'After more than 40 years of ad-free publishing, what magazine started featuring advertisements in 2001?'  The phone-a-friend lifeline thought it was National Geographic.  The contestant thought it was Scholastic.  The guy decided to walk away with $16,000!  Ed: I'll assume the contestant's lifeline subscribes to John Hett's Journal ala Mattress!"

"NETSEC Advertisement - [with photo] The information security company NETSEC has started using the Spy vs. Spy characters in their current ad campaign.  This ad appeared in the Network Computing and Information Security, April 2001, magazines.  They did a 'teaser' ad the month before, but other than the copyright notice for Spy vs. Spy there was nothing to indicate their pending usage.  I had someone check at a recent security conference to see if they had any giveaways with the Spy vs. Spy characters.  They didn't!"

"Unreported Pinback Button - [with photo] This full-color pinback button measures 3 1/2" and was produced by Hewig & Marvic.  It was produced to promote a $70 million jackpot in Utah.  Alfred is wearing a Time-Independent t-shirt.  The artist is Keith Taylor."

"Dr. Frank Brown - [with photo - 'Who's Your Dentist?'] This advertisement appeared in the 1922 Janus Yearbook published by the Westville (IL) Township High School.  The caption states 'He Never Hurt a Bit'"

"Filler Dept: The EC Fan Addict 50th Fear-Year Kit had a limited run of 500.  The odd numbered kits have a pewter medal badge finished in a gold color.  The even numbered kits have the badge finished in a silver color.  Russ Cochran didn't advertise this difference.  Good luck finding one if you don't already own one.  Haven't seen one on eBay yet!"

"387th Annual MAD Interest List - Grant W. Johnson, Tom & Anna Anderson, Bob Barrett, Bennett Barsk, Alan Bernstein, John Castiglia, Steve Cooper, Roland Coover, Jr., Ron Downard, Randal Dull, Douglas Everett, Hal Freiman, Kent Gamble, Joe Groshek, Dick Hanchette, Leigh Harrison, Stan Horzepa, Marten Jallad, Timothy Johnson, Ben Kanengieser, Matt Keeley, Gary Kritzberg, Richard Landivar, Michael Lerner, Bruce Liber, Andreas Mueller, Ed Norris, Michael Parke-Taylor, Gene Phillip, Richard Sherman, David Silva, Michael Skinner, Mike Slaubaugh, Rick Stoner and Jeffery Taub."

"The MAD PANIC Button Sets #3&4 - [with photo] You can purchase aither set for $6.00 or both sets for $12.00 and postage is free!  Send payment to Ed.  These buttons will be rare items in the future; the production run is limited to only the number ordered and no others will be produced.  The top set has the covers to issues #1, 19, and 62.  The bottom set has the covers to issues #21, 35, and 40.  I'll release a new set every month.  You can subscribe to the sets (sent quarterly) for $15.00 per quarter or $59 per year and postage is free with any of the future sets.  Previous sets available for $8.50 each (includes postage)."

"What's New - Willard Lives! [with photo] While not new, this book has not been previously reported.  The hard cover book was published in 1981 by Mercer University Press.  The author, Robert L. Steed, wrote a number of Willard Clutchmyer columns and this is a collection of them.  There is no indication that MAD gave them permission to use Alfred's image.  Look for it in used bookstores near you!

"Nesting Dolls - [with photo] These Russian made nesting dolls appear on eBay from time to time.  These wooden dolls usually sell for under $40.  They are hand painted and have the MAD logo on the back of the largest doll.  Pictured is just one of the sets.  There are currently six different sets, determined by the image on the largest doll.  The artist does a very nice job and you won't be disappointed in their quality."

"Filler Dept: Gene Phillip reports: On the Antiques Roadshow on PBS, Part 2 of 3 (week of April 22, 2001) from Madison Wisconsin, included a 'crayon mockup' of the cover for MAD #155, The Godfather, by Norman Mingo.  It was appraised at $1500 - $2000.  No other details were provided about the piece or its authenticity.  Didn't know Norman Mingo worked with crayons. [smile-face emoticon]  Ed: I might be wrong, but I don't think the appraiser knew what he or she was talking about.  The whole segment lasted less than 10 seconds."

"Another Postal Envelope - [with photo] I never realized how much people love to have the MAD artists sign postal related stuff.  Below is another example on an envelope from Israel.  Bob Clarke is the artist."

"MAD #275 Issue Variation - MAD #275 on page 21, in the article 'Your Pet Knows ...' there is a panel that shows two people and a bird hanging upside down.  The caption reads '... when your gas heater has a leak!'  Some issues have the caption missing."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 65 September 2001
Cover drawing by Kent Gamble of Alfred E. Neuman with a long tie.

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): This is the section I always hate writing because as editor of the #1 MAD fanzine in the entire universe, there is great pressure on me to continue to provide the thought provoking editorial opinions about MAD and the collecting scene.  I know all my readers have come to expect it.  While I usually can fill the other 11 pages in the matter of seconds, this tiny section takes me well over 10 minutes to write.  To give you an example, this sentence took 3 rewrites.  My first two attempts needed to be rewritten because I positioned my hands on the keyboard wrong.  I doubt any of you would have understood my first attempt:  'Yp hobr upi sm rcs,[;r. yjod drmyrmvr yppl 4 tretoyrd/'.  Unlike the Journal ala Mattress' proofreader, my proofreader caught the mistakes and forced me to rewrite it until I got it correct!  Which brings be [sic] to my final point: I just got off the phone with John Hett and he assures me that the next issue of his fanzine is going to be RUMBOOM-BLOOMA DOOM BOOMA-ROOMBA great!  To order the #2 MAD fanzine in a field of 2 MAD fanzines, send $20 to John Hett, 7420 Calhoun, Dearborn, MI 48126.  Stay MAD - ED"

"Jerry DeFuccio - August 9, 2001 - I was sad to hear that yet another of the MAD legends has passed away.  Jerry DeFuccio lost his battle to cancer on August 9, 2001.  Jerry was born on July 3, 1925.  He never obtained the status of the likes of a Don Martin or Antonio Prohias, but all true MAD fans know that he helped shape the magazine we all love.  I never had the pleasure of meeting Jerry but I did send some stuff to him to be signed and he always did so, and for that I'll always be grateful.  When I heard the news I went searching through the New York Times and many of the online newspapers.  I didn't see anything until I ran across the New York Times' archive.  DeFuccio's death notice appeared in the August 10, edition.  I guess I was expecting to find a full write-up.  The notice was in with the local NY residents and I didn't notice it the first time.  Below is what was written:"

"DeFUCCIO -- Jerome A. "Jerry" of Jersey City on Thursday, August 9, 2001.  Loving son of May V. (nee Hennessy) and the late Dr. Charles P. DeFuccio.  Dear brother of Charles M. DeFuccio and devoted sister-in-law of MaryAnne DeFuccio.  Beloved uncle of DeAnne DeFuccio.  Dear cousin of Grace Gargiulo,  Michelina MacGregor and Mary Kozak.  Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral from McLaughlin Funeral Home, 625 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306 on Monday, August 13, 2001 at 9:30 AM.  Funeral Mass St. Peter's Church, Jersey City, NJ at 10:30 AM, Interment Holy Name Cemetery, Jersey City.  Visitation Saturday and Sunday 2-4 & 7-9 PM.  Parking opposite funeral home."

"Mark Evanier posted the following on his web site:"

"Jerry DeFuccio has passed away.  Jerry was a veteran of EC Comics, having worked as an assistant editor, researcher and occasional writer for Harvey Kurtzman's war comics during their 'golden' period.  When MAD Magazine got up and running, Jerry became one of its Associate Editors and remained there for more than 25 years.  (A few years after he departed, he resurfaced for a brief time at Cracked).  Anyone who visited the MAD offices during his years there probably met and spent time with Jerry.  He was the magazine's historian, researcher and unofficial greeter.  He was also a devout student of comic book history who was responsible for unearthing much that is today known about vintage funnybooks"

"Bye Jerry, you'll be missed by all."

"The FBI Files - Prime Suspect: MAD! - [copies of four government documents and one letter from William M. Gaines] This series of documents started because the satire crime boss William 'The Rifleman' Gaines and his notorious lieutenants Albert 'Big F' Feldstein and John 'Ice Pick' Putnam poked fun at J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI.  the document below is the first in a series we'll examine.  References to 'Bufiles' are the 'Bureau Files'.  White out sections have been removed by the FBI.  The relevant image and markings of 'CONTINUED NEXT PAGE' is in a composite image on page 8.  [included is a small note: "Through a lengthy FOIA court battle I'm able to use the sentence below.  Please trim and paste it on to page 5 as the last line before the document.  'on the 1961 number we can safely assume that it was at least 750,000. The FBI']  Once a file has been identified as being responsive to a Freedom of Information Act request, it is photocopied, and the work copy is reviewed by an analyst to determine if any portions should be withheld from the requester under any various exemptions permitted by the FOIPA.  I found it very interesting that presenting the horror of war was considered an undesirable activity.  While we don't know the circulation figure for 1957, based [see above note].  received 3 requests for the draft dodger card.  Based upon my Windows 95 calculator, that's 0.0004% of the readers.  I could see why so much attention was needed on this major incident.  What if the readership was at the 1974 peak of 2,132,655?  That would have resulted in 8 1/2 requests (we can assume the 1/2 requester forgot his return address) which is a complete conspiracy!  We're lucky J. Edgar Hoover put 'The Rifleman' Gaines in his place.  Hoover got the apology below.  Notice Gaines stated Hoover 'will have no occasion for concern on this subject in the future'; that because MAD wasn't planning another draft dodger article.  'The Rifleman' Gaines was planning the old tonic attack.  The FBI was fast on preventive measures as can be seen below.  On the next few pages you can see the official FBI 'pertinent place mark'!  I hope I didn't violate any law disclosing the meaning of those arrows, but I believe in reporting the facts regardless of any personal action that can be taken upon me.  You'll note the statement, 'The magazine purports to satirize well-known comic figures, ... prominent individuals, etc.'  My guess is M.A. Jones kept his job by not pointing out how J. Edgar Hoover fit into the list.  Gaines also got a double whammy in on page 27 by referring to Hoover as Electrolux.  That gag must have had old J. Edgar sucking wind over the shock.  Enough analysis for now, as I think someone is monitoring my keystrokes.  The next issue will have the final documents to an even more dirty deed that shouldn't be swept under the rug - 'The Rifleman' Gaines, 'Big F' Feldstein, extortion, and kidnapping!  Thanks to Jay Lynch for bringing these documents to my attention.  Thanks to the FBI for writing the majority of this issue of The MAD Panic.  The image to the right is not on this document, it is from the second page of the draft dodger document.  I included it here to better utilize white space.  Notice the lack of 'pertinent places marked', I guess the FBI didn't invented [sic] the arrows until after 1957."

"Major Collection Sold - [with two photocopies] Dallas, Texas, Heritage Comic Auctions (HCA) announced today (July 30, 2001) that its co-owner Jim Halperin just purchased the famous Dick Hanchette collection of MAD memoribilia (roughly 2,000 items), as well as the most popular MAD collectibles site on the internet, www.collectmad.com.  Highlights from this outstanding collection will be offered on various venues, including HCA's first live auction, to be held at UncommonCon in Dallas, November 23-25, 2001."

"George Evans, 1920-2001 - Long-time comic-book and comic-strip artist George Evans died Friday, June 22, at 3:00 a.m., following a heart attack earlier that week.  Blood work done in connection with the incident revealed that Evans was in the late stages of an aggressive form of leukemia, probably allowing him only weeks to live.  Evans elected to suspend further treatment and returned home to await the end.  Most summations of Evans's career tend to focus on his work for EC comics, where he specialized mostly in crime and war stories, but he was a prolific contributor to many companies and most genres.  Before joining EC, he did extensive work for Fawcett's horror line, and after EC, he continued to produce crime, mystery and war material for other companies, including Atlas (Marvel's 1950s incarnation) and Classics Illustrated.  Later, in the 1970s, he produced horror and war comics for DC, and horror stories for Marvel.  He did little superhero work, for anyone; the rare exceptions include some Doctor Doom/Sub-Mariner material for Marvel at about this time.  He also drew many stories for the National Lampoon's various comics-format articles.  The complete article appears on http://www.sfwa.org/News/gevans.htm."

"THE MAD PANIC BUTTON SETS #7 & #8 - You can purchase either set for $6.00 or both sets for $11.99 and postage is free!  Send payment to:  Ed Norris 91 Kelly Dr Lancaster MA 01523.  These buttons will be rare items in the future; the production run is limited to only the number ordered and no others will be produced.  The top set has the covers to issues #4, 18, and 46.  The bottom set has the covers to issues #5, 34, and 41.  I'll release a new set every month.  Previous sets available for $7.50 each (includes postage)."

"Tim Johnson's Auction - will be held Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20, from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM CST each night.  Most of the items in this auction are from Annie Gaines and will be her 'Farewell' ayction.  Highlights include a ton of EC stuff both old and new, some unique foreign MAD collectibles, clothing, posters, original MAD artwork, an Alfred E. Neuman cloth doll, late 1980's MAD collectibles, and personal items of Bill Gaines.  Catalogs are $8 (cash, check, or money order) and can be ordered from: Tim Johnson, 2530 South 64th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53219.  Questions can be answered by calling Tim at (414) 321-6004, or via email at tjohnson@wi.rr.com.  (Ed. Note: Bid early and often, but don't outbid me!)"

"Acorn Employment Agency - This 1954 postcard, which is dated via the postage mark, has not been previously recorded.  If Louis Gold could place someone like Alfred E. Neuman in some company, I guess he could place anyone"

"MAD About Art - Both Tom Anderson and Kerry DeBoer report that Mark Evanier is searching for anyone who has any unpublished MAD roughs or preliminary sketches for his upcoming book MAD About Art, which might appear late next year, as MAD is turning 50 years old.  The book will spotlight the many fine illustrators who have worked over the years for America's most successful humor publication.  If you have something Mark might use, contact him via email at me@evanier.com or write him at 5830 W 3rd St #367, Los Angeles CA 90036."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 64  July 2001
Cover drawing by Kent Gamble of Alfred E. Neuman looking into a mirror.

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): Congratulations to Fred von Bernewitz and Grant Geissman!  In the last issue I forgot to mention that Tales of Terror!/The EC Companion was nominated twice for the Harvey Awards, in the categories 'Best Design' and 'Best Historical Work.'  And the book has been nominated for an Eisner Award in the 'Best Comics-Related Book' category.  I can't believe I missed this one; my name appears in that book, which is something MAD has never done for me!  Also congratulations to Will Elder, Marie Severin, and Reed Crandall for their nominations to the Eisner Award Hall of Fame.  I wish everyone the best of luck on July 20.  You all deserve to win!  If you don't already subscribe to the Journal of MADness you should because the next issue will be SPROINGACHONK great, unless John Hett screws it up royally, again!  He's batting 0-11, but if he produces that hit, his fanzine will have reached the same high-quality level you've come to expect from The MAD Panic.  Send him $20 for 4 issues and mail it to 7420 Calhoun, Dearborn, MI 48126.  Stay MAD - ED"

"MAD About Stamps - An Analysis of a Paperback Book Contract [with photo - As many of you know, MAD allowed its artists and writers to release books under the MAD trademark.  They paid a fee to E.C. Publications, Inc. for this usage.  This article will examine one such contract, because it's the only one I have.  You didn't expect in-depth research, did you?  You might be wondering why I called this article 'MAD About Stamps.'  That was the tentative title of this 'novelty book' which became MAD's Talking Stamps when finally released.  The final contract is actually in two parts: one between Frank Jacobs and Warner Books, Inc. and the other between Frank Jacobs and E.C. Publications, Inc.  We'll start with a look at the 11-page contract with Warner.  The agreement was made on the '7th day of August, 1972.'  The first section is Frank Jacobs declaration and guarantee that the 'work is original, and is free of any lien, claim, charge, or debt of any kind.'  It's basically a bunch of legal mumble that puts the blame on Jacobs if someone sues!  The exception is any material that Warner insists on placing in the book.  If Warner gets sued, Jacobs has to pay for their lawyer also.  The second section is Jacobs' grant and promises, which means Warner has 'exclusive license to print, publish, and sell ... in the English language only, world-wide.'  It also applies to only 'pocket-size, softcover books.'  The contract covers a period of 6 years.  This allows Jacobs to 'reprint or reproduce any part ... in any other format.'  I'm surprised with the success of the paperback books, other publishers didn't come forward to print hard cover editions.  I'm sure we would have purchased those also.  The third section covers the title, length, and other conditions.  'The title, contents, and cover art, layout and color of the work shall be determined by mutual agreement' between Jacobs, Warner and E.C. Publications.  So even if the work was original, E.C. Publications could control the content and insure it fit the MAD image.  The page length was to be 192 pages, which was the standard Warner format.  A rotary web offset process was used in the printing of the book.  Jacobs had to submit original artwork and script, and provide a written statement of its value.  It would be a very interesting document to have access to as it would give an indication of how the writer or artist valued his work.  The third section also covered payment.  E.C. Publications received 25% of all royalties and advances.  Frank Jacobs received the remaining 75%.  It would be very interesting to know how Al Jaffee's sold with and without the MAD colophon.  Was it worth turning over 25% to E.C., we may never know.  But apparently so, as more than 100 original works by the Usual Gang of Idiots were published.  The fourth section concerns the delivery of the art and script.  Jacobs needed to deliver by April 1, 1974.  This gave Jacobs 20 months to finish the book.  If he couldn't deliver 60 days after the April 1 date, Warner could terminate the contract.  We know that didn't happen as the book was published with a release date of June 1974.  The fifth section covers any alterations.  Jacobs had 20 days to correct and return the printer's proof.  If delivered on April 1, given time to get the printer proof done and sent to Jacobs, Warner making the corrections, and having a publish date of June, it is a safe bet that the art and script were delivered earlier than April 1 by Jacobs.  The sixth section is Warner's agreement to publish the book.  Warner could release the first printing of the book no later than 12 months after the delivery date, unless they had a strike, fire, blah, blah, blah ... (Editor's note: 'blah, blah, blah' is not stated in the contract as the legal meaning of those words is too specific to be used in any good contract.)  The retail price was to be 75c in the United States.  The actual price of the book upon its release was 95c.  The contract stated that, 'In no event shall Warner publish the work prior to November, 1974.'  I hope Jacobs sued their pants off for this gross breech of contract!  Warner could also not release the book during the months of January, April, May, August, September, October, or December.  A quick count of months will show the lawyers were being paid by the word as it would have been easier to write: 'can be released only in February, March, June, July or November.'  This practice seems to have been ended around the time of the book's release, as other original MAD books were released during the 'off' months, such as the May 1974 release of Sergio Aragones' MAD Marginals.  Reprinted material books were usually released during the above stated 7 months.  The next two sections are pretty boring, just agreements to copyright and allowing others to use selections for publicity.  Yawn!  The ninth section deals with the royalty advance.  Warner paid an advance of $15,000, which was non-returnable to Warner unless Jacobs didn't deliver the art and script.  Warner paid $6000 upon signing the contract and another $9000 upon the delivery of the art and script.  Remember that Warner was going to price the book at 75c, that meant Warner needed to sell 133,333 copies (11.25c per copy, as you'll see in the next paragraph) before additional payments would be made to Jacobs and E.C. Publications.  Frank Jacobs received an advance of $11,250 and E.C. Publications got $3750 for his use of the MAD colophon.  The tenth section covers royalties.  Warner paid 15% of the list price.  The advance was charged against the payment.  So, with the actual list price of 95c, the royalty was 14.25c per copy sold.  Warner would now start paying additional royalties after 105,263 copies.  If Warner was stuck with unsold copies, they would dispose of the books and give a royalty of 10% of the gross amount received.  Royalties were paid by Warner on the last ady of March and September.  Also, if Warner sold at least 100,000 in one order to one of the school book clubs, the royalty paid was 80% of the regular royalty.  So, if Scholastic Book Service purchased 100,000 copies of the book, the royalty would be $11,400.  Section eleven cover copies given to Frank Jacobs.  Warner was very generous in giving Jacobs 10 free copies.  Wow, $7.50 (list) worth of free books!  E.C. Publications could purchase books for resale through the ads in MAD at 68% of list price.  This meant they paid 64.6c per copy, but they got 25% of the royalty on the sale at list, which actually knocked off another 3.5625c from their actual cost.  Now we know how E.C. Publications could afford MADison Ave office space!  I fell asleep reading sections twelve through seventeen, which is the last section.  I've got to give the lawyers credit for coming up with a cure for insomnia!  You'll be glad to know I read the contract twice, because that's the in-depth research you have come to expect from this fanzine, and in section thirteen: if Warner refused to reprint the book within 3 months of asking by Jacobs, he could have terminated the contract, unless the delay in reprinting was caused by war, strikes, fires, blah, blah, blah ... (see previous note).  Interesting note, war wasn't covered in the previous section; what occurred during the writing of those two sections that made the lawyers think to include 'war' in this section?  Four people signed this contract: Frank Jacobs and Howard K Sloppysignature (for Warner Books) and Gloria Orlando and Susan S Flunkedpenmanship as witnesses.  Each page has been initialed.  Now on to the 1-page addition that covers the consent and approval of E.C. Publications, Inc.  Basically, it's an agreement that the MAD colophone can be used on the book covers and title page.  Gaines, Jacobs, and Howard K. signed this agreement, with no witnesses.  The next 2-page contract is an agreement between Frank Jacobs and E.C. Publications, Inc.  This also covers the use of the MAD colophon, but in much less detail.  It also states that there is joint copyright on the material, registered in the names of Frank Jacobs and E.C. Publications, Inc.  If you pull out your copy of the book, you notice this is true; but Gaines only owned the MAD name and colophon.  The agreement states that Jacobs and E.C. Publications had to pay each other $1.00 for the other's claim to copyright.  Jacobs had 'all of the literary and artistic content contained in such work as well as the claim to copyright thereto shall remain the property of Frank Jacobs ...'  Frank Jacobs and William Gaines signed the contract and Gloria Orlando signed the contract as witness.  In the book, thanks are given to the Dumont Stamp Company for supplying some of the stamps used in the book.  That company is not mentioned in any of the documents I have examined.  Warner, some time during June 1980, reissued the book.  This would have been outside of the 6-year time frame as stated in the contract; there must have been another contract drawn up and signed.  I own a 3rd printing of the original, but I'm unsure of how many reprintings this title went through or the number of copies per printing."

"Patrick Merrell - [with two photos] WHO?  Patrick Merrell has been serving the illustration needs of hundreds of satisfied clients for over 20 years.  During these years he has been called on to draw tomatoes, mice, ghouls, children, aardvarks, cows, lawyers and (very closely related to lawyers) bran muffins with arms and legs.  He has won many awards, among them a frozen turkey for a top ten finish in a Thanksgiving bicycle race.  'The World's Largest Christmas Stocking' in a grocery store lottery and a faux marble pen-holding desk trophy for rolling a 200 game in his high school bowling league.  He works quickly, is invariably pleasant to deal with and has never once been late with a job.  He specializes in games, puzzles, stickers, posters, maps, calendars, books, book covers, greeting cards, cartoon strips and spot illustrations for Fortune 500 companies, non-Fortune 500 companies, publishing companies, advertising agencies, magazines, design studios, marketing firms, foundations, federations, associations, societies, cities, organizations and ... well, you get the idea.  In addition to his fine illustration skills he is an accomplished writer and graphic designer who is well-versed in the many intricacies of computer design.  These skills have been put to use in MAD magazine, the semi-famous and hopefully not yet forgotten Dynamite magazine and ten books he has created for Troll Communications and Scholastic.  At least that's what he tells us on his web site http://patrick.merrell.org.  And, give the man some credit in the MAD masthead!"

"Miscellaneous Stuff - [with drawing] Kerry DeBoer sent in this Rubes cartoon which appeared on June 5, 2001.  If you can't make out the caption it states: 'Naturally, I can't say for certain until I review the test results, but offhand I'd say it looks like a severe case of mad cow disease.'  In the upper left corner it states: 'With Apologies to Alfred E. Neuman.'  Mike Slaubaugh sent in this:  On the May 28th episode of ABC's 'The Weakest Link,' the following question was asked: 'What is the name of MAD Magazine's gap-toothed Mascot?'  The contestant answered correctly.  And, visit Mike's new web page http://users.ipfw.edu/slaubau/mad.htm for his updated MAD magazine lists."

"Western Stationery Co. - [with three photos] We all know that postcards don't magically appear at a store; someone has to order them from a company.  This is a 1950 Western Stationery Co. catalog that features their Alfred E. Neuman 'Me Worry' postcard.  The cover has been lightened so that it will be seen in this cheaply produced fanzine.  The original cover is a medium brown with black lettering.  That black blob on the left is two Native Americans looking over a cliff.  Below is a picture of the last page on which Alfred appears.  The postcard is No. 36.  Some interesting stuff appears in the catalog.  Enlargements of some of the postcards could be purchased at a 9x11" or 8x17" size.  Unfortunately the Alfred postcard was not one of these.  The Alfred postcard, as were all of the cards, was celophane {sic}wrapped in bundles of 100.  The cards were printed on Kromekote stock.  The card's wholesale price was $2.50 per 100 and sent prepaid anywhere in the U.S.  Wow, only 2.5c each!  I wonder how much this postcard is selling for on eBay these days.  Finally, the company warns, 'We will be unable to furnish additional catalogs so be sure not to lose this one.'  I guess someone took that advice, otherwise it would have been decomposed by now instead of residing in my collection."

"Filler Dept: Gene Phillip reports; the June 2001 issue of Playboy magazine, page 24, has an analysis of William Gaines' wine cellar.  Editor's note: I didn't know Playboy contained articles, thanks Gene.  I would have never noticed it!"

"Great Moments on eBay - [with photo] Pictured to the right is a great pre-MAD item.  With a starting bid of only $9.99 it was going to attract a lot of investors.  Gum?  I thought it would dispense corn-nuts!  'This is a 1940's oak acorn one cent gumball vending machine.  This machine has recently been painted and all the metal parts cleaned and polished.  It has a great 'MAD' Alfred E. Newman paper decal inside the machine that is attached to the glass, it says rings and buttons, with a one cent decal under that.  The glass globe is in excellent condition, this machine has all metal parts there are NO plastic parts on this machine at all.  The original rubber feet are attached.  The key is included, it is ready for your collection or add gumballs and use it.  The machine works perfectly on a penny and the chrome has normal wear for its age.  NO RESERVE, buyer to pay $13.00 for double boxed shipping and insurance anywhere in the U.S.' Sold for $50!"

"THE MAD PANIC BUTTON SETS #5 & 6 - [with photo] - You can purchase either set for $6.00 or both sets for $12.00 and postage is free!  Send payment to: Ed Norris 91 Kelly Dr Lancaster MA 01523.  These buttons will be rare items in the future; the production run is limited to only the number ordered and no others will be produced.  The top set has the covers to issues #2, 29, and 39.  The bottom set has the covers to issues #3, 25, and 47.  I'll release a new set every month.  Previous sets available for $7.50 each (includes postage)."

"What's New - Chapman Skateboard - [with photo] A new Alfred E. Neuman skateboard may be released this fall.  Chapman Skateboards will manufacture the board.  This red skateboard features the likeness of Alfred wearing a boarding helmet.  Hopefully we'll see it before Christmas.

Guitar Picks - [with photo] MAD guitar pick collection.  10 picks in  a fine wood frame, set under glass.  These are 'first class, triple AAA' guitar picks of the finest quality suitable for trading, playing, or collecting.  You can purchase the picks for $30.50 and that includes shipping priority mail-confirmation.  Send inquiries to: guitarpixs@yahoo.com."

"Filler Dept: Mike Slaubaugh reports that Mort Drucker reached a significant milestone by appearing in his 350th issue in MAD No. 407.  He only trails Dave Berg and Al Jaffee both of whom have appeared in 358 issues.  Also, after 69 appearances, Assistant Editor David Shayne did not appear in the masthead of MAD No. 407.  He has been selected for a highly competitive TV program in CA that tries to place the best prospects with network sitcoms."

"Medical College of Virginia Yearbook - [with photo of cover with Alfred as doctor] Pictured to the left is a 1972 college yearbook that had not previously been reported.  Cool item, but I hope I don't need a doctor from that college!"

"Filler Dept: Gene Phillip reports: On the May 10, 2001 celebrity Millionaire, Kelly Ripa got the following question for $500,000.  'The 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent led to a congressional investigation of what?'  A. Film industry; B. Child Labor; C. Comic book industry; D. Major league baseball.  Kelly didn't know the answer so she took the $250,000 for charity."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 67  January 2002
Cover drawing by Kent Gamble of superstar Alfred E. Neuman

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): I hope everyone had a safe and healthy year in 2001 and will have another one in 2002.  And speaking of 2002, in the late summer MAD will be celebrating 50 years.  It seems like just yesterday that the magazine was celebrating 49 years; where does the time go?  I'm looking forward to seeing what the folks at DC Comics will do to mark this milestone!  It appears the last of the copycats is dead.  CRACKED magazine has not released an issue in almost 6 months.  The publisher has released a letter stating that the magazine is still alive, but even if it is published again I'm sure the readership level will take a nosedive into the 6-foot hole.  Just look at the results of the attempt to keep National Lampoon alive.  MAD started out on top and continued to stay there for 50 years.  Congratulations to all the current and past staff, writers, and artists.  We're all looking forward to another 50 years!  Lastly, I want to give a plug to my own MAD and Alfred E. Neuman FAQ (frequently asked questions) which can be found on Dick Hanchette's web site http://www.collectmad.com/collectibles/FAQ.htm.  If you have anything to add or want a question answered, let me know.  Stay MAD - ED"

"The FBI Files - MAD (Part III) - In issue #65 I reprinted some of the documents regarding the Draft Dodgers Club.  I've obtained some of the requests to Mr. Hoover to join the club.  Instead of filling up space with originals, which are typically short, I'll type the requests below.  November 22, 1957 - Dear Mr. Hoover, I would like a membership card to the 'Draft Dodgers Club.'  I played the 'Draft Dodgers' game in 'Mad' magazine and am now a full-fledged member, but I need a card, and I was told to write to you for one.  Thank you.  (handwritten letter, addressed to Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, Vice-President of US).  November 25, 1957 - Dear Sir: Would you please send me a membership card to Mad Comic.  My address is: (removed).  Sincerely, (handwritten letter, postmarked in Livonia Mich.).  November 25, 1957 - Dear Mr. Hoover: In the January '58 issue of 'Mad' magazine, there are three games, one of them is called Draft Dodger.  At the finish it says to send your name and address to you for your membership card.  Here is my name and address.  Please send me my Draft Dodger card.  Sincerely yours, (handwritten letter, postmarked in Dayton Ohio).  December 20, 1957 - Dear Sir: Please send me Membership card as a Draft Dodger.  Thank you!  (handwritten letter).  December 27, 1957 - Dear Mr. Hoover, Please send me an official Draft Dodger membership card, so I can be a full pledge draft dodger.  (handwritten letter).  As you can see this is pretty scary stuff.  Imagine five people requesting membership; if a few more had done so the free world might not exist today!  In the previous issue, letter on page 5 references the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities and their Guide to Subversive Organizations and Publications.  I picked up a copy of the Dec. 1, 1961 edition, which superseded the Jan. 2, 1957 edition.  Parts I and III of the guide lists organizations cited as communist or communist-front by various authorities and the good news is the EC Fan Addict Club is not listed.  Finally Appendix III lists stuff dropped from the 1957 edition and again nothing MAD related is listed.  I was glad to know I wasn't having my head filled with communist thoughts all those years.  Did you see milk now costs $3.29 per gallon!  The letter below [copy of December 4, 1957 letter] is a request from Hoover to his New York office telling them to purchase a copy of MAD from the newsstands and become familiar with it.  It's nice to know that my father's hard earned tax dollars were used to purchase MAD magazine.  I never realized my family started collecting MAD when I was 4-months old.  Maybe the FBI has my MAD jewelry and straightjacket stashed away in a cardboard file box.  Remember, I claimed it first!  Anyone have a guess to the meaning of 'Killed by NY lot'?  The memorandum below [copy of January 7, 1958 Office Memorandum] wraps up the Draft Dodger documents I have obtainedIt appears that Mr. Jones is satisfied with the investigation and the response from William Gaines.  I like that last sentence in the 4th paragraph; because the agent didn't find MAD's treatment of American history funny (at least on record) he recommends that the FBI not acknowledge William Gaines.  Was this slight a mistake on the part of the FBI?  As you know from the documents printed in issue #65, MAD would come back to poke a little more fun at J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI."

"Seymour (Sy) Reit - Nov. 21, 2001 - [with photo] The author and illustrator Seymour Reit, born November 11, 1918, has died at the age of 83.  He was best known as a writer for MAD magazine, at least by my readers.  If we acknowledge that there is a world outside of MAD, he's best known as a creator of the cartoon character Casper the Friendly Ghost.  Casper was the creative offspring of Reit and animator and illustrator Joe Oriolo, although his parents disputed the precise details.  According to Reit, Casper was born in 1940, in a short storyabout a gentle-natured ghost which Oriolo illustrated; another version has it that the two men collaborated on an illustrated children's book that did not sell - and, on impulse, submitted it to the animation studio where they were working.  They sold all rights to the story to Famous Studios for $200 and the resulting Noveltoon cartoon, directed by Isador Sparber and entitled The Friendly Ghost, was released through Paramount in May 1946.  Reit was philosophical about the millions of dollars that the character had generated, admitting at the time, 'All I have are some nice memories and a little nostalgic sadness that I am not part of the movie.  I'm not mourning or grieving over what I might have lost with Casper.  It was fun.  I did the story.  It has a lot of cachet.'  Instead Reit's career took him 'in all sorts of interesting, fun ways'.  A lifelong New Yorker, Reit was given the middle name of Victory because he was born on Armistice Day.  He was educated at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx and attended New York University, where he drew his earliest cartoons for humorous college magazines.  After graduating at the age of 19, he was offered a job for $25 a week with the Fleischer studios in Miami, and was soon working as an in-betweener and inker - drawing the frames that made up each movement - on Gulliver's Travels (1939).  He soon advanced to gag-writing on such famous cartoon series as Popeye and Betty Boop.  In the early 1940s, Reit also produced comic strips for the Iger Shop, a packaging company run by Jerry Iger.  His work appeared anonymously in a number of Fiction House titles, writing and drawing such long-forgotten characters as Auro, Cosmo Corrigan and Super American.  During the Second World War, he served alongside Hollywood scenic painters and window dressers in a unit employed to camouflage the west coast of America against the threat of a Japanese invasion.  The project led to his book Masquerade: The Amazing Camouflage Deceptions Of World War II (1978).  Despite his slight stature - he stood only 5ft 4in and weighed only 105lbs (too little to safely open a parachute) - he served with the US army air force in Europe after D-Day.  Reit returned to comics after the war, drawing Archie and Little Lulu, as well as writing gags for Casper shorts and for television shows such as Captain Kangaroo.  In 1950, he became an editor and author with the Bank Street college of education in New York, and appeared on television on behalf of the New York board of education.  He also scripted industrial films, radio shows and an educational comic book based on a trip to the United Nations.  Reit wrote 45 articles for MAD with his first three appearing in MAD #46, April 1959.  The three articles totaled 9 pages.  Bob Clarke illustrated 'The Happy Endings Weren't So Happy So Happy', Joe Orlando illustrated ' MAD's Cut-Rate Success Symbols' and George Woodbridge illustrated 'Modern Handy Phrase Book For The American Tourist'.  Reit's last article was in MAD Special #9, Summer 1973, and was titled 'MAD's Chemical Banquet' which was photographed by Irving Schild.  According to Mike Slaubaugh's MAD Lists, Reit appeared in 33 regular issues of MAD, placing him tied for #53, with Dave Manak, for the most contributions up through issue #413.  Sy Reit is survived by his wife Edmee, and his sister, Phyllis.  Much of the above content is from the Guardian Newspapers Limited 2001."

"O'Lavin Travel Service - [with photo] This undated postcard was used for advertising and pricing quotes by George Nervig, manager of the Sioux Falls office.  The postcard is black & white and the reverse is printed in green.  I believe this postcard is late 1950s or early 1960s.  There are no zip codes on the addresses and there is a handwritten 5-digit phone number.  There is a quote written on the back of the postcard; you could fly round trip from Sioux Falls to Oslo for $717.87 or round trip from New York to Oslo from $400 to $700."

"Sergio Aragones Vacation - [with photo] The postcard below was sent during Aragones' January 1973 vacation stop-over at Budapest, Hungary.  the drawing and writing is done in blue ink.  This postcard was part of the Annie Gaines collection."

"Heritage Comics Auction - The auction held on November 23-24, 2001 brought in some record prices for MAD comics and memorabilia.  The following are prices realized for Gaines File Copies.

Issue    CGC Grade   Overstreet 9.4   Auction Bid
MAD#1     9.6               $6500             $25,300
MAD#2     9.6               $1500              $5750
MAD#3     9.6                $900               $6325
MAD#4     9.8                $900               $5750
MAD#5     9.4               $1600              $5750
MAD#6     9.2                $650               $3220
MAD#7     9.2                $650               $2990
MAD#8     9.4                $650               $3680
MAD#9     9.0                $650               $2415
MAD#10   9.4                $650               $4140

These comics were part of the complete Gaines File Copies #3 and the total for all 23 comics was $88,607.50, about 4.25 times the 9.4 grade listed in Overstreet Comic Price Guide value.  The comic's owner had purchased the set six years ago for $20,000 and was hoping it would bring about $60,000.  The auction also featured a MAD lapel/scatter pin that sold for $3680.  Other stuff included the MAD tie pin that sold for $1208, a MAD straightjacket that sold for $2185, and a set of MAD cufflinks that did not reach the minimum bid.  I think the steals of the auction were the $2990 bid for the front and back cover of MAD #257 by Richard Williams, another cover by Williams for MAD #248 sold for $2185, and Bob Clarke's cover for MAD #128 sold for $747.50."

"Mike Slaubaugh Observations - Check out the back cover of MAD #148.  There are a series of three photographs in chronological order many people in various poses.  Each person is in the same general position in all three photos ... except for one.  Seated at the table in the first picture is Jerry De Fuccio in white tunic and a helmet and he is in the same place in the second picture, but then he disappears in the third picture (actually, he doesn't disappear, but I was surprised at how long it took me to find him in the third picture)!  What do MAD and Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) have in common?  The author, Sol Weinstein wrote four articles that appeared in four issues of MAD."

"A Tea & Crumpets Interview with David Climie - I've decided that a series of interviews with various foreign MAD mucky-mucks is needed.  My first interview is with David Climie who is the editor of British MAD.  EIN: Hello David, glad to meet you, I'm here to ask you some questions about British MAD.  DC: British MAD stopped publishing years ago and I was no longer the editor when the magazine folded.  Go away you stupid twit!  EIN: Sorry, I didn't know!  Next month I'll interview DJ Williams, the creative consultant for Australian MAD, at least I think he still holds that position.  The interview will appear in the Journal of MADness.  Order your copy today, $20 for 4 issues, from John Hett, 7420 Calhoun, Dearborn MI 48126."

"THE MAD PANIC BUTTON SETS #11 & 12 - [with photo] You can purchase either set for $6.00 or both sets for $11.99 and postage is free!  Send payment to: Ed Norris 91 Kelly Dr Lancaster MA 01523.  These buttons will be rare items in the future; the production run is limited to only the number ordered and no others will be produced.  The top set has the covers to issues #8, 22, and 43.  The bottom set has the covers to issues #9, 28, and 51.  I'll release a new set every month.  Previous sets available for $7,50 each (includes postage)."

"What, Me New? - [with 2 photos] In stores March 6, 2002.  The Power Ring of the Green Lanterns, the most powerful weapon in the universe, powered by the thoughts of its wearer ... in the hands of Alfred E. Neuman?  Like he can muster up enough brainpower to tie his shoelaces!  The Just-Us-League of Stupid Heroes series of action figures (begun with Alfred E. Neuman as Superman and Alfred E. Neuman as Batman) continues, with Alfred in the (sort of) garb of a Green Lantern, and comes with a lantern - no, not a power battery, just a lantern! -- and an extra set of hands, because, really, are two hands ever enough?  *features multiple points of articulation  *stands approximately 6 1/8" tall  *packaged in a 4-color blister pack.  Please note that the Alfred E. Neuman as Green Lantern Action Figure is manufactured to order.  In stores March 6, 2002.  Fast on his way to becoming the stupidest man alive, Alfred E. Neuman pours on the speed as the newest member of the Just Us League of Stupid Heroes, The Flash.  The Alfred E. Neuman as The Flash Action Figure.  *features multiple points of articulation  *stands approximately 6 1/8" tall  *comes with an extra set of gloved hands  *packaged in a 4-color blister pack.  Please note that the Alfred E. Neuman as the Flash Action Figure is manufactured to order."

"MAD #413 - This issue can be found bagged with an AOL CD."

"eBay Item of the Month - [with photo] Usually I reserve this section for MAD related junk found on eBay.  I'm not sure if this item is junk or a unique treasure as I don't know why someone would cut out an original Mingo and paste it to an envelope.  The item reached $107.50 but did not meet the reserve.  The description on eBay was: 'This is color illo of Alfred E. Neuman drawn by artist Norman Mingo.  It is presumably a preliminary for either the covers of Mad #40 (1958) or #104 (1966).  It was done in colored pencil on paper and measures about 6 x 2 inches in image area.  The figure is trimmed to edges and loosely mounted to a vintage MAD envelope.  Buyer pays shipping: $12 domestic, $45 international.' "

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 68 - March 2002
Cover drawing by Kent Gamble of Alfred E. Neuman as Henry VIII.

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): I just love watching what happens on eBay.  The other day an A.E. Mitchell "Me Worry?" cold cast from 1928 sells for $103.50.  The next person to put one up on eBay, only 6 days later, must have been excited knowing how much he or she was going to get.  The auction ends with the high bid of $12!  What a deal, $91.50 less than the previous one sold for.  Then it hits me, in 6 days it's lost 91% of its value.  Investing in MAD collectibles in 2002 must be like investing in the dot-com companies of 2001.  So I'm going to make this offer, before the rest of you lose your shirts, or a few of you your blouses, I'm willing to purchase your collections at 12% of its current value.  That is much better than the 9% value you'll be at in 6 days.  Be sure to act fast!  Here's something that bothers me, seven issues of No. 412 with the Caldwell cover appeared on eBay during November 2001.  These copies are not a variation because the issue was never legally bound or distributed.  Copies with this cover most likely were stolen from the press and hand bound.  The MAD offices did receive a few printer proofs of the Caldwell cover art, but they exist as single sheets.  So we have some greedy people making MAD magazines, and another few spending up to $250 for trash.  Think before you purchase!  Stay MAD - ED"

"The FBI Files - MAD (Part IV) - [with copies of three FBI memoranda] On the next few pages I've reprinted letters from 1959 and 1960.  MAD was still finding itself in 'trouble' with various do-gooders.  Maybe General Walker has a valid point outlined in the letter below; just look how the most famous resident of Little Rock, Arkansas turned out.  Below is another memorandum about the J. Edgar Hoover tonic and other indiscretions.  The FBI is upset the MAD staff would tell Coronet, for their article titled 'It's Just Plain MAD,' about the FBI interaction.  The letter dated May 6, 1960 on the next page is clearly from someone who knows how to express his or her thoughts.  Based on those facts alone, I would have thought the FBI had reason enough to suppress publication of the magazine.  I guess the folks at MAD were lucky, and so weren't we!  Above, notice the handwriting and calling MAD 'jerks'.  Such language!"

"Filler Dept: Rick Stoner reports the current issue of My Generation, a publication from AARP, for old farts like Rick, has Alfred E. Neuman on the cover and there is a one-page article about MAD."

"Spy Vs. Spy - The Movie - Written by: Stephen Mazur and Paul Guay - Editor's Note: For a change of pace, The Unknown Movies presents a review of a movie so unknown, it never got past the screenplay stage! By Michael Sullivan - As a country, we're quickly running out of pop culture to adapt into hollow 90 minute films.  The mad scramble to make films with audience familiarity has become so insane that I'm sure around this time next year we'll see big screen versions of Aquaman (and thanks to Joel Schumacher, it will be the first hardcore gay porno with its own set of action figures and, of course, a Happy Meal), Anthony Hopkins as Lucky the Leprechaun in Frosted Lucky Charms: The Motion Picture, a feature length take on George Harrison's popular song (I've Got My Mind) Set On You (watch for the touching scene in which Freddie Prinze Jr. tells a misty-eyed Tara Reid that it's gonna take some money), and last but not least, Camp Runamuck will make its long anticipated big screen appearance, complete with the required number of semen and diarrhea jokes, and plenty of toothless jabs at Hannibal and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  As completely awful as all the above concepts sound, they're really no worse than making a two hour film based on a six panel comic strip in which the two stars never speak.  For those select few still unfamiliar with Spy Vs. Spy, it's one of MAD magazine's more inventive articles.  The strip concerns a black spy and a white spy who, for reasons too vague or mysterious to explain, kill each other in increasingly creative ways (i.e. the Black Spy makes an indestructible steel vest, only to be undone when the White Spy throws a powerful magnet off a bridge; the White Spy picks up a newspaper that reads, 'Black Spy Injured', only to open the paper and have an iron fall on his foot.)  There was also the voluptuous Grey Spy, who could never lose because the Black and White spies always fell victim to her feminine charms.  Spy Vs. Spy was a stylized poke at the Cold War, which never failed to astound with its Rube Goldbergesque storylines.  But unfortunately, Spy Vs. Spy loses something once it's expanded outside of its six or eight panels.  If it has to be adapted into something, it should be turned into a series of silent two minute cartoons (like on MAD TV); a bloated two hour epic shouldn't even be considered.  Aboard a train in the middle of the night, a man by the name of Wilhelm Gaines (just one of the many painfully obvious MAD magazine references) is carrying a briefcase that contains Madonna's Balls (Ha ha ha, I just can't get enough of jokes about a pop star and her infamous testicles.)  Unbeknownst to Gaines, a black spy and a white spy are making their way through the gauntlet of henchmen on opposing sides of the train.  Eventually the spies arrive at Gaines' train car, and are immediately sidetracked from their missions to retrieve the balls, engaging in an increasingly 'comic' battle which finds them beating each other with umbrellas and winding up being locked in a Murphy bed.  All while Gaines makes his escape.  This is yet another botched assignment in an endless string of failures, and because of this the spies are forced to return to their homelands in disgrace.  Believe it or not, the names of the spies' countries are Siskel and Ebert, which isn't just a pathetic attempt to find favor with the two critics (well, just one of the critics nowadays), it's also a pretty clueless attempt at an in-joke.  And just like every Lethal Weapon rip-off, these two loose cannons are being threatened with getting thrown off the case by the administrators (named M and W) because whenever they're on an assignment, they quickly ignore their duties and immediately attempt to take each other's lives.  Unfortunately, since we're only on page thirteen, the threat is a hollow one, and soon enough the spies are allowed back on the case but only on one condition: If one of the other spies should happen to show up on the mission, one of them will have to leave.  The spies being on separate continents don't realize that they're both on the same mission, so it's only a matter of time before they bump into each other and participate in the kind of comic violence that would make even John Hughes roll his eyes.  On a mysterious grey island in between Siskel and Ebert, Gaines is delivering the balls to a blandly evil executive named Pratt.  As you can imagine, Gaines' usefulness ends immediately after he makes the delivery, so the 'deadly' and 'ruthless', and most importantly unoriginal Pratt kills him.  Meanwhile, in between blowing up an elevator full of psychiatrists and a laser-guided vasectomy, the spies pathetically try to romance Christina Silver, an attractive scientist who may or may not be the Grey Spy (whom she is.)  After scenes of heartbreak, revenge, rekindled friendship, and a moment in which a cactus is rammed up the Black Spy's ass, the spies reluctantly join forces to save the world from Pratt and his lasers.  With a running time of nearly two hours, this is some pretty thin material to work with, so the script is padded out with scenes of deadening slapstick.  It's not so much a script for a comedy as it is an endurance match.  Just see how long you can stand fresh bits like a man drinking something so hot that flames shoot out of his mouth, or the spies trying to flush each other down the toilet, or even sight gags involving white cigars, tuxedos, and scuba suits.  But much like chaining an infinite number of chimpanzees to an infinite number of typewriters, almost by accident two clever and pitch-black moments emerge from this.  The first is a deadly game of tennis that's made possible by a tennis ball bomb.  The scene has a lot of potential for some hilarious physical comedy, not to mention a surprising twist (due to a powerful serve, the bomb manages to fly past a weapons depot and a fireworks factory, only to land in the window of an orphanage.)  The second is a device known as a fly bomb, which is a tiny robot fly that only detonates when slapped.  It's a shame that these are the only concepts that mirror the dark invention of the original comic strip.  Admittedly, it's nearly impossible to criticize a film on the basis of the script alone, but when a script is this lazy, uninspired, and creatively bankrupt, it's easy to make an exception.  Characters are so underdeveloped and one dimensional that calling them cliched would be a compliment.  The silent, stylish, and enigmatic spies we knew and loved from MAD are now dumbed down assassin versions of Goofus and Gallant.  The same goes for the intelligent and fearless Grey spy, who is now a spineless moron with no depth perception.  There's also attempts to recreate the weird other-worldly atmosphere of the strip, but it comes off as forced, and I find it hard to believe the writers would find sight gags involving a digital Big Ben and a male Statue of Liberty funny.  Oh, and because no film today can run twenty minutes without vomiting out endless pop culture references, there's plenty of numbing pokes at the James Bond films, MAD Magazine, Oreo cookies, Silly Putty, dated jabs at The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, and those 3-D hidden picture posters (you know, those posters that made you squint and cross your eyes to see the 3-D pictures.)  But most importantly, the film also contains plenty of inane dialogue.  Take, for example, this dazzling exchange during the vasectomy:  BLACK SPY: Anesthetic?  WHITE SPY: I prefer to stay alert.  BLACK SPY: Suture self.  Here's an in-joke for people too stupid to understand un-jokes: BLACK SPY: (Who's trying to convince M not to fire the giant laser) ... it would be MAD.  M: MAD?  You mean like the magazine?  How about awkward unfunny insults?  BLACK SPY: That alabaster bastard ... calcimated albino ... chalky, milky discharge.  WHITE SPY: Inky asswipe, merky jerkloaf, swarthy shithead.  And finally, here's just one of the seemingly endless switcheroo gags: CHRIS: Can I get you [two] a drink?  BLACK SPY: Please, martini shaken not stirred.  WHITE SPY: Please, martini stirred not shaken.  The people behind this insufferable swill are Stephen Mazur and Paul Guay, the same hacks behind The Little Rascals remake and the popular but derivative Heartbreakers.  Mazur and Guay obviously don't give a damn about any of thsi, and seem content to stick boring characters in stock situations.  Despite the fact that this concept doesn't work, this project refuses to die.  Jay Roach has been approached to direct this, actors like Jim Carrey (which explains all the dumb physical comedy) and Will Smith have been attached to this at one time or another, and there's even another draft of this being written by James Gunn (Although Gunn is receiving an incredible amount of backlash for his work on Scooby Doo and his as of yet unfinished script for the ill-advised Dawn of the Dead remake, I still believe that the guy is a talented writer of comedy, and if there's anybody that can make this impossible concept work, he can.)  I guess things could be much worse though - at least no one's planning to make The Lighter Side ... The Movie."

"We're Famous! - John Hett and I never believed our foolish publishing efforts would land us in the pages of the internationally renown The Washington Post, but it has!  Notice that Peter Carlson mentions me by name; I guess John's name would have detracted from the article."

"Covering the Whole Weird World - By Peter Carlson, Tuesday, January 15, 2002 - GLUCK! is the sound of a pogo stick falling down a man's gullet.  POiT is the sound of Robinson Crusoe pulling a seashell out of his ear.  THUMP BUMP and OOMP DOOMP are the sounds of a meatball bouncing.  SHTIK SHTIK SHTIK is the sound of King Kong cleaning body parts out of his toes with a traffic signal.  At least that's what the late Don Martin thought.  For 30 years, Martin was Mad magazine's maddest cartoonist, famous for his hapless, bulb-nosed characters and his inventive sound effects.  Now the Journal of Madness, a fan magazine for Mad freaks, has published the Don Martin Dictionary, a 33-page compendium of every sound effect in every Martin cartoon, from 'Xmng!' -- the sound of a man swearing in the February 1957 issue -- to 'SHKLORBBADORP,' the sound of a man hitting wet cement in the October 1987 issue.  The issue also contains a letter from Ed Norris, who compiled the dictionary, complaining that he'd discovered typographical errors in the page proofs.  'Do you really think Don Martin would have had the sound of a dog biting a woman's nose as SWAP? he grumbled.  'The correct sound as we documented, is GWAP.'  What sound did Mad editor John Ficarra make when he learned of this bizarre labor of love?  'These are people with way too much time on their hands,' he said."

"Filler Dept: Ricky Long reports that in the November 1970 issue of Playboy, Alfred E. Neuman's head appears in a collage to go with an article about TV commercials (pages 150-151).  Alfred also appears in the same issue for an advertisement for groovy hippie posters."

"Concept Cover - [with drawing] The picture to the left is a MAD concept cover illustrated by David O. Miller.  This piece was done with pencil and watercolor and is titled 'Beauty and the Newman'.  Miller has an extensive resume covering 25 years.  According to Mike Slaubaugh's appearance lists, Miller has never made it into the pages of MAD.  On Miller'sweb site he writes, 'Mad Magazine!  I absolutely loved it as a kid so why not try and do some work for them?' "

"Filler Dept. - My email address is now enorris@attbi.com"

"THE MAD PANIC BUTTON SETS #13 & 14 - [with photo] You can purchase either set for &6.00 or both sets for $11.99 and postage is free!  Send payment to: Ed Norris 91 Kelly Dr Lancaster MA 01523.  These buttons will be rare items in the future; the production run is limited to only the number ordered and no others will be produced.  The top set has the covers to issues #10, 31, and 44.  The bottom set has the covers to issues #11, 24, and 67.  I'll release a new set every month.  Previous sets available for $7.50 each (includes postage)."

"What, Me New? - [with photo] Billed as 'It's America's Favorite Humor Magazine - They Just Don't Know It Yet!', Marten Jallad's self-publication is worth the subscription price of $20 for 4 issues.  Marten is a frequent contributor to that other MAD fanzine and understands the humor behind MAD;  it carries through on some of the pieces.  He and the other writer/artists have created a magazine that they should be proud of.  Issue #1 also has a small but interesting article about Carmine Infantino and Plop.  Now that CRACKED is all but dead, this is the second best humor magazine going.  You can order by sending payment to: THWAK Publications, 2837 Hickory Lane, Snellville GA 30078."

"Just-Us-League Of Stupid Heroes - [with photo] The next action figures will be Alfred E. Neuman as Green Arrow and Robin.  They will be in the comic shops on June 18, 2002.  Be sure to order."

"Tag Line - [with photo] While most of us didn't believe that MAD came up with the 'What - Me Worry?' tag line, we didn't have any proof that the older pieces pre-dated MAD.  there are plenty of dated 'Me Worry' items, but we needed the 'What' included.  The postcard pictured on the left has a postmark of June 7, 1952.  It is no longer a belief, it is now a fact.  If you have an older piece, please let me know."

"Filler Dept: Mike Slaubaugh reports on the January 25, 2002 episode of 'The Chamber' (Fox TV), one of the questions asked of the contestant was 'What, Me Worry?' is the signature phrase of what character?'  Despite being bombarded with the 7th of seven stages of cold, wind, water, quake, and oxygen stress, the contestant correctly answered 'Alfred E. Neuman'."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 71 September 2002  [Last Issue]
Cover drawing by Kent Gamble of Alfred E. Neuman being carried by his caddy.

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division): Over the past year I've been publishing the FBI files concerning MAD magazine.  With the amount of material I have available I could continue to publish it for the next 5 years.  Not wanting to do that, I've arranged with Dick Hanchette to publish all the files, background information, and other references on his web site http://www.collectmad.com.  The information should be available by the time you're reading this sentence!  While reading through the files I wondered what the folks at MAD thought about all of the attention they were receiving from the FBI.  Al Feldstein was gracious enough to tell me (and you) through a few email conversations.  That interview starts on the next page!  I cannot thank him enough for his time and for being so candid in describing the other side of the story.  Finally I should congratulate MAD on their remarkable 50-year milestone.  There aren't too many magazines that last even half that long.  It's a credit to all of the folks who have contributed to MAD over the past 50 years.  They have had an influence on most American's lives, whether they know it or not.  Here's hoping for another 50 years and more!  Happy Birthday MAD!"

"Al Feldstein on the FBI Experience - [with photo of Al on page 8 and copy of FBI memorandum on page 12: "This FBI document describes the Al Feldstein interview regarding the extortion attempts of two children from Seattle.  SAC is short for Special Agent in Charge.  The FBI took this incident very seriously as it reached The Attorney General's office.  I hope you have enjoyed this series, be sure to check out the web site!"] I contacted Al Feldstein in early August 2002 and asked if he would be willing to talk about his and MAD's experiences with the FBI.  Luckily for us he agreed and below is the conversation we had through email - Ed Norris

"Norris: MAD #37, January 1958, has an article titled 'MAD's Xmas Games' that featured a game called 'Draft Dodger.'  When the player completed the game he or she was a full-fledged draft dodger.  The player needed to write to J. Edgar Hoover for his or her membership card.  You had full editorial control of the articles that appeared in MAD; did it ever cross your mind that MAD readers would actually send requests for the membership card to the FBI?  And, did you expect a reaction from the FBI?

"Feldstein: All through my years as editor of MAD, I was constantly and continuously surprised and amazed at reader reaction to the satirical, humorous, tongue-in-cheek, absolutely outlandish articles we'd run.  After all, MAD was admittedly a 'Humor' and 'Satire' magazine.  It was edited with that in mind.  People with no sense of humor had no business reading it ... because they obviously would never even 'get' it!  Some readers would take us deadly serious ... and chastise us and berate us for whatever we'd just published.  Some readers (not necessarily 'fans') would go even further ... and accuse us of being Un-American, etc.  (See further information about these no-humor morons below, in the context of another of your questions!)  Some readers would delight in our idiotic approaches and actually try to out-do us with further idiotic actions of their own.  Some Hollywood celebrities loved our MAD take-offs of the movies that they'd starred in that they would ask us (even beg us) for the original art so that they could frame it and hang it in their Beverly Hills mansions.  And some readers, like an FBI Director with real problems about his public image, would send his Agents to attempt to intimidate us.  But to get to your question: In an article spoofing the idiocies of some of the board games being produced at the time, we created several new ones that jumped from reality into satirical fantasy.  One was called 'Draft Dodger' and, as part of our point of departure, ended with the winner earning the title of 'Official Draft Dodger' ... and instructing him to send his name to J. Edgar Hoover for his 'Official Draft Dodger Card.'  I mean, who in heck would ever expect any MAD reader to actually do that?!  But obviously, many did ... much to the consternation of Mr. J. edgar Hoover, the Director of the FBI.  When Bill Gaines and I returned from our lunch and learned from John Putnam, our Art Director, that two deadly serious FBI Agents had actually visited our offices and expressed Mr. Hoover's anger and objection to being included in our 'Draft Dodger Game', we were appalled and frightened ... not about Mr. Hoover's fury! ... but because some of our readers might have gotten themselves into trouble by admitting to him that they were Draft Dodgers!  After our initial concerns had passed and we learned more about the FBI Agents' visit ... and what they had requested us to do ... it became clearly apparent that Mr. Hoover was more interested in the use of his name in MAD, and the sullying of his reputation by it, than in any thoughtless reader action ... we rolled on the floor, laughing.  The Agents had instructed us that Mr. Hoover would expect a letter of apology fromus and with it an assurance that his name would never appear in MAD Magazine again ... or else!

"Norris: Were you involved in composing the Gaines' apology letter to the FBI?  I'm sure both of you came up with some drafts that you couldn't send.

"Feldstein: Not directly.  Bill took care of that himself, not wanting me to waste even a moment on such nonsense, what with my other responsibilities.  (Or maybe he was a little afraid of what I would write!)  He did, however, to his credit, compose and send Mr. Hoover a carefully worded, so-called 'apology' ... that promised absolutely nothing in the way of future material that might be published in the magazine.

"Norris: After Gaines sent the letter to Hoover apologizing for MAD's misuse of Hoover's name, did the FBI become a forbidden subject at that point?

"Feldstein: Of course, at the time, we were intimidated by the visit.  And we laid off ... for a year or so.  But not because the FBI had become a forbidden subject!  No ... it was strictly coincidental.  Nothing had come across my desk in the way of script submissions that contained any trenchant and biting satirical use of 'FBI' subject matter.

"Norris:  You were back on the attack with MAD #53, March 1960.  That issue featured J. Edgar Hoover Hair Tonic and called him J. Edgar Electrolux in the 'Stories from the Files of the F.B.I.' article.  Did the FBI contact MAD about this issue?

"Feldstein: No!  I do not remember any FBI Agents ever returning to the MAD Offices about anything we published concerning their organization.

"Norris: Coronet magazine published an article about MAD and the FBI was not happy that you mentioned them visiting the MAD office about the Draft Dodger Club.  Obviously, the MAD staff found it comical that the FBI needed to visit the MAD office, so that story would make good 'press', but was it also an attempt to give them another little dig?

"Feldstein: That story about the FBI visit was just one of many anecdotal stories that we were requested to supply to 'Coronet Magazine' for their flattering analytical article about MAD and its exploding popularity.  Of course it was comical that good taxpayer money was irresponsibly wasted by sending two FBI Agents to the MAD Offices because of a personal agenda on the part of its Director ... but our mentioning that experience was not in any way calculated to be a 'dig' ... but merely to demonstrate MAD's growing positive and negative influence ... and the interesting reactions it had received.

"Norris: The last incident in the FBI flies concerns the MAD #63, June 1961, article entitled 'Mad's Modernized Elementary School Textbooks.'  One of the texts had a letter that could be used to extort money.  A couple of kids in Seattle decided it was a good idea and got themselves in trouble.  Again, did it ever cross your mind that MAD readers would actually follow your 'advice'?

"Feldstein: I hate repeating myself, but MAD was a 'Humor' and 'Satire' magazine.  Everything in it was supposed to be some form of a 'joke'!  If I were to have edited MAD with the cautious, fearful, tip-toeing approach that some idiot out there would take what we were publishing serious ... that they would actually follow our satirical, 'tongue-in-cheek' examples or 'advice' ... there would have been no MAD Magazine as I perceived it and edited it.  The key is in the title ... 'MAD's Modernized Elementary School Text Books' ... satirically illustrating the deteriorating morality and lowering ethical standards of our society at the time.

"Norris: This incident seems to be the most serious with it reaching Robert F. Kennedy's (The Attorney General) office.  The FBI visited MAD again and you were interviewed.  According to their documents you stated MAD was 'intended for readers on the college level' and expressed surprise that children were reading it.  Did you really believe that middle and high school children weren't reading MAD?  Can you describe what happened during this meeting?

"Feldstein: I was delighted to be present when they returned to our offices for that furshlugginer reader-reaction incident.  The whole thing was totally ridiculous ... and my 'surprised' and 'amazed' reactions to it were the only thing I could think of at the time.  It was my tongue-in-cheek, knee-jerk response.  Yes, I did tell them that MAD was 'intended for a college level audience' and I did, indeed 'express surprise that 'children' were reading it.'  But did I actually believe that elementary, middle and high school kids were not reading MAD?  Of course I didn't.  We were probably selling around one and a quarter million copies per issue at that time, and I was certainly aware of the age level of the majority of our readers by their Letters To The Editor, etc.  But the whole stupid, unreal situation demanded a stupid, unreal response ... and I gave it to them.

"Norris: In Frank Jacobs' book The Mad World of William M. Gaines, he mentions an incident with MAD #115, December 1967, and a three-dollar bill that worked in change machines in Las Vegas.  Jacobs says that the FBI again visited the MAD offices.  The FBI files do not reference this incident.  Can you tell us what happened?

"Feldstein: Frank Jacobs was in error in describing that visit.  It was not the FBI ... but the Agents of the U.S. Treasury Department that visited us.  We had published a three-dollar bill with Alfred's, instead of some President's picture, on it.  It was not a stat of any U.S, denomination bill.  It was a Bob Clarke 'simple' rendering of one.  It lacked etched details, machined scrolls and all of the accouterments of a genuine bill.  But it was, however, freakishly being recognized as a one-dollar bill by the newly-introduced, relatively primitive, technically unsophisticated change machines ... and giving back quarters or whatever to anyone who inserted in into one.  It was probably the owner of those machines in Las Vegas that complained to the U.S. Treasury Department.  Mind you, this is with obviously extraneous MAD typography and illustration material on the bill's back ... from another article or a continuation of the one with the bill!  Unbelievable!  But the U.S. Treasury Agents demanded the original Bob Clarke artwork for confiscation ... and we shrugged and gave it to them.  Of course, they knew there was no serious intent upon our part to 'counterfeit' U.S. currency ... and that it wasn't our fault that the machines were mechanically inadequate.  They were just doing their job and confiscating the offending original art was their job.  (They also demanded the 'printing plates' ... but we explained that the press run was long ago concluded, that whatever plates there had been were probably destroyed, but that they were welcome to them if they still existed ... and we gave them our printing company's address.)  As I said, unbelievable!

"Norris: Most of the documents in the FBI files are from readers who claimed MAD and Bill Gaines were Communists.  Did MAD receive similar letters and did the FBI ever address this claim with the MAD staff?

"Feldstein: The FBI addressing this claim with the MAD staff?  Not that I recall.  Similar letters?  Quite a few!  From people with no sense of humor ... who will always lack the ability to laugh at themselves ... and who were panicked and frightened by the political hysteria and temperature of the times.  (See next answer!)

"Norris: Generals Edwin Walker and Clyde Watts both attacked MAD; calling it Communistic.  FACT magazine made it out that you counter-attacked the John Birch Society, in the article 'MAD Interviews A 'John Birch Society' Policeman' from MAD #97, September 1965, because of the Generals' statements.  Was this true?

"Feldstein: No!  Anti-Communist panic ... Red-baiting ... and the Cold War with Russia was going on at that time, reaching a peak ... and like every other era, including today! ... contained serious, frightening reactionary organizations and movements in support of those causes that were beginning to infringe upon our basic Constitutional Liberties and Freedoms.  The John Birch Society was one of the more infamous and outstanding of those organizations ... and invited, no, begged for a biting, critical, MAD satirical treatment ... hence the article, 'MAD Interviews a 'John Birch Society Policeman' ... an extreme point of departure that stressed how the 'John Birch Society' thinking ... in the hands of a Law Enforcement Officer ... could be devastating and dangerous to our Civil Liberties, etc.

"Norris: The FBI only has two reports after 1965.  Do you think America had learned to live with Communists a missile-throw-away and therefore didn't see 'Communist activity' everywhere or do you think MAD's editorial position was changing to be less 'anti-government'?  Al Jaffee's 'Hawks and Doves' was definitely anti-government-policy.

"Feldstein: The FBI's intimidating visits to the MAD Offices never affected my Editorial Policy!  I just kept on doing what I was doing.  I believe that the FBI withdrew from their monitoring and pressure tactics at Mr. Hoover's behest because he came to realize that we were a maverick crazy group of guys who would publish what we deemed fit to publish, and he didn't want any more satirical personal attacks by us.  I also believe that he realized that he was playing with fire ... mainly Freedom of the Press ... and that additional publicity, like the 'Coronet Magazine' article ... was not in the FBI's ... and his ... best interests.  I do recall reading, somewhere in one of those FBI files, a memo about 'cooling it' with us (but not using that exact terminology) ... and ignoring our MAD shenanigans.

"Norris: The last complaint to the FBI was from the American Federation of Police and they were upset about MAD's use of the US Flag.  If Jack Albert (lawsuits) had notified you that depicting the US Flag in various satirical formats was a violation of the US Flag Code (according to the US Attorney's Office) would you have changed your use of the flag?

"Feldstein: I do not remember ever being made aware that there was such a Code by our Lawyer ... and even so, I don't think that I would have acted ant differently if I had been offered another idea like that wonderful, satirical concept of using the American Flag to paraphrase The Pledge of Allegiance.  In all of my years Editing MAD, I firmly believed that I would always be protected by the 'Freedom of the Press' Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in regard to anything that MAD did ... as long as it constituted a legitimate 'Journalistic Criticism and Opinion' ... which the Amendment guarantees.

"Norris: Frank Jacobs also mentions in his book that the FBI was called in by Gaines because The Phantom was destroying and stealing MAD property.  There is no record of the FBI taking any action on this case.  Did you hear why they wouldn't react?  Could it be because MAD had been a sore spot with the FBI?

"Feldstein: The 'Phantom' had stolen our mail ... possibly in the belief that it contained cash for subscriptions ... and Bill, if I'm not mistaken, called the United States Postal Service about it.  I don't remember his calling the FBI directly.  Perhaps he was referred to the FBI by the Postal Service and it went no further.  Whether the FBI was called ... and it chose to ignore it or not ... I cannot answer with any certainty.

"Norris: Did you ever find out who The Phantom was?

"Feldstein: No!  Hey!  Maybe it was an FBI Agent!

"Norris: Finally, we covered just a few of the 35 separate incident reports the FBI has about MAD.  Are you surprised at the amount of activity MAD 'caused' the FBI?

"Feldstein: Really?  That many?  I have to assume that most of the complaints were from people with absolutely no understanding of what we were doing, using satire as a form of gentle chiding ... and people with absolutely no ability to laugh at themselves.  I am not surprised, though, considering the insanity of the times ... the paranoiac fear of anything resembling anti-establishment activity ... the personal agendas of many individuals and organizations bent on curbing or silencing all forms of contrary opinion ... and the very real threat to our Constitutional Freedoms that, like today!, were constantly being attempted by favor-owing politicos, urged on by their controlling, power-hungry rich elite and corporate backer.

Norris: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions.  It's nice to hear the other side of the story."

"THE MAD PANIC BUTTON SETS #19 & 20 - [with photo] You can purchase either set for $6.00 or both sets for $11.99 and postage is free!  Send payment to:  Ed Norris 91 Kelly Dr Lancaster MA 01523.  These buttons will be rare items in the future; the production run is limited to only the number ordered and no others will be produced.  The top set has the covers to issues #17, 63, and 64.  The bottom set has the covers to issues #20, 66, and 68.  I'll release a new set every month.  Previous sets available for $7.50 each (includes postage)."

"International MAD - Part 2 - Well, here we are.  The 2nd BIG installment of a series on International MAD magazines.  In this and future installments, we will deal with the various editions of MAD and their structure, such as dates of publication, the number of publishers, numbering sequences and other unusual characteristics.  Collector checklists from most every nation are available at the various cover sites.  Access them at http://www.collectmad.com/forcs.htm.  This month's column will look at MAD magazine in Argentina, Australia and Brazil.

"ARGENTINA - Argentina MAD was published from 1970 through 1982.  The publisher was MAGENDRA, and the magazine lasted only 60 issues.  During their run, they used mostly US covers with Spanish titles.  However by looking at cover site at http://www.collectmad/argentinamadcoversite, you will find that there were a couple of original Argentina covers.  In addition to the regular issues, there was at least 1 special featuring Sergio Aragones.  With issue #7, there came controversy.  There were 2 original Argentina pieces.  I took my #7 to a Spanish-speaking friend for translation.  One piece was just typical MAD stuff, but the other, titled COMO DESPEDIR EL ANO SIN GENTE MOLESTA (AS TO DISMISS THE ANUS WITHOUT ANNOYING PEOPLE) was anything but.  As you can see, it contained profanity and lewd innuendoes that were so bad, that the government of Argentina took action against the publisher.  There is even a rumor that the publisher was kidnapped and executed.  The paper used to print the Argentina MAD was not the best.  They are tough to find in good shape, and some issues are difficult, if not impossible to locate in any condition.  The later issues seem to be the scarcest.  I need only 2 to complete my run.  To me, collecting Argentina MADs has been an expensive struggle.

"AUSTRALIA - Probably the most successful of the non-US issues of MAD is the Australian MAD Horwitz Publications purchased the license to produce MAD in Australia in 1978.  But the first MAD actually printed in Australia did not occur until December 1980.  The first four Australian MADs were not numbered.  The decision had to be made by Horwitz Publications whether Australian MAD would continue the numbering of the US MAD or begin its own (presumably from No. 1!).  A decision was not made until the fifth issue.  On the front of the magazine there was 'No. 223', and Australia began following the US numbers.  Hence the first issue of Australian MAD was No. 219.  This first issue was exactly the same as US MAD No. 219.  The first Australian MAD to have a different cover than the US issue was not until No. 224 (Australian MAD's sixth issue) in 1981.  The cover art was by Dave Emerson and depicted Alfred holding a cake (with a not-so-well-hidden metal file) outside of a prison cell.  The content format of the modern day Australian MAD is fairly similar between each issue.  For a regular issue, there is almost always an original Australian cover.  During its 22 plus years, 175 regular issues have been published as well as over 100 specials and many paperbacks.  In addition, there were shirts, hats, ties, buttons, plates and many other collectibles.  You can see all the Australian MAD covers at http://www.collectmad.com/australiacoversite.  For information regarding subscriptions to the Australian MAD, write to: Australian Mad, PO Box 3355, St. Leonards, NSW 1590, Australia or contact Juliet Mason at JulietM@horwitz.com.au."

"BRAZIL - In Brazil, MAD has been published from 1974 to the present.  There have been 3 publishers during that time.  Every cover from all 3 editions can be viewed at the Brazil cover site http://www.collectmad.com/brazilcoversite/.  To date, there have been 272 Brazilian MADs plus many specials and paperbacks.  The first edition, called the Vecchi edition (103 issues), was published from 1974 to 1983.  The second edition, or the Record edition (158 issues), appeared from 1984 to 2000.  And the 3rd edition, or Mythos edition (11 issues to date), began in 2000 and continues today.  To identify Brazilian MADs, see http://www.collectmad.com/brazilcoversite/indexinfo.htm.  Also, look for a great article on the Brazilian MAD in an upcoming issue of John Hett's Journal of MADness.  Many issues of the Brazilian MAD had original covers.  You might be shocked to see some of these covers, they make the US covers seem very tame indeed.  There were also many adapted US covers, replacing US personalities with Brazilian personalities.  There were also direct copies of US covers with Portuguese titles.  Like the Australian MAD, copies in great condition are very scarce due to the paper used in production.  Brazilian retailers also had a liking to put a giant ink stamp on the cover, I assume for dating purposes.  For information regarding subscriptions to the Brazilian MAD, write to Mythos Editors Ltd, 109 N. 18th Street, Wheeling, WV 26003 or contact Helcio de Carvalho at elcio@mythoseditora.com.br.

"That's it for our tour of Argentina, Australia and Brazil.  If this wasn't enough, next month you can look forward to MADs from China, Denmark and Finland.  If you have information that I missed, feel free to email me at wjer3@tusco.net.  This series is being written by Dick Hanchette."