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. 

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 gerbils.  (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. 2 July 1990
Cover: (no art)

" 'Mad' still crazy after all these years - NEW YORK - Bill Gaines, the 65-year-old Santa Claus look-alike who created Mad magazine, is presiding over yet another day of Madness.  Alfred E. Newman [sic] cover art lines the halls to his office, populated by gorilla likenesses - life-sized pictures, rubber toys.  Toy dirigibles hang from the ceiling.  In the corner is a glass case to be broken 'only in case of emergence': It contains a white shirt.  He says of his office: 'Neatness doesn't count.'  The staff drifts in.  Balding and mustachioed, creative consultant Dick DeBartolo, 49, asks, 'By the way, is it true this whole article is going to end up one huge pie chart in USA TODAY?'  A moment later he notes, 'I've been here 25 years.  No I take that back.  I went home once.'  Silver-haired editor Nick Meglin, 49, shows up late 'as usual.'  He recalls: 'I've been here almost since the beginning.  I am actually Bill Gaines' illegitimate son, and I'm staying here until he acknowledges me.'  And so it goes at this wacky magazine that celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.  It has a small staff of eccentrics and iconoclasts -- 'I am not!  I'm Catholic!' says bearded editor John Ficarra, 49.  The group turns out a satirical if sometimes sophomoric magazine aimed toward kids and treasured by adults.  Mad is the country's longest-running humor magazine.  It gave us Alfred E. Newman's [sic] gap-toothed smile and famous slogan.  'What -- me worry?'  ('Have you noticed Alfred doesn't have a profile?' Ficarra asks.  'He looks like Ted Koppel.  And Ted doesn't have a profile, either.')  And it has actually helped shape -- some might say warp -- our national sense of humor.  'Probably eight out of 10 baby boomers have read Mad,' says magazine expert Leo Scullin of the Young & Rubicam ad agency.  'I grew up on it.  It set our palates for the kinds of things Saturday Night Live doesIt made satire a real force for us.'  Assessing Mad's appeal, Gaines says, 'It helps kids grow up, marks their rite of passage through adolescence.  Kids save Playboy and Mad under the bed.  I can figure out why they'd save Playboy, but Mad, who knows?'  Maybe it's the fact that the magazine makes its living skewering authority.  Its message, says Gaines is, 'Don't believe politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, even us. ... But we do like to think we have high standards.  Dick DeBartolo interrupts: 'We may like to think we have high standards.  The truth is we have high ethical standards --'  Fans might disagree.  And everybody has a favorite schtick from Mad.  'I would say about 50 percent of our school has read it at least once,' says subscriber Chris Ach, 13, of Cincinnati.  'It makes fun of school, and TV, and movies.  Of course you have to go to the movies, watch the shows to understand it.'  The 'usual gang of (free-lance) idiots' produces Mad's Proudest nonsense: Mort Drucker's famous art, Dave Berg's 'Lighter Side of ...,' Sergio Aragones' 'marginal thinking' cartoons around the articles, and Don Martin's flap-lipped fools.  (Martin just left the loony bin for Mad's competition, Cracked.) Mad has become such a national icon that to be lampooned in its pages is to become significant.  Says YV movie critic Gene Siskel, 'When Roger (Ebert) and I were parodies in Mad, we felt we'd made it into mass culture, been appreciated by people who have a keen eye and a great sense of humor'  The cast of L.A. Law so loved its caricature on the October cover that they posed for their own picture duplicating the cartoon.  Ficarra adds, 'Stallone is a fan.  And Michael J. Fox, and ALF, and Robert DeNiro.'  The irony that Mad has gone from counterculture to pop culture is not lost on Gaines.  He groans, 'Sometimes teachers want to use it in classrooms.  No!  We don't want kids to think we're establishment.'  Certainly, Gaines himself didn't start out that way.  In the staid 1950s, his firm oozed horror comic books including Tales From the Crypt.  He was hauled before a Senate committee, whose members thought such gore might lead to juvenile delinquency.  The Senate took no action, but parents did.  Sales went down, and Gaines came up with the concept for Mad.  To give himself a tax break, Gaines sold off the company in 1960.  Ownership eventually fell to Warner Communications, which has been smart enough to leave Gaines with complete control.  (Staffers guess that it's to avoid the cockroaches in his office.)  'They give me free reign,' says Gaines.  'And snow,' adds DeBartolo.  Mad's content has changed little.  The humor may be a bit raunchier than in the early days, bu Gaines will not permit frontal nudity.  'That's only in the office,  And it isn't a pretty sight,' says Meglin.  From the beginning, the magazine has refused to take advertising and will not research demographics.  Not taking ads means he 'is beholden to no one,' Gaines says.  'You can't take money from Coke and make fun of Pepsi.'  Mad won't research who buys the magazine because editors are afraid they'll find our readers are 13 to 17-year-old males.  'They are,' says Gaines, but we don't want to know and end up pandering to them.' DeBartolo adds, 'What if they're leprechauns?  Who wants to write for them?'  No advertising means no Audit Bureau of Circulation checks to track sales.  Gaines grins.  'In truth, we are supported by the CIA.'  He claims sales are 1 million, off from 2.4 million in the mid-'70s.  But, claims Ficarra, 'There will be a new groundswell of readers for us with this baby boomlet.'  Gaines says competition for kids' time today comes from TV, VCRs, rock concerts and the fact that kids, and their parents, just don't read as much.  Eleven overseas editions of Mad sell well, Gaines points out.  The German edition is the 'largest-selling humor magazine in Europe.'  To bring in a few extra bucks, Gaines is looking into a few licensing deals for Mad products.  But his heart isn't in it.  'It's just so sleazy.'  But Mad is about to come out with a mockery of the Mickey Mouse watch.  'It's Alfred E. Newman [sic] in a straightjacket,' says Ficarra. 'His legs go around.  We'll probably bring it out Dec. 26, in time for the Christmas returns.'  Gaines cuts costs by refusing to employ a secretary, taking two days to find out who made a $2 personal call on company phones, and prohibiting expense accounts.  'This man is cheap,' says Meglin.  'I have a pay phone in my office.'  But Gaines does splurge for farflung trips for the entire staff every two years.  'I am penny wise and pound foolish,' says Gaines.  'I don't notice when I spend a few thousand.'  In 1960 the entire staff flew to Haiti to make sure a subscriber didn't fall off the Mad wagon.  'Actually, we doubled our subscriptions there,' says Gaines.  'We talked somebody else into subscribing.'  Just what will happen to Mad when he retires troubles the disheveled and, today, rather tired-looking Gaines.  'I've asked that it go to the staff.  If it goes to some doorknob counter, somebody who doesn't understand these people, it just won't work.'  Ficarra restores the usual mood.  'Don't worry about it.  I've already ordered the furniture for this room!'  (The above article came from USA Today, Nov. 16, 1987.  It was written by Karen S. Peterson.)

Filler Dept: There is a variation of the MAD rip-off game 'Screwball' by Transogram.  One says; 'The MAD MAD MAD Game?' and the other; 'A MAD MAD Game?'

Editorial Dept. (I Like To Hear Myself Talk Division): Welcome to the second issue.  I want to thank all who subscribed.  Some of you made checks out to The MAD Panic.  Not being able to cash them, I got a bank account under that 'business.'  You can now make checks out in either name.  I've made a few changes.  I wasn't happy with the costs.  How could others charge less for similar publications?  I found the answer.  Check with more than two local printers.  Both I looked at sent their work to other printers, they didn't do two sided printing inhouse.  So I found a place that did and I was able to cut the printing costs by about half.  To all subscribers, I sent a postcard offering a refund or subscription extension.  To my first issue sample requesters, I sent this issue.  I also decided that because this is a fan publication, the fans shouldn't be charged a lot for advertising.  So I dropped those rates.  I didn't think the rates were high, I just wanted them to be cheap!  Display ads are now $2.00 and classified ads will be printed in 10pt lettering, which is the size you're now reading.  I've added a new section; New Items.  If you find something that has recently been released, let us know about it.  Some of the stuff I'll show in future issues, and some I won't be able to reprint.  I guess that's it for me, on to the good stuff ... MADly, Ed

Letters Destined for the Round File Dept: I asked for letters and reviews and I got them ...  Yes, I rev'd it.  My honest opinion huh?  - It looks like you've got all the bases covered.  If you can get contributions for the topics you want to cover, it should really take off.  - As a first issue, it was well, in a word, redundant.  I imagine the real MAD hard-core fanatics had seen most of everything you re-printed.  And those that aren't real hard-core MAD fanatics, well ... (see next blurb)  - At $1.50 an issue, it seems a bit, well, *pricey* .  Especially for mostly re-printed material.  I understand this was your first issue, and it will take an issue or three to get solicitations to generate inputs and new stuff, but at $1.50 how many people are going to stick around that long?  Heck, I'd rather buy an issue of Groo or Mad for $1.50 ... or buy one pack of Upper Deck cards!  Seriously tho', $1.50 does seem pricey to me.  - Now, for the non-hard-core MAD person (like myself) who only picks up an issue of MAD when the cover of a new issue really catches my eye (like the Topps issue, the Batman issue, etc.), most of the 'reprinted' stuff was NEW to me, and was relatively interesting.  But again, for $1.50, I don't know if the non-HC fan will seek you out.  - Did Carol really write that letter or do you make up your own letters and answer your own questions ala Penthouse Forum?  - Roy Karlson  Roy, I don't make up letters as does Penthouse, otherwise this fanzine would have to be sold to people 18 years or older.  - Ed  Hi Ed.  I received a copy of your newsletter yesterday -- very nice.  I can see you put a lot of time and effort into it and your affection for the subject matter shows in quality of the result.  I think your biggest challenge will be to find new material or 'untold stories' about the forces behind MAD.  Your idea of locating as many fanzines as you can is a good one to determine what's already been covered.  I've got a suggestion -- keep the point size of your text uniform and large enough to be easily readable.  The text size on pages 1 and 2 is fine, but then it's reduced for some reason on later pages (oh ... you should number the pages, too).  Other than that, it's very readable.  You might also want to use a halftone filter for the pictures which will result in cleaner xeroxes.  But these are minor points.  In general, I think you're off to a good start.  Now another challenge for you will be to find enough MAD fans to keep the newsletter going.  - Jason Anjoorian  Jason, thank you for your comments.  - Ed   Dear Ed -  I got your first issue of The MAD Panic, thanks.  I enjoyed it very much especially the lead article 'MAD Marches On' & The MAD Items Dept.  I have many pre-MAD Alfred E. Newman [sic] postcards & pin back buttons, if you would like me to send photocopies for publication or are curious about anything, please let me know.  Would EC items be of interest to your readers?  I've got the complete EC Fan Addict Kit & 3 premium photos of the Old Witch, Crypt Keeper & Vault Keeper that I'd be happy to photocopy if you think someone might be interested.  I have a few other EC/MAD fanzines, I will send photocopies when I can dig 'em out.  - Bob Barrett  Bob, I'm sure we would all enjoy seeing some of the things you have in your collection.  EC items are fine, after all, without EC there would be no MAD or PANIC to write about,  And I'm sure Alfred wouldn't be as popular as he is today.  If you can include any information concerning the item, that would be great.  - Ed  Ed:  In regards to your fanzine: you should pick a MAD article and have the artist or writer write a 'behind-the-scenes' story.  Another idea would be to have everyone who subscribes, send in a short bio.  It would be interesting to see the mix of people who are interested in MAD.  Let me know if you need other articles to run.  - Michael Lerner  Michael, Thanks for the ideas.  I guess the next issue will have the fanzine biographical dept. with at least yours are mine.  Anyone else wishing to send one in (at any time), please do so.  And as I told Bob, any related information would be great.  Ed

New Items Dept:  Wolvertoons edited by Dick Voll, Fantagraphics Books, The Art of Basil Wolverton in both hardcover and softcover editions.  Barf #1, May 1990, Revolutionary Comics, Alfred on the back cover plus three pages of MAD parody.  Model and Toy Collector, Spring 1990, Alfred figure created by Kent Milton.  DISCoveries, April 1990, 'MAD About The Dellwoods', Question and answer concerning the 45s released by The Dellwoods and Sweet Sick Teens.  Cracked #255, August 1990, Cheap shot at MAD.

MAD Items Dept: [Copy of CherrySparkle ad]  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.)  We believe this Cherry Sparkle promotion is from the 1920s.  If you have any other information concerning this piece, please let us know.  Thank to Grant Geissman for supplying this MAD Item.

The mad, mad world of MAD: The Monday Q&A - In Mad's world nothing is sacred - Q.  What's the appropriate way to say the phrase 'What, me worry?'  Where should the emphasis be placed?  A.  Well, I've always thought of it as, 'What, me worry?'  Once again, we did not originate that.  This face, which started in 1890, had many, many forms and versions up through the '20s, '30s and '40s.  When I was a kid, in the late '20s and early '30s, I remember seeing a postcard with this face and the legend, 'What, me worry?'  That's how it was usually seen.  Long after Painless Romain was no longer with us, Alfred popped up all over the place with the legend, 'What, me worry?'  I don't know who originated it or where it came from, but it was almost always that way.  Q.  Is there anything Mad will not satirize?  Is there anything you don't think is funny?  A.  Very little.  I sued to say God, mother and country were about the only things we didn't attack, but all three of those dropped a long time ago.  I think today, about the only thing that Mad doesn't really want to get involved in is terrorism.  We don't want to do anything to give anybody an idea or a solace in that there's any value in terrorism, ... That's -- now this is a personal opinion, my opinion, not Mad's opinion and other members of the staff might answer that question differently.  But that's about the only thing, if I saw anything coming through on that, I would be upset and try to get it out.  (This is the second part of a Bill Gaines interview.  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: I know of 4 cover variations of issue #123.  There is 1,111,784, 1,112,362, 1,189,168 and 1,376,485 in a series of 2,148,000.  The 1978 MAD Calendar shows 1,376,485 in a series of 2,210,000.  Does this issue exist?  Do you know of any other variations of this issue?  Please send a photocopy if you have one of the 'unknown' covers.

MAD Book Review Dept: Sergio Aragones' 'Mad As Usual!' is his 14th book under the MAD banner.  He dedicates this one to the 'Usual Gang of Idiots!'  This book only takes minutes to read, I read it standing in line to pay for it.  When I got to the counter to pay for it I thought of putting it back on the shelf, but I enjoyed it too much, so out came the VISA.  Only the Spy vs. Spy books have less words.  But, the artwork and humor is as usual; GREAT!  Once I got home I 'read' it again, I guess it gets at least an automatic 3 Ecchs!  It starts with a Zorro parody and progresses through standard Sergio themes.  This book has a running theme of the macabre, the best of which is when the punks meet death square in the face.  Since the creation of Groo, Sergio has him appearing in his books and this is no exception.  Groo and his dog appear on the cover as well as on some of the pages within.  I'm still waiting for Alfred to appear in the pages of Groo.  In the 'Loch Ness Monster' pantomime I thought at first glance that Sergio must have given the printer the wrong page, this guy has four eyes!  On closer examination, he only forgot to connect the glasses, but it still looks like this person has a serious physical defect.  My favorite in the book is 'Sit', everything but the guy's dog obeys.  Once having had a dog just like it, I know how he feels.  I never knew birds could sit.  Sergio, how do they get back up on their feet?  Sergio's last book, 'More MAD Pantomimes', was released in November of 1988.  This one was well worth the wait, but I wish he'd put them out more often.  This book proves once again that Sergio Aragones is one of the best in the business, and that isn't just my marginal thinking.  If you haven't guessed it by now I'm giving this book 1Ecch!  I want the rest of the copies for myself!"

 

THE MAD PANIC Number: 3 September 1990
Cover: (no art)

"The Freaky World of Alfred E. Neuman - New York - (AP) - Right away you know you're headed for the Mad Magazine offices because the elevator stops at the 13th floor.  Then you practically crash into a lifesized Alfred E. Neuman in lederhosen, following which: * You hear a whirring sound from the stockroom which turns out to be an artist extracting fresh carrot juice.  * You come to a poster on a door - Karl Marx wearing glasses - behind which sits a living human of similar appearance who is mountainous, rumpled and bearded, and hair down to his shoulders, and you learn that he is millionaire publisher William Gaines.  * You find the next cubicle decorated with a sampler saying 'God Bless our Fallout Shelter' embroidered by editor Al Feldstein's ex-mother-in-law.  * You see two cartoonists huddled over their drawing boards gleefully turning every photograph in the day's New York Times into publisher Gaines.  'With a few strokes and lots of hair, you can do it to any face,' chuckles Sergio Aragones, a mustached Spaniard, applying his felt-tip pen to Sen. James Buckley, Mrs. Juan Peron and a silver-plated samovar from Bloomingdale's.  Samovar Best - Actually, the samovar works into an exceptionally fine likeness.  It is, as they say somewhere, just another day with the folks who put out Mad Magazine - that hardy collection of parody, cartoons and Alfred E. Neumaniana that has turned up in the secret pouch of a captured Viet Cong and the U.S. House of Representatives.  Mamie Eisenhower subscribed for her grandson, David, when they lived in the White House.  An anonymous donor recently subscribed for Kim Agnew.  And a Mad paperback was seen in the hands of a Beatle in the film, 'A Hard Day's Night.'  From the appearances, it's a cheerful, amusing, occasionally sophomoric and even sometimes dull, publication that Gaines calls a 'grown-up comic book.'  Big Business - In fact, Mad Magazine is big business.  Eight times a year, 1.8 million fans plunk down 40 cents apiece to buy it at the newsstand, while another 100,000 readers get it through the mail.  What began as an experimental comic book nearly 20 years ago is today a 48-page magazine supplemented by annual specials, 54 paperbacks with sales figures in the millions, plus foreign translations in nine languages including an Anglicized version, to remove anything critical of the royal family.  It carries no advertising, because Gaines says he doesn't want to compromise his integrity.  A wholly-owned subsidiary of the giant Kinney Services, it shares its corporate parents with Warner Brothers empire, the Independent News Service (which distributes Mad) and Paperback Library (recently acquired to print the Mad paperbacks).  The secret of this free-wheeling humor magazine that appeals mainly to teenagers but also to a lot of their parents is its unlikely blend of creativity and commerce.  To some, Mad is irrelevant because it takes no political stand; to others, that is its genius, because according to free-lance writer Frank Jacobs, 'Mad puts down anything it thinks is dumb.'  The full-time staff consists only of six: publisher Gaines, editor Feldstein, associate editors Nick Meglin and Jerry DeFuccio, art director John Putnam and production man Leonard Brenner.  Plus three young women who handle subscriptions.  Brenner, known simply as 'Beard,' is the one with four different editions of Volume A from encyclopedia companies because 'that's the one they give away free.' Meglin and DeFuccio were the only two people breaking up with laughter at the movie 'Love Story' while everyone else was crying.  Most of the writing and cartooning comes from a stable of about 25 free-lancers: professional writers and artists who command high fees in television, movies, advertising and magazines, but who have been with Mad for years and generally accord it their first loyalty.  Much of that loyalty comes from respect for the patriarch of the family: Bill Gaines.  A good-natured, generous gentleman with a widespread reputation for fairness and honesty, Gaines, 49, runs his magazine with the kid gloves of trust.  He occupies a modest office right alongside his staffers in their rather unexceptional building on Madison (the magazine spells it MADison) Avenue.  What Me Worry? - Flying from his ceiling are at least six miniature zeppelins of various sizes, including one with the 'What? Me Worry?' kid emblazed in red.  'I have a lot of juvenile interests - one of which is King Kong,' Gaines explained with a deep laugh.  Gaines' other loves are equally unusual.  He makes frequent trips to the island of Haiti but disapproves of its government.  He went out of his way to buy 72 pairs of cotton socks for 59 cents a pair at a bargain store, but proudly paid $90 for one bottle of wine.  He considers himself cheap, but pays $100 for a gourmet meal.  Gaines adores fine food and wine.  He belongs to seven connoisseur-type organizations, attends frequent wine-tastings, and, in his five-room apartment in New York's Upper East Side, has turned the bedroom into an air-conditioned cellar for some 500 bottles of wine.  Gaines entered the comic book world through his father, M.C. (Max) Gaines, an adman turned publisher who sold the first commercial comic books in the country, discovered Superman and invented Wonderwoman.  Max Gaines' death in 1947 pulled the young Bill, then studying to be a chemistry teacher, back home.  At his mother's insistence, he took up the family business, ultimately turning the shaky E.C. Publications (which changed from 'Educational' to 'Entertaining' Comics) into the precedent-setting publishers of a line of horror, suspense and science-fiction comics.  One day, a talented young staffer named Harvey Kurtzman told Gaines he wanted to do something different.  Humor Book - 'I remembered that Harvey was good with humor,' Gaines recalled.  'So I said, 'Harvey, why don't you throw out a humor book?'  That was how Mad began.'  The first issue, a comic book, appeared on the stands in the fall of 1952.  Kurtzman's brand of humor, including a unique spoof called 'Superduperman' in the fourth issue, set the tone.  Twenty-three issues later, Gaines discontinued all the comics and turned Mad into a magazine.  Then one day Kurtzman asked Gaines for control of Mad.  Gaines thought he meant financial control and refused.  Kurtzman quit.  Actually, Kurtzman meant editorial control, and only recently, after a cash settlement and kind words, have the two me smoothed over the rift.  In any event, Kurtzman's departure transferred editorship to Al Feldstein, who is credited with turning Mad into the mass-media success that it is.  Kurtzman, who now does an adult comic called 'Little Annie Fanny' for Playboy, says he's 'not bitter - just frustrated, because I didn't cash in.'  Oddly enough for such clever fellows, however, and for creators of a magazine read mostly by teen-agers, no Mad staff member is under 30.  Except DeFuccio none of the full-timers is a college graduate, none smokes and they generally do not go drinking or lunching together.  They are, in fact, hard-working professionals who come to work around 9 in the morning, get their editing or artwork or assignments done, and, with few exceptions, join the 5 o'clock rush to go home.  Because they have all been part of the family so long, they work extremely well together.  The same is true of the freelancers, most whom have been with Mad since its early days.  They meet their deadlines and respect editorial judgment.  In return, they get some of the highest fees in the business (around $260 a page) plus a year-end bonus.  Whatever the formula, it works.  But as editor Feldstein says of Alfred E, Neuman: 'Alfred symbolizes the philosophy of the magazine; Keep smiling, as the world crumbled around you.'  (The above article is from the S.F. Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, January 23, 1972.  It was written by Lynn Sherr.)

Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division): You may have noticed a different look to the fanzine.  Rick Stoner did a great job on the new logo.  The Times font was boring, Rick's art gives the fanzine some personality.  Thanks Rick!  I want to thank Bob Barrett for supplying me with the missing issues of MADzine that I needed.  I was hoping not to duplicate too much of what was in MADzine.  But as luck would have it, the first MAD Item I had was in the last issue of MADzine.  Oh well!  I'm dropping the back issue price to $1.50.  Nobody purchased any at $2.00.  Back issues, if I don't have any of the originals left, will have a 'Second Printing' label on page 2.  I have a limited number of each issue printed.  At $1.50, I can go to a place and get my master copy photocopied again.  The number printed for the previous issues were: 21 copies of issue #1 and 25 copies of issue #2.  I'll have 30 copies of this issue printed.  I've added a bonus section to this issue.  I got a complaint that I don't run enough pictures.  So to make up for previous issues, I have added 4 pages of pictures.  Hope you enjoy it.  I'll try to add a bonus section as funds will allow it.  If you can let me know what sections you like and which you don't, I can adjust this fanzine to meet the needs of the masses.  I didn't get any letters, so no letter department this time.  Please write!  MAD-ly, Ed.

Other Magazine's Letters Dept: I didn't get much this month, so I'll use another magazine's letter page this time around.  Please send some letters, I'm lonely.  This letter is from Kite Lines, Spring 1985 ...  'When I was a youngster in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, I had an older brother who loved to fly kites.  We lived in a city neighborhood and there were no opens areas nearby.  He considered this a challenge and repeatedly got great flights out of a small tree-filled lot next to a large church.  His favorite kite was the 'Jolly Boy,'  Its cost was five cents from 1925 to about the time of the Depression.  The kite was six-sided, with three sticks that crossed above the kite's vertical corner.  There was no bow in the kite and the bridle consisted of three corner-to-corner strings.  A fourth string, hanging from the two bottom corners, held the tail.  The kite came in different colors, but my brother liked yellow.  On the front of the kite was a caricatured portrait of a young boy, looking rather happy, but not at all attractive.  We see essentially the same face today as Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Newman [sic].  Flying instructions were printed beneath his face.  Now there is nothing spectacular about this kite, but I would like to know if any Kite Lines reader has memories of it.  When I describe the 'Jolly Boy' to people my age (65), I cannot find one who remembers it.  Surely thousands of boys purchased this kite each spring, and surely there must be some around today, tucked away in a trunk in the attic or in the rafters in the basement.  If any readers know of such a kite, I would truly appreciate hearing from them.  - Charles R. Siple  [photocopy of kite design]

The mad, mad world of Mad: The Monday Q&A - In Mad's world nothing is sacred - Q. There are varying versions of how Mad came to be, the most common being that Harvey Kurtzman, who went on to draw 'Little Annie Fanny' for Playboy, originated the magazine while he was laid up with jaundice.  A. In a relatively recent edition of the Comic Journal, there was a big long interview in there with me in which I finally set the record straight in print.  Harvey did not think up the title while he was in the hospital with jaundice.  Mad was already into number five.  What happened, and I'll tell the story once more as briefly as I can, Harvey had been doing two war books for me and he wanted to increase his income.  I paid my editors per issue.  One of my editors was editing seven issues at the time Harvey was editing two, therefore my other editor made 3-1/2 times as much.  Harvey was unhappy with his money and I suggested, since you are humorous, why don't you throw a humor magazine in between your two war monthlies and, instead of making X dollars, you'll make 1-1/2 X.  And that is how and why Mad was born, in an effort to increase Kurtzman's stipend.  The title became because Feldstein and I in the old days had referred to our horror magazines as mad magazines.  The original title of Mad was EC's Mad Mag.  Harvey dropped EC's and the Mag and Johnny Craig, my other editor, came up with 'Horror in a jugular vein.'  The four of us just sat around one day and came up with the title.  Q. You've had caricatures of just about everybody in that magazine at one time or another.  How often do people get offended?  A. The only one that I can remember that really got angry about that type of thing was Ava Gardner, in a very early issue when we did the movie 'Barefoot No Contessa.'  It was the 'Barefoot Contessa' and we called it 'Barefoot No Contessa.'  I don't know what she was angry about, but Mad was young then and people weren't used to being kidded.  Like almost all our lawsuits, we usually jollied them out of it.  We'd say, 'Aw c'mon, it's just Mad,' and most people dropped the lawsuits and didn't pursue it.  She was one of them, she never did actually file a lawsuit.  But we've been to the Supreme Court twice.  Once on the ownership of Alfred E. Neuman, and we won that one.  It's a long story, which I won't bother you with.  And the other one was when a whole bunch of songwriters, including Irving Berlin, sued us for writing new lyrics to their music.  You know, we used to do a lot of that stuff and say: Sing to the tune of such and such.  The Supreme Court agreed there's nothing wrong with that so long as we don't print the music or the lyrics.  You can't legislate against what's in somebody's head.  So, if they want to think our lyrics (are) to somebody's songs, there's nothing they can do about it.  Q. Mad also often reprinted advertisements so they could be satirized.  But you never indicated they were reprinted with permission.  A. Well, we've never asked permission for anything from anybody.  You start asking permission and everybody will say no and then what do you do?  Q. And it's never gotten you into trouble?  That's amazing.  A. Why would Clairol object if we wanted to print their ad?  Q. Well, because you're making fun of their ad.  A. Well, they deserve to be made fun of.  Once we kidded a Minnesota Mining Scotch Tape ad and, I think it was Texile Taped [?] called up and wanted to know how they could get their ads kidded, and we said, 'Run a stupid ad campaign like they did.'  (This is the third part of a Bill Gaines interview.  I'll reprint more of it in the next issue.  The above article is from The Peninsula Times Tribune, Monday, September 26, 1983.)

MAD Items Dept: [photocopy of "Me Worry" kid]  The original size of this is 8-1/2" x 11".  It was signed 'Newton - My Apologies'.  Thanks to Michael Lerner for supplying this MAD Item. 

Bonus Section Dept. (No Extra Charge Division): [photocopy of Best of Cracked Magazine Card #11 - Cracked mascot is sticking pin into AEN doll] This card was released by Fleer in 1981.  It is the cover from Cracked #107.  John Severin is the artist.  [photocopy of Wacky Packages Card #145 - parody magazine 'MUD' with AEN as pig] This sticker was released by Topps Chewing Gum in 1980.  I was offered the original art for $800.00, ouch!  I thanked him for showing it to me and let him keep it.  I believe Norman Saunders is the artist.  [photocopy of cover of German MAD #118 - AEN is in trashcan with Oscar.] R.I.P. Jim Henson.  German cover artist Rolf Trautmann.  [photocopy of 'So What?' idiot postcard] This black & white postcard has a 1941 copyright.  The phrase is not the one we usually see associated with Alfred, but So What?  There is nothing special printed on the back to give us a clue as to where it came from.  If you have any other information concerning the postcard, please let us know.  If you have postcards of Alfred, send me a photocopy but indicate any colors.  I'll put together a postcard section in a future issue.  Again, try to give us as much information as you can concerning the item.

MAD Book Review Dept: [photocopy of Al Jaffee's MAD (yeech!) Rejects]  Al Jaffee's 14th book for MAD is 'MAD (yeech!) Rejects'.  Al had absolutely invaluable assistance by Charlie Kadau on this book.  The pretense of this book is work done by Al Jaffee and rejected by MAD.  The title was a humorous concept but becomes more believable by the page.  Al has written or illustrated 40+ books, both for MAD and on his own.  This one has to be his worst.  I'm usually thrilled when a new Al Jaffee book comes out and this time was no exception.  His one page gags 'Reject #nnnn were the saving grace from receiving 1 Ecch!  There are 10 of these (one is 2 pages but I'll count it anyway).  I'd like to see a book of them.  Most of the gags in this book could have been worked into this one page format.  The longer gags for some reason lacked punch.  Maybe it was because the set up was too long.  The gag 'A Rejected Asking Directions Episode' is an example of 7 pages that could have been done in one.  Another one pager is the MAD Flip Flops.  These reminded me of the MAD Fold-Ins, a clever twist of art work.  There were 5 of them.  These also might make a good book by themselves.  Throughout the book his art work is great but we wouldn't expect anything less.  If you buy this book, turn to the last three pages.  Here you'll see 13 reasons why Al Jaffee when writing or drawing for MAD, Humbug, Trump, or on his own is one of the best.  But this book only receives 2 Ecchs!  Al Jaffee also has a new MAD Big Book out on the stands.  It's called 'More MAD Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions'.  I enjoyed it!  In this micro review I'll give it 4 Ecchs!  For the summer, Al Jaffee batted .500, even Hugh Duffy didn't do that."

THE MAD PANIC No. 4 November 1990
Cover: "It may be 'Mad,' but there's method in it"

"It's a face only a class clown could love.  For over a quarter century, the gapped-tooth grin, flyaway ears and institutional haircut have said something special to the curdled cream of the nation's youth.  'What - Me Worry?'  Despite the disclaimer, it's probably true that Alfred E. Neuman has given millions of kids their first inkling that there's a lot of stuff to worry about.  As a symbol for Mad magazine, Neuman, according to publisher William Gaines, conveys the idea of ' a certain skepticism allied with a certain amount of resignation.'  Not many young readers would put it that way.  Just the same, every new generation of them seems to know instinctively what he's driving at.  Neuman and Mad speak to an age group rather than an age.  But don't look for any hidden messages.  'We have no point of view,' Mr. Gaines says, 'We hold nothing sacred.'  In a nutshell, that's been the Mad credo since it first hit the newsstands 30 years ago this may.  The fact that it doesn't sound as subversive as it once did may actually be a measure of the magazine's success.  The world has come to Mad.  Mad began as a McCarthy-era slap at the establishment and before long became an indispensable primer for adolescent cynics.  It still appeals to a particular breed of youngsters who bring it to school and analyze its oddball jokes at recess.  Needless to say, parents and teachers hate it.  'We've always been a teen-age publication,' says Mr. Gaines, 'But we haven't ever taken reader surveys.  To tell the truth, I don't want to know who I'm publishing for.  From the beginning, we wrote the magazine for ourselves.  If we liked it, we were satisfied.  Of course, our hope was that other people would like what we did.  So far, they have.'  As a publishing success story, Mad rivals Playboy, another product of the repressed Fifties.  Both magazines were pioneers in their fields.  The difference is that Playboy editor Hugh Hefner built his empire on crafty advertising.  William Gaines, who started out in the comic book business, has kept his operation 'pure' as he describes it.  Mad only carries jokes - never any ads.  'We flirted with the idea in the early years,' recalls Mr. Gaines, 'Our hearts, though, were never really in it.  If you have advertising, people can push you around.  You can't take money from Coca-Co;a and then make fun of Pepsi.  It would create a very touchy situation.  Humor has to be free to be funny.  When you have ads, you're a slave to what the advertisers want,  It just wouldn't have been a good position for us to be in.'  The closest Mr. Gaines, a long-time millionaire, ever came to Hugh Hefner lifestyle were periodic overseas junkets with his writers.  The excursions, paid for by Mad, were designed strictly for laughs.  Lately, economic conditions have forced a cutback in globetrotting.  Last year, the boss and his boys hit Miami Beach.  This year, he sighs, Reaganomics may keep them from going any farther than Brooklyn.  In spite of its Madison Avenue addreee, Mad has never been 'a big production.'  A group of two dozen free-lance writers and artists turn out all the stories for the magazine's eight issues per year.  The masthead refers to them as 'the usual band [sic] of idiots.'  And their numbers have included some of the most brilliant - i.e. deranged - comic minds of our time; Antonio Prohias, who draws the cloak-and-dagger spoof 'Spy vs. Spy'; Don Martin, creator of those square-headed cartoon characters who tie one another in knots; and Harvey Kurtzman, one of the magazine's original creators - and the first person to recognize the comic potential of Alfred E. Neuman.  'They're all non-conformists,' Mr. Gaines says of his zany crew, 'Not conforming is what Mad is all about.  It introduces kids to the idea of lies and deception in high places,' explains Ray Browne, director of the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green University in Ohio, 'Mad's something that certain types of adolescents associate with their own revolt from older generation.  The young would-be intellectual or thinking kid, if you will, is always upset and anti-establishment.  That may be one big reason why the magazine is still around.'  In many respects, Mad shaped the modern American concept of goofing off.  It's hard to imagine what comedy would be like if it had never existed.  Some social critics even contend it was one of the driving forces behind the counter-culture of the late Sixties.  'I have no way of knowing about that,' says Mr. Gaines, 'I'd like to take credit for it.  But, in truth, I can't say.'  What Mad did do, he thinks, 'was become so successful that we made it more difficult for ourselves to be funny.  We gave it to advertisers for a long time.  Now you can't kid them as much.  They're either not lying the way they used to or they're lying better.  At any rate, it's harder to catch them.'  He agrees that after years of exposure to comedy, audiences too have become harder to please.  'It takes more to make them laugh than it did in the old days.'  Mad's circulation figures may bear this out.  Sales have dropped from 2.3 million in the mid-1970's to slightly above 1 million today.  'The problem is the economy,' Mr. Gaines claims.  He defends his magazine's unchanging style of slapstick humor as a secret formula from cracking up 13-year-olds and not something to be tampered with.  Nevertheless, he does admit that over the years youth has changed.  'Mad  grew up in a period of rebellion.  Kids were different then.  Now they're more like they were during the early Eisenhower years when we started.'  Mad's material has always been aimed at the comic proclivities of boys, although the suspicion is that a lot of girls are 'closet readers.'  But these days the magazine has to compete for attention with a whole array of new amusements, most notably video games (something of an irony since Warner Communications, which controls the Atari game company, also owns Mad).  And where Mad is, you can find Alfred E. Neuman.  (The above article is from the April 19, 1982 Baltimore Sun.  It was written by William V. Thomas.)

Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division): You may notice another change, I'm back to the old logo.  I received the following letter ... Dear Mr. Norris:  I am writing this letter on behalf of MAD's publisher, William M. Gaines.  Mr. Gaines has never approved of fanzines devoted to MAD, however well intentioned.  Therefore, he must insist that you no longer use the MAD logos, or Panic's logo or anything from the pages of MAD or its Specials and paperbacks.  Your cooperation will be appreciated.  Sincerely, John Ficarra  I called Mr. Ficarra and he explained why the above letter was necessary.  I agreed with him.  I will continue to publish this fanzine.  There is enough material that relates to MAD and Pre-MAD items available that I feel it won't suffer too much.  So keep those cards and letters coming.  I'll need them.  MADly, Ed

Hello Dolly Dept: [photo of Alfred E. Neuman doll]  This 'What - Me Woory' doll is approximately 20 inches tall.  Thanks to Grant Geissman for sending this photograph to me.

Filler Dept:  Kitchen Sink has a famous cartoonist series of pinback buttons.  In the series are the following MAD artists: Sergio Aragones, Will Elder, Kelly Freas, Harvey Kurtzman, John Severin and Basil Wolverton.

5 Questions with ... Dick DeBartolo 
The MAD Panic:  Somewhere down the road of life you took a wrong turn and ended up working for MAD.  Can you tell us how it happened?
Dick DeBartolo:  As a teen-ager, I loved reading MAD and sent them a submission.  As you must do with any submission to a magazine, I enclosed a large, stamped, self addressed envelope.  Six week later my own envelope came back.  This is always a sign of rejection, and I felt properly rejected!  I threw the envelope into my desk drawer without opening it.  Later I thought I might at least have gotten A HAND WRITTEN rejection, rather than the usual printed ones magazines send out.  I opened the large envelope and found it was stuffed with cardboard!  Stapled to the cardboard was a check and a scribbled note: 'Ha, Ha, thought this was a reject!  Enclosed is a check.  Please contact us regarding future work!'  It was signed by Nick Meglin, an associate editor back then, one of the co-editors now.  (Along with the picturesque John Ficarra.)  That was 27 years, ten paperback books and about 500 articles ago!
TMP:  You've worked with a bunch of great artists.  Who is/was your favorite and why?
DDB:  Not all the MAD artists are good.  Some of them are great!  (How's that for good PR??)  Actually different artists are great at different things.  For movie and TV shows, Drucker is fantastic.  Great likenesses and he adds tons of funny background gags.  Edwing's stuff breaks me up although I draw most of his stuff myself.  (That must be kept a secret, especially from 'the Duck' and his nurse at the home.)  I've also worked with Coker who does great animals, Jack Davis who does great action stuff, North & Torres who also add their own shtick.  Jaffee and I have done 'weird' inventions stuff and of course his style can't be duplicated (thank God).  Woodbridge does incredibly detailed art work.  The only one at MAD who has never illustrated my stuff is Jack Albert, which is fine since he's our attorney!
TMP:  Everyone asks what the best was, not me.  What do you consider the worst story you've written (and got printed) for MAD?
DDB:  My worst story was in a paperback book: A MAD LOOK AT TELEVISION.  I tried to do a sitcom with a laugh track.  The object was to have intentionally unfunny lines with 'laughter' drawn at the bottom of the page to represent what the audience reaction was.  I think it worked for a couple of pages, but it went on much too long.  It was something that would have worked better as a sketch than on the printed page.
TMP:  You're listed as being the creative consultant.  What does a creative consultant do in a typical work day?
DDB:  On a typical day, I come in at 10:00, have coffee till 11.  Sharpen pencils till 12.  Read the mail till 1.  Go to lunch till 2.  Come back and eat at my desk till three.  Nap until four.  Work like a crazy son-of-a-^%$#@! till 5!
TMP:  This is the question that I let the interviewee ask a question.  Dick what do you want to know about yourself?
DDB:  Why aren't I rich?
TMP:  So I can't count, you've been doing MAD Minutes for a few years now.  Are there any plans to release a 'Best Of ...' album?
DDB:  There was a trade paperback (trade meaning large size) called 'Here's MAD In Your Eye.'  It was distributed from the printer to the warehouse, but not much further.  It was a compilation of my best work from my first 20 years here at MAD.  (My best work was actually two pages, but we added a hundred-plus pages to make it into a book.)  At any rate there are plans, a year or two into the future to re-release the book and do something unique for Warner (our parent company).  They are thinking of actually putting the book on sale in stores and at magazine stands!
TMP:  Thank you!

Pre-MAD Items Dept:  [photocopy of Pearl Beer Distr. Co. ad - 'Me Worry? No - Always Say Bottle of Pearl Please']  Do you have unusual Pre-Mad 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.)  This is a popular pose used by ColourPicture Publishers.  This version is an advertising trade card.  Don't know the printer's name.  Thanks to Grant Geissman for sending in this item.

The mad, mad world of Mad
Q.  Has Mad toned down?
A.  Well, here is my simple answer to that question, because I've been asked it many times.  We don't feel that Mad has changed all that much.  We feel that society has changed so that what used to be outrageous is no longer outrageous.  It isn't that we're doing anything different.  The Lampoon came along and did some things so outrageously that we would never try to imitate them.  But, they've gone way beyond what we ever did.  On the other hand, we're still doing what we used to do, it's just that in today's world, it doesn't seem that different.  In other words, everything's relative.  We are a teen-age magazine ... We can't chase the Lampoon, much as we'd like to sometimes ... because they're for a more mature audience.  Although there's a lot of college kids and older people reading Mad, we still are predominantly teen-age.  In other words, if they rated magazines like they rate movies, Mad would be a PG.
Q.  It has been said by such prestigious publications as The New York Times that Mad helped create a generation of skeptics.  How much credence do you place in something like that - that Mad has been an influence on the outlook of a lot of people?
A.  Oh, no question about that, for better or worse.  But you can't give us too much credit.  Let me give you a for example.  Some people say that Hugh Hefner created the sexual revolution and I say I don't think that's what happened.  I think that Playboy became tremendously successful because of the sexual revolution.  And I'm sure, to a large extent, that's true of Mad.  Mad didn't create the times, the times created Mad.  That's why it's slowed down now, because the times have changed.
(This is the fourth part of a Bill Gaines interview.  I'll reprint the last of it in the next issue.  The above article is from The Peninsula Time Tribune, Monday, September 26, 1983.)

MAD Book Dept:
In the answers Dick DeBartolo gave me, he talked about Here's MAD In Your Eye and how it's sitting in the warehouse.  I purchased this book on the stands in August 1984.  Here are the books Dick DeBartolo has written:
A MAD Look At Old Movies, Jack Davis & Mort Drucker, November 1966
The Return Of A MAD Look At Old Movies, Jack Davis, March 1970
MADvertising, Bob Clarke, July 1972
A MAD Look At TV, Angelo Torres, July 1974
A MAD Guide To Leisure Time, George Woodbridge, September 1976
A MAD Guide To Self-Improvement, Al Jaffee, March 1979
A MAD Guide To Fraud & Deception, Harry North, March 1981
The MAD Book Of Sex, Violence And Home Cooking, Harry North, May 1983
MAD Murders The Movies, Don (Duck) Edwing, July 1985
Here's MAD In Your Eye, Various MAD Artists, August 1984" 

THE MAD PANIC No. 5 January 1991
Cover: "Still Mad After All These Years"

"Talk about your time warp: after 31 years, the 'usual gang of idiots' who gave us 'Spy Vs. Spy,' back-cover fold-ins and those densely populated movie satires continue to confuse each other with, well, more of the same.  Still running the show from his New York office decorated with toy zeppelins and stuffed gorillas, Mad publisher William M. Gaines, 61, manages to affect a vintage What-Me-Worry? tone even while discussing circulation figures, which show that single-copy sales have dropped nearly 50 percent, to an average of just over 1 million, in the last decade.  'We're basically a kid's magazine,' he notes with a shrug,' and there just aren't as many kids around as there used to be.'  It's not until their visitor alludes to an alleged humor boom that the staffers assume frozen smiles reminiscent of old Alfred E. Neuman himself.  Clearly, the warm regard that many of today's parodists express for Mad is not reciprocal.  'I guess some of these one-shot things are mildly amusing,' sighs Mad editor Albert B. Feldstein, 58, 'but really, I have to wonder what all the fuss is about.  A parody of The Wall Street Journal?  We did that in the '60s.  A takeoff on Jane Fonda's fitness book?  Hell, we did Jack La Lanne - no, Vic Fanny - way back when.'  Mad also prefigured the Irrational Inquirer with a National Perspirer spread in 1966; it beat The Non-Runner's Book with a jogging primer, and it foreshadowed next fall's much-ballyhooed Playboy parody some 22 years ago.  On the other hand, when Mad attacked, it seldom lived up to its old slogan of 'humor in a jugular vein.'  Ever since the July 1955 issue, when their publication metamorphosed from a sleazy-looking comic book to a magazine, Gaines and Feldstein have taken great pains to court the kind of normal, middle-class audience from which they themselves emerged, and result has been an editorial point of view that is somewhere between moderately liberal and slightly conservative.  One of the magazine's proudest moments came in 1970, when religion Prof. Vernard Eller published a book called 'The Mad Morality,' in which he precepts of The Ten Commandments more effectively than many clergymen.  Mad's greatest shame was probably a 1974 cover featuring a fist with only the middle finger raised.  'The mothers went wild,' says Feldstein, 'and they were justified.  We went too far.'  Even though Mad is now owned by Warner Communications, a conglomerate that might be anxious to boost circulation or alter the magazine's policy of not accepting ads, no major (or minor) editorial changes are planned.  Feldstein likes it that way.  He says today's so-called new breed of humorists lack well-disciplined wit, that it takes to infiltrate his tiny clique of contributors.  The way Mad staffers tell it, virtually all of the National Lampoon stars have suffered rejection at their hands, and it once took Chevy Chase months to produce a single page that the magazine deigned to purchase for $250.  'I don't begrudge young guys their millions,' says Feldstein, 'But from where I sit, this is not a particularly fertile time for humor.'  (The above article is from Newsweek, April 25, 1983.  It was written by Charles ?????)

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Think Division):
November 17, 1990 - We've eaten lunch, gotten two kids down for a nap and sent the third to his friend's house. Time to go on my weekly hunt someplace.  How about the book store in Sterling.  Five minutes later I'm looking at a stack of 'new' Overstreet Price Guides.  Hey, there's a 1973 3rd edition!  Only $5!  It's mine!  I speed home and turn to the page that contains the MAD values for 1973.  A mint #1 for $80, a #5 for $60 and the first magazine for $18.  It would be another 11 years before I was bitten by the MAD collectible bug.  I never had a shot at those prices!  I was a sophomore in high school.  I read MAD but I threw them out after I was done reading them.  They couldn't be worth anything.  Why didn't I know to buy those plastic bags in the grocery store as Bob Overstreet suggested!  Hey, More Trash, Follies and Worst aren't even listed.  At least it lists the first nine specials (under the regular MAD listing.)  Let's se what else is going on ... The History of Comic Fandom talks about the E.C. fanzines of the '50s.  Squa Tront is still being published.  Wade Brothers is working on a 'full edition of the E.C. checklist.'  Russ Cochran is working on 'E.C. art reprinted off the originals in portfolio form.'  Here's an interesting ad: 'In cooperation with William M. Gaines, Micro Chromatics is recording all the E.C. comic books onto colored film.  Present plans are to make available 35mm full frame slides of covers and 16mm colored microfilm of complete issues.'  That's one I never heard of.  Did they actually produce any?  Oh Emily, you need to nap longer than that ... just let dad put away this book before you start chewing on it.  Better yet, do you want to go with me to the grocery store?  I have to pick up something.  MADly, Ed"

"Other Magazines' Letters Dept:
MAD About The Dellwoods
Can you please give me some information about the early '60s singing group the Dellwoods?  Did they record anything besides the two Mad magazine albums? - Michael Lerner  Dear Michael: Perhaps someone in the DISCoveries family can tell you more than I about the Dellwoods; however, here is what I've uncovered.  The Dellwoods are featured, along with Jeanne Hayes, and Mike Russo, on the Big Top LP Mad Twists Rock 'N' Roll (#12-1305).  Though their individual names are unknown to me, this quintet was pictured on the back of the aforementioned album.  Their doo-wop ditty, Nose Job, was issued on a one-sided, paper, flexi-disc, and attached to The Worst of Mad No. 5, a 1962 magazine.  Also in 1962, Big Top released Don't Put Onions on Your Hamburger/Her Mustache as a regular 45 rpm (#3137).  All three of these Dellwoods tracks are found on the Big Top LP.  On September 25, 1961, RCA Victor announced single release of two tracks which would also appaer on the Mad Twists Rock 'N" Roll LP.  Let's Do the Pretzel and Agnes (The Teenage Russian Spy) popped up on RCA 47-7940, showing the group as the Sweet Sick-Teens.  The Sweet Sick-Teens and the Dellwoods may have been one and the same, as there is no mention of any Sweet Sick-Teens on the Mad album, only Hayes, Russo, and the Dellwoods.  If the Victor single was a surprise - and it was to those of us in radio who were unaccustomed to such a teen novelty from RCA - even more unexpected was their release of it on compact 33 single (37-7940).  Although I haven't seen it in years (not since I was last at Wenzel's Music Town), I doubt Bernie Green & the Steno Mad-Men's 1958 LP, Musically Mad (RCA Victor 1929) contained anything by the Dellwoods.  Now, my Mad music mate, you know as much about the Dellwoods as I.  (The above came from DISCoveries, April 1990.  It prompted Michael and I to write the article starting on page 4.)

"MAD Discography Dept.
LP and 45rpm Records
What Me Worry? / Potrzebie by Alfred E. Neuman & his Furshlugginer Five (1959), 45rpm ABC Paramount (45-10.013), What Me Worry? written by C. Grean and M. Moore, Potrzebie written by B. Davie and M. Moore.
Musically Mad mis-led by Bernie Green with the Stereo MAD-Men with Henry Morgan and Joseph Julian (1959), LP RCA Victor (LSP-1929 stereo, LPM-1929 mono) written by Bernie Green, produced by Lee Schapiro.
*    Concerto For Two Hands (Performed by Green & Julian)
*    Morgan on 'The Mikado' (Green & Morgan)
*    Anvils, Of Course (Green)
*    MAD Fans' Square Dance (Green & Zeke Morgan)
*    The Skater and His Dog (Green)
*    Gunsmirk Suite (Green)
*    Morgan on Wagner (Green & Morgan)
*    The Green Bee (Green)
*    Alfred in the Circus (Green)
*    Give Me That Good Old Progressive Jazz (Green & Phil Kraus)
*    Clinkerated Chimes (Green)
*    Two Guitars, a Banjo and a Mandolin (Green)
*    Laughing Raymond (Green)
Mad 'Twists' Rock 'N' Roll (1962), LP Big Top (12-305), written and produced by Norm Blagman and Stan Bobrick, sung by Jean Hayes, Mike Russo and The Dellwoods and Friend.
*    (Throwing the) High School Basketball Game
*    (She Got a) Nose Job
*    Please, Betty Jane (Shave Your Legs!)
*    Somebody Else's Dandruff (On My Lover-Baby's Shirt)
*    Blind Date (Yaaaaaaahhh!)
*    Agnes (The Teenage Russian Spy)
*    Let's Do the Pretzel (And End Up Like One!)
*    (Even If I Live To Be 22) I'll Always Remember Being Young
*    (He Fell in Love With Me) When My Pimples Turned to Dimples
*    She's a Serious (Yeah-Yeah!) Teenager in Love
*    (All I Have Left Is) My Johnny's Hub Cap
*    I Found Her Telephone Number Written on the Boys Bathroom Wall
Let's Do the Pretzel / Agnes (The Teenage Russian Spy)
, from Mad 'Twists' Rock 'N' Roll (1962), 45rpm RCA (47-7940), 33rpm RCA (37-7940), sung by The Sweet Sick-Teens (The Dellwoods), see previous reference.
Fink Along With Mad (1963), LP Big Top (12-1306), written and produced by Norm Blagman and Stan Bobrick, sung by Jeane Hayes, Mike Russo and The Delwoods, arranged by K. Ogerman and B. Rommel.
*    Lets Do the Fink
*    Her Mustache
*    The Biggest Mouth in Town
*    Her Dad's Got Money
*    His Hair
*    It's a Gas
*    Don't Put Onions on Your Hamburger
*    Loving a Siamese Twin
*    She Lets Me Watch Her Mom & Pop Fight
*    The Braces on Our Teeth
*    Contact Lenses
*    The Neighborhood Draft Board
*    MAD Extra
Don't Put Onions on Your Hamburger / Her Mustache
, from Fink Along With Mad (1963), 45rpm Big Top (3137), sung by The Dellwoods, see previous reference.
The MAD Show (1966), LP Columbia (OS2930 stereo, OL6530 mono), book by Larry Siegel and Stan Hart, lyrics by Marshall Barer, Larry Siegel and Steven Vinaver, music by Mary Rodgers, Musical Director Sam Pottle, Musical Consultant John Anderson, produced by David Robinson, performers Linda Lavin, MacIntyre Dixon, Dick Libertini, Paul Sand and Jo Anne Worley.
*    Overture Opening Number (Performed by all)
*    Academy Awards for Parents (All)
*    Eccch! (All)
*    The Boys From ... (Lavin)
*    Well It Ain't (Libertini)
*    Misery Is (Lavin, Dixon & Sand)
*    Handle With Care (Dixon, Libertini & Worley)
*    Hate Song (All)
*    Entr'acte
*    You Never Can Tell (Lavin, Dixon & Worley)
*    The Real Thing (Sand)
*    Looking For Someone (Lavin)
*    Kiddie T.V. (All)
*    The Gift of Maggie (And Others) (Worley)
*    Football in Depth (Sand, Dixon & Libertini)
*    Finale (All)
Mad Magazine Presents Up The Academy (1980), LP Capitol (S00-12091), film music supervised by Jody Taylor Worth, original motion picture soundtrack.
*    Kicking Up a Fuss (Performed by Blow-Up)
*    X Offender (Blondie)
*    Roadrunner (Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers)
*    We Gotta Get Out of Here (Ian Hunter)
*    Coquette (Checks)
*    Boney Moronie (Checks)
*    We Live For Love (Pat Benatar)
*    Bad Reputation (Sammy Hagar)
*    Midnight Rendezvous (The Babys)
*    Beat the Devil (Blow-Up)
MAD's Special and Annual Insert Records
Meet the Staff from MAD, Worst From MAD #2 (1959), starring The Editor, The Publisher and All The Idiots, written and directed by Alfred E, Neuman.
(She Got a) Nose Job, Worst From MAD #5 (1962), from MAD 'Twists' Rock 'N' Roll, sung by The Dellwoods, see previous reference.
She Lets Me Watch Her Mom & Pop Fight, Worst From MAD #6 (1963), from Fink Along With MAD, sung by Mike Russo, see previous reference.
It's a Gas, Worst From MAD #9 (1966), from Fink Along With MAD, vocal by Alfred E. Neuman, see previous reference.
Gall in the Family Fare, MAD Special #11 (1973), written by Larry Siegel, performed by Allen Swift, Pat Bright and Herb Duncan, supervised by Al Feldstein, assisted by Nick Meglin.
Makin' Out, MAD Special #26 (1978), lyrics by Frank Jacobs, music by Norm Blagman, featuring 'Smyle' and vocal assists by Jane Gennaro and Alfreida Norwood, arranged and produced by Norm Blagman, supervised by Al Feldstein.
It's a Super Spectacular Day, MAD Special #31 (1979), lyrics by Frank Jacobs, music by Norm Blagman, vocals by Bobby Alto and Buddy Mantia and backed by Kinny Landrum and Tabasco, arranged and produced by Norm Blagman, supervised by Al Feldstein.  This record has eight different endings depending upon which groove it falls into.
A Mad Look at Graduation, MAD Special #32 (1980), written by Nick Meglin, starring Mel Danis and the MAD Idiots, produced by Norm Blagman, supervised by Al Feldstein.
Other Records
Meet the Staff from MAD, from The Ridiculously Expensive MAD (1969), see previous reference.
MAD Disco (1980), lyrics by Dick DeBartolo, music by Norm Blagman, arranged and produced by Norm Blagman, supervised by Al Feldstein, singers: Phyliss, Karl & Angela Harris, Steve Leeds and Alfred E. Neuman.
*    Disco Suicide (sung by P, K & A Harris)
*    Sorry, No Words (Leeds)
*    This Time, This Night (P, K & A Harris)
*    Barely Alive (Leeds, P & K Harris)
*    The Disco Clap (K, P & A Harris)
*    It's a Gas (from Fink Along with MAD, see previous reference)
(If you know of any other records that may exist, please let me know.  Also need information concerning the MAD Minute shows.  I'll add more to this listing as I receive the information)

"Pre-MAD Items Dept. (photocopies of  'Me Worry' and 'Son of Me Worry?' coasters
Do you have unusual Pre-MAD items?  Please send a photo or photocopy and history if available.  Let others know what is out there. These are two of eleven tin coasters.  They measure 3-1/2 inches in diameter.  The other nine have sayings: Have Faith Keep Smiling, Man Overboard, Be Neat!, Somebody Goofed, Work is the Curse of the Drinking Class, Nervous?, So Where's the Money?, and Please Work Fast Not Halfast.  These two are the only two which have the Me Worry kid on them.  They are not dated.

"Filler Dept.
The Alfred E, Neuman mechanical analog watch came in two packages; Concepts Plus Inc. produced and packaged it in clear plastic with an 'Alfred in the straight jacket' cardboard insert.  Applause bought out Concept Plus' watch and packaged it in a narrow blue box which shows Alfred's face.

"Teenagers read a magazine called Mad, which ridicules the movies, television, advertising, and other aspects of mass culture.  Indeed, it is teenagers who have been mostly responsible for the fantastic success of the publication, which in a few years has built up a circulation of a million and now has half a dozen imitators, including Frenzy and ThimkMad expresses the teenagers' cynicism about the world of mass media that their elders have created - so full of hypocrisy and pretense, so governed by formulas.  But Mad itself has a formula.  It speaks the same language, aesthetically and morally, as the media it satirizes; it is as tasteless as they are, and even more violent.  Mad's slogan used to be 'Humor in a Jugular Vein,' and though it has abandoned the slogan, it still taps the vein.  So (as) a Romanized barbarian might have rebelled against the decadence of Rome, and such, is the quality of teenage revolt today.  (The above is from The New Yorker, November 29, 1958.)

"During 1988 Applause Inc. released 6 coffee cups with MAD covers on them.  The 6 cover issues were #30, 69, 96, 113, 126 and 154.  Each came in a cardboard box picturing the cup design.

The mad, mad world of MAD
In Mad's world, nothing is sacred
Q. How much did it help or hurt the magazine when it began to satirize some of the things that same generation was involved in the late 1960s and 70s?  I noticed the magazine did not exclude from its satire some of the things the generation was into, such as the hippie movement.
A. This is a valid question, and I don't know the answer.  But Mad has no editorial point of view.  One of the differences between Mad and Lampoon is that Lampoon is politically left.  Mad is politically nothing.  We'll make fun of anything, and that's a nice position to be in.  But if we end up making fun of our readers, which is what you're suggesting, its because we thought our readers deserved to be made fun of, to some extent or other.  This is not good business, but it's good Mad.  I'm sure some people were annoyed.  You know, a lot of people who laugh at other people don't like to laugh at themselves.  I'm sure a lot of people were turned off by the fact that we were suddenly making fun of their stupidities ... People are funny.  You've got to be able to laugh at yourself and your own point of view and your heroes.  If you can't laugh at your heroes, Mad is not the magazine for you, because your hero may be the next one we pick on.  (This is the last part of a Bill Gaines interview.  The above article is from The Peninsula Time Tribune, September 26, 1983.)"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 6 March 1991

Cover: A Time For PANIC

"When browsing through a Mad special with a color bonus from comic book issues, this reader imagines one with this cover blurb: Bonus 1950s-Type Comic Inside! MAD opens the closet and lets out our long-hidden sister: it's time for PANIC, gang!  Blurbs on the page facing the bonus comic add: PANIC, the only authorized imitation MAD ever had, returns from the 1950s.  After reading these stories, you'll know why we kept her hidden away all these years: they're really bad!  All kiddin' aside, MAD editor Al Feldstein wrote 'em, and mostly the same idiots who did MAD in those days drew 'em.  We are proud to present the best of PANIC as an extra treat for our readers, for a nostalgic glimpse into our past and mainly because this way we get back some of the money we lost on this rag!  The cover o r the facing-page illustration shows a red-faced Alfred E. Neuman vainly trying to keep stacks of Panic comics from spilling out of his closet, in full view of guests who gasp, gape and gawk at his secret shame.  My fantasy, dreamed of for years, should materialize, because Mad's debt to Panic is long overdue for payment.  Mad owes Panic for at least a measure of its fame, and most certainly for its very life at one time.  Feldstein, Publisher William M. Gaines and the majority of EC fans share the debt.  No doubt, some fans will question the charges made and will raise objections, minor and serious, to the proposal.  Let us dispose of the minor objections first.  Purists may question whether Mad should reprint Panic material under its banner.  Obviously, Gaines publishes only Mad today, so the original source of the material, the sanctity of both titles' archives remain intact.  EC fans should not object, and certainly most Mad readers, who are not necessarily EC fans, would not worry about it.  This brings up the question of whether today's Mad readers would want to see the old Panic stories, perhaps an imagined objection which may have prevented Gaines and Feldstein from acting before now (admittedly postulated without benefit of inside counsel with them).  Specific Panic stories will be discussed, but now it is enough to say that if non-fan Mad readers enjoy the reprints from early issues, and clearly they do because Gaines keeps re-publishing them, then readers certainly would enjoy the better Panic stories.  These stories equal the best from early Mad issues, in script, artwork and hilarity.  They should not be denied to today's Mad readers.  The question of dated material, an adjunct to the same objection, is academic.  Just as Mad's stories remain timeless, so do Panic's.  To choose just two examples, 'My Gun Is The Jury' and 'African Scream' could as well have been written today: Mickey Spillane's books remain in print, and The African Queen plays regularly on TV.  Time apparently has claimed as victim only the Mad story, 'What's My Shine,' about the McCarthy hearings, which disappeared from later printings of an early series Mad paperback.  Equally minor objections some fans may raise include the low prices for Panic and the high prices for Mad in the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and the death of Panic after only 12 issues, as if these were reasons to ignore the material.  Diverse factors, both real and artificial, determine the price of back issues, so many unrelated to the quality of the work, that this is summarily dismissed.  As for Panic's death after 12 issues, a combination of insidious business practices by some wholesalers and retailers, encouraged by the Comics Code Authority, and the general malaise caused by outside pressure that was infecting EC staffers in those days killed their comic book titles in 1955-56.  Panic, originally a New Trend, hanging on as a New Directions comic, died with them.  Who is to say whether Panic might have flourished, perhaps even rival Mad in the slick market, had not it been caught in EC's collapse?  Mad escaped this fate by chance alone, because Editor Harvey Kurtzman earlier had insisted on producing a slick, for reasons quite apart from fear of the Code.  Minor objections aside, now comes the big one, the one most voiced by fellow fans to this writer whenever he has mentioned his dream.  Some say that Panic was not as good as Mad.  Bluntly, they say that Feldstein could not write humor as well as Kurtzman.  This writer submits that those are falling into a subjective trap; when they say, 'Kurtzman was a better writer than Feldstein,' they really are saying. 'I prefer Kurtzman ...'  This writer is a Kurtzman fan, yet he recognizes that Feldstein was equally as talented.  Undeniably, Feldstein was the more prolific writer as well.  Kurtzman and Feldstein differ not in ability, but in style.  Feldstein was subtle, relying on carefully contrived, convoluted conversation and situation and, quite successfully, the 'running gag' device.  Kurtzman preferred the building and stretching of absurdity to its most impossible limits, and was a master of word-play.  Both had that indefinable knack which can be described as 'the EC touch.'  Feldstein's work does not suffer from a comparison of styles.  Feldstein's work did suffer from about the time the Code affixed its seal and restrictions on Panic, with issue number nine.  For example, Feldstein was forced into absurd explanation to convince the kiddies that the Captain in '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' (#11) was drinking root beer, nothing stronger, at the climax of the 'half-a-head' sketch.  Given the Code restraints, and the other pressures on EC in those days, no writer could excel, not Feldstein, not Kurtzman, not anyone who had worked only so recently under such editorial freedoms as had never before existed in comics.  Such pressure would have stifled a Steinbeck!  Feldstein has been quoted as saying that he had 'only a limited feel for humor writing,' as reported by Frank Jacobs in his 1972 book, The Mad World of William M. Gaines.  He unnecessarily short-changed himself with that remark.  Earlier, pre-Code issues of Panic featured some screamingly funny stories, funny because of the writing alone, to say nothing of the excellent artwork.  Had there been no Panic at all, the stories easily could have filled Mad.  There are stories enough for several reprint specials, but here are my favorites and my reasons.  Vote for your own when writing to Feldstein and Gaines to ask for the Panic tribute. 

1) 'African Scream' - easily the best-written parody, superior to many of Mad's early movie parodies, with brilliant artwork by Wallace Wood.  Who can forget those engine sounds?

2) 'The Night Before Christmas' - second on my list only because Feldstein did not originate the text.  Nevertheless he embellished the poem with devastating effect - it was to make Panic more famous than Mad for a while (more about that, later).  Bill Elder must have been quite insane when he illustrated this one - delightfully so!

3) 'The Lady or the Tiger' - hilarious retelling of an old fable.  The manufactured climax to the original is sheer inspired lunacy, with Elder obviously having a ball drawing it.  This one is worthy of a Monty Python TV sketch.

4) 'My Gun is the Jury' - This one is more of a Shock SuspenStories item than a satire, especially the ending, but nevertheless it should be included for its ever-pertinet commentary on popular literature.  Jack Davis' art lends itself well to the subject matter.

5) 'Little Red Riding Hood' - Feldstein proved that it was possible to satirize a satire, a 'Grim Fairy Tale.'  Jack Kamen's girls, little and large, are cute.  To this day, this writer chuckles uncontrollably over the running gag about the 'impenetra-impenetra-thick forest.'

Space does not permit going into detail about other favorites, such as 'Breakfast with the Fershlugginers,' 'Comeback Little Streetcar' and 'Strike It Richly.'  The last story mentioned presaged Feldstein and Gaines' delight in self-parody, which was to become Mad's longest-running gag in later years.  Mad almost did not have those later years, and if Panic had not existed at one time, Mad might have died.  To elaborate on earlier statements: While going through a 'growing up period,' when presumably he was 'too old to read comic books,' this writer still remembered certain funny stories he had read as a child, namely, 'The Night Before Christmas' and 'The Lady or the Tiger.'  He was positive that he had read them in Mad.  When he began to collect comics, he sought out Mad to enjoy reading them.  He was wrong, of course, but Panic's brilliance had been credited to Mad.  He knows of other fans who made the same error, quite simply because Mad was still around and Panic was not.  No one can estimate how many others remembered the great old Mad - while thinking of Panic stories.  The degree to which erroneous identification contributes to a magazine's fame may be debated, but not its basic truth.  More substantially, Panic #1 contributed to Mad's fame (and all other EC titles) by being banned in Massachusetts by humorless legal authorities, who were appalled at the treatment of 'The Night Before Christmas.'  'My Gun is the Jury' in the same issue almost resulted in the arrest of Gaines (see Jacobs' book).  No other single EC title, including Mad, can claim that distinction.  Panic's notoriety unquestionably helped Mad and other EC titles in those days by attracting readers who wanted to see what the fuss was about.  Some of them perhaps mistook Mad for Panic, and others, after reading Panic, wanted Mad also.  Again, only the degree may be debated.  Most conclusive and documented is the fact that Mad would have died had Panic never existed.  Jacobs' book tells how Gaines, beset with problems, thought he would have to kill Mad after Kurtzman departed.  Gaines believed Kurtzman was Mad, and no one else could handle it.  A business associate told Gaines to 'get Feldstein,' adding that he 'could never tell the difference' between Feldstein's Panic and Kurtzman's Mad (admitting that he was not the average reader).  Gaines got Feldstein, but even then did not know if he would continue Mad.  Former Panic editor Feldstein convinced Gaines that they could make Mad go.  Feldstein was right.  Mad's debt to Panic is clear and valid.  Unless there are legal or copyright problems about which this writer has no inside information, then the time has come for Gaines and Feldstein, through Mad, to pay a debt which has grown large and grows larger with each day.  Indeed, it is time for Panic.

[The above article is from Fanfare #1, Spring 1977, Written by Reggie Capes.  The same issue has a great Al Feldstein interview.]

Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

I want to apologize for the disorganization of this issue.  I wasn't sure if I wanted the lead story to run one or two issues.  I ended up with the whole article and a mess.  U.S. postage rates went up, guess what, so do the subscription rates.  See the bottom of this page for the new rates.  Something new: anyone who submits an original article of a page or more will receive an extra issue for free tacked on to their subscription.  Just remind me of this offer when submitting an article.  Finally, a wishlist for the folks at MAD.  Your 40th is fast approaching.  Give us a few things to help celebrate that milestone: Dick DeBartolo's MAD Minutes released for retail sale; The MAD LP/45 rpm/Insert records re-released on CD; A revival of The MAD Show; A new hardcover book; A new paperback book gift set; A MAD movie written by the MAD staff; A MAD convention; An Alfred E. Neuman doll; Another 40 years of great trash.  MADly, Ed

Classified Ads Dept. (Get Rich Quick! Division)

MAD Discography Dept:

This is a continuation of last issue's discography.  Some translation has been done, but I'm not an expert at foreign languages.  I have a hard enough time understanding English.

Foreign LP and 45rpm Records: MAD Wie Tont & Stohnt (MAD How It Sounds and Moans) (1981), LP RCA (CL28480, cassette CK28480SA) German release. [with 19 songs in German]

Filler Dept:

MAD magazine number 220 has two different covers.  One has the price at 75c and the other is 85c.  Otherwise, they are the same.  The 75c came from the newsstand and the 85c cover was sent to subscribers.  I heard rumors that number 221 also has the same variation.  Can anyone confirm this?  A photocopy of each cover would be excellent.  If anyone knows of other cover variations (other than number 28 and 123) let us know about those also.  The MAD Special number 76, Fall 1991 doesn't count.

Pre-MAD Items Dept: [with photocopies of four pins]

Do you have unusual Pre-MAD items?  Please send a photo or photocopy and history if available.  Let others know what is out there.  The following pinback buttons (from top left clockwise) are: 1) An anti-New Deal pinback from 1938.  It's a black and white cello button.  2) An anti-Roosevelt pinback.  Black ink on a yellow/orange background from 1941.  3) An advertising button from 1900-1910.  The comfort Soap cello pinback is in full color.  4) A Malmberg's department store button.  This black and white cello pinback is from the 1930s.  Thanks to Bob Barrett for supplying the photocopies.

Board Game MADness

In the fall of 1952, Entertaining Comics (EC) published the first issue of MAD.  EC started merchandising additional MAD material in December 1954.  Over the past 38 years, hundreds of MAD products have been released.  Many are now collectible - especially the MAD games.  The first MAD game was released in 1960 by the Transogram Company.  The only problem was that MAD never licensed it!  'Screwball The Mad Mad Mad Game?' reeked of MADness.  There was a boy on the box cover that looked like MAD 'mascot' Alfred E. Neuman, the artwork was MAD in style, and the game had multiple references to 'MAD.'  The directions contained the following: 'The more you play Screwbalol, the more you'll enjoy this mad MAD game!'  Clearly Transogram was trying to cash-in on the success of MAD.  Later that same year, William Gaines (MAD's publisher) threatened a lawsuit.  Transogram released a new version of the game to appease Gaines.  'Screwball a MAD MAD Game' had the boy's gapped-tooth mouth covered by a microphone, he wore headphones and his hat labeled him 'Screwball.'  The label on the board also changed to the game's new name, but the directions and playing field remained the same.  The object of the Screwball games: 'The first Boob to lose all his Mad Money ends the game and he is the winner.' Both of the Screwball games list at $35-$45 in Near Mint (NM).  In 1979, Gaines finally released an official MAD game, 'The MAD Magazine Game.'  This Parker Brothers' game cautioned players 'to play at your own risk - especially if you don't yet know the object of the game.'  Long-time MAD artist Jack Davis drew the cover.  This version was, by far, the most successful of the MAD games.  In the November 1981 Consumer Reports, 'The MAD Magazine Game' was listed as the third most popular game (70% of the kids liked it) behind 'Monopoly' (76%) and 'Life' (71%) but ahead of 'Don't Tip the Waiter' by a full 50%.  This game lists for $15-20 in NM.  During 1980 Parker Brothers released the 'MAD Magazine Card Game.'  It was modeled after the card game Crazy-Eights.  As with most of the MAD games, the object isn't to win, but to lose.  If you lose you win and vice versa.  You can find this game at $15 in NM.  MAD's third game was released in 1986, 'MAD's Spy vs. Spy.'  Antonio Prohias' Spy vs. Spy is the most popular game theme, (if count the three video games that were issued by First Star Software in the mid-1980s).  This Milton Bradley board game was billed as 'An explosive tunnel-building game of risk and rivalry. The game has 13 plastic bombs that don't really explode,' good thing, MAD didn't need any more lawsuits.  This game can still be found on toy store shelves.  During 1988, an advertisement for a new game appeared in MAD, but was it really a 'new' game?  Then you notice in the corner 'Not New OR Improved.'  'MAD Magazine the What-Me-Worry? Game' was simply a renamed reissue of the 'MAD Magazine Game.'  The original Jack Davis cover was missing most of the background art, and the packaging was slightly larger, but otherwise the game was the same.  With this game, MAD did what they have done so well with their MAD Specials and 80+ paperback books, that is, successfully resold old material.  This game can also be found today on the shelves of toy stores.  Not many games can match the popularity of the MAD games.  All have been fun to play and are a welcomed addition to the world of collecting.  The above article (written by yours-truly) was submitted to Name Of The Game.  It was scheduled to appear in the January 15, 1991 issue.  The magazine is published by William Longstreet, Box 721, Plainville, CT, 06062.

Filler Dept:

There has been 8 U.S. released calendars.  They cover the years 1976=1981 and 1989-1990.  The 1978 calendar was the MAD Silver Jubilee calendar.  1979's was the Don Martin calendar.  The 1980 version was the MAD GAG calendar.  Two promotional giveaway 16 page books were released in 1987.  They were Howling MAD and Monster MAD.  Both had the same cover as the fully paged Warner Books that bear the same title."  

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 7 May 1991
Cover: MAD's Name Is Far From Mud

"Even at a distance from the supermarket magazine rack, the cover, in the emblematic simplicity of Time magazine's logo, caught the eye with a bold image, something that looked like a cross between a big yellow pill and the monster shark in 'Jaws.'  It was Pac Man, who, identified as Irving Pac, was on the cover as 'Man of the Year.'  The magazine wasn't Time, though.  It was Mad.  Was Mad still around?  Editor Albert B. Feldstein was later to set your correspondent straight about Mad's healthy though economically pinched condition.  In its 30th year, domestic circulation stands at 1.25 million per issue, with 11 foreign language editions (the best-selling, for fascinating sociological reasons, is West Germany).  Newsstand sales are the heart of its income; it still doesn't take advertising, and it doesn't make a big deal about subscriptions.  Parker Brothers has put out two games, a Home Box Office Mad project is, according to Feldstein, is 'in the talking stage, and 150 paperback books have been out as collector's items.' And, 'we still don't do raunchy stuff.'  When Mad first came out in the early '50s, the Korean and Cold Wars were under way, America was getting its first suspicion of atomic apocalypse on an international scale, and a generation of veterans was taking a suburban withdrawal from the carnage of World War II - having been rubbed raw with stress and hoping their kids would know ultimate peace and tranquility.  Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the wings, ready to preside from the White House over a therapeutic torpor.  The kids didn't like it, though.  The '50s was a period in which the fantastically morbid efflorescences of EC comics ('Tales of the Crypt' and such) peopled the teen-age imagination with creepy monsters of the id, and Ray Bradbury, among other fine storytellers, gave us memorable stories of evil that would only be vanquished until the next issue.  Mad was the flip side to the horror (it's also published by EC Comics).  The gap-toothed image of Alfred E. Neuman asked 'What, me worry?,' the perfect answer to the new age of anxiety, as Mad set out on an antic series of satires that took on movie stars, pop themes, politics and current issues.  A lot of its humor was directed against parental structure, but when the '60s came along with its own real-life horror stories of assassinations, Vietnam, civil rights protests, Weatherman, campus slayings, the Manson family, and later, Watergate, Mad seemed for many of us to recede into juvenilia.  Feldstein tells us the magazine kept on strong just the same, 'Don't underestimate the potential for the sophistication of young people.  With television they see what's going on in the world.  We're getting a whole new generation of readers.'  MAD went through its changes too.  It went glossy for a while in order to seem more like a magazine than a comic book.  Then settled into its current format, glossy covers, black and white pages.  The current issue has its stories that don't quite come off; Mad's look at Other Uses for Live Lobsters (as paper towel holder and indoor directional TV antenna) seems a little forced, and a TV satire on stunt-man heroes called 'The Brawl Guy' is overlong, a cardinal sin with satire.  But Ron Reagan in 'Now Starring at the White House' is bitingly good as it shows him in a number of classic or well known dramatic roles.  In 'Hamlet,' for example, he stands in front of a cabinet meeting, staring out the window asking 'To Tax or not to tax, that is the question.'  Staffers mutter in the background, 'Does the President usually spend a lot of time asking himself questions?' asks one.  'Yeah!' replies another, 'That's why he gets so many goofy answers!'  An all-inclusive do-it-yourself country song kit (under the rubric 'Good Ol' Noise Dept.') could conceivably get a reader with the right combination into the Top 40.  An utterly inspired '21st Century Guide to American Wildlife' introduces us to, among others, The Spotted Junkfish ('... swims through waters polluted with chemicals and filled with debris from industrial plants.  Twin periscopic eyes extend above the surface, enabling him to see where he's going.');  The Giant Scraptoad; the Oily Tem ('Whenever there is an oil spill, you will find the Oily Tem thriving by the thousands in the sludge and goo'); and The Glowing Hare (Plutonius Reactus) ('Living as he does in the shadow of nuclear reactors, this creature has acquired a permanent radioactive glow' 'Because they have no natural enemies, almost all Glowing Hares live to a ripe old age.')  The Interstate Beaver, Backtrack, Screwmole and The Smoghawk('... fills his lungs with smog - then swoops down and paralyzes his victim with one breath') fill out the roster of new species.  A satire on '60 Minutes' called 'Six Minutes' also takes a look at nuclear power and the officious boobs who pooh-pooh its dangers.  Although the contributing artists and writers are identified on the masthead as 'the usual gang of idiots,' Mort Drucker and Jack Davis are old familiar names.  Others include Stan Hart, Don Martin, Frank Jacobs, Dave Berg, Bob Jones, Sergio Aragones, Paul Coker, Barry Liebmann, Al Jaffee, Diane Riccobene, Lou Silverstone, Chris Hart, Paul Peter Porges, Angelo Torres and Dick DeBartolo.  To whom is Mad targeted?  'You gotta be able to laugh at yourself,' says Feldstein, 'and know that people are out there lying to you, suckering you and cheating you.  Some people don't like what we do, but we try to stay within the bounds of taste, and not only are readers amused, but many have a sentimental feeling about us.'  Indeed.  The present Mad has enough going for it to afford present laughter for a new adult reader (though it's popular with 13-year-olds); it's also bracing to see how it validates our youth by saying we really weren't terribly more stupid then.  It remains an indispensable guidebook for the transition between the age of innocence and the age of skepticism.  [The above article is from the Los Angeles Times' Calendar, Sunday, July 25, 1982.  It appeared in The Comedy Column by Lawrence Christon.]

Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

Some news concerning the Sticker Checklist; When I told Rick about the idea and he agreed to do a cover I had my mind on the Fleer sticker set.  Rick thought all MAD stickers (bumper, inserts, etc.).  He did a great cover and I'm going to produce a Part II in a future issue.  I like his idea better than my idea.  I'm taking out the classified ads.  All commitments have been fulfilled.  There isn't much interest in the section and the space can be better utilized with some other feature.  I am also going to stop producing second printings of the fanzine.  Once the back issues are gone, you'll have to find them somewhere else.  I'll continue to produce approximately 5 extra issues to be sold as back issues.  For those whod like to know, the printings were: Issue #1 - 21 copies plus 10 second printing copies; Issue #2 - 25 copies plus 5 second printing copies; Issue #3 - 30 copies; Issue #4 - 30 copies; Issue #5 - 30 copies; Issue #6 - 25 copies; Issue #7 - 25 copies.  Thanks for the support.  MADly, Ed

Filler Dept: (Nothing is missing, I only had room for the title.)

The Complete MAD Sticker Checklist (drawing by Stoner)

This is the first edition of the Complete MAD Sticker Checklist.  I hope you enjoy it.  Before I get into the MAD Stickers  there are a few 'MAD' stickers and cards that were released prior to Fleer's release of a MAd Sticker set.  I put these in this checklist to make it as complete as possible.  Fleer released the first 'MAD' sticker in the early 1970s.  Crazy Magazine has the 'Bad' sticker.  It has 'Alfred' wearing glasses and the price of the magazine is $40.  The 1st series stickers also has the 'Bad' cover as part of a 9 piece puzzle, on the back of the checklist cards.  The sticker box also pictures the sticker.  Topps Chewing Gum released a 'MAD' sticker in 1980.  It was a parody of MAD called MUD.  It has 'Alfred' as a pig reading MUD's Dirty Jokes.  The caption at the bottom of the sticker is 'What, Me Wallow?'.  This sticker appeared in Topps Wacky Packages series.  It is sticker #145 of 198.  During 1981 Fleer released The Best Of CRACKED Magazine card set.  The box the cards shipped in has Sylvester P. Smythe saying 'I'm Not MAD'.  But the card set does contain a 'MAD' card.  Alfred E. Neuman appears on card #11.  It's the cover of CRACKED #107.  It would take another 2 years before the MAD Sticker set was released.  Fleer produced the set in 1983.  The set contains 192 die-cut stickers.  There are 128 'Collector's Stickers' which are numbered.  The remaining 64 are unnumbered and are called 'Trouble Stickers'.  All the stickers measure 2-1/2" x 3-1/2", which is today's standard gum card size.  The back of the stickers contain puzzle pieces or advertising.  There are Norman Mingo's Alfred E. Neuman and Don Martin Poster puzzles.  There are no known sticker variations.  These stickers are billed as Series #1.  There hasn't been another series released to date.  The sticker list will be as follows: Stickers will be listed front/back or front/front/back in the case of some Trouble Stickers.  The sticker backs will be the position in the puzzle or which advertising message is displayed.  The Alfred E, Neuman puzzle is 4 x 7 stickers in size and will be noted as AEN.  The Don Martin Poster puzzle is also 4 x 7 stickers in size and will be noted as DMP.  All puzzles are listed by row and column,  The top left Alfred E, Neuman puzzle piece would be AEN-A1, next card to the right would be AEN-A2, etc.  The two advertising stickers are: 'Collect all the Fleer MAD Stickert! Get A MAD Sticker Album ... it makes collecting FUN!' and is noted as MSA.  'Collect all the Fleer Fleer MAD Stickers!  Look for Alfred E. Neuman and Don Martin Poster Puzzles on Sticker Backs' will be noted as PPB

MAD Collector's Stickers, Numbered 1-128

MAD's Horrifying Cliches (Paul Coker Jr.)

1.  Draw A BLANK/MSA
2.  Ushering In An ERA/DMP-C4
3.  Redressing A WRONG/DMP-C2
4.  Chalking Up A VICTORY/DMP-C4
5.  Dangling A PARTICIPLE/DMP-C1
6.  Cooking Up An ALIBI/AEN-B3
7.  Batting An IDEA Around/AEN-B4
8.  Catching FORTY WINKS/DMP-C2
9.  Meeting A CRYING NEED/PPB
10. Driving A MEAN BARGAIN/DMP-C4
11. Casing A JOINT/DMP-C1
12. Hurling An INVECTIVE/DMP-C3

Alfred E. Neuman Family Tree

13. Alfred von Richtofen - the Red Baron/AEN-D3
14. Toulouse Neuman/AEN-D1
15. Benjamin Neuman/AEN-D3
16. Alfred the Chicken-Hearted/AEN-D1
17. Teddy Neuman/DMP-D2
18. Buffalo Alfred/DMP-D4
19. Adolph Neuman/DMP-D2
20. Pancho Neuman/DMP-D4
21. Abraham Neuman/AEN-D2
22. Tut-Ankh-Neuman/AEN-D4
23. Alfred E. Tojo/AEN-D2
24. Alfred the Hun/AEN-D4
25. Chief Crazy Neuman/DMP-D1
26. Alfred Caesar/DMP-D3
27. Alfred E. Bonaparte/DMP-D1
28. Alfred the XIV/DMP-D3

Spy vs. Spy (Friends To The End!), 2 x 3 (Antonio Prohias)

29. SVS-A1/AEN-A1
30. SVS-A2/AEN-A2
31. SVS-B1/AEN-A2
32. SVS-B2/AEN-A1
33. SVS-C1/AEN-A3
34. SVS-C2/AEN-A4

Don Martin's Wonderful World of Sound

35. SPLITCH/AEN-E3
36. SPWATCH/AEN-B4
37. SPLADAP/DMP-E4
38. PWANG/DMP-E4
39. doont/DMP-E4
40. POINSAPP/AEN-A4
41. BZZOWNT/AEN-E4
42. SIZAFITZ/DMP-E2
43. thuk/AEN-E2
44. GLITCH/AEN-E3
45. SHTOINK/DMP-E3
46. BUKKIDA ... BAKKIDADMP-E1
47. SKROINCH/DMP-E3
48. thort/AEN-A3
49. FLOIDOIP/AEN-E1
50. GA-SHPLUCT/DMP-E1
51. FWAK/AEN-E1
52. BWEEP/AEN-E2

MAD Odds (The MAD Book Of Odds) (Paul Coker Jr.)

53. It's 7 to 5 ... you'll get a whole new cluster of pimples the day of the Senior Prom./PPB
54. It's 3 to 2 ... it'll rain on your overnight hike./MSA
55. It's 3 to 1 ... when you get stuck in traffic, you'll have to go to the bathroom./PPB
56. It's 5 to 1 ... that when you get a Summer job, your Mother will come into the store every day to see how you're doing./MSA
57. It's 4 to 1 ... your Mother will take a 'terribly important' telephone message for you but she can't remember who it's from./PPB
58. It's 2 to 1 ... your nose will start to run when you don't have a handkerchief./DMP--F4
59. It's 4 to 3 ... your finger will slip just as you dial the last number of a long distance telephone call./AEN-F1 (This sticker doesn't have the MAD Odds 'logo')
60. It's 5 to 3 ... on the first day of your family vacation, your Mother and Father will have an argument, and then fight the entire trip./DMP-F2
61. It's 5 to 2 ... when you're selected to lead the assembly in 'The Pledge of Allegiance' you'll discover later your fly was open./DMP-F1

        'WAIT! Did You Remember To Leave A Light Burning To Discourage Burglars?', 4 x 4 (Don Martin)

62. WAIT-A1/AEN-G4
63. WAIT-A2/AEN-B1
64. WAIT-A3/AEN-A1
65. WAIT-A4/AEN-G1
66. WAIT-B1/DMP-G4
67. WAIT-B2/DMP-G2
68. WAIT-B3/DMP-G4
69. WAIT-B4/DMP-G2
70. WAIT-C1/AEN-G3
71. WAIT-C2/AEN-G1
72. WAIT-C3/AEN-G2
73. WAIT-C4/AEN-G4
74. WAIT-D1/DMP-G3
75. WAIT-D2/DMP-G1
76. WAIT-D3/DMP-G3
77. WAIT-D4/DMP-G1

        Alfred E. Neuman (Famous Quotes From Alfred E. Neuman), 4 x 2 (Norman Mingo)

78. ANP-A1/DMP-A4
79. ANP-A2/DMP-A1
80. ANP-A3/DMP-A3
81. ANP-A4/DMP-A2
82. ANP-B1/DMP-A1
83. ANP-B2/DMP-A4
84. ANP-B3/DMP-A3
85. ANP-B4/DMP-A2

        Don Martin's MAD Family, 3 x 4

86. DMM-A1/AEN-F4
87. DMM-A2/DMP-F4
88. DMM-A3/DMP-F2
89. DMM-B1/AEN-F2
90. DMM-B2/AEN-F3
91. DMM-B3/DMP-F1
92. DMM-C1/AEN-F1
93. DMM-C2/AEN-F2
94. DMM-C3/AEN-F3
95. DMM-D1/DMP-F3
96. DMM-D2/AEN-F4
97. DMM-D3/AEN-F1

        MAD Excuses (Why Didn't You Do Your Homework?) (Paul Coker Jr.)

98. You were too depressed by the latest death of a famous Rock Star!/AEN-F3; 99. The battery in your pocket calculator went dead, and all the stores were closed!/AEN-C2; 100. You had to register for the Draft! (Don't try this excuse if you go to an 'All Girls' School idiot!)/AEN-C1; 101. The air pollution was so bad that your eyes kept tearing, and you couldn't read a thing!/AEN-C4; 102. Last night was the concluding episode of a 22-part Educational TV Series, and you saw the first 21 parts!/AEN-C1; 103. You were taking Karate lessons so you can ride in the subways again!/AEN-F2; 104. You made an evening appointment at a beauty shop for a cornrow hair-styling ... and you didn't know how long it takes!/AEN-C3; 105. You look upon homework as an intrusion upon your 'space'!/AEN-C4

Famous MAD Covers

106. Issue #63, June 1961/DMP-B4 (Kelly Freas); 107. Issue #64, July 1961/DMP-B3 (Kelly Freas); 108. Issue #93, March 1965/DMP-B2 (Norman Mingo); 109. Issue #94, April 1965/DMP-B1 (Norman Mingo); 110. Issue #105, September 1966/DMP-B4 (Norman Mingo); 111. Issue #154, October 1972/DMP-B3 (Norman Mingo); 112. Issue #220, January 1981/DMp-B2 (Jack Rickard); 113. Cover art from issue #126, April 1969/DMP-B1 (Norman Mingo)

Famous MAD Sports, Cover art from MAD #212, 3 x 2 (Jack Davis)

114. FMS-A1/AEN-B3; 115. FMS-A2/AEN-B2; 116. FMS-A3/AEN-B1; 117. FMS-B1/AEN-B2; 118. FMS-B2/AEN-B1; 119. FMS-B3/AEN-B4

Famous MAD Sports, Cover art from MAD #213, 3 x 3 (Jack Davis)

120. MFS-A1/PPB; 121. MFS-A2/MSA; 122. MFS-A3/PPB; 123. MFS-B1/MSA; 124. MFS-B2; 125. MFS-B3/MSA; 126. MFS-C1/PPB; 127. MFS-C2/MSA; 128. MFS-C3/MSA

MAD Trouble Stickers - Unnumbered

With Alfred E. Neuman Puzzle Backs

Let Him Who Is Without Aim Throw The First Stone/AEN-A1; I Sleep On A BOARD For That Feeling Of HEALTH/Keep This Screen Closed! Don't Let The Flies Out!/AEN-2; Plant Trees Not Meters!/In Memory of those who Died waiting to see The Doctor/AEN-A3; Official U.S. Govt. Taxpayer's Car/Help! I'm Being Held Captive Under This Sticker By A Crazed Gnat./AEN-A4; Let's Bring Simplicity Back To Government! (caveman by Don Martin) Elect Elwood Pleebis/AEN-B1; This Sticker Was Not Here Yesterday!/This Sticker Suggested For Mature Audiences Only!/AEN-B2; This Is A Crashing Bore!/This Phone Booth Reserved For/AEN-B3; Warning: Grouch!/Mail Early Before They Raise Postal Rates Again/AEN-B4; We Gave! Now Get Off Our Back!/AEN-C1; This rorriM Out Of Order/Remain Here Until Yout Name Is Called/AEN-C2; Pepper Is In The Other Shaker, Idiot!/Caution! The Driver Of This Car May Be A Hazard To Your Health!/AEN-C3; By The Time You Have Finished Reading This, You Will Have Made An Idiot Of Yourself Going Around And Around And Around In This Revolving Door!/Warning! These premises Patrolled By Giant Frogs!/AEN-C4; We Gave About Five Years Ago!/AEN-D1; The Candy Checked By Taster No. 7 may He Rest In Peace!/What ... me worry? (Alfred E. Neuman)/AEN-D2; Salt Is In The Other Shaker, Idiot!/Burglar's Entrance/AEN-D3; Hey, Stupid! Glad To See You Know What You Are!/UFO's Are Real The Air Force Doesn't Exist!/AEN-D4; Keep Our City Clean! Curb Your Thoughts!/AEN-E1; Reserved (Alfred E, Neuman) For/Warning! Have The Correct Change Ready! The Driver Is Nasty!/AEN-E2; Down Up/This Sticker Is Stuck Right On The Wall/AEN-E3; Whew! Do You Have Bad Breath! (Alfred E. Neuman)/Hoo-Boy! You Should See The Sticker This One Is Covering Up!/AEN-E4; Be American! Offend All Minorities Equally!/AEN-F1; Found Your 'Will Be Back' Sign I Won't/Ecch! (Alfred E. Neuman)/AEN-F2; (zipper)/Legalize Freedom/AEN-F3; (Alfred E. Neuman) Stuck Here By A Sticker Licker!/Occupancy Of This Elevator By More Than 15 People Is Unlawful! But Loads Of Fun/AEN-F4; Do Not DEFACE This Wall By Placing STICKERS Here./AEN-G1; This Car Is Protected By A Sound Alarm/Warning! This House Is Occupied By Bores!/AEN-G2; The Food In This Place Stinks (Alfred E. Neuman)/Watch Out! You-Know-Who is in a Bad Mood today/AEN-G3; Coffee ... Tea ... Or Cuba! (airplane)/Count Your Change! Some Of Our Check-Out Clerks Are In Business For Themselves!/AEN-G4

With Don Martin Poster Puzzle Backs

In Memory Of The Thirty-Seven College Students Who Died Cramming Into This Phone Booth/DMP-A1; Go To Next Pole And Read The Sticker!/Don't Be Impressed This Is A Rented Car!/DMP-A2; Big Computer Is Watching You!/Keep Left/DMP-A3; Little Brother Is Snitching On You!/(Alfred E. Neuman) If You Read This Sticker, You Win!/DMP-A4; Please Post Bills Here!/DMP-B1; Please! This Windshield Is Clean! If You Press On It, You'll Leave Messy Fingerprints!/Put The Dignity Back Into Graft!/DMP-B2; Do It Yourself!/Write Your Own Trouble Sticker/DMP-B3; Danger! Ferocious Animal Enclosed! Do Not Feed Or Annoy! (Alfred E, Neuman)/Keep Right/DMP-B4; Stomp Out Violence!/DMP-C1; Ift You Give Me A Ticket, I'll Be Sure To Pay It Because I'm Not A Scofflaw/Occupancy By More Than 89 Persons In This Slumlord Apartment Is Perfectly Normal!/DMP-C2; (musical notes) Help Stamp Out Opera!/See Above Sticker/DMP-C4; Speak Out Against This Sort Of Thing!/DMP-D1; Go To Next Pole And Read The Sticker!/Super Express Counter One Item, Or Less/DMP-D2; Don't Look Now, But Somebody's Picking Your Pocket!/Keep America's Vacationlands Green! Bring Money!/DMP-D3; Caution! Very Sick Card Enclosed! (Alfred E. Neuman)/Above Sticker/DMP-D4; (cockroaches) Please Do Not Feed Or Annoy Our Cockroaches/DMP-E1; This Is Not An Unmarked Police Car!/Postman: No One Named 'Occupant' Lives Here! Please Return All Mail So Marked To Sender!/DMP-E2; Go To Next Pole And Read The Sticker!/sihT rekcitS sI detsaP nO sdrawkcaB/DMP-E3; (Alfred E. Neuman) Eccch!/Please Pay When Served You May Be Too Sick To Do It After You Eat!/DMP-E4; What -- Me Worry? (Alfred E. Neuman)/DMP-F1; Amalgamated Sticker-Lickers On Strike Do Not Patronize This Sticker!/Vote Intelligently! (hand flipping coin)/DMP-F2; Don't Blame Me! I Was Too Young To Vote!/Draw (Alfred E. Neuman) Me!/DMP-F3; Do Not Open until you have given me my Christmas Present!/Look Out You Are Standing on the Insect Olympic Games!/DMP-F4; Truth Is An Endangered Species!/DMP-G1; (Alfred E. Neuman) Clod/Waste Water Tastes Terrible!/DMP-G2; Go Over Your Check Carefully! The Waiters Here Are Dishonest!/Notice To All Dogs: This Hydrant will be closed from 10AM to 12 Noon for repairs. Please use the nearest tree or telephone pole.  The Fire Department/DMP-G3; This Is A Sickening Example Of Bad Taste! (Alfred E. Neuman)/Occupancy By More Than 100 People Is Unlawful 1200, If Used As A Disco/DMP-G4

With Advertising Backs

Dry Paint/Conserve Natural Gas! Save Your Belches!/MSA; I Want You/Look Before You Flush! You May Have Dropped Your Wallet!/MSA; This Cafeteria Condemned By The Board of Health/MSA; Made By Slave Labor In The Soviet Union/What -- Me Worry? (Alfred E. Neuman)/MSA; Watch The Librarian! She Moves Her Lips When She Reads!/Attention Repairman: (eyes) Your Customer Is Watching You!/PPB; This Car Is A Lemon/This Movie Is A Bomb!/PPB; (Alfred E. Neuman) I'm A MAD Reader/Save Fuel! Share Your Body Heat!/PPB; It's Time The 'Little People' Had A Voice In Government! (big feet & little person) Elect Sam 'Tiny' McPherson/PPB

Along with the MAD Stickers is the MAD Sticker Album.  It is 24 pages and has places for all the MAD Collector's Stickers.  There are two known variations of the MAD Sticker Album, one has 30 cents Cheap and the other has an oval with no price and under the oval is the word Cheap.  It allowed the dealers to set their own prices for the MAD Sticker Album.  The MAD Sticker Album is a registered trademark of MAD Magazine Designs and the copyright is 1983, E.C. Publications, Inc.  The front and back covers are in full color.  The inside covers and pages are blavk and white.

MAD Sticker Album

FC - Alfred E. Neuman sticking his tongue out (Norman Mingo); IFC - Cover art from MAD #99 (Norman Mingo); 1 - Horrifying Cliches (Stickers 1-12); 2 & 3 - Alfred E. Neuman Family Tree (Stickers 13-28); 4 - Spy vs. Spy Friends To The End! (Stickers 29-34); 5 - Spy vs. Spy (Antonio Prohias); 6 & 7 - Don Martin's Wonder World of Sound (Stickers 35-52); 8 - Spy vs. Spy (Antonio Prohias); 9 - The MAD Book Of Odds (Stickers 53-61); 10 - The Lighter Side Of ... Shopping, Fighting & Exams (Dave Berg); 11 - MAD's Eight Most Unpopular Protest Stickers (Staff); 12 & 13 - Don Martin Poster, billed as the pull out (Stickers 62-74); 14 & 15 - Famous Quotes From Alfred E. Neuman (Stickers 78-85); 16 - Don Martin's MAD Family (Stickers 86-97); 17 - One Afternoon On A Farm (Don Martin); 18 & 19 - Why Didn't You Do Your Homework? (Stickers 98-105); 20 & 21 - Famous MAD Covers (Stickers 106-113); 22 & 23 - Famous MAD Sports (Stickers 114-126); 24 - MAD Marginals (Sergio Aragones); IBC - MAD Fold In, A Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions 'Mother Goose' Fold-In (Al Jaffee); BC - Pay Toll Fifty Feet (Don Martin)

Sergio Aragones has MAD Marginals throughout the album.  They appear on pages 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 22, 23.  Don Martin has a 'marginal' on page 22.  Paul Coker Jr. has a 'marginal on page 18.  George Woodbridge has a 'marginal' on page 21.  Some of the throw away items that appeared with the sticker set are the wax wrapper, sticker box, album box and a display poster that was inside the sticker box.  The wax wrapper is yellow.  On the front is: Fleer Goes MAD, Stickers & Bubble Gum, Alfred saying 'Get A MAD Sticker Album ... it makes collecting fun!', 5 Stickers & 1 Stick Gum, and Fleer's code number #6674-A.  The back of the wrapper contains the following information: Collect & Save MAD Stickers!, Gum contents and Fleer's address, Registered trademark MAD Magazine Designs, Copyright 1983 E.C. Publications, Inc., and Made In U.S.A.  The MAD Sticker Box contained 36 packs of stickers.  Some of the graphics on the box are Alfred E. Neuman sticking his tongue out, a removable 30 cents Cheap tab, Buy These Stickers Before They're Banned, Fleer Goes MAD Stickers & Bubble Gum and Series No. 1.  The box also contained a store display.  Fleer labeled the box as Item 508.  The store display measures 17" x 5".  There is a picture of Alfred E. Neuman, this Alfred is different than the other Alfred graphics; his tongue is in.  The wording is They're Here Fleer Goes MAD Stickers & Album.  The last item is the MAD Sticker Album Box.  This box is simple in design.  There is the 30 cents Cheap removable tab and 'Fleer Goes MAD Sticker Album ... it makes collecting fun1'.  Fleer labeled this box Item 509.  If anyone finds a variation of any of the items in this list please let me know.  I want to thank Rick Stoner for a great cover to The Complete MAD Sticker Checklist.

Filler Dept:

Bennett Barsk sent me a couple of other MAD cover variations: Issue #171 has two different prices, 40 cents and 50 cents.  Issue #227 has two dofferent prices, 90 cents and $1.00.  Grant Geissman has two different covers of issue #78, 25 cents and 30 cents.  And issue #303 has two different covers, one has the UPC bar and the other has 'Hussein Asylum Edition.'  The latter was the issue sent to the troops in Operation Desert Storm.  This brings the count to 7 issues with cover variations.  I won't count #221 until confirmed.  If you know of others, please send them to me," 

THE MAD PANIC No. 8 July 1991

Cover: MADNESS

"In 1952 Entertaining Comics (EC) issued the first 'Mad.'  Hundreds of items have been released, many now collectible, including the Mad games.  1960 gave us the Transogram 'Screwball A Mad Mad Mad Game,' An unlicensed product, this box pictured an Alfred E. Neumanish boy with otherwise overtly 'Mad' design; instructions containing: 'The more you play Screwball, the more you'll enjoy this Mad Mad Game!'  Trnasy was clearly trying to cash in on the success of the Mad Comics.  Later that same year publisher of 'Mad,' William Gaines, threatened a lawsuit.  A re-released version of the game: 'Screwball A Mad Mad Game,' had the boy's gapped-tooth mouth covered by a microphone, wearing headphones and a hat labeling him 'Screwball.'  The board was altered to have the new title, but otherwise the game was like the first version.  Object of 'Screwball': 'The first boob to lose all his 'Mad' money ends the game and he is the winner.'  Finally in 1979, Gaines  released an authorized 'Mad' game, 'The Mad Magazine Game.'  A Classic 'Mad' artist, Jack Davis, drew the Parker Brothers cover which instructed us 'to play at your own risk especially if you don't yet know the object of the game.'  Consumer Reports 1981 listed this title as the third most popular game on the market.  Parker released the 'Mad Magazine' card game in 1980, styled after Crazy Eights.  The last new 'Mad' game was released in 1986 by Milton Bradley: 'Mad's Spy vs Spy, Explosive tunnel-building game of risk and rivalry.'  Included are 13 plastic bombs, unfortunately the nonxeploding variety.  'The Not New Or Improved Mad Magazine What Me Worry?' game appeared in a 1988 'Mad' issue.  But as with many of their new products, they simply repackaged the 'Mad Magazine Game' and presto new product!  Not many character games can match the popularity of the 'Mad' games; all are outrageous to play and collect.

Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

First I want to thank Michael for doing a great interview and getting Sergio Aragones to sketch something for The MAD Panic.  I also want to thank Sergio for doing the same!  I put the lead article, 'MADNESS,' in the fanzine again for one reason.  In issue #6 I printed what I submitted to Name of the Game.  This is the article which was printed in the magazine.  It is interesting to see what editorial changes took place.  Any article that is submitted to the fanzine is printed with context intact.  I may correct and/or add grammar errors and spelling mistakes, but that is the extent of my editorial privilege.  So get your pena, pencils or crayons out and write an article for this fanzine!  Bob Barrett let me know that I missed a sticker in the checklist.  The Trouble Sticker missing is: This Video Game Belongs To/Attention Burglars! It's OK To Break Into This House, But Please Don't Feed The Savage Doberman Pinscher./DMP-C3.  If you have any War Bond envelopes that have the Me Woory kid on them, please send me a photocopy.  I'll be doing an article on them in an upcoming issue.  I need to know how many different versions are out there.  Also if you have any information about the envelopes I'd like to hear from you.  MADly, Ed

5 Questions With ... Sergio Aragones

Recently The MAD Panic contributor, Michael Lerner, interviewed popular MAD artist and GROO creator - Sergio Aragones at the NorthCoast Comic Con. in Cleveland, Ohio.  Here are some excerpts from that interview:

Q: Why have you been the only MAD artist successful in coming out with another character (GROO)?  Especially with all the other talent there at MAD?

A: ... because the other people are sane.  At MAD I get paid over $2000 a page just for drawing it.  So I get highly paid per page.  So why should I go to a comic book store that's paying me $100 per page?  You tell any normal artist ... to the comics they would laugh at your face.

Q: But isn't MAD limited on what you can do?  I mean I know that Don Martin has tried to launch a book ...

A: ... he's trying over there in Europe.

Q: Scandinavia.

A: Simic (The Swedish publisher).  Because he works different over there.  If we're talking comic, we're talking $1000 a page.  You get interested.  I love comics.  I have always loved comics.

Q: So the other MAD artists laugh at you about GROO?

A: Yes.  You see usually the process is you start in comics, then you go into magazines, then you go into the movies.  (Imitates voice) 'I don't do comics.'  'But I saw your name?'  'No, that wasn't me, that was my crazy brother!'  Comics are sort of like the lowest denominator on the economic scale on acceptability.

Q: Would you like to have worked on MAD when it was a comic book?

A: Yes!  One of my biggest worries all my life was not knowing if I had ... their age level.  If I had been there (in the U.S.) when MAD was started ... If Harvey Kurtzman would have used me.  That was always by big dilemma knowing that.  When they talk about the old MAD -- Where would I fit?  Would I be good enough to have fit there?  So that always worried me.  Until, Harvey asked me to draw one of the pages for the new Harvey Kurtzman book (Harvey Kurtzman's Strange Adventures).  That was something.  Yes I would have (fit in), if I had been old enough when those things were happening.

[Original drawing on page 4 of Sergio reading The MAD Panic and Alfred E. Neuman laughing]

Q: When you came back to MAD in 1962, was is totally different you felt in attitude, than when it was the comic book?  By then it was an established magazine ...

A: (Interrupt) ... No, no.  That was an attitude of people who were so loving of the format of comics they accept that it wasn't a comic book anymore.  It was fun when they (MAD) were making fun of comics when it was in comic book form.  But once you stop doing only comics; and you are making satires of movies; and making a magazine ... Then a magazine format is just ideal for this.  There were just a few hardcore fans who thought like that.

Q: Since you've been at MAD, what's been the biggest changes you've seen at the magazine?

A: There haven't been that many changes.  We have been doing roughly the same thing.  There have been some editorial changes since (Al) Feldstein left.  We now have younger people doing artwork.

Q: Did you notice a change when Feldstein left?  He was supposedly very rigid.

A: His job was just to keep the magazine going and he had certain things he wanted to see.  With a new editorial staff being a younger generation, they are more open to new people, to new formats.  But, Feldstein was more strict with the quality of the work.  I mean, there was no way a bad joke would get past him.  And now with a little more lax attitude, probably some bad gags will get past.

Q: Were you ashed at all to take over 'Spy vs. Spy?'

A: No.

Q: Have you ghosted it at all?

A: No.  It is one of the very difficult strips to do.  No I have never done anything with 'Spy.'  I know Antonio Prohias well.  I went to see him recently in Florida.

Q: And how is he doing?

A: Oh, he's doing all right, but he's an old man.  He's not so healthy.

Q: Do you think that Bob Clarke will continue working the strip?

A: Probably.  He's doing a very good job.

Q: How would you feel if someone took over your 'Marginals?'

A: They cannot take over my 'Marginals' because then they would be their 'Marginals.' (laughs)

Q: Well one thing that's interesting is that they keep it as 'Spy vs. Spy' and they do sign it but in this sort of cryptic way.  I'm not sure if a lot of people are aware that Prohias is not doing it anymore.

A: Well, if they know a little bit about artwork, they will realize that's not Prohias' work.  It should say 'Created by Prohias.'

Q: How was it working with Don Martin, helping him out?

A: Who's helping him?

Q: Some of the ideas were your ideas and he would do the artwork.

A: Oh yeah ...

Q: Later on there was the whole thing about him leaving.  A lot of people said that they were ghosting him anyway.

A: Many of the ideas were written by Al Jaffee ... I wrote some of the ideas ... And a lot of them were written by Don Edwing who is now drawing for MAD.  But Don (Martin) is doing all right.  I also saw him in Florida.  He's trying very much to develop the European market.  And he's been able to do so.  He's very popular over there.  So he's doing alright.  He has his own magazine over there called 'The Don Martin Magazine.'  It's published in German, in Sweden.  So he's doing pretty good.  He has a studio now.  You can see some of his artwork when he puts it out in CRACKED.

Q: Have you been approached by CRACKED to do some work for them?

A: No, I know them well but I work for MAD.

Q: They have talked about raiding some of the MAD artists.  I guess Don Martin was their biggest coup so far.

A: I don't know exactly what happened, but I'm pretty sure that Don Martin ... I don't know if he approached them or they approached him?  I really don't know.

Q: But if they came to you with an idea and money would you go ...

A: No.

Q: You're really loyal to MAD.

A: (Angrily) It's not being loyal to MAD!  What's the point!  What is this -- raiding corporations?  I wouldn't work for CRACKED.  If I left MAD to work, I work on my other stuff!  How can I work for a magazine that has 1/10th of the circulation ... that is an imitation of MAD!  There would be no point!  They have very funny stuff but what would be the point to go from one place to another?  I don't see the logic in this.

Q: Are you doing any more animation projects?

A: I don't have time now, with GROO taking up roughly all the time.

Q: So everything we see on BLOOPERS is ...

A: .. It's old stuff.

Q: Do you like working in the animation field?

A: Not particularly.  It takes too much work.

Q: You just do the original concepts and they (the animation company) take it from there?

A: No, I work as a production company.  I hire the studio and they do what I tell them to do.

Q: Everything we see on BLOOPERS is your characters, your drawings, etc.?

A: Yes.  My concepts too.

Q: Did you do any work on the Hanna-Barbera MAD Special? (Editor note: This was in reference to a cartton special completed last year that never has aired.)

A: No.  They are very cheap.

Q: Hanna-Barbera?

A: Yes.  They were going to use me as a consultant ... and they would have to pay me for consulting ... and they never called me back again.

Q: It would seem a natural for you to work on something like that.

A: Sure.

Q: What about in the original MAD Special that never aired back in the '70s?  Did you do any work on that?

A: No.

Q: You have done some on camera work.  Any plans to do that?

A: No, I even refuse to go to interviews now.  It doesn't help anything.  It's just a personal promotion.  So I don't care for that anymore.  I enjoy sitting at my desk and working.

Q: Do you like working on a large scale drawing where you have all these little details going on?  Is that what you excel at?

A: Not necessarily ... I enjoy doing it.  Like in every GROO I have massive whole pages of cartoons because it needs it, See?  (points to a GROO comic page) I enjoy that.  I enjoy drawing.

Q: How much time would a spread like that take?

A: 40 years.  I mean it's not the time that it takes, it's how long it takes to learn how to do it.  How much actual time?  I don't know ... many hours.

Q: You have a big two page spread coming up.  Is that something you have to get psyched up for?

A: As a professional, I spend some time writing the issue.  When it is all written, I start inking the issue and I put down the large spread with the drawings aside.  And then I do a little every day so I don't get very tied up.

Q: Has there ever been any talk of you designing artwork for a game?  For instance a GROO game?

A: No, I'm planning to ... but I haven't had that much time to develop any specialized thing.

Q: Of all the artists from MAD, and just in general ... It seems like you get out to many of these conventions.  Is there any special reason why you do that?

A: I don't know ... I get asked and I go. (Laughs)

Q: Do you like meeting the fans?

A: Ah yes, that's the reason you come.  When you are a cartoonist, you are home working by yourself.  When you come here, you get to meet all the people.  It's a lot of fun.  That's what it is.  I don't get any profits signing books.  It's just fun meeting the fans.

Q: One final question, you have worked with MAD now for 29 years.  Do you see yourself working there for another 29 years?

A: If they keep buying my cartoons.  One of the great things with MAD is that you don't have to have a contract.  If you don't deliver, they don't buy it.  If they don't pay, you don't have to work for them.  No one is forcing anyone to work for MAD.  It is an open thing.  I can leave MAD anytime I feel like it and I don't want to leave it.  I have a very comfortable arrangement over there.

Q: Speaking as a fan and a collector ... we're glad to have you here.

A: Thank you.  Thank you.

Pre-MAD Item Dept: (with copy of postcard drawing: 'Me Worry?  Heck no!  I work for the guv'mint')

If you have any item that dates before EC adopted the 'Me Worry?' kid, we would appreciate seeing it on this page.  A complete description if possible should be sent along with the photocopy or photograph.  Bob Barrett sent me this postcard.  The artist is R. Seale.  The full color postcard has a postmark from 1955, but we are not sure of the printing date.

Outside of the MAD Scope Dept. (Freelancing Division): (with photocopy of a Paul Coker Jr. greeting card: 'Brother, I wanted to find out where you were celebrating your birthday, so I asked the police to put hounds on your scent.')

This section will detail some of the work the Usual Gang of Idiots have done other than their work for MAD.  Send me copies of whatever you have.  This unsigned Paul Coker Jr. greeting card was released by Hallmark during 1990.  The inscriptiom (inside) is: 'They followed a beer truck for 30 mles! Happy Birthday'  The card item number is 100B 591-1 copyright Hallmark Cards, Inc.

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 9 September 1991

Cover: Mystery Lifts a Little

"Late last June, just before taking off on vacation, we presented Alfred E. Neuman, the silly-looking youth who appears regularly in Mad magazine, as a Mystery Guest, and we asked aid in determining his origin.  Well, you didn't let us down, but after the vacation came a hot August and your letters sort of got filed away during the doldrums.  Do you have any idea how long doldrums can last?  Would you believe until now?  Anyway, the file has turned up and we are prepared today to offer a few clues as to Neuman's emergence on the American scene.  According to Robert L. Hartman, of Glendale, Queens, the boy's likeness, along with the slogan 'It Didn't Hurt a Bit,' was used by Brooklyn's famous out-door tooth-puller of the 90s, Painless Parker.  Parker mounted his dentist's chair on a horse-drawn wagon, and he hawked his professional skill in the streets, sometimes using a brass band to attract customers.  When possible, he would pick a site under an El structure, and he would time his extractions with the passing of overhead trains, thereby drowning out the screams of patients.  Neuman's picture grinned from the side of Parker's wagon.  Other readers recall seeing Neuman's portrait in dentist offices at the turn of the century, and still others remember the picture , still with the 'It Didn't Hurt a Bit' caption, being used in silent movie slides which advertised the dexterity of various dentists.

Came With Free Catalog

Manhattan's J. Madden writes: 'Forty years ago when I was a lad I regularly received a free catalog from the Johnson Smith Co. filled with all sorts of goodies for the young boy, included was a poster called 'Why Worry?' with the face of Alfred E. Neuman.  Most of today's prints have removed much of the boy's character.'  Several readers point out that the picture, along with the caption 'Yeah! I voted for Roosevelt,' was used as part of a smear campaign against FDR in the mid-30s.  Then, there's this from Mrs. Harold E. Ehrick of Oceanside, L. I., and it may give us a good lead: 'I had no idea that Alfred E. Neuman was so obscure.  He happened to be a character in one of my favorite books when I was a little girl. 

On Last Page of 'Fambly Album'

'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 am 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 pictures, Alfred reveals all the family secrets, and on the last page is the picture which I have seen so often in Mad magazine.  The last time I saw the book was about 25 years ago when I left home to be married.  It may still be in my father's attic.  The next time I'm there I'll see if I can locate it.'  Then this from Anna D. of Hamden, Conn.: 'I am 84 years old (my oldest reader?) and if memory serves me right your Mystery Guest is the Yellow Kid.  Should appreciate it if my name isn't used, my age rather.'  Okay, Anna D., we'll keep part of the secret, but Alfred and the Yellow Kid were not one and the same.  Now, is anyone real sure where Alfred came from?  (The above article was written by Charles McHarry.  It appeared in the February 7, 1967 issue of the New York Daily News.  Thanks to Stan Horzepa for sending it to me.

Guest Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Others Talk Division):

One of the more interesting aspects of MAD collecting, is all of the 'side categories' you can get into.  It's easy to delve into records, postcards, toys, games, or original artwork, etc., if you decide to expand your collection beyond having all of the comics, magazines, and paperbacks available.  One area I have concentrated in, is collecting articles written about MAD and related topics.  It's amazing how much has been written about MAD: Its origins, creators, artists, successes, even its enemies.  From consumer magazines to popular fanzines, I have found over 166 articles so far, and the list continues to grow.  If you're interested in starting such a collection, a good place to begin is your local library.  There you should use the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature to help you locate articles.  At certain libraries, you can use databases like Newsbank and Info Track to expedite your searching.  These databases are accessed by computer and are very simple to use.  Just type in the word 'MAD' and away you go.  Keep in mind that most libraries don't have enough storage space, so most of their old copies of magazines and newspapers are on microfilm or microfiche.  You should however be able to make good copies from these sources.  But sometimes, main libraries or college libraries even keep the originals for copying.  When I first began collecting MAD articles, I generally started with a copy.  Later, I tried to find the original copy of the magazine or newspaper the article appeared in.  Original copies of most magazines are inexpensive, but somewhat difficult to find.  If you want to have original copies, look in the phone book for newsstands or stores that specialize in back-issue magazines.  Sometimes even comic book shops have these magazines for sale.  Another place to look is at a garage sale or local flea market.  I have found many original copies this way.  You have to be a good detective when searching for original copies.  You'll have to go through endless piles of magazines before you hit paydirt.  But nothing is more thrilling that finding that elusive magazine you have bee searching for.  And finally, to give you a headstart, I have listed 5 good articles to begin your collection with.  Have fun and good hunting!  1) Reader's Digest Feb. 1956 - 'Progress in Cleaning Up the Comics' by T.E. Murphy.  Gaines is criticized.  MAD is called a 'thriller.'  (Mistaken for E.C. Crime magazine.)  Many letters attacking this article appear in MAD #28, including an apology from the author.  2) Playboy Dec. 1957 - 'Little World of Harvey Kurtzman' by Rolf Malcom.  Article about H. Kurtzman featuring numerous illustrations and examples from the various magazines he created including MAD, Humbug and Trump.  3) Newsweek April 9, 1962 ' 'Who's MAD?'  Article about MAD's 10th anniversary.  Featuring photos of Gaines and Feldstein, plus cover art from MAD #62.  4) The New York Times Magazine July 31, 1977 - 'The MAD Generation' by Tony Hiss and Jeff Lewis.  Article about MAD and how it influenced an entire generation of readers.  Includes quotes from Robert Crumb and original Mingo artwork.  5) The Miami Herald/Tropic May 20, 1990 - 'Fighting MAD' by John Dorschner.  Cover and feature article about how Don Martin supposedly got 'screwed' by MAD. (Gaines' reply in subsequent issue,)  MADly, Michael Lerner

5 Questions With ... Dave Berg

I contacted Dave Berg twice through the U.S. Mail system.  Below is the interview we conducted.  I want to thank him for taking time to answer my questions.

Q: You started with E.C. on Two Fisted Tales #29.  You had worked on Atlas Comics' Men In Action, so had Russ Heath and Bernie Krigstein.  How did you join E.C. and did you play a part in bringing Heath and Krigstein to E.C.?

A: I had nothing to do with heath and Krigstein coming to MAD.  I was Russ's editor at Timely (Marvel Comics) in the late '40s.  Krigstein I remember vaguely.  I had shared a studio with Kurtzman, he asked me to join them at E.C.  It wasn't until several years later that I finally did.

Q: When Kurtzman asked you to join E.C., did he have you in mind for a horror comic?  Your only work for E.C. was the October 1952 issue of Two Fisted Tales.  This happens to be the release date of MAD #1 (October-November 1952).

A: Kurtzman and I went to Jr. High together.  Later we shared a studio.  I was with Stan Lee's Marvel Comics for fifteen years.  Kurtzman asked me to do a job for him.  He questioned me about my war experiences.  When I Mentioned I was also on a mortar squad, he wrote a special story for me on that subject.

Q: You started with MAD starting with issue #34.  How did your previous work in the comics field (such as Junior Happ Comics and Meet Merton) help shape the humor you brought to MAD?

A: To a writer, every experience is fodder for creative endeavors.  Those humorous comic books I worked on were internship for the doctorate at MAD.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Lighter Side ... feature?  It has to be one of the more popular MAD contributions.

A: MAD satirized many facets of our civilization.  But they neglected human nature, psychology, foibles, I added that.  I based it on my high school cartoons using truth in humor.

Q: They say 'Truth Hurts.'  Have you received many complaints from various people or groups that you have shown in the light?

A: I almost never get negative mail (knock on wood).  Once I wrote about punks who mug old ladies.  Some people misunderstood and wrote critical letters.  In The Lighter Side of ... I have been waging a campaign against guns.  One hunter wrote complaining.  Mostly I get letters from professors and psychologists in schools, who have me as required reading.  I've enclosed a copy of a letter from a Rabbi, who teaches a high school class.  (Ed. Note, the letter is reprinted at end of interview.)  He based a whole course on me.  He also sent a copy of a test paper on my work that he gave to his class.  Frankly, I couldn't answer all the questions about myself.  There was a psychiatrist who filed my Lighter Sides in categories.  When a patient would tell him their troubles, he would pull out one of my sequences and say, 'See, it happens to everyone.'

Q: Did you read Vernard Eller's The MAD Morality?  Did it inspire you to write your books My Friend God and Roger Kaputnik and God?  Can you tell us about those books?

A: Vernard Eller's book had no influence on me.  I was already influenced.  I came from an intellectual religious family.  In college I took courses in theology.  When the college kids went wild in the sixties, the B'nai B'rith organization asked me to speak to the Hillel clubs around the U.S. and Canada.  Hillel is a Jewish college organization.  I wrote many different lectures that were very well received.  My book publishers heard about them and asked me to put them in book form.  The positive fan mail was overwhelming.  More than twenty years later I am still getting such mail from around the world.  I was given an honorary degree in theology for those books.

Q: Well you must have influenced Eller, you are the only one of the Usual Gang of Idiots he names.  Your artwork is throughout the book and he has this to say about you, 'And Dave Berg's is the pen that stabs this insight home with a thrust that may go deep enough to make a difference.'  Do you believe your work is making a difference and how so?

A: Although I am not ritualistically religious myself, I am deeply involved in ethics and morals of religion.  I've learned enough about comparative religions to be able to lecture on the subject and to write two books.  Twenty years later, I am still getting positive mail from around the world, concerning those books, most of them say, 'You made me laugh, you made me cry, you made me think.'

Q: Is Roger Kaputnik your alter-ego?

A: My mother couldn't remember my name, so invented one she could remember - that was Roger Kaputnik.  In German Kaputnik means broken.

Q: Do you have any new projects in the works that we may be seeing within a year or two?

A: A couple of books and a couple of syndicate strips.

Q: Can you share the names of the strips and a little more about them?

A: At this point, I'd rather not go into what is in the works.

Q: You've never done a cover for MAD.  Would you like to?  Any ideas on what it would be?  You get to write and draw the cover.

A: I used to write cover ideas.  Turning out 5 pages takes all my time.  There is no time for covers.

Q: Speaking of time ... What do you want to do when you retire?

A: If GOD is willing, I will never retire.  Norman Mingo worked until he was 85.  Michelangelo, Picasso, Marc Chagall, and Georgia O'Keefe worked into their nineties.

Q: Best of luck with your future projects and thank you for taking time to answer these questions, we appreciate it.

Below is the letter Dave Berg referenced.

Dear Mr. Dr. Prof. Rabbi Dave, Teaching teenagers to see the depth that life holds has never been the easiest of tasks.  It certainly was not easy when I was a teenager in the 60s, and its sometimes frustrating to be on the other end as I face the teenagers in the 90s.  When I was in my early 20s, you enabled me to see the depth with My Friend God and God and Roger Kaputnik.  I had always enjoyed - and I still enjoy 'The Lighter Side of ...', but these volumes made a difference that continues to inspire my life.  I have been using my old-worn copies in my High School classes at the Synagogue.  I admit that I have been photocopying without permission, but - as you know - the books have been out of print for years.  If I had my way, I would not hand out copies of the prayerbook when kids go off to college, but I would make sure everyone had Dave Berg.  The concept of God as a Friend has really made a difference to our Synagogue, and it has made quite a difference in the way people perceive the traditional worship service.  People here - especially the kids - tell me that there is so much warmth that now comes from the pages of the Siddur, and that they can now find new meaning from the most ancient words.  Perhaps one of the highest compliments I have ever received was when someone called me 'Rabbi Kaputnik'.  I think that this compliment should be passed on to you.  With warmth and with deep respect, Richard Sherwin rabbi.

Filler Dept:

I found this pinback button (Don't Get MAD) at the local flea market.  Could Pre-CRACKED items predate Pre-MAD items?  Any other Pre-CRACKED items out there?  The pinback was released by The Perfection Cigarettes Factory No. 42, 4thh District N.C.  Other information on the back includes: The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, N.J.  Patented July 21, 1896.   I don't know if the Hoag Co. is the maker of the cigarettes or the maker of the pinback button.  The pinback has white letters on a red background.

When Is A Parody A Plagiarism?

A case involving Mad magazine has occasioned a nice sane decision about when a parody is a plagiarism.  In the famous 'Gaslight' case, a Jack Benny spoof of that celebrated melodrama was held to violate the copyright in the original play.  Since then, parodists, whose tongues should surely be permitted to wag freely in this sad, sad world, have been under some restraint.  The Mad case should help.  The case arose out of an issue of Mad containing a section entitled 'Sing Along With Mad.'  In the words of the court this section was a 'collection of parody lyrics to 57 old standards which reflect the idiotic world we live in today.'  The words were satire and after the title of each of the parodies Mad stated that it was to be sung to the tune of a particular named song.  The plaintiffs owned the copyright in 25 of the 57 songs, and claimed that the words used by Mad plus the directive that they were to be sung to the tune of a named song infringed his copyrights.  The plaintiff argued that the statement that Mad lyrics were to be sung to the tune of designated songs 'has the force and effect, as if the music ... had been actually printed with the defendant's lyrics.'  The court found no merit in this argument, saying 'It is difficult to see how music can be copied when it is not reproduced.  Furthermore, if the reader is familiar with the music, it can only be the result of the plaintiff's efforts.  Defendants are not the source of this knowledge.'  On the whole, the court thought that the lyrics were not plagiarism either.  It distinguished such earlier cases as the 'Gaslight' case on the grounds that those cases involved true parodies, which are copyright infringements, because, said the court, in them 'the language and style of an author or poem or other work is closely imitated or mimicked.'  But here, the court went on, ' defendants have not parodies plaintiff's lyrics.  Rather, they have satirized, in original words and thoughts, several aspects of modern life.'  Here there was no 'colorable alterations' or 'evasive imitation' except, perhaps, the court said, as to the songs 'Always' and 'There's No Business Like Show Business.'  As to these two, the court stated there was so much similarity between the Mad lyrics and the original lyrics that the question of plagiarism should be the subject of the trial.  The others, the court held, were on their face not actionable. (The above, written by Harriet Pilpel, is from the December 30, 1963 issue of Publishers' Weekly.)

Pre-MAD Item Dept: (photocopy of postcard: 'ONE OUT of our Sunday-School Class Last Sunday 'Was That Somebody You?' listen to our pleading: Don't Let that Happen Again!  we want every member present every Sunday')

If you have any item that dates before E.C. adopted the 'Me Worry?' kid, we would appreciate seeing it on this page.  A complete description, if possible, should be sent along with the photocopy or photograph.  This postcard contains an early likeness to the 'Me Worry?' kid.  Copyright 1912, The S,P. Co. Hammond Pub. Co., Milwaukee Wis.

Outside of the MAD Scope Dept. (Freelancing Division): (photocopy of Burger King 'Do Not Litter!' drawing by Mort Drucker)

This section will detail some of the work done by the Usual Gang of Idiots for others outside of MAD.  Send me copies of whatever you have.  Mort Drucker has his artwork appearing on Burger King bags.  They started using this design about a year ago.  Burger King has released the design on different size bags and with different messages they want the consumer to see.  This bag is copyrighted 1990 Burger King Corporation."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 10 November 1991

Cover: The Parody of MAD

"Since its inception, MAD has always relied on the 'parody' to get its often. very sarcastic humor across.  Whether it was making fun of TV, Hollywood or the comics, MAD's 'Humor in a Jugular Vein' approach, often left the subject seriously, if not mortally wounded.  But if the proverb 'People who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones' is true, then MAD itself has had its windows broken from time to time.  Over the past 40 years, many publications have done their own parodies of MAD.  Some were good-natured in content - almost paying homage to the MAD style.  But others were quite pointed and downright mean.  The following represents some of the more interesting examples:

Crazy Magazine (Charlton) Vol. 4, #8, March 1959 - 'BAD'  -  Probably the first parody of MAD - written as a tribute.  Included is a Bob & Ray feature. Alfred E, Neuman, a Don Martin type feature, and an ad spoofing MAD merchandising. (Note: This issue also featured Jack Davis art.)

Katy Keene Pin-Up Parade #8, Fall 1959 - 'SMAD'  -  Bill Woggin featured his Katy Keene characters surrounded by plenty of MAD-type humor.  Alfred E. Neuman plus Basil Wolverton and Don Martin characters are used.  He even parodied MAD imitating himself!

Esquire, August 1964 - 'BAD'  -  A critical look at MAD.  Esquire blamed MAD for not satirizing 'anything that really matters.'  They did their own version featuring such subjects as: juvenile delinquency, integration, capital punishment, poverty, and nuclear fallout.  A definite darker version of MAD.

National Lampoon, October 1971 - 'MAD'  -  Without question, the most pointed and astute parody of them all.  An incredible job of stylizing the tone, artwork and layout of MAD.  Everyone from Gaines to Al Jaffee are barbecued in the classic Lampoon radical style.  A must read is the 'Citizen Gaines' story, which is a take-off on the film 'Citizen Kane.'  I can only imagine what was said in the MAD offices after reading this!  (Note: Joe Orlando, an original EC artist, did artwork on this parody.)

 Crazy Magazine (Marvel) #2, February 1974 - 'Crazy Looks At The Offices Of A Parody Mag'  -  Crazy gave its readers a very barbed and somewhat funny 'look behind the scenes' at MAD.  Even Harvey Kurtzman makes an appearance.  Much of the humor is very 'inside', but the sarcasm comes across pretty clearly to any long-time MAD reader.  (Note: Former EC and MAD artists Marie Severin, Kelly Freas, and Harvey Kurtzman are all featured in this issue.)

Trash Magazine #1, March 1978 - 'MUD'  -  Another rather pointed attack on MAD.  It could be a case of 'sour grapes' but once again MAD is criticized for not changing with the times and being money oriented.  The attempt to copy the MAD artwork and look is done rather badly.

Barf #1, April 1990 - 'MAD'  - A short parody including spoofs on Dave Berg and Spy vs. Spy.  Also criticized is Gaines for being too old in the feature 'You know you've run out of ideas when ...'  Most of the satire attempted here was already covered in the other parodies mentioned.

It is interesting that 5 out of the 7 publications featured were MAD imitators - owing their very existence to MAD.  It should also be noted that 4 out of the 7 publications are no longer in business.  MAD, for all its silliness, has always been run very efficiently and profitably thanks to Bill Gaines' management style.  Sure MAD is not the same groundbreaking magazine it once was.  A lot of things have changed since MAD first mined that 'jugular vein.'  But for all its weaknesses, MAD continues to be a constant reminder that we should not take ourselves too seriously.  We all have got more jaded since MAD first started publishing.  But let us be glad MAD, with all its faults, was along for the ride.  (The article was written by Michael Lerner for The MAD Panic.)

Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

I've listed MAD cover variations from time to time.  My friends in Canada  were quick to point out that the price variation covers actually come from Canada.  So, I'll drop them from the list.  Issues with variations are #28, 123, 300, 301, 302, and 303.  The current $1.75 MAD is priced at $2.25 in Canada.  One of the subscribers of this fanzine has become the newest Australian MAD contributor.  David Williams' work will start appearing in the magazine in the near future.  Congratulations David!  David also has put together an Australian MAD checklist that I will print in the next issue.  It doesn't have the detail of Fred von Bernewitz's MAD Checklists, but I think you'll enjoy it.  I did!  Another subscriber, Grant Geissman, is working on a new book about E.C. and MAD.  It is scheduled to be released by Kitchen Sink Press in the April 1992 time frame.  Reviewing a couple chapters, it looks like it's going to be an excellent reference.  And last but not least, another subscriber, Mark Cohen has his original MAD artwork in a traveling show.  It is currently at the Ohio State University.  It will be making its way around the country.  This is the last issue of 1991, next issue will be January 1992.  So I want to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.  MADly, Ed

I'm Buying War Bonds Dept: (photocopy of 'Me Worry? H--- No! I joined the U. S. Navy and Fight Huns and Japs' envelope dated January 12 1945 color: blue)

 In issue eight I asked if anyone had any 'I'm Buying War Bonds' envelopes.  Michael Lerner and Bob Barrett sent me copies of theirs and amongst the three of us we have nine different designs.  Are there more?  The envelope on this page has been reduced from its original 6.5" x 3.75" size.  The rest only show the Me Worry kid in its original size.  Indicated are postmark date and ink color. 

(Page 4 shows four more designs: February 25, 1944, Blue; October 27, 1944, Blue; November 28, 1944, Red; No postmark, Green)

(Page 5 shows four more designs: January 12, 1944, Brown; January 10, 1944, Blue; November 10, 1944, Brown; January 6, 1944, Blue)

MAD Comics Imitations Dept:

This is a list of the comic imitators that come out while MAD was still a comic.  October 1952 to May 1855. Source is Overstreet's The Comic Price Guide. - Whack, Crazy, Eh! ( ... Dig This Crazy Comic), Super Funnies (... Western Funnies), Wild, Get Lost, Nuts!, Bughouse, Madhouse, Flip, Riot, Unsane, From Here To Insanity.

Man Whole Cover Dept:  (photocopy of Man album cover)

Famed rock artist Rick Griffin did many album covers.  The band Man had Griffin design the cover for their 1974 United Artists album Slow Motion.  Below is the original design, the released cover was the lower right quarter of this one.

Filler Dept:

During 1987, Imagineering, Inc. released 8 MAD Squirt Toys.  They were a Stapler, Camera, Cigarette Lighter, Non'Smoker's Fire-Extinguisher, Headset, Pen/Rubber Pencil, Calculator and Chewing Gum.  Each came in a display package that pictured 'directions' on its proper use.

First Name Dept: (Harvey Kurtzman drawing)

The panel below appeared in John Wayne Adventure Comics #5 sometime during 1950.  It was the first reference to Alfred Neuman by Harvey Kurtzman.  Harvey used Alfred L. Neumen in this case.  Alfred L. Neuman also appeared on the cover of the early MAD magazines, in the lower left margin.  Thanks to Michael Lerner for this item.

Filler Dept:

Alfred's MAD Memo Pad!!! has at least two variations: Red lettering on white paper and black lettering on blue paper.  Are there others?

Pre-MAD Item Dept: (photocopy of 'I'm in Hollywood ME WORRY?' postcard)

This postcard has a postmark date of February 24, 1948.  It was printed by the Los Angeles Photo Post Card Co.

Outside of the MAD Scope Dept. (Free-Lancing Division): (photocopy of Mort Drucker art for Kibbles 'n Bits)

This section will detail some of the work done by the Usual Gang of Idiots for others outside of MAD.  Send me copies of whatever you have.  This Kibbles 'n Bits ad appeared in the Summer of 1991.  Mort Drucker did the full color artwork.  Copyright 1991 The Quaker Oats Company"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 11 January 1992

Cover: Drawing of Alfred E. Neuman on ladder installing the new MAD PANIC logo.  Drawing by Cecil Sutton.

Guest Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Others Talk Division):

"It was during the summer of 1965 that I purchased my first MAD.  As I recall, it was More Trash From MAD #8.  I can remember looking over that artwork of Wally Wood, Don Martin, etc., and realising it was a lot different than the other comics I was reading at the time.  I found it more clever than funny.  In vain I tried to imitate the detail and style of the MAD artists, but never quite succeeded.  But then again I was only eight.  Over the years I bought several MADs, but it wasn't until High School that the full impact of MAD hit me.  I began to search out back issues at every opportunity.  During a world trip in 1988, I had the opportunity of meeting Bill Gaines and staff in New York.  I mentioned I'd like to work with him one day.  (Laughter) Earlier this year (1991) I contacted the Australian MAD publishers and they agreed to look at a portfolio of my work.  They liked it and it has since been published.  The Australian edition, like all foreign versions, is just a shadow of the U.S. edition; but then again it is worth a look, if not just for some of the recent cover art.  So what is the attraction to MAD collecting?  Different people would have different ideas - but there is one thing they have in common - very large book shelves!  MADly, David Williams

What Me Worry?  I Read MAD Down Under!  The Complete Australian MAD Checklist  (Drawings by David Williams)

MAD Magazine From The Land Down Under

The December 1980 issue of MAD opened the doors for Australian MAD magazine.  The issue didn't have a number associated with it, just the cover date.  As a matter of fact, the next three issues didn't have a number or a date.  The covers of those issues are Alfred E. Neuman as Yoda, 'Shortage Coming, Hoard This Issue,' and 'Salutes The Coffee Break.'  The fifth issue was number 223, the same as it was in the United States.  It had Alfred E. Neuman as J.R. Ewing.  The numbering has followed along with the United States edition ever since.  There have been 89 issues to date, with the current issue being #307.  All Australian MAD covers have variations on the United States editions.  There have been 31 issues that have used original Australian MAD art on the cover.  The issues are: #224, 233. 241. 245-247, 252, 253, 255, 256, 263, 271, 272, 278, 279, 283-289, 291, 293-295, 298-300, 304 and 305.  Some of the Australian MAD covers are not in step with the United States edition.  Issue #281 has the U.S. cover #279, #290 has U.S. #289, #292 has U.S. cover #290, #296 has U.S. cover #291, and #302 has U.S. cover #299.  Issue #278 did use the United States version, but on the back cover.  The front cover had the original Australian art.  Inserts have also appeared in the regular issues.  Issues #251, 285 and 300 included a poster, #284 included a calendar and #301 included stickers.  Australian MAD has also released MAD Specials.  The first three didn't have a number.  The first issue was dated Summer 1981.  The second was 'Bumper Book of Comics' and the third was 'Cricket Bumper Book.'  Numbering started with the fourth issue.  It was #38, and as with the regular issues, it has followed along with the United States edition of the MAD Specials.  There have been 43 issues to date, the current issue is #77.  Most specials contain 80 pages compared with 96 pages in the United States editions.  Original Australian art has also appeared on the MAD Specials.  Issues #37, 39, 42, 52, 53, 56, 70, 71 and 77 have had Australian cover art.  Issues #42, 49 and 51 of the MAD Specials included a poster insert and issue #77 included video labels.  Australian MAD has released 4 MAD paperback books.  All were published in 1988 and contain 128 pages each.  Each has original Australian cover art.  The books are: No. 1, The Eggs-Rated MAD; No. 2, Steaming MAD; No. 3, MAD for Better or Verse; No. 4, MAD Horses Around.  Another type of book has also been released, MAD softbacks.  These books contain 64 pages and measure 7" high by 10" long (the same size as a comic book turned sideways.)  The softbacks with release dates are: Non-Violent MAD - 1987; Super MAD - 1987; The Amateur MAD - 1987; The Rip-Off MAD - 1987; Jungle MAD - 1987; MAD Overboard - 1987; Cave MAD - 1988; It's A World, World, World MAD -1988; MAD Guide To Forgotten T.V. Reruns - 1988; MAD's Academy Awards for Teenagers - 1988; MAD's Guide To Dating - 1988; The Recycled MAD - 1988; MAD Birth Announcements - 1988; Hypocrite MAD - 1988; Pumping MAD - 1989; MAD at You - 1989; A MAD Look at Karate - 1989; MAD Sucks - 1989; MAD for Kicks - 1990: MAD in Your Eye - 1990; Fighting MAD - 1990; The Indigestible MAD - 1990.  Of the 22 softbacks, all have original Australian covers except: Super MAD, It's A World, World, World MAD, MAD at You, MAD Sucks and The Indigestible MAD.  Special Editions have also been part of the Australian MAD heritage.  These arw in magazine format with variable page lengths.  The nine Special Editions and release dates are: The Completely MAD Don Martin - 1983; One MAD Day with Don Martin - 1983; More of MAD Dave Berg - 1984; A Second Look at MAD's Dave Berg - 1984; Go MAD with Sergio Aragones - 1984; Aragones on Parade - 1984; MAD N0. 24 Reprint -1988; MAD Spy vs. Spy Special - 1989.  There have also been some one-shots in magazine format: The Worst from MAD -1980; More Trash from MAD - 1980; MAD 84 - 1984.  To wrap up this checklist, there has been some other merchandise that has been released.  During 1982, a 13 month calendar was published.  A 'What - Me Worry?' Alfred E. Neuman T-shirt was made by Tobhar.  The Australian version of The MAD Magazine Game was released, it's exactly the same as the United States' version.  And finally, during 1988 there was a poster given away with subscriptions.  It was Alfred E. Neuman surrounded by the MAD staff.  (Editor's Notes: I want to thank Dave for this checklist.  Dave did the 'cover' for this checklist; you now see why he's one of Australia's newest MAD artists.  If you have any corrections to the checklist, please let Dave and me know.  Dave sent me four or five letters with information for the checklist and I had a ball sorting it out.  Dave's handwriting was a neat as his drawings.)

Sporting Life: Cricket Champion Waugh Goes MAD

Test cricketeer Steve Waugh has been driven MAD - literally - by a coach from his past.  Pin-up boy Waugh will appear in the upcoming issue of MAD magazine after a little gentle arm-twisting by former coach Peter Horwitz.  Horwitz coached young Waugh in the NSW under-16 side nearly a decade ago but in more recent times has run the Horwitz publishing empire, with MAD among his chief titles.  'We wanted to have a MAD look at cricket so my past association with Steve was certainly an advantage.' Horwitz told Sporting Life.  'I haven't seen much of him of late and he probably got a bit of a shock when I called out of the blue.  Steve's a great sport, though, and it didn't take much to get him to agree to take part.  It's probably not the sortof magazine he's used to appearing in but I promised Steve we wouldn't be too unkind.  But out feature may stir up a few of the old cricket brigade - it's a typical irreverent MAD feature.' (The above was written by Tony Adams for the Daily Telegraph Mirror, December 21, 1990.)

Editorial Dept:

You may have noticed a change in this issue.  Cecil Sutton sent me 6 covers for the fanzine.  My first thought was WOW!  Then it hit me, I had another logo change.  It's a new year, so why not a new logo?  I want to once again thank Rick Stoner for twice providing me with logos for the fanzine.  I believe you will enjoy Cecil's cover art.  Thanks Cecil!  Michael Lerner sent me a MAD Videography for the next issue.  Please let me know of movies and TV shows that have shown MAD magazines, books, or Alfred E. Neuman and include as much information as possible.  We would like to make the list as complete as possible.  I have to be a better boy this year.  I asked Santa Claus for a complete set of MAD jewelry.  I didn't get it, not even a single piece!  MADly, Ed

MAD Book Review Dept:

Maria Reidelbach must have been Completely MAD to attempt this book, but she pulled it off with flying colors.  Completely MAD, A History of the Comic Book and Magazine is a full 216 pages of fun, published by Little, Brown and Company.  The first chapter is E.C.'s history as it has been told many times before, but the remaining nine chapters are a new look at the magazine that has shaped our lives.  Like MAD itself, the book needs to be read more than once to take it all in.  Side notes on 'The Madmen', lengthy picture descriptions and various quotations force the need to look over this book more than once.  Within the pages of the book are all the covers of the MAD comics and magazines.  Includinf a cover that I don't believe was ever released.  Issue 123 shows 1,376,485 of a series of 2,210,000.  I don't know anyone that has this cover variation in their collection.  Maybe this was another 'concept' cover like the MAD #1 cover that has recently gone into limited lithograph production.  So what did I do when I received my copy of the book?  I turned to Chapter 8, 'Alfred E. Neuman: The Untold Story.'  Wouldn't you know it, I do a War Bond issue and a few days later I find out there are at least two more of these envelopes?  The pages contain many examples of pre-MAD Alfred E, Neuman, many I had never seen.  This chapter alone is worth the $39.95 (CHEAP!) if you are a pre-MAD collector of the 'Me Worry?' kid.  What else should you do with this book, besides read it from cover to cover?  Remove the dust jacket.  You'll find a very nice touch on the front cover.  This book has a lot of thought and work behind it, and it shows through very clearly.  But on the down side, Appendix A 'MAD Books' contains errors.  Examples: Hooked on MAD was never released by New American Library (Signet) and MAD Marginals was first released in 1974, not 1980.  And The MAD Turn-On Zoo isn't even listed.  There are others, but I'll leave it up to you to find them.  I promised to review the book in this fanzine when I talked to the folks at Little, Brown.  So here are some quotes they can use in their advertising: 'The most impressive MAD hardcover ever released by Little, Brown and Company,' and 'Only one finger needs to be held up to show your position on this book.'  I hope Santa was good to you, this is one book that belongs under a tree.

Completely MAD - A History of the Comic Book and Magazine

For almost forty years, Americans of all ages have loved to hate Mad magazine, or hated to love it.  Now, on November 6, Little, Brown and Company will publish the definitive and highly entertaining book on America's most irreverent magazine - COMPLETELY MAD: A History of the Comic Book and Magazine, by Maria Reidelbach.  Generations have been raised on Mad's silly and satiric wit, and each issue of the magazine continues to sell over a million copies.  It's no wonder, then, that the New York Times called Mad's founder and publisher, Bill Gaines, 'probably one of the century's major influences on pop culture.'  Mad has parodied everything affecting our national psyche -- movies, politicians, music, TV shows, and ad campaigns -- giving voice to the anti-establishment mischief maker in all of us.  COMPLETELY MAD goes behind the scenes at this national treasure, covering the genesis, history, and influence of the magazine in witty and telling detail.  Oversized and profusely illustrated -- and including color reproductions of every one of Mad's covers since the first issue -- COMPLETELY MAD will delight Mad fans and convert the unindoctrinated.  ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maria Reidelbach is an art historian and pop culture enthusiast who began analyzing Mad at the age of five.  She is also the coauthor of Miniature Golf.  She lives in the Tribeca section of Manhattan.  COMPLETELY MAD: A History of the Comic Book and Magazine By: Maria Reidelbach; Publication Date: November 6, 1991; Price: $39.95 (CHEAP!); Pages: 216; ISBN: 0-316-73890-5; 200 balck-and-white drawings and over 350 color photographs.  The above is press information Little, Brown and Company printed on an over-sized postcard.  MAD magazine also sent the postcard with a sticker over who to contact at Little, Brown and Company.  The sticker read: Watch for Completely Mad on Entertainment Tonight and Good Morning America on November 6.  Book signing by the author and Bill Gaines at Forbidden Planet, 227 E. 59th Street, New York City, on November 21 from six to seven o'clock.

Pre-MAD Item Dept: (photocopy of 'Me Worry?' kid - 'I'm going to the SEBASTIAN INN')

If you have any item that dates before E.C. adopted the 'Me Worry?' kid, we would appreciate seeing it on this page.  A complete description, if possible, should be sent along with the photocopy or photograph.  This is the front and back of The Sebastian Inn tradecard.  The front is in full color, the back is in brown ink. It's not dated, but I'd guess it is from the end of the tradecard era, which would be the late 1920s.

Outside of the MAD Scope Dept. (Free-lancing Division): (Jack Davis drawing of an anti-cigarette ad - 'Leave the Pack Behind - Join the Great American Smokeout the Third Thursday of November')

This postcard was around for 1991's Great American Smokeout.  I've seen this Jack Davis artwork before on posters in previous years, but this is the first postcard I've seen it on.  It was released by the American Cancer Society and has an item number of 90-400M-No.5717-LE."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 12 March 1992

Cover: "Kick Me" drawing by Cecil Sutton

"Guest Editorial Dept.

Apologies are in order for not getting you this issue on time.  Unfortunately, Ed had to have some unexpected surgery, so he asked me if I would take over this issue.  Between my regular job (yes I do have a regular job!) and figuring out how to best print this thing, delays were experienced.  I'm sure by the time you read this, Ed will be feeling better and already working to get the next issue back on schedule.  Editing a publication is a lot like baking a cake - you know what ingredients to add, but you're not always sure how much or how little to put in.  I hope that this issue doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth.  MADly, Michael Lerner

MAD and Alfred E. Neuman have been the subject of many TV magazine, documentary, and variety shows over the past years.  The following is a listing of those shows: Another Evening With Fred Astaire NBC Nov. 4, 1959 - two dance segments with Astaire made-up as Alfred E. Neuman; Star Parade - Four for Tonight NBC Feb. 24, 1960 - Don Martin cartoons used as skit ideas; Ed Sullivan Show CBS Jan. 23, 1966 - MAD Show skits; Take 30 CBS Dec. 28, 1967 - visit to the MAD; 30 Minutes CBS Dec. 9, 1978 - visit to the MAD; 60 Minutes CBS Sept. 20, 1987 - visit to MAD; Hard Copy Syndicated Feb. 22, 1990 - visit to MAD; Headline News CNN July 21, 1990 - Mort Drucker interview; Sunday Today NBC Oct. 21, 1990 - visit to MAD; The Real Story CNBC April 1, 1991 - visit to MAD; Later With Bob Costas NBC April 1, 1991 - Gaines interview; Entertainment Tonight Syndicated Nov. 6, 1991 - brief mention of 'Completely MAD' book; Good Morning America ABC Nov. 7, 1991 - visit to MAD: MAD's 40th anniversary; 'Completely MAD'; Live w/ Regis & Kathie Lee ABC Dec. 6, 1992 - Dick DeBartolo with 'Hard Yocks' book; CNN/Headline News Jan. 6, 1992 - visit to MAD: MAD's 40th anniversary; Steals & Deals CNBC Jan. 6, 1992 - Sotheby's comic art auction; MAD's 40th anniversary; KABC (Los Angeles) News Jan. 14, 1992 - MAD's 40th anniversary.  In addition, MAD/Alfred E. Neuman have been seen on: Ernie Kovacs - Between the Laughter (1954); Leave It To Beaver (1958); The Bullwinkle Show (1962); Get Smart (1968); Night of the Living Dead (Daffy Duck) (1987); Wonder Years (1989/1992); The Simpsons (1992).  Finally, there have been (2) MAD Specials produced for TV but never aired.  In the 1970s a half-hour version, more recently, Goin' MAD produced by Hanna-Barbera for CBS. (If anyone has copies of these, please contact Michael Lerner).

NEW & NOTEWORTHY DEPT.

SMOKEHOUSE FIVE $9.95 Comic book shops Softcover. Color. 48 pages.  Where there is smoke there is fire and where there is fire you will find the inept men of Smokehouse Five!  Created by MAD artist Sergios Aragones, the acclaimed creator of THE MAD MARGINALS and GROO THE WANDERER.  SMOKEHOUSE FIVE concerns the hilarious misadventures of five bumbling firefighters who are more dangerous than the fires they are trying to put out!  Published for the first time in America.  SMOKEHOUSE FIVE already enjoys tremendous popularity in Europe.

EC VIDZINE Vol. 1 $20.00 Direct mail Video. Color. 2 hrs.  EC collector Ken Kaffke has assembled a video montage of his own personal EC horror and science fiction collection in this unique, personal tribute to the EC phenomenon.  A tremendous amount of covers, artwork, splash pages, etc. are documented in this fast paced video.  Also included is the Bill Gaines/EC segment from the recent Horror Hall of Fame, displays from Wondercon '91, and various science fiction and horror TV shows.  The EC VIDZINE is a must for anyone who has howled at the moon, dug up corpses, or visited with little green men.

SOTHEBY'S COMIC AUCTION CATALOG $35.00 Hardcover. 150+ pages. Avail. from Bud Plant.  Sotheby's December 18th auction was the first ever of this magnitude.  This fully illustrated hardcover volume is a collectible in itself, and a special experience to look through.  Each item is pictured in b&w or color, along with plentiful information detailing its historical significance.  Prices realized included.  Many of the ultra-rare comics from the Golden and Silver Age are represented plus various EC titles including MAD.  Also representing is original art by some of the greatest comic book artists ever including Wrightson, Kurtzman, Feldstein, and Craig.  Many rare and unpublished pieces.  A highly recommended collection of the best in comic book work.

RUSS COCHRAN MAD AUCTION #16 4/$20.00 B&W. Available from Russ Cochran.  Anyone interested in owning a piece of MAD history should subscribe to the RUSS COCHRAN MAD AUCTION.  Even if you don't bid on anything, each auction newsletter is a collectible itself.  Issue #16 is the most current one, representing MADs 48, 49, 74, 99, and 100.  The closing date to bid is April 1st.  Russ has made some improvements starting with this issue - illustrations of available covers and pages are now shown.  And for the first time, a set sale is available on a first-come, first-served basis, on selected pieces.  Check it out.

MADrumblings

News and views from The World of MAD - 1) A proposed MAD/Alfred E. Neuman pinball game is being discussed.  This would be a full-size arcade version, designed by the same company which developed, among other pinball games, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; 2) A greeting card company from Colorado is planning to sell a line of MAD greeting cards featuring the best known MAD covers; 3)Grant Geissman's long awaited, MAD/EC price guide, should be available in September from Kitchen Sink Publications.  It will be printed as a large trade paperback, along with a limited edition version, with signatures from Bill Gaines and Grant; 4) The 12/17/91 issue of NY Newsday, contains a nice in-depth article about MAD's 40th anniversary and the publication of Completely MAD.  Copies are available for $2.00 each from Newsday; 5) Recently, Bill Gaines sent Don Martin a copy of Completely MAD with the inscription "For Don Martin - enjoy! Love & XXX, MAD-ly Bill.'  It was returned to Bill with a letter which reads 'Dear Bill: Don and I don't want any favors from you.  Here's your damn book back and -- F--k You, Bill!  Love and xxx's Norma Martin.'; 6) Mark Cohen's MAD art exhibit will be at the Civic Fine Arts Center in Sioux Falls, SD, starting March 28.

FYI DEPT. (photocopy of MAD Alfred E. Neuman/William Tell cover/birthday card)

This birthday card (#215B 128G) c1991 is from Ambassador Cards, a Hallmark division.  It also features the Spy vs. Spy characters on the back.  According to a spokesperson at Ambassador, it is out-of-stock, and no longer distributed.

KOVACS & MAD

I always wondered how Ernie Kovacs, the genius of television comedy, and MAD ever got together.  Recently, while reading Kovacsland by Diana Rico (c1990), I found the answer: 'I was a fan of Kovacs,' says Kurtzman.  Ernie used to like to take copies of MAD with him to the posh 21 Club and ostentatiously whip one out at just the right moment.  One time he invited Kurtzman and MAD publisher William Gaines to be guests on his radio show 'at something like 6:00 A.M. on New Year's Day,' remembers Gaines.  'I don't think anybody in the world would have been up then except us.'  Eventually, says Kurtzman, 'I asked him if he could do something for us.  He had material in his file drawer that he whiffled through, and he came up with something.'  In the 1950s Kovacsian humor adapted from the television and radio skits came to grace the page of several MAD numbers.'  Ernie also wrote the introduction to the 1958 compilation MAD FOR KEEPS, in which he explained to readers of the book, according to an ad of the time, 'why you're crazy to go on!'  (EDITOR - Kovacs works appeared in MAD ad follows: #24 - Tom Swifft; #25 - Sleeping Beauty; #26 - Lorelei Latour; #27 - Gringo; #31, 33, 37, 38, 41, 42 - Strangely Believe It)

FREELANCE DEPT. (Record Division) - with photocopies of album covers

THE FIRST MAN IN THE MOON Cover by Wally Wood - Bell Records (c????); JONATHAN WINTERS MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD Cover by Jack Davis - Verve (c1964); THE NEW FIRST FAMILY Cover by Mort Drucker - Verve (c1966)

DON'T GET MAD, GET AUTOGRAPHS

Who cares is Al Jaffee is 71, he's still a juven.ile delinquent.  Or at least the cartoonist for MAD magazine considers himself one.  Jaffee has been drawing for MAD since 1955, when it first made the switch from comic book to humor magazine.  'What makes MAD enduring is it's kind of mischievousness in a world that takes itself very seriously,' Jaffee says during a phone interview from his New York home.  Born in Savannah, Ga., Jaffee calls himself a 'reverse immigrant.'  When he was 6 years old, his mother returned with her children to her village in Lithuania.  'It was a very, very tiny village that was almost like from the last century,' Jaffee recalls.  'When Hitler came into power, my father realized we were in danger.'  The children were spirited away.  Later, Germany invaded and all of Jaffee's relatives - including his mother - were killed.  Jaffee went on to graduate from the first class of New York's High School of Music and Art.  It was the 1950s, at the height of comic book madness, and he quickly landed a job with Stan Lee, the man behind Marvel Comica, Spiderman and the like.  Jaffee was drawing books like 'Ziggy Pig' and 'Silly Seal' when MAD was born.  'It's become kind of an institution, going from one generation to another,' Jaffee says.  'I think it's kind of a fun way to make a living.'  (The above was written by Tim Fish for The Press Democrat, Feb. 21, 1992 in conjunction with Jaffee's appearance at Mark Cohen's 'Humor in a Jugular Vein: The Art and Artifacts of MAD' at the Sonoma County Museum,)"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 13 May 1992

Cover: Drawing of Alfred E. Neuman reading The MAD PANIC by Cecil Sutton

"Guest Editorial Dept.

Hello again ... Unfortunately Ed is still under-the-weather so he asked me to oversee this issue.  Ed wanted me to mention that his energy level is still low and he is answering letters as time permits.  He hopes you understand.  One thing that makes a fanzine a fanzine is that fan involvement is needed.  Without it, you're reading information based solely on one person's own judgments.  Hopefully, in future issues, you can supply us with original articles, artwork, etc., to showcase your talents.  Also letters either criticizing or praising our efforts would be greatly appreciated.  The bottom line to all of this is - feedback is needed for us to gauge our efforts in the direction you want the MAD Panic to grow.  Editing the MAD Panic has given me the opportunity to try out my desktop publishing software which has been collecting cobwebs inside the hard-drive of my computer.  You will notice I've tried to incorporate more graphics in this issue (as my computer memory allows).  I hope you like it.  Anyway enough jabbering, on with the show ... MADly, Michael Lerner

MAD In the Movies

MAD has made several guest appearances in the movies including: A Hard Day's Night (1964) Issue shown: Son of MAD (paperback) Scene: One of the Beatles' managers is reading it on the train; Goonies (1985) Issues shown: #124. #208, #227 Scene: A character is reading it while his brother lifts weights; Hairspray (1987) Issue shown: More Trash #7 Scene: A character is reading it in the delinquents classroom; Born on the Fourth of July (1989) Issue shown: #42 Scene: Girls are looking at it in the A&P where Tom Cruise is working.  Know of any more movies, let us know.

MAD VIDEO UPDATE  Here are some new additions to my MAD video list which appeared in issue #12: Parker Lewis (Fox) 4/12/92 - a picture of Alfred E. Neuman is shown; Entertainment Tonight (Syndicated) 4/19/92 - MAD segment.

Somewhere Down Under

The following interview occurred on the Australian TV Today Show in March 1991:

Liz Hayes: Dick DeBartolo is one of MAD's senior writers and I spoke with him via satellite from our New York studio.  Dick, thank you for joining us -- you can hear me of course?

Dick DeBartolo: Arr--say again?

LH: (Laughter) You can hear me can't you?

DD: Arr -- no I really can.  Satellite technology is incredible, because I'm in the next room, but I think it's more effective to pretend we're doing this, beaming of signals, through the air.

LH: MAD Magazine's obviously had a dreadful effect on you, Dick.

DD: (Laughter) My entire life is mad.

LH: Now, you've spent 28 years on this magazine; are you worried you're still there?

DD: I've spent 28 years, but only been paid for 3, so I'm hanging out.  I know those checks are somewhere.

LH: MAD Magazine -- is it more a kids magazine or do you think it's for everyone?

DD: Boy, I'm gonna say it's for everybody.  One of the questions we've been most asked is -- what age groups do you write for?  We literally write to entertain ourselves.  I think the demographics are basically -- the majority would be teenagers -- but a lot of adults like MAD.

LH: It must really say something, that it's a magazine that does not ask for, or need advertising to survive.

DD: I know.  The reason -- I don't know how it is down in Australia, but here we charge $300,000 for an issue, so consequently you sell 5 -- you've got it made.  No, we don't take advertising, and fortunately sales -- single sales copies -- are high enough that we support ourselves in an all right fashion.

LH: Well do you sell more than 2 million copies in the U.S., and down here in Australia, 1 million copies?  I mean, it says something about the magazine.  What do you think it is?

DD: That sells it -- you know I once saw a reporter talking about MAD and it was sort of interesting.  He said, 'MAD gives people hope.  Since they don't depend on advertising, they can take on General Motors; they can satirize IBM, Coke, Pepsi.'  It doesn't matter how big the ad agency is, or the advertiser is, what do we care -- they can't pull their advertising.

LH: You've been there for 28 years -- you've been paid for 3 -- you going to stay on?

DD: Oh, I guess so.  Basically I sort of enjoy it.  You get to see the movies.  You get to write terrible things about the movies.  You get to get paid for the movies out of petty cash.  Our publisher never goes out.  He think movies are $500.  He thinks popcorn is $2,000, so, the petty cash that I take out of MAD is 2-3 hundred thousand per year.

LH: Dick, I thank you very much.  We should point out that the magazine, in spite of its critics, has done brilliantly well, and it's something that would seem to be here to stay -- and so are you Dick.

DD: (Very excitedly) Can I do just one more thing before you go?  I always wanted to do this on television.  (Grabs sheet of paper from off-screen.)  And now, this bulletin just came in.  I just wanted to say that.  I always see news interviews, and I always wanted just to be able to say that.  Now you've made me very happy.

LH: Dick DeBartolo from MAD Magazine.

(Thanks to David Williams, our Australian correspondent, for providing the transcript of this interview.)

Of Men and MAD

William M. Gaines, son of a prominent comics publisher, and Harvey Kurtzman, son of an International Workers Order (i.e. Left-fraternal) family in the Bronx, became the two key players.  Gaines published a line of comics, EC (for 'Educational Comics'), some of which were the highest form of comic book ever produced in this country.  Kurtzman gained rapid fame in the trade for his compulsively researched, exacting renditions of war-stories, sans the usual sanctification of blood-letting.  Turned off to the Communist party during his teen years (although he did draw backgrounds for the Daily Worker's one beloved strip, 'Little Lefty'), he designed historical deceits of every kind.  Himself a sometime satirical artist, Kurtzman proposed the latest EC venture, MAD comics, in 1952.  It was not only the first genuinely new humor magazine in the United States for generations; it would also shape the way comic artists saw themselves twenty and even forty years later.  MAD combined the precise drawing and plots of the other EC lines with an astute, reflexive commentary on the radio and television shows, films, comic strips, and popular literature (including the newspaper tabloids) of the time.  The total impression was more than satire or lampoon.  Kurtzman's obsession with detail transferred itself, for instance, to his artist Bill Elder's portrayal of totalitarian 'Dizzyland,' where comic characters are dragged away by Gestapo-looking guards for failing to wear the prescribed white gloves.  (MAD was also responding to Walt Disney, the notorious strike-breaker, who fired almost his entire animation staff rather than accept unions.)  or MAD's famed attack on Joe McCarthy, seen waving cropped photos of a supposed 'redskin' (i.e., 'Red') on a television game show.  Rather than editorialize, MAD satirically revealed its own perspective on the lies of its time.  There was yet another dimension to MAD that reached beyond satire as such.  The incredible detail-layer upon layer of gags ('Freud is a Fraud by Freed,' reads one barely visible book title.) and quasi-Yiddish words like 'Furshlugginer' found its master in Bill 'Chicken Fat' Elder, as he occasionally called himself, and its apex in a certifiably postmodern 'Special Art Issue' in 1955.  With intertextual references to everything from the 1890 Lower East Side to Picasso to Marilyn Monroe and automobile ads.  Other MADs took contemporary comics apart technically, showing readers the arbitrary connections of dialogue and action.  Pretty remarkable stuff, when you consider comics of any kind, including MAD, were largely for kids, adolescents, and blue-collar types.  MAD had a large cult following, as a crazed letters column reveals, but never really gained a mass readership until Kurtzman quit in a spat with Gaines in 1955.  Kurtzman wandered on, finally to HELP! Magazine in the early 1960s, with Gloris Steinem as a staffer and several future giants of the 'underground' comics among its contributors.  Scarcely an artist - and there were dozens if not hundreds of extraordinarily talented youngsters in the underground press - had not imbibed MAD Comics somewhere along the line.  Many considered them the unattainable ideal of design and execution.  (Edited from an article by Paul Buble in Tikkun, March/April 1992.)

New and Noteworthy Dept. (with photos)

These items are coming to bookstores and comic book shops across the country this Summer.  Check with your local retailer for further details.  1)  1993 MAD Calendars - Price $4.95 (includes 2 free staples) - Following up on my article in MP #12, a spokesperson at Blue Mountain Arts of Colorado confirmed they are currently test marketing a line of MAD greeting cards.  If everything goes okay, they expect to have them available in two years.  They also told me they are planning to introduce two new 1993 MAD calendars this July.  2)  Dvorak's Inside Track to the MAC - Price $39.95 - All of you MAD fans who also have a Macintosh computer will be interested in this new book.  Our favorite cover boy is on the cover.  3)  Frankenstein Door Poster - Price $16.95 - This is not a reprint of the old B&W poster offered in Famous Monsters in 1962; it's an all new full color illustration by Jack Davis.  The poster measures 2' x 6' and is printed in full color on quality poster stock.  4)  Groo IV T-Shirt/Groo I Cloisonne Pin - Price $13.95/$5.95 - Fans of Groo and MAD should be on the look-out for these neat items from the mind of Sergio Aragones.  5)  Wimmin's Comix #17 - Price $2.50 - Produced by an all-star cast of long-suffering women cartoonists.  Features Alfred E. in drag on the cover.  6)  Overstreet Price Guide #22 - Price $15.00 - The only guide for comic book pricing and grading.  The MAD info has been updated, with a noticeable hike in the price of early MADs.  And finally ... Sources tell me that MAD has licensed a company to sell boxer shorts and ties with the MAD and Alfred E. Neuman logos.  We hope to uncover more info as it becomes available.

FYI Dept. ?  (with photo of Mark Cohen)

Mark Cohen at the preview of his MAD art exhibit at Ohio State.  Anyone who's serious about MAD collecting should see Mark Cohen's wonderful collection of original MAD art and collectibles when it comes to your area.  Mark will be at the following locations: Trhough 5/31 - Civic Fine Arts, Sioux Falls, SD; 6/12-7/24 - University of Louisiana, Baton Rouge; 9/8-10/2 - Arizona St., Tempe, AZ; 1/4/93-3/20 - Minnesota State, Twin Cities.

Freelance Dept. (with photo of The Paper Doll Jigsaw Puzzle Book)

Al Feldstein record cover artwork 1940s courtesy of Grant Geissman (no photo); Harvey Kurtzman artwork c 1949 (book cover)

 

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. 15 September 1992

Cover: Drawing of Alfred E. Neuman below-the-nose by Cecil Sutton

"Guest Editorial

Where did the summer go?  By the time you receive this issue, Labor Day will be approaching and my kids will be back in school again (yea!).  And what a summer it's been ... it was tough not to read a newspaper, magazine or see a TV show that did not mention MAD.  Unfortunately, the news always wasn't so good.  But MAD marches on and so do we ... Big MAD news was made with the release of the MAD cards by Lime Rock, International.  The cards were sold out in one week!  As a special bonus, a random card has been included with this issue.  We hope you enjoy it.  Also, Character Imprints came out with their 1993 MAD Calendar (See pg. 9).  If sales go well, a MAD sports calendar is scheduled for 1994.  On Sept. 12 & 13th, a big comicon featuring the artists and writers from MAD will be held in New York.  Check out pg. 11 for details.  And finally, this will be my last issue as Guest Editor.  Ed is feeling much better and will return next issue.  Thanks to everyone who graciously submitted their time to help out ... NOT.  And now on with the show ... MAD-ly, Michael Lerner

Drucker vs. Davis   (Drawing by Jack Davis)

By now you're familiar with MAD #314 which featured a Batman cover drawn by Mort Drucker.  Here's Jack Davis' interpretation which appeared in the July 31st, Entertainment Weekly.

It's In the Cards by Michael Lerner  (includes an order form)

The 1st set of MAD Cards from Lime Rock, International are out and are they ever hot!  In one week, all 7500 cases produced were sold out!  Eat set is made up of 55 cards of randomly chosen covers and backgrounds.  With all 7500 cases sold, 29,700,000 cards are available, which means 540,000 sets are possible.  (The average street price for a complete set is $6 to $8.)  Also available is a limited edition Alfred E. Neuman hologram.  According to a spokesperson at Lime Rock, 20,000 holograms were produced - with 3 per case.  (Early street prices for this hologram are $20 - $30!  Most likely this will drop as more holograms become available.)  Also inserted randomly are (6) holographic stamped promo cards and a variety of instant winner cards.  The promo cards are also available, as the supply lasts, through the 'Insider Trading Club.'  For $29.95 you will receive a one-year membership that entitles you to special merchandise, newsletters, etc.  See below for details.  Due to the popularity of the 1st week, another 55 card set is planned for late October.  Also available will be another limited edition hologram, (4) promo cards, and instant winner cards.  Lime Rock has the rights to over 400 covers.  They plan to keep coming out with sets as long as the interest is strong.

(Page 5 is an ad for Lime Rock MAD Magazine trading card set.)

Mad Youth by Art Spiegelman  (with photo)

It's sunny.  A balmy spring or summer day on the terrace that my father added on to our two-family brick pillbox in Rego Park, N.Y.  Most of the snapshots I've inherited from my family are undated, but the Mad in the center of the composition locates me in time like the dated newspaper in a terrorist's photo of his still-living hostage.  It's May or June 1960.  The Israeli secret service has just captured Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.  I'm 12 years old.  A rainstorm drenches Mad's grinning idiot as he stands in the 'Fair' door of an old-fashioned weather box while a wooden figurine huddles with an umbrella inside the flooded 'Foul' door.  Even the magazine's logo is drowning in swollen raindrops, realistically rendered by Kelly Freas.  The cover announces that Sid Caesar is 'In This Drippy Issue.'  (He's the Jewish comedian who plunged into a depression after becoming a star.)  My mother, Anja, and I are separated by the pole of a parasol as we both smile into the magazine, waiting for my father, Vladek, way on the other side of the camera, to capture the moment.  You can't see my mother's left forearm behind the magazine.  She usually wears a broad gold bracelet - Vladek gives them to her as birthday and anniversary gifts - to cover the blue Auschwitz number tattooed above her wrist.  On occasion my friends have noticed the number and asked her about it.  She explains it's a phone number she doesn't want to forget.  I study each issue of Mad ... religiously.  I can identify all the artists by their styles and copy them into my sketchbooks.  To my father's dismay, I find Mad far more compelling than the Old Testament.  I'm an honor roll student at Russell Sage Junior High, but a real dolt in my after-school classes at the Rego Park Jewish Center, where I crack wise about the cantor's bad breath and covertly read comic books instead of cramming for next year's bar mitzvah.  Vladek hopes against all evidence that I'll become a doctor -- or at least a dentist.  In the death camps, doctors and dentists had a better chance of surviving than those without useful skills.  Besides, he desperately reasons, a dentist can always draw comics in the evenings but a cartoonist can't fill cavities at night.  My father does bring me comics from the back-date magazine store near his diamond dealers' club in Manhattan, but he buys them at random -- whichever ones are at the top of the pile.  Sometimes I get a treasured Mad from back when it was still a comic book edited by the great Harvey Kurtzman, or maybe an old horror comic (the kind that specializes in the dead coming back to life to take their revenge, the comics that parents more Americanized than mine had boycotted out of existence by the mid-1950s for causing juvenile delinquency), but I'm just as likely to get a copy of Teen-age Brides.  The main thing for Vladek is that he can get the old ones two or three for 10 cents, instead of a dime each.  It's Mom who completely feeds my Mad love.  I remember shopping with her a couple of years before this picture was taken and seeing a book on how to draw cartoons.  My 25-cent allowance had long been spent, so I pleaded for another advance.  She was a soft touch, but the strict household allowance that Vladek kept her on didn't allow for any frills.  They always fought, in loud Polish, about any extra purchase, no matter how small.  She told me the book would be a gift if I could prove it wasn't a soon-to-be-discarded folly, like the marionettes she got me the week I wanted to be a puppeteer.  In 1963, in that same store, she will but me a hectograph -- a gelatin duplicator -- so I can print the first issue of Blase, my own imitation of Mad.  By 1964 I am doing cartoons for a local weekly newspaper and even earning some pocket money, but shadows gather over our Rego Park hime.  My mother's only surviving brother is killed by a hit-and-run driver, and some life force starts to drain out of her, Anja begins to retreat from most of her social contacts.  Always prone to migraine headaches, she now seems to have them all the time and spends the day in her robe with a handkerchief compress against her forehead.  We don't talk or laugh freely anymore.  I've started to date, and my high school 'steady' is a gentle girl of German extraction with blond hair to her waist.  The tension in our house is palpable.  My passion for Mad crests.  I drop my subscription and get Playboy instead, to study Harvey Kurtzman's elaborate 'Little Annie Fanny' comics that appear there regularly.  Believe it or not, this is indeed what lures me to Playboy, though my aesthetic interest doesn't keep me from opening the centerfolds and even hanging some favorites up in my room until my father insists I take them down.  In 1968 real Madness enters my life directly.  The disorienting freedom of leaving my claustrophobic Rego Park home for college combines with LSD to send me careening into a mental hospital for a month.  Later that year my mother will kill herself without leaving any note.  But here in this snapshot, in my prepubescent 1960, my mother, in the shadow of a sun umbrella, smiles indulgently at my beloved Mad while my father shows off his family and his terrace.  What -- us worry? (Reprinted from Life, August 1992)

(Page 8 has a photocopy of 'Comic book circulation figures 1991' from Comic Buyer's Guide 8/14/92.)

MAD Sightings (continued) 

Australian correspondent, David Williams reports seeing MAD or Alfred E, Neuman in the following films & TV shows: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1989) - Steve Martin reads MAD Bombs; Grease (1978) - Opening titles show MAD #1; Happy Days (Syndicated0 - 'Vote for Alfred' poster in Joanie's room.

(Page 9 is a copy of an ad for MAD's Prehysterical 1993 Calendar.)

(Page 10 has photocopies of the reverse of 'Sick #2' album cover and a matchbook cover.)

Here's a cameo appearance by Alfred E. Neuman from the Sick Magazine LP, Sick #2; Here's an old matchbook cover with a pre-MAD Alfred (date unknown).  Courtesy of Joe 'The Wisconsin Wonder' Groshek."

(Page 11 is a copy of 'Tri-State Multi-Media Event - Sept. 12 and 13 - featuring a MAD slide show and an Alfred E, Neuman Look Alike contest.  The show was dedicated to the memory of William M. Gaines.)

(Page 12 has a photocopy of the 1965 Aurora sales catalog that introduces Mad's Alfred E. Neuman.)

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 16 November 1992

Cover: Drawing of Norman Rockwell type pose of Alfred E. Neuman by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

Well, I'm back publishing The MAD Panic.  I want to give a big thank you to Michael Lerner for publishing the last four issues while I was sick.  I think he did a great job.  The doctors say I'm doing well and should be okay.  I also want to thank those who sent cards and called to see how I was doing.  I appreciated hearing from you.  You may notice a little different look to this issue as compared to the past ones.  I finally broke down and purchased an IBK compatible machine and I'm running MS-DOS V5.0.  This fanzine is being produced with AmiPro for Windows V3.0.  If you want to send me anything on floppy, I have a 1.44 Mb 3.5" drive.  I was asked if I could provide a list of those who subscribe.  The person wanted to send out a for sale list.  I didn't provide it because I wasn't sure if everyone wanted that information published.  If you want to be on such a list, let me know.  I'll publish a list of addresses and phone numbers in the next issue.  But you have to request it.  If I don't hear from you, saying you want to be on the list, you will not be included.  Send me your phone number if you want that included.  I needed to raise the subscription rates again.  I hope that isn't too much.  I don't make any money doing this fanzine.  I'm just trying to break even.  This fanzine makes a perfect Christmas gift to those clods in your life.  MADly, Ed

Hello Dolly Dept:  (photo of doll)

 This doll was copyrighted in 1960 by the Effanbee Co.  I don't know the official name of the doll, but everyone that sees it says it looks like the Me Worry kid.  The clothes are not original; my mother made them for him.  If anyone has a picture of this doll with the original clothes, please send me a picture.

Filler Dept:

The Kitchen Sink Cards set has 4 cards drawn by Harvey Kurtzman: 9/36 Kings in Disguise, 14/36 Harvey Kurtzman, 17/36 Goodman Beaver, and 31/36 Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book.

Guest Writer

Every week I have the best day of my life.  Back in March, I had one that I will remember forever.  The day started with a 3 hour train ride to New York City for a 10:30 AM meeting with a new licensor.  While we were waiting at the train station I started to panic, realizing that my wife was right, I had become so wrapped up in business that I had no idea of what was going on in the outside world.  None!  Five minutes before the train pulled out I bought USA Today, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine and started cramming for a very important meeting.  This meeting with Mr. Bill Gaines and his editors John and Nick was on the sacred grounds of satire, the home court of sacrilege, the den of double entendre and the first 13th floor of an office building I've been in.  Yes ladies and gentlemen, there I stood at 10:30 AM staring at a four foot tall statue of Alfred E. Neuman, as a military general and thumbing through a copy of MAD magazine printed in German (it was still funny).  Our meeting went well with Bill Gaines coming in 5 minutes after it started; by then Nick and John had agreed to take it easy on me and Nick would raise his hand when it was OK for me to laugh.  John set the tone when we exchanged business cards because I saw his 'Zapper Ray Gun' in his desk drawer next to his business cards, I knew this would not be business as usual.  I remember thinking when he walked into the room that I should genuflect, kiss his ring or at least apologize for becoming part of the establishment he loved to razz.  Instead, I just enjoyed his words, remembered back to the first copy of MAD I had seen and felt respect for what he and the 'Gang' have done.  I realized I was with a man who had turned on the lights for an entire generation of people, actually three generations.  He opened the eyes of people in 42 countries.  He announced the arrival of the 60's and 70's.  During the mid 50's in fact he was so far ahead of the pack every month, he had to go back and slap us with another issue of his magazine and say, 'hey the future is this way, just follow us, the usual gang of idiots.'  Although we didn't all follow, most of us looked down that road and we liked what we saw.  We could live vicariously through Alfred E. Neuman who showed us that you could run for president, be a rock n' roll star, and take time off to paint a white road black and leave a white line down the middle, all the while saying, 'What me worry.'  40 years and 500 million copies later the man was right, there is always more than one way to look at everything.  I am proud to have met Bill Gaines.  George Latimer, CEO lime Rock Int.  The above is from Inside Trading News, Volume I.1, August 1992.

Mad Trading Cards

I first became aware of Mad trading cards when I saw their manufacturer's (Lime Rock) full-page advertisement in the June 12, 1992 edition of the Sport Collectors Digest.  I immediately called Lime Rock to order some cards.  They were sold out!  I looked through Sports Collectors Digest from cover to cover to see if any card dealers were advertising the cards for sale.  I found none.  I then began calling each of the card dealers in Sports Collectors Digest that sold non-sport cards.  After making approximately a dozen cards, I found three dealers that were selling the cards.  Their prices varied greatly; $19, $25 and $30 per box.  The $19 dealer was sold out, so I orded two boxes from the $25 dealer, who has since raised his price to $30 per box.  The cards were delivered a week later.  Production was 7500 cases, each case has 10 boxes, each box contains 36 packs and each pack contains 11 cards.  According to my calculation, that is 29,700,000 cards!  Fifty-five cards comprise a complete set.  Besides the cards comprising the set, other cards are randomly inserted: including Alfred E. Neuman holograms, 'leftover' promotional cards and 'instant winners' who will receive 'uncut numbered press sheets.'  There are 'absolutely no autographed cards.'  A few weeks later, I purchased two additional boxes at a local card show for $32 per box.  My 7-year-old daughter and I spent two evenings opening packs and sorting cards.  The results: 21 complete sets, one Alfred E. Neuman hologram and one promotional card.  I purchased a second promotional card from a dealer at a card show.  So what's on the cards?  The front of each card is a reproduction of a Mad magazine cover.  The back of each card features a variety of things from the past issues of Mad.  The above was written by Stan Horzepa for The MAD Panic.

Collectors Network  (photocopies of Cherry Sparkle and Happy Jack Beverages ads)

Dear Rick, I wanted to share some information with the PSBCA members, which is both interesting and disappointing.  I recently purchased a copy of Completely Mad, by Maria Reidelbach.  A few members may know about my 'Mad' obsession, as well as that of Painted Soda Bottles.  Anyway, on page 146 and 147 of the book, are two very interesting items.  One is the Happy Jack Beverages bottle label.  I almost had a heart attack when I saw this.  Without hesitation I began to investigate the existence of this bottle.  I have enclosed a copy of the letter I received from Ms. Reidelbach regarding the Happy Jack Beverages picture illustrated in her book.  The disappointment arises from the fact that no known specimen exists and that none may have ever been produced.  Item number two is an advertisement for Cherry Sparks which show Alfred E. Neuman drinking from a bottle.  While this is not as interesting as the Happy Jack Beverage bottle, it is, none-the-less, interesting.  I have since called Ms. Reidelbach and she has given me written permission to include both a copy of her letter as well as artwork from her book in thisissue of Soda Net.  Her only request was that she receive a complimentary issue for her records.  I want to take this opportunity to thank Maria Reidelbach for her time and assistance in helping solve the mystery surrounding the Happy Jack Beverage bottle.  Sincerely, Christopher Weide

Dear Mr. Weide, Thank you for your kind words about Completely Mad.  The bottle label in which you are interested in is one of the neatest vintage (excuse the pun) Alfred E. Neuman items.  I found the image in Baker and Bilk's book Trademarks of the 20's and 30's.  I contacted Eric Baker and he told me they got the image from the U.S. Patent Office, where it was recorded as being patented by A.B. Cook of Los Angeles in 1939, and loaned me the art for my book.  They had never seen a bottle bearing the image, nor have I.  If a serious bottle collector like you hasn;t either, probably the bottle was never put into production.  What a serious loss for mankind (or at least idiotkind).  By the way, having at one time lived in Akron, my favorite soda bottle is, of course NORKA.  There's an acronism for you ... Yours truly, Maria Reidelbach

These two pages are reprinted from SodaNet, July 1992.

New Stuff Dept.  (photocopy of cover of Don Martin's Droll Book)

Dark Horse Comics has entered into an agreement with Mad and Cracked cartoonist Don Martin to produce several projects over the next few months, including books, signed lithographs, and figurines.  Don Martin's Droll Book, which collects a bit of everything from his earliest works through his new daily newspaper strip The Nutheads, will be available in both paperback and signed hardcover editions in November.  The lithograph series will begin in December, and the first of five cold-cast Martin figurines will be available in early 1993.

Lime Rock MAD Cards Second Series Previews  (photocopies of MAD covers for #117 and #96)

Here are two cards that will be included in the second series of Lime Rock's MAD Cards due out sometime in early November.

Foreign MAD

Images

The Anglican Dean of Sydney, The Very Rev Lance Shilton, is getting hot under the collar about an advertisement which appeared on page nine of the Herald yesterday.  He put out the press statement: 'I was horrified by the full page advertisement which appeared in the press with the caption underneath the picture of a cartoon character 'If you don't advertise in the newspapers, you're an idiot'.'  Dean Shilton says that although the picture was a character from an American comic, it looked like 'the dehumanised image of an obviously mentally handicapped child.'  Dean Shilton said this could upset the parents of handicapped children, and concluded: 'No person is an idiot in God's sight.'  The character depicted is in fact Alfred E. Neuman who has been the symbol of Mad Magazine for the past 25 years.  Alfred E. Neuman is known by hundreds of thousands of Australian children and adults as the creator of the immoral phrase 'What, Me Worry?'  This columnist is just one of many fans.  Indeed, commentators have observed that the sophisticated humour of Alfred E. Neuman must have been a seminal influence of this column.  The above appeared August 17, 1982 in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Now Croc of Ol' Dundee is really Mad

Paul Hogan's success with Crocodile Dundee has gone all the way now ... it's even earned satirical coverage in Mad magazine.  Writer and artist Gerald Clark finds the Dundee outback tall tales too hard to swallow and tries to set the record straight.  In the film, Hogan out-stared an angry water buffalo and it collapsed.  In the Mad send-up version, Croc of Ol' Dundee, the beast charges and tosses Hogan into a tree.  Instead of Linda Kozlowski's face-to-jaw scene with a snapping monster croc, a giant mossie flies off with her.  As the big scene with the mugger, Hogan says: 'Heh, heh, that's not a knife,' pulls out a long bushcutter and adding: 'that's a knife.'  Mad then brings in a Texan in baseball mask, saying, 'and this is a chainsaw,' which sends Paul and Linda running.  The above appeared November 20, 1987 in The Sun (Sydney.)

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photocopy of We Worry? twins)

This section is for items that pre-date MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  This postcard was produced by a company that used EKC as a trademark.  The postcard has a postmark of May 18, 1943.  It is a black and white picture.

Free-lancing Dept. (Work Outside of MAD Division):  (photocopy of Jokes from the Crypt book cover)

The cover of this book as drawn by Jack Davis.  The review on the back says, 'What, me worry? Jokes from the Crypt wasn't my idea!' -- Alfred E. Neuman"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 17 January 1993

Cover: Drawing of Playboy bunny reading The MAD Panic by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

I want to thank Cecil Sutton for the great cover and center-fold.  If you want to submit cover art, I can use it.  Use the current logo, the rest is up to you.  I also want to thank Sean Nelen of Lime Rock International.  He provided the MAD2 Promo cards.  Sean is President of the Inside Trader Club.  You can get some great hard to find stuff by being a member.  I'm not employed by Lime Rock in any way.  I just enjoy belonging to the club.  Last year I put together a list of things I would like to see MAD do during 1992.  I was 100% incorrect in those predictions.  This year's list is things MAD shouldn't do, now that DC Comics Inc. has MAD under its reins: 1) The 'Death of Alfred E. Neuman' 2) A Bat Lash and Alfred E. Neuman team-up 3) Release a trade paperback (Oops, they've done that since 1954) 4) Alfred E, Neuman appearances in Green Lantern #53, Justice League of America #75 and The Death of Superman #23 5) Issue different versions of the same magazine in gold, silver and tin bagged and unbagged with zip-locks and without zip=locks and holographic 1-D covers and a limited print run of 25 copies each before releasing the 1,300,000 second printing without covers.  MAD-ly, Ed

MAD Interest List Dept.

The following people contacted me and wanted their name published.  They are interested in corresponding with other collectors: Mark Finn, Grant Geissman, Michael Georgette, Stan Horzepa, Michael Lerner, Jason Levine, Rick Long, Ed Norris, Richard Sherman, Robert Solomon, David Williams and David Zackin.  If you're wondering what 'Internet' is, it's a large computer network that connects many companies, universities and non-classified government agencies.  The address is how you reach us via electronic mail.  I'll publish an updated list next year.

Filler Dept.

The Lime Rock International MAD and MAD2 promo cards come in three varieties: stamped in the upper right hand corner with 'Inside Trader' or 'Inside Trader Member' and unstamped.  MAD promos are numbered 1-6, so there are 18 different cards.  MAD2 promos are numbered 7-10, so there are 12 different versions.  'Inside Trader' can be found in packs; 'Inside Trader Member' were sent to club members; and unstamped were sent to dealers.

Soda Wanta See More Dept:  (photocopy of Drink Cherry Sparkle)

Last issue I printed two pages from SodaNet, July 1992, concerning Cherry Sparkle and Happy Jack Beverages.  Michael Lerner has a follow-up letter in the November 1992 issue of SodaNet.  If you want an original of either, write to PSBCA.  This is a reproduction tin sign of a Cherry Sparkle soda tin lithograph.  It was produced by Desperate Sign Co. during 1989.

The following people contacted me and wanted their name published.  They are interested in corresponding with other collections: Mark Finn, Grant Geissman, Michael Georgette, Stan Horzepa, Michael Lerner, Jason Levine, Rick Long, Ed Norris, Richard Sherman, Robert Solomon, David Williams and David Zackin.  If you're wondering what 'Internet' is, it's a large computer network that connects many companies, universities and non-classified government agencies. The address is how you reach us via electronic mail (norris @ madmag.enet.dec.com

Radio Station 2BL

Dave Williams transcribed the following interview with John Ficarra and Nick Meglin conducted by Tony Delroy on Sydnei [sic] (Dave sent me a nasty letter about how I spelled "Sydnei" in the last issue) radio station 2BL, March 1991.

Tony Delroy: Good evening gentlemen.

Nick Meglin: How are yar?

TD: Well John, perhaps you could tell us what the ingredient is that kept the mayhem going for as long as it has.

John Ficarra: MAD has always been a big grab bag of different points of view based on all the artists and writers, and I really think it's a tribute to them and their talent that MAD has been around for so long and continues to maintain its readers.

TD: Nick, are you all insane?

NM: No, I think you'd be disappointed to find that just a very few of the people responsible for MAD would live up to what they see in print.  Most of them take out their insanity on paper, whether they're the artists or writers, and I think their zaniness is there, but deep down most of the fellers are just good family men and very - you know - conservative in their lifestyle.  You'd be surprised.

TD: You would be surprising listeners, I would suspect, because it's just - well insanity on paper I guess.

NM: That's it.  They take out their craziness, aggression, their observations, their feeling of frustration and put it out into their work, which is where it should be and which is what makes MAD successful.  But they're a rather boring lot.

JF: Tony, between you and me I think Nick has a lot of problems and may be crazy, but you know enough said on that.

NM: I think John's a rather boring lot himself, there!  Why'd fou say that, John?  These are my new fans out there.  I wanted to make friends and here you are already telling the truth about me.

JF: That's true!

TD: Apparently you've had the same ringmaster for all these decades, the same publisher.

NM: That's right.  Bill Gaines - chief aborigine.

TD: (laughter) 300 editions and not one advertisement to be seen.  Why?

JF: Well, we always thought there would be a conflict of interests, that if we took money from a car manufacturer, if we took money from Ford, and then we spoofed a Chevrolet ad, people would say - oh sure you're not spoofing Ford because  they're one of your advertisers.  So we can't seem to win with that situation; so Bill decided long ago that no ads, and we'll just do it on newsstand sales alone.

TD: And you've obviously done it very successfully.  Nick, are there any subjects that are taboo for MAD magazine?

NM: Well, we really don't make light of physical elements, mental elements, of course we're all guilty of it here, but physical elements and dreaded diseases and partisan religion kind of thing.  Politics, we'll have fun with anybody in the office, we'll kick the idiot who gets elected, but we don't do that with religious heads of religious organizations, because they're more well meaning and nothing can be accomplished by that.  I think they really seek the answers, whereas politicians very often just seek their own ego gratification and whatever other ambitions they have.  So, those kind of areas are taboo, otherwise, not taboo, it's not that we can't do it, we'll make fun of some religious leaders who have gone astray on television and gotten a lot of money. (laughs)  You know the ones that make the headlines, but, they ask for it.  It's not that we're out to get them.  They're out to get themselves.  Everything else is just open season.

TD: John, suppose you're disappointed that Ronald Reagan has passed on from the leadership.

JF: Well, you know Reagan, for 8 years he supplied us with so much fodder; was almost like Nixon; and because he just became more and more preposterous as his term went on, his forgetfulness and the whole Iran-Contra deal and what have you.  Although, George Bush is certainly living right up to Reagan's expectations and in terms of just stepping on himself and making a mess of things.

NM: There's a few yet to come.  There's Dan Quayle.  We're not going to be as struggling individuals, but we're going to be extremely happy as editors, because they think Quayle will write the next - you know - years of MAD while he's in office.

TD: Exactly.

NM: Without realizing it!

TD: We looked on with great interest here from Australia as the Presidential election race continued and when Dan Quayle came up I didn't think anybody here could believe it.  Nobody had heard of him and when we did hear from him it wasn't exactly a spectacular result.

JP: Well that's pretty much the United States' reaction too.  (laughter)

TD: Fellers, what is the background to Alfred E. Neuman?  Where did he spring from?

JF: Well, strangely enough, years ago MAD used to be located in a section of New York called Little Italy and Bill would frequently go to lunch at a place called Little Charlie's, which was famous for its calamari dishes, and there was a bread boy there.  I forgot his name now, I don't remember it, but he would always bring over the bread and water and what have you, and Bill was at lunch one day with Jack Davis and Norman Mingo and this kid was always so well meaning that Jack Davis drew him into one of the MAD covers, and we didn't name him or anything, and he had several names, Melvin Cownofski, and he just kept popping up and low and behold, Norman Mingo finally did the perfect version of him that everyone knows and went on to become our mascot.

TD: What's the idea of the tooth missing, just an embellishment?

JF: The kid had a tooth missing.  I mean art imitates life.

This is a long interview.  It will be continued in the next issue!

PANIC OF THE MONTH

Fold-out drawing of naked Playboy bunny and naked Alfred E. Neuman censored by Arthur's leaves by Cecil Sutton.

Filler Dept:

MAD Collector's Series #5 (Super Special #88) has two versions.  The MAD Maze is sewn into the book on some copies.  In other copies, the magazine comes in a bag and The MAD Maze is not sewn in, but is loose in the bag.  I believe it is newsstand versus direct comic distribution, but I haven't been able to confirm that at this time.

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photo of Me - Worry? souvenir ashtray)

This section is for items that pre-date MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  This is an ashtray found by Michael Lerner.  The date is unknown.  If you have any information about this item, please contact Michael or me.

Filler Dept:

Mark Cohen's MAD Art Show will be moving to the University of Minnesota.  The dates are January 4 through March 1, 1993,

Free-lancing Dept. (Work Outside of MAD Division):  (photocopy of ad for Football Towels)

This set of 28 towels were done by Jack Davis.  Each NFL team has a different design.  They're being sold by Carol Wright Gifts."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 18 March 1993

Cover: Drawing of Alfred E. Neuman hitchhiking and wearing 3-D glasses by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

I want to thank Cecil Sutton for the great cover.  If you want to submit cover art, I can use it.  I want to thank Dick DeBartolo, Al Jaffee and Annie Gaines for supplying the MAD2 Promo cards that will be given away in the trivia contest (next page.)  I should be thanking the entire staff for their help since I started this fanzine.  I do not believe there is another corporation that has such a warm and friendly staff.  They are a unique organization in the cold business world.  To all, Thank You!  I also want to thank Sean Nelen of Lime Rock International.  He provided the Spy vs. Spy Promo cards.  The Spy vs. Spy cards should be at your local nonsport dealer by now.  The cards come in two different packs; a regular sized pack and a jumbo pack, which contains more cards.  More stuff for us to collect.  I need more display space!  In issue #16 there was an article concerning The Very Rev Lance Shilton complaining about an advertisement showing an 'obviously mentally handicapped child.'  On pages 6 and 7 is the advertisement in question.  It appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, August 16, 1982.  The advertisement was written by Wayne Garland and art directed by Mike Chandler.  Thanks to David Williams who sent me both article and advertisement.  MAD-ly, Ed

Trivia Contest Dept:

Answer the following 17 questions for a chance at one of two MAD2 Promo cards autographed by Al Jaffee and Dick DeBartolo.  In case of a tie, a drawing will determine the winners.  Answers must be postmarked by April 1, 1993.  One entry per subscriber:  1. On the border of the first three magazines (#24-26) who isn't reading a copy of MAD? A. Lassie; B. Alfred L. Neuman; C. Buffalo Bill; D. Marilyn Monroe.  2. What name did Alfred E. Neuman not also have? A. Melvin Coznowski; B. Mel Klondike; C. Mel Haney; D. Melvin Sturdley.  3. What story was dropped from The MAD Reader in the Ballantine #490K release? A. What's My Shine; B. Meet Miss Potgold; C. Gasoline Valley; D. Starchie.  4. What story didn't Orson Bean write? A. Paper Eucalyptus Tree; B. Two Chinese Fellas In American Restaurant; C. National Banister Sliding Contest; D. Opens His Family Album.  5. Which Celebrity Wallet did MAD not look into? A. Hugh Hefner; B. Joe Namath; C. Soupy Sales; D. George Harrison.  6. Who was the artist for Bat Boy and Rubin!? A. Jack Davis; B. Wally Wood; C. Bill Elder; D. Bernie Krigstein.  7. What are the names of the spies in Sega's Master Spy vs. Spy video game? A. Frit and Frat; B. Heckel and Jackel; C. Mr. Black and Mr. White; D. Melvin and Alvin.  8. Who had the first book under the MAD name? A. Don Martin; B. Dave Berg; C. Antonio Prohias; D. Dick DeBartolo.  9. In which year did Fleer Gum Co. release the MAD stickers? A. 1981; B. 1982; C. 1983; D. 1984.  10. In which comic was the first (unnamed) mention of MAD? A. Weird Fantasy #15; B. Weird Science #15; C. The Vault of Horror #26; D. The Haunt of Fear #14.  11. What was the first MAD record album? A. MAD Twists Rock 'N' Roll; B. Musically MAD; C. The MAD Show; D. Fink Along With MAD.  12. Which pinback button was not produced by Bi-Rite Enterprises Inc.? A. Surf's Up; B. Member U.S. Ping Pong Team; C. What, Me Thirsty?; D. Better MAD Than Wed.  13. Which Nosey Shade was not produced by Imagineering Inc.? A. Eye See You; B. Left In Stitches; C. Accident Prone; D. Look Your Beast.  14. What year did MAD Disco come out? A. 1979; B. 1980; C. 1981; D. 1982.  15. What was the first Paperback Library MAD book?  A. MAD Power; B. The Dirty Old MAD; C. Polyunsaturated MAD; D. Recycled MAD.  16. What was the first story in The MAD Sampler? A. The U.S. Army Chicken Officer's Field Manual; B. Early One Morning; C. The Sordid Business of Gambling; D. Typical College Songs and Cheers.  17. Who was the artist for Captain Izzy and Washt Upps? A. Jack Davis; B. Joe Orlando; C. Bill Elder; D. Wally Wood.  Good Luck!  Hope you enjoy taking the test.

(Pages 6 and 7 contain a photocopy of a 'Newspapers work' ad: 'If you don't advertise in newspapers, you're an idiot' with a large drawing of Alfred E. Neuman.)

Radio Station 2BL (continued from previous issue)

This is the second part of an interview with John Ficarra and Nick Meglin conducted by Tony Delroy on radio station 2BL, Sydney, Australia. 

TD: The genuine article.  Nick, how big is the team and has there been many changes over the many decades that you've been going?

NM: Well, not really, because we reflect life as it exists, we don't create life.  As a matter of fact, the people that have created the humor in the world like the Gary Harts and the Jimmy Swaggerts, etc., and the Dan Quayles, these people just do it to themselves and all we do is reflect it in a kind of a finer funhouse mirror, where it's a little distorted but not that distorted and we just make cynical and clever observations about life around us as it exists, and the movies and the pretentiousness of certain television shows.  So the information and the real subject matter is always present.  It's always out there and we just reflect it on the pages of MAD.

JF: I think you asked how big the team was though, wasn't that it?

TD: Yeah yeah!

NM; Oh!  I didn't ...

JF: Yes!  I didn't think you perfectly heard it, you know we're a few miles away.

TD: I understand.

NM: The team - team (laughter) the team.  Oh well, we have just five or six of us here at the MAD office and then everybody else is free-lance.  The writers and artists are all over the world.

TD: Are these the same guys who put together the Spy vs. Spy series?

JF: Unfortunately not.  That was created by an artist by the name of Antonio Prohias who is a Cuban political cartoonist; who literally fled for his life when Castro took over; and he showed up at the MAD offices; and he had wonderful drawings and what you, and Nick was the one who looked at his portfolio and said - Jeez, this guy is so talented - and he brought him in and they had a meeting and out of that meeting developed Spy vs. Spy.  Antonio did it for a number of years; I guess up until about five years ago; when he was having some health problems and he retired; and now we have other people doing it; but we still leave underneath the Spy vs. Spy logo, it says Spy vs. Spy by Prohias in Morse code, sort of a tribute to Antonio.

TD: Lovely stuff.  I guess with the end of the cold war the Spy vs. Spy may have a limited future, do you think?

JF: No.  Not as long as the CIA is around and Saddam Hussein is around.  There'll always be spies.

TD: Yeah, indeed well Saddam Hussein is probably worth a few column inches in the next edition, I guess.

JF: Well, actually you have to be very careful with that because the situation is so fluid that we could come out with something that by the time we come out with it in January, which is the issue we're working on now, could be perceived in really bad taste.

TD: Right.

JF: We just ran into a similar incident where for a while a couple of months ago, in the United States flag burning was a very big issue.  Bush was running around trying to make political hay; trying to get some constitutional amendments that you couldn't burn the American flag.  So we did a cover of the MAD flag for our 300th issue, and it had the same colors as the American flag, but it was different, and it had Alfred on it, and right as we went down to press with it, Hussein invaded Kuwait, and Nick and I sat and looked at each other and said - Boy, if we come out with this and there's a full-scale war going on, this isn't going to be terribly funny at all.

TD: Not at all.

JF: Right.  Yeah it's going to be misrepresented and even if we weren't at war the whole flag burning issue becomes such a small non-entity.

NM: It was silly!  It was silly actually ...

JF: Yeah.  So we backed off the cover.  We said we didn't want to take the chance.

TD: What have you gone for instead for the memorial 300th edition?

JF: Actually we took the classic Alfred E. Neuman pose that Norman Mingo perfected years ago and we did a parody of People magazine.  Every year they run what they call The Sexiest Man Alive cover.

TD: Oh yeah!

JF: We did the Sexiest Schmuck Alive (laughter) and also in this issue we did some things that we always wanted to do but were never able to, and that was spoof of three movies made before MAD was in existence.  Three classics: Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, and The Wizard of Oz.

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photocopy of 'ME WORRY? Not in Hollywood')

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December, 1954.  This postcard was sent to me by Bob Barrett.  My guess is that it was created during World War II.

Free-lancing Dept. (Work Outside of MAD Division):  (photocopy of two basketball cards)

These are two in a set of basketball cards Jack Davis did for an offer by Fun Fruits. 1991 Sunkist Growers Inc.

Special Pull-Out Section: In Memoriam

(Page A is a drawing of Harvey Kurtzman October 3, 1924 - February 21, 1993)

Harvey Kurtzman Is dead at 68; Cartoonist Was Creator of Mad

Harvey Kurtzman, a cartoonist and a pop-culture historian who founded and created Mad magazine and was a guiding force in several other satirical magazines, died Sunday at his home in Mount Vernon, N.Y.  He was 68.  Byron Preiss, his publisher at Visual Publications Inc., in New York, said the cause was complications of liver cancer.  Mr. Preiss described Mr. Kurtzman as 'one of the greatest cartoonists of the 20th century.'  Art Spiegelman, a friend who created the Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Maus' books, said Mr. Kurtzman had developed a new kind of humor that changed the way America saw itself.  'Kurtzman's Mad held a mirror up to American society, exposing the hypocrisies and distortions of mass media with jazzy grace and elegance,' he said.  He's our first post-modern humorist, laying the groundwork for such comtemporary humor and satire as 'Saturday Night Live,' Monty Python and 'Naked Gun,' he continued, calling Mr. Kurtzman 'the spiritual godfather of underground comics.'  Mr. Kurtzman began his career in comic books in 1943, when his work first appeared in Ace's Magno.  He later worked at Hey Look and Timely Comics, and in 1950 moved to EC Comics, which was owned by William M. Gaines, who died last year.  Mr. Kurtzman, who had been interviewing Korean War veterans for combat comic books, came down with jaundice and decided to create something that he could write from his sickbed.  Mr. Gaines encouraged Mr. Kurtzman's idea for a magazine that later became Mad and which first appeared in 1952.  Several years later, Mr. Kurtzman left to run another magazine, Trump, which was backed by Hugh Hefner.  He also created the magazines Humbug and Help!  Mr. Kurtzman was credited with being the creative force behind the mascot of the original Mad, the impish Alfred E. Neuman, as well as the comic strip 'Little Annie Fanny' in Playboy.

(Page C has a drawing of Kurtzman by Kurtzman and three different Kurtzman signatures.)

Mr. Kurtzman, who grew up reading Sunday newspaper comic strips and became obsessed with the genre, had his first cartoon published when he was 14.  He attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan and was a scholarship student at Cooper Union.  Before going on to Mad, Mr. Kurtzman edited Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat, for EC Comics.  Both were well-researched, serious comic books about the nature and moral complexities of war.  He also taught cartoon storytelling at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.  He wrote a children's book, 'My Life as a Cartoonist,' and 'Strange Adventures.'  His last book, 'From Aargh! to Zap!: Harvey Kurtzman's Visual History of the Comics.' was published two years ago.  He is survived by his wife, Adele; three daughters, Cornelia, Elizabeth and Meredith; a son, Peter, and two brothers, Zachary and Dan.  The above was written by Richard D. Lyons and appeared in The New York Times, February 23, 1993.  Harvey Kurtzman died February 21, 1993.

(Page D shows a photocopy of the cover of MAD #1, a drawing of Harvey and a drawing of Goodman Beaver.)

We'll Miss You Harvey, But Your Spirit Will Akways Be With Us.  Thank You For Helping Shape Our Lives."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 19 May 1993

Cover: Drawing of Bill Gaines and 'Al Neuman' as Aladdin and Genie by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

The trivia contest was a booming success.  I had four people enter and two of them didn't follow the rules.  One wasn't a subscriber and the other was a day late.  To be fair, I tossed both of those entries into the round file.  The winners are Robert Solomon with 13 correct and Matt Teske with 10 correct.  They each won a MAD2 Promo card autographed by Dick DeBartolo and Al Jaffee.  The answers were 1.D, 2.B, 3.A, 4.C, 5.D, 6.B, 7.B, 8.A, 9.C, 10.D, 11.B, 12.B, !3.A, 14.B, 15.B, 16.D and 17.C.  I finally got someone else to submit a cover.  Matt Teske did one and I'll be using it in an upcoming issue.  I'd like to get more.  I think I'm wearing Cecil out with cover ideas.  I have two more of his and I submitted an idea for a third.  He also promised to do the cover for issue 25.  That means I need at least two more to reach number 25.  You don't want me drawing covers!!  I also need more articles submitted.  Jim McClane, Grant Geissman, David Williams and Michael Lerner submitted stuff for this issue.  Randon photos would be great also.  I used one Mark Finn sent me months ago.  It's good to have a library of photographs to use.  Stay MAD, Ed

What's New Dept: (photos of two pinbacks)

Enclosed is a promo card from Active Marketing International.  The company will be releasing their Defective Comics set in mid-June.  There will be 3 E.C. related cards.  The Bad #1 card is the best parody trading card released satirizing MAD.  The others were Fleer's Crazy Magazine Covers (Bad) and Topps' Wacky Packages (Mud).  I want to thank Bill Evans for providing the cards and information.  O.S.P. Publishing has released two posters, Alfred E. Neuman for President and Alfred E. Neuman Who Needs You.  You can order them directly from the company by calling 800-851-6341.  The Button Exchange has released 6 pinback buttons.  They are .60 each.  You can order them from the company by calling 800-851-0880.  Warner stores will be carrying a denim jacket with Alfred E. Neuman on it.  The cost will be around $100.  I don't have a date of release as of yet.  Sears and Roebuck should be carrying MAD styled neck ties.  These are by the same company that produced them in the Canadian market this past summer.  I don't know the price of these.  Lime Rock International has reorganized.  The Spy vs. Spy cards had their shipping delayed.  Sean Nelen told me they plan on doing another set of MAD covers in the future.  Kraft is putting out a MAD candy under the Berserk Candy Works brand.  Look for it soon in a candy store near you.  That's Old - I've been tolg that Alfred E. Neuman appears as a mask in Action Comics #386.  I can't find that issue around here and haven't confirmed it.  But, take a peek for yourself.

Radio Station 2BL (continued from previous issue)

TD: How many countries is the magazine sold in?

JF: It's virtually sold around the world, and we've gotten letters from everywhere.  In fact, I received a letter from someone in Australia who saw my name on the masthead and we have the same last name and he said - are we related?  We both traced back the family trees and there's a better than even chance that we are related.  What we had in common, my grandfather had a brother who went to Australia.

NM: And his name is Crocodile Dundee!

TD: Oh, you're done well. (Laughter) Well, I can assume you have a lot of fans out here I know I read it very, very substantially, especially in the 70s.  I guess that's when the popularity really peaked.  They tell me that 2.5 million copies per edition, what has cut into the circulation?  It's not as big as it was.

NM: Two things in particular.  There are less younger people out there because of the population zero.  We started to get the effects of the fact that a lot of aren't having as many young children around and we get our new readers by the young kids emulating their older brothers and sisters and they carry on the MAD tradition in the family.  There was less of them, and then of course electronically, today's young people are brilliant when it comes to electronic devices.  Buttons, anything that can be pushed and played with on a computer screen, on a VCR, whatever, and that's where most of their entertainment is.  Unfortunately they're not reading much and we get a lot of letters from school teachers all over the country saying that they use MAD as a teaching device.  At least they can get the kids to read something rather than nothing.  We're having problems now, if you make a reference to something like Huckleberry Finn or Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence incident that we all grew up with as a perfect little con job, the kids today scratch their heads and look at you like, what are you talking about?  They don't know Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.  It's frightening.  That part frightens us.  There are just less readers out there.

TD: Yeah, indeed.

JF: Something is, we have licensed the magazine, the fact that there's an Australian edition and there's about 12 or 14 foreigh editions.  So when we licensed, we no longer sell the American edition in the country it's licensed in.

TD: I understand.

JF: It also cuts down on the American figure circulation which is the one you are working with.

TD: Right!

NM: What he's saying is that we may sell, when you add up all the foreign language editions, we may sell almost as much total, probably 2 million total.  But not the same 2.5 million American editions which is where we were in our peak.  So it's a little bit of a trade off, but as I said, the readership has declined.

TD: What is your target audience?

JF: No idea! (Laughter)

NM: Without advertising we don't have a, you know, we don't have the um, whatever the word is that means ...

Both: Demographics!

NM: Sorry, because there's no reason to take surveys or polls or anything because we're not selling advertising space.  That's why they take these polls.  So our publisher very, very intelligently said, 'John and Nick, I'd rather you didn't know who we were appealing to because we'd perhaps be tempted to pander to that readership and throw in more articles that they would like.'  Then the magazine would stop having its free willing, let's hit anything attitude.  I think he's right.  I think by not knowing who we appeal to, as to whoever picks it up.

TD: John, are you making any changes to the magazine as the years go on?  Perhaps changing your approach to the 90s?

JF: Well I think Nick hit it on the head when he said that MAD is really a mirror of society.  We watch what happens and then just reflect it back.  As society changes so too is MAD changed.  Years ago movies were more conservative, now they've become more open with sex and violence, so our spoofs of them have certainly reflected that.  I think as long as, like Nick said, there's a schmuck in the White House, and as long as they're making bad movies and TV shows, we'll always be doing that.  Then it's up to the American people to do strange things that we can make fun of.

(page 8 has a photo of Nick Meglin and John Ficarra)

TD: What is the future, do you see for the magazine? (Silence)  Deafening silence, it doesn't have a future!  (Laughter)

JF: We're going to lunch about 12 today.  Beyond that we haven't much planned.

TD: Fantastic fellers.  Thank you very much for joining us.  We do appreciate it.  300 up and I hope another 300 to come.  It certainly is a, an institution in the United States and certainly is here  Congratulations for the work so far.

JF: Thank you very much.

NM: Thank you really, this has been a pleasure.

I want to thank David Williams for this interview.  He sent me 14 pages of hand written notes,  It had to have been a lot of work.  I know just typing it was no easy task.  See issues 17 and 18 for the first two parts.  Here is a photo of John Ficarra (left) and Nick Meglin taken by Mark Finn during his visit to the offices, May 21, 1992.  They are in John's office.

A 'What -- Me Worry?' Slot machine? You Bet!!  (Three photos of the machine)

Made by Sega, the same folks pumping out all the video machines and games today, I am told this slot machine was manufactured in the early sixties.  Not intended for use in the U.S.A., this machine takes a 6 pence coin, (fortunately the exact same size as a U.S. dime) and was shipped off for use in a European casino or cruise ship.  Well, somehow it found its way back across the Atlantic, and now rests contentedly in my game room!  The three MAD related parts to this machine are the embossed silver bar across the bottom that dubs the machine 'MAD MONEY.' the colorful images of Alfred E. Neuman on the wheels, and the light-up glass marquee on the top.  The machine works perfectly, even begrudgingly giving a few dimes every now and then.  The machine is vivid red with black accents, and lights up in the awards cards window and at the top!  If you have any questions about the machine (aside from 'Is it for sale?') call me.  This article was written and photographs taken by Jim McClane.  Jim sent the machine out to be restored.  They did a great job. 

A Double Crackpot  (photo of slot machine)

Grant Geissman has added a different MAD Money slot machine to his collection.  It's a Sega Continental made in 1966.  The slot machine is unauthorized (as is the one featured on pages 6 & &) and was made for use in Europe and Japan, primarily at military bases.

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photo of postcard)

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  This is the postcard used to advertise the availability and rates for 'Me Worry? No --' advertising postcards.  Produced by The Naco Line, these were called 'Me Worry' Cards No. N1.  The different advertising shops added their rubber stamp after the 'For Sale By' title on the back.  The postcard is described as 'The PERFECT novelty direct-by-mail advertising piece!'  This postcard is in full color and is not dated.

Freelancing Dept. (Work Outside of MAD Division):  (photocopy of four postage stamps: 'The 'Bringing Up Baby' Series')

 Michael Lerner sent me this from People, December 28, 1992.  Mort Drucker like Jack Davis, should have a U.S. stamp featuring his artwork.  Two stamps by Gerry Gersten also appear."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 20 July 1993

Cover: Drawing of one-finger salute ('The Number One Ecch Fanzine') by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

This is issue number 20.  When I started this fanzine I was hoping to get through the first year (6 issues).  After all, MAD Freaks U,S.A. had published that many.  MADzine went a baker's dozen.  A year ago Michael Lerner had published 3 issues and would publish one more.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to publish another.  If I hadn't been able to do it, I'd like to believe this fanzine would still have kept going.  I changed the name of the fanzine, I didn't change the people who purchase it.  MAD Freaks U.S.A., MADzine, The MAD Panic, whatever, it's not me that keeps this going, it's all of you.  I enjoy receiving the letters and phone calls.  Not many share our hobby and it's always a pleasure to talk, listen, read or write about what's new or old.  I thought I'd peak (in circulation) during the first year, but the growth has been steady.  I want to thank you for spreading the word about this fanzine.  I hope to publish at least another 20 issues!  After receiving numerous requests (2) I'm going to try this new mailing format.  I hope the fanzine arrives in somewhat better condition.  And I get to save two staples per copy, just think about my savings!  Stay MAD, Ed

You've Got To Hand It To Him  (photo of hand puppet)

Decked out in a blue and brown cloth outfit with a gingham checked bib front, Alfred here is something less than a Beau Brummell!  There is a sewn-in label on the inside that states that this is a Storyland Puppet that was manufactured by M.P.I. Toy Co., South Gate, CA in 1960.  On the front of the neck, embossed into the rubber are three familiar words -- 'What Me Worry.'  (Submitted by Jim McClane.)

Filler Dept:

Mark Cohen's MAD art show will be at Pacific Arts Center in Seattle, WA from August 6th to September 30th.  See it if you can!

Spy vs. Spy: The Case of The Hidden Video Games  (photocopies of spies and Sega screen)

Since 1984 First Star Software, Inc. has created three interactive computer games in their Spy vs. Spy series.  These games have been published throughout the world on numerous video game and home computer systems including: the Sega Master System, Nintendo Entertainment System and Nintendo Game Boy platforms as well as the Amstrad, Amiga, Apple, Atari, Atari ST, Commodore 64/128, Fujitsu, IBM, MSX, NEC and Sinclair computers.  The first game was called Spy vs. Spy, a clever name that took months to develop and cost millions in marketing research.  The game was almost called Richard Nixon's Watergate - The Game, but Richard Spitalny, then a janitor emptying bit buckets, held his breath until he turned blue and the rest is history.  More than 400,000 units of the game have been sold so far, and Richard was made president of First Star Software.  An interesting thing happened with the Sega Master release of the game, the Spies received names.  Heckel, the white spy, and Jackel, the black spy. lost one of Antonio Prohias' best kept secrets.  The mission of this game: penetrate the foreign embassy, obtain the top-secret briefcase and leave in time to catch your private 'get-a-way' plane.  The second game in the lineup is Spy vs. Spy: The Island Caper Game.  The objective is to locate the three buried missile parts, asseble them in the right order, and transport the now-armed Polaris missiles to the waiting escape submarine ... before the volcano erupts!  Along the way, the Spies must dodge both natural and man-made booby traps including sharks, quicksand, snares, coconut bombs, jungle pits, and more.  And of course, the two Spies continually engage in deadly sword fights.

(drawing of TRAPULATOR Model FSS 85)

The third game was Kemco America's first endeavor with MAD magazine characters.  The game Spy vs. Spy - Operation: Booby Trap was produced for Nintendo's Game Boy.  In this game your bumbling buddies from Mad secret service have both been driving desks at their respective H.Q.'s for months.  Word has it that the Commander-General has accused them of booby trapping each other, and not concentrating on getting their jobs done.  Anyway, White and Black (notice their 'names' disappeared) have been caught numerous times daydreaming at their desks, plotting their revenges on each other, instead of filling out expense reports, requisition forms, and other endless, boring international espionage-type drudgery.  Until one day, there arose a mission so difficult, and so dangerous, the spies' supervisors saw the opportunity to get rid of both spies at once.  Good thing they mess up or there wouldn't be a fourth game due out soon!

(pages 6 and 7 are photocopies of 'Sega Spy vs. Spy' and 'Spy vs. Spy: Advantage')

Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy for Sega Genesis will be the first 16 bit video game based on Antonio Prohias' characters.  The game will be the first to feature the devious and beautiful female spy along with her drone and gang of level-boss characters.  In another break with tradition, the players now must battle and defeat a host of computer controlled characters as well as the female boss spy as they race against the clock and fight one another.  Hand-to-hand combat (eye pokes, wedgies, dirty kicks and punches) all feature fluid, cartoon-like animations.  In their quest to defeat enemy armies and engage in the ultimate boss battle with female spy, players must collect numerous weapons and set or avoid booby-traps, each complete with dazzling after-effects.

(photocopy of game case and drawings of symbols and Trapulator)

I want to thank Richard Spitalny, at First Star Software, and Oliver Miyashita, at Kemco America, for providing information and material for this article.

Canadian Prices, Aye!

Here in Canada we pay $2.16 for a gallon of gas, $5.25 for a package of cigarettes (Eeech) and $2.25 for a copy of MAD magazine.  How long have Canadians been paying more for MAD, you may ask?  'Probably Not!' I've compiled a list of MAD cover price differences.  The price on the cover is the only difference.

Issue Numbers        Canadian Cover Price        U.S. Cover Price

76,77                        In small print, 30c            25c

78-95                        30c                                    25c

96-199                 No cover price difference    30c - 60c

200-208                    75c                                    60c

209-217                No cover price difference    75c

218-221                    85c                                    75c

222-231                    $1.00                                90c

232-238                    $1.15                                $1.00

239-244                    $1.25                                $1.00

245-252                    $1.50                                $1.25

253-260                    $1.60                                $1.25

261-276                    $1.75                                $1.35

277-292                    $1.95                                $1.50

293-320                    $2.25                                $1.75

(photocopies of cover prices for MAD #76 & MAD #308)

The above was written by Rick Long.  At one point in time a few of us thought the price difference was newsstand vs. subscription.  Rick informed us, a couple of years ago, that it wasn't the case.  Thanks Rick!  (Note: Through issue 320, there have been 230 printed cover differences.)

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photo of thermometer)

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  This framed advertisement/thermometer measures 5" by 7" and yes, the thermometer still works, it's 72 degrees in my kitchen right now!  Found at a local fles market by my 13 year old son Corey, who seems to ferret out more MAD stuff than his dad.  This very displayable piece (in my opinion) was a steal at ten bucks.  Anybody know if this insurance company is still around?  Anybody care?  (Submitted by Jim McClane.)

Spy vs. Spy Checklist

The Spy vs. Spy cards have been released by Lime Rock International, Inc.  This is a 55 card set which contains a puzzle back.  Because of the printing layout for the cards, each card has two different backs.  Thus it's possible to have a complete set but not a complete puzzle or vice versa.  If you should happen to find card #8 with a blank back, it was cut from the box the cards came in.  The puzzle measures 5 x 11 cards.  Below I have listed each card and the two backs.  The code depicts where it fits in the puzzle.  The top left corner is A1, next one over is A2, etc.  There are two puzzles on an uncut sheet.  The first code depicts the top puzzle location and the second code depicts the bottom puzzle location: 1. A11, A6; 2. B10, B5; 3. C9, C4; 4. D8,D3; 5. E7,E2; 6. D6,D1; 7. C&, C2; 8. B8,B3; 9. A9, A4; 10. C11,C6; 11. D10,D5; 12. E9,E4; 13. A2,A8; 14. B1,B7; 15. C2,C8; 16. D3,D9; 17. E4,E10; 18. D5,D11; 19. C4,C10; 20. B3,B9; 21. E6,E1; 22. C6,C1; 23. B7,B2; 24. A8,A3; 25. B9,B4; 26. C10,C5; 27. D11, D6; 28. E10,E5; 29. A3,A9; 30. B2,B8; 31. C1,C7; 32. D2,D8; 33. E3,E9; 34. D4,D10; 35. C5,C11; 36. B4,B10; 37. E8,E3; 38. D7,D2; 39. B6,B1; 40. A7,A2; 41. E11,E6; 42. A4,A10; 43. D1,D7; 44. E2,E8; 45. B5,B11; 46. A6,A1; 47. C8,C3; 48. D9,D4; 50. C3,C9; 51. E1,E7; 52. B11,B6; 53. A1,A7; 54. E5,E11; 55. A10,A5.  There are thirteen Spy vs. Spy stories.  One of these is a single card, others range from 2 to 6 cards.  Also included are an Antonio Prohias and a checklist card.  Most of the art is Prohias' but I can't understand why they put Clarke and Edwing's version into this set.  There is more than enough of Prohias' Spy vs. Spy to fill many sets.  The puzzle back is also done by Clarke and Edwing, that one I can understand.

Filler Dept:

MAD Special variations: #82 is a Collector's Edition and can be found with and without the number printed in the upper right corner.  #88 had different packaging, unbagged with maze attached and bagged with maze detached.  #89 came bagged with a Spy vs. Spy hologram and unbagged with no hologram.

New Stuff Dept:

CARDZ Distribution, Inc. has released a set of cards based on the HBO's Tales From The Crypt which is based on E.C.'s classic comic.  The card set contains 110 gems.  The last one, #110, is of interest to all MAD collectors.  The card pictures  William Gaines, an Alfred E. Neuman cloth doll, and some of the MAD logo.  Christine Randall supplied us with this card.  I want to thank her.  If you collect E.C. stuff, you will want to get the full set.  If for no other reason than to get their Killer Komics cards.  They are the vintage comic book covers!  Since October 1972 Warner Books (then Warner Paperback Library) has been publishing the MAD paperback books.  The relationship is about to change.  MAD is currently searching for their fifth paperback publisher, others were Ballantine, Signet and Paperback Library.  Let's hope if they reissue previous books, they will use new cover art, the same as Warner did with the original Signet books.  Let's also hope for better distribution (the last couple of years it has been terrible) and for the return of gift or collection boxes.  I have got a few different stories about which will be the last book, either a Spy vs. Spy or a Sergio Aragones book sounds most likely."            

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 21 September 1993

Cover: Drawing of MAD #1 parody by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

I know a few of you keep up with what is going on in the collectibles Market.  Some of the latest events have prompted this issue.  The word on the streets is that MAD and Alfred E. Neuman are hot!  There must be a rush of new deep pocket buyers out there.  I don't know anyone who is spending the kind of money that is being thrown around.  I eish they would at least subscribe.  At a recent Sotheby's auction 30 VF MAD magazines (numbers 27,29,33-60), whcih are valued at about $1000, had a minimum bid of $2000!  I thought to myself, 'There's a lot that won't sell.'  Someone purchased them for $6325!  Why that person didn't spend, maybe, 30 minutes on the phone with a Comic Buyer's Guide in hand I'll never know.  I'm sure he could have gotten them at guide or less.  Most of us sell at or below guide.  Someone else had to help bid the price up.  I was going to use a cover by Matt Teske for this issue (sorry Matt) but Cecol's seemed more appropriate.  Rush out and buy insurance for your stuff.  I know I could never afford to replace my stuff if this becomes a trend in purchasing.  Put the MAD magazine enclosed up for auction.  Minimum bid $20.  You'll get it, plus some!  Just make sure you grade it properly: EXP.  That isn't Extra Poor, that's EXPensive!  Stay MAD, Ed

MAD TV - The Lost Episode  (photocopy of The Oddfather)

How close was The MAD TV Special to be actually shown on TV?  Jim McClane sent the following from an ABC press kit.  The kit included an original photograph and original memo from ABC Television.  The irreverent humor of Mad Magazine comes to life in a zany new animated special - 'The Mad Magazine TV Special' = on the ABC Television Network during the 1973-'74 season.  A satirical look at the film 'The Godfather,' entitle 'Oddfather,' (pictured above) will be part of the segmented magazine-type special. 

Mad Collectibles: I'll Have Mine Rare Please

There have been many MAD and Alfred E. Neuman collectibles produced since MAD first hit the newsstands.  Many of them were never licensed by E.C. Publications and some of those are amongst the rarest.  What are the rarest E.C. Publications licensed collectibles?  Michael Lerner has compiled the list based on discussions with various MAD collectors across the country.  If you have any of these items, please let one of us know about it.  We will not ask you if you want to sell it, we just want to know if the list should be revised.  #1 Original Alfred E. Neuman black and white picture.  This item was offered in the April 1956 (#27) issue of MAD.  It was 5" x 7" and was printed on 'fine stiff paper.'  The original cost was 15c.  When Michael sent me the list, there were none known to exist.  But, one is now in the hands of one of us.  #2 MAD Jewelry first offered in issue #33.  There are five pieces: MAD label/scatter pin (original price $2.00), MAD tie pin ($2.00), MAD cuff links ($3.00), MAD key chain ($2.00), and MAD charm bracelet ($2.00). This is the holy grail for MAD collectors.  Individual pieces exist but not the complete set.  #3 MAD Straightjacket first offered in issue #46.  This is an extremely rare item in any condition.  It is almost impossible to find with the original lock that it came with.  The original price was $4.95 and came in S, M, and L sizes.  #4 Collegeville Alfred E. Neuman Mardi Gras costume.  This item was never really offered or advertised in MAD.  The costume appeared in the Letters column of issue #59.  This costume was a full body and only 3 are known to exist.  #5 The 1960 Alfred E. Neuman for President kit.  This was a 5 piece kit that sold for $1.00 and it included: Campaign button, Campaign poster, Campaign cap, Bumper sticker, and Door sign.  Individual pieces can be found but the complete kit is scarce, especially with the original mailing envelope.  This item was first offered in issue #55.  #6 'What - Me Worry? I Read MAD' T-shirt.  First offered in issue #39 for $1.25.  There were six different sizes available.  This is a very difficult item to find, especially an unwashed one.  #7 Aurora catalog featuring the Alfred E. Neuman model.  The 1965 catalog wasn't produced for MAD, but the model was so this item makes the list.  This is the catalog that model collectors want!  Not because of Alfred, but because of the appearance of certain monster models.  #8 Collegeville Alfred E. Neuman tuxedo model.  Shown in the same issue as the Mardi Gras costume.  A few complete costumes have appeared in the past few years.  It is hard to find one in the original box.  Recently a bunch of the original masks were found in mint condition.  #9 'Alfred E. Neuman Sings What Me Worry?/Potrzebie' 45 rpm record.  This item was first advertised is issue #49.  The record is not that rare, but the picture sleeve is.  #10 Alfred E. Neuman for President T-shirt.  This is the newest item to make the list (1984) and was first advertised in issue #251.  It was an overlooked item that was sold in JC Penney, Belk Leggett, Gayfers and other department stores for $10.00 (adult) and $8.00 (kid).  #11 MAD hardcover books.  Four anthologies were printed: MAD For Keeps, MAD Forever, A Golden Trashery of MAD and The Ridiculously Expensive MAD.  It's very hard to find these with their dust jackets still on.  The 1969 book, The Ridiculously Expensive MAD is probably the toughest one to find in complete condition.  It contained 6 bonuses which were usually removed and an instruction sheet for the MAD Mobile that was never attached.  #12 Alfred E. Neuman busts.  These came in two sizes, 3-3/4" and 5-1/2".  They were first offered in issue #53 for $2.00 and $1.00.  The smaller bust is harder to find than the larger one.  They are even harder to find with the original sticker on the bottom of the green felt.  #13 The 1964 and 1968 Alfred E. Neuman for President kits.  These were almost the same, the 1964 kit contains 10 items.  There are 2 Campaign Posters, a Campaign Button, 6 Lapel Tabs, and a Bumper Sticker.  The 1968 kit contains one less Lapel Tab.  These were first offered in issues #89 and #120 and sold for $1.00.  They are very hard to find in the original mailing envelopes.  #14 Aurora Alfred E. Neuman model.  First advertised in issue #99, these are more common as built-ups.  The kits still sealed or unbuilt are tougher to locate.  #15 Fink Along With MAD album.  This is the hardest record album to find.  It was first advertised in issue #79.  Recently a few were located in a warehouse find.  They weren't sealed, but were in mint condition.  If anyone has any of the above and want to sell them at the original price, please call me, collect!

... And Loving It!  (photo of Maxwell Smart with Alfred E. Neuman pictures)

The CBS television show Get Smart had a cameo appearance by Alfred E. Neuman.  The original air date was Saturday, September 21, 1968.  It was the show's fourth season premiere.  It was a parody on the show Mission: Impossible.  Thanks to Michael Lerner for sending me the photos and info.

Wizard of Ooze  (photocopies from a Jerry Lewis comic book)

The DC comic The Adventures of Jerry Lewis #89 (August, 1965) stated 'You'll blow a giggle fuse when you find out who's the wicked wacky Wizard of Ooze!' on the cover.  Below is just two of the panels that contain the Wizard of Ooze.  Thanks to Bob Barrett for sending me this one.

Showing An Interest in MAD

It was in 1970 that Bob Overstreet first published his Comic Book Price Guide.  Since then the value of various comics have more or less been established.  Grant Geissman has told me that back in the early years, condition was not all that important.  What was considered Mint back then would be about Fine today.  Some values from the first issue include MAD #1 at $30, MAD #5 at 425, MAD #24 (first magazine) at $12 and MAD #29 (first Feldstein issue) at $7.  The values for The Worst From MADs weren'y included, no annual was.  PANIC #1 could be had for $7.  If you had invested in MAD, how well would you have done?  Well I'm going to tell you.  But first a gripe about the price guide.  Overstreet uses the term 'Average Yearly Return.'  This is not your Effective Yield, it's an overstatement of how well a comic is doing.  Interest rates are calculated based upon the formula S = P x (1 + i)squared and Overstreet uses (S/P -1)/n where S = Today's Guide, P = Old Guide, i = Interest Rate and n = Number of Years.  Example: You have $1000 and invest it at 14% per year.  After the first year you would have $1140 and after years, $1299.60.  Under Bob Overstreet's method, your Average Yearly return was 15%.  He has Detective Comics #27 with a Average Yearly Return of 65% for 1988-1993.  The effective yield would have been 33.6% for the same period.  His method makes the comic market look better than it actually is.  I'll use the effective yield in the figures presented.  Also, I won't calculate the cost of new magazines and specials.  Each year we purchase 8 issues at $1.75 and 6 MAD Specials at $3.50.  I didn't add that factor into the figures.  I also used a compounded yearly calculation.  Most banks compound daily.  So I'm overstating the effective yield, but it is a conservative figure.  I tracked the following for this article: MAD comics (#1-23), MAD magazines (#24 - last one listed in the guide), MAD Specials, MAD Follies, The Worst From MAD, More Trash From MAD (all from #1 to last one listed in the guide), PANIC comics (#1-12).  I've also tracked MAD #1,5,24.29. The Worst From MAD #2 and PANIC #1.  What would have been the best investment for last year?  I see you all jumping up and down with the answer.  MAD #1 went from $1500 to $2000 in one year.  That's a 33.3% effective yield.  Well you all are correct!  The bank are giving about 3%, aren't we all glad we kept that extra cash in that investment market?  In the chart below, some of the 20 year data is left out because the 1973 issue of the price guide didn't have a lot of stuff listed.  It would show the figures, especially in the case of the magazines and specials.

Effective Yield - Interest Rate

1 Yr Gain (1992)    5 Yr Gain (1988)    10 Yr Gain (1983)    20 Yr Gain (1973)

Comics                27.8                        18.0                            14.4                        15.2

Magazines            16.6                        21.7                            16.0

Specials                14.5                        18.8                            15.1

Follies                    10.8                        18.5                            13.1

More Trash            14.0                        12.4                            9.2

Worst                    5.4                            11.0                            10.4

MAD #1                33.3                        29.0                            18.7                        17.5

MAD #5                21.1                        11.4                            8.7                          12.0

MAD #24              16.7                        18.5                            15.9                        16.0

MAD #29              15.0                        20.6                            15.1                        14.3

Worst #2                16.7                        11.8                            9.6

PANIC                    3.9                            9.3                            6.8                        11.4

PANIC #1               17.6                        14.9                            9.6                        12.2

And one final note: If you had a dime back in October 1952 and couldn't decide what to do with it, put it in the bank on buy a MAD #1.  Well at 6% interest at a bank, you'd now have $1.09!  MAD #1 has had a 27.3% effective yield since 1952.

This Year vs. Last Year

MAD                                            1993                1992

Comics + Magazines                    $11,280            $9,132

Specials + Annuals                        2,556                2,325

Total Value                                    $13,836            $11, 457

Pre-MAD Item Dept.  (photocopy of plastic postcard)

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  This one is newer than MAD, but I think it's interesting enough for this section.  This is a 3-D plastic postcard produced by Eden Plastics.  This one was made in 1959.  They produced a different one in 1958, which is more common.  Thanks to Bob Barrett for sending me the photocopy.

Free-lancing Dept:  (copy of PACKET PC ad with drawing by Don Martin)

This ad for Packet/PC appeared in Data Communications, February, 1989.

Foreign MAD Dept:  (photocopy of German sticker)

This section will showcase some MAD item that originated outside of the U.S.A.  This is a German sticker that was produced in 1992.  The translation is: 'I am infamous, I read MAD.'  The sticker is in full color."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 22 November 1993

Cover: Drawing of Mario and Short Alfred by Matt Teske

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

It was a long time coming but Matt Teske's cover finally graces the cover of this fanzine.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  I want to thank Michael Lerner and Grant Geissman for all the information that appears in the What's New section.  Please send me stuff, I'd like to build up a good stockpile to use.  The next issue is due out January 1, 1994.  I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.  This is the first year that I actually hope to receive a tie for Christmas from my kids!  At one time there was a letter column in this fanzine (first two issues, and I didn't receive any until I got a few about the editorial last issue.  Thanks for writing, I enjoyed reading them, but I'm not going to start a letters page again.  If you want to write a letter complaining about this, I promise I won't publish it in the next issue.  But, I will publish a list of those interested in being contacted about MAD stuff (like last year's list).  You need to notify me if you want to be included.  Send me your address and/or phone number to be on the list.  I want to send a special thanks to Lillip Phevin for sending me $750.00 for the next 6 issues.  He told me he can sell them at triple that price!  Remember to resubscribe, subscription rates are 99% Off last issue's rates!  Stay MAD, Ed

MAD Office Visit  (photo of Anne Gaines in her office)

What self respecting MAD fanzine wouldn't have an article about a visit to the MAD offices.  Michael Lerner recently stopped by for a visit and here is what he had to say about it ...  During my recent vacation to the New York area, I visited the MAD offices.  I thought your readers would be interested in hearing about it.  I met with my favorite MAD person, Anne Gaines, who was nice enough to spend part of the day with me.  I've talked to Anne numerous times on the phone, but this was the first time we've really met.  Anne now occupies her late husband's office, which is still filled with tons of MAD items and memorabilia.  Anne has put together a beautiful photo tribute to Bill on the wall next to her desk.  It features various photos of Bill through the years.  Anne and I toured the recently expanded and painted MAD offices where I had the opportunity to talk to the MAD staff, including John Ficarra, Nick Meglin, Lennie Brenner and Tom Nowskowski.  I asked about any new plans from DC Comics.  I was told that things are in the works, and that many new MAD issues will be available through Warner Bros. Studio stores.

(photos of Bill Gaines now gracing Anne's office)

I was also introduced to two of the newest employees, assistant editor Andrew Schwartzberg and editorial assistant Amy Vozeolas.  Both were excited to be working there.  Over lunch, Anne discussed her vacation plans, which included the upcoming MAD trip to Monte Carlo.  Anne is in charge of making all the arrangements, a major undertaking considering the large number of MAD artists and writers going on the trip.  Well, before I knew it, it was time to catch my train home.  Acting as my surrogate Mom, Anne made sure I had the correct change for the bus downtown.  (Thanks!)  Any MAD fan visiting New York should stop into the MAD offices to say hello.  I hope that in the next few years DC comics doesn't decide to move MAD into their headquarters. If it does happen, it will be the end of a rare and special opportunity to visit with the nicest bunch of MAD guys around.

Gag Gift Packs (photocopies of packages)

Paperback book gift packs, or book collections, are a favorite MAD collectible item.  The gift packs have between 4 and 8 books enclosed within the cardboard box.  Some gift packs feature new designs on the box, while others use artwork from one of the book covers.  It is not unusual to find the paperback books in NM condition because of the protective cover.  The boxes usually show the wear and tear of years of storage.  Withe the help of Grant Geissman, Michael Lerner, Bob Barrett and Jim McClane, we have identified the following gift packs.  If you have a different one, please let me know and I'll update the list.

Ballantine Books Gift Packs - Classically MAD: The MAD Reader, MAD Strikes Back, Inside MAD, Utterly MAD, The Brothers MAD; Totally MAD: The MAD Reader, MAD Strikes Back, Inside MAD, Utterly MAD, The Brothers MAD.  These two gift packs are basically the same.  The box design is different as is the title.  The books inside have the same cover design.

Signet Books Gift Packs - Completely MAD: The MAD Sampler, The Organization MAD, The Self Made MAD, The Ides of MAD, Three Ring MAD, Like MAD, Greasy MAD Stuff, Bedside MAD.  The MAD Scene: Like MAD, Raving MAD, Fighting MAD, The Self Made MAD, The Questionable MAD, Good 'n' MAD, The VooDoo MAD, Son of MAD.  An Insanely MAD Collection: The Self Made MAD, Sing Along With MAD, More MAD's Snappy Answers ..., Comes On Strong.  It's A MAD World: MAD About MAD, MAD Power, MADvertising, Looks at Our Sick World.

Warner Paperback Library Gift Packs - MAD: Polyunsaturated MAD, The Dirty Old MAD, Recycled MAD, The Non-Violent MAD, MAD-ly Yours, The Third MAD Dossier of Spy vs. Spy.  The World Is Going MAD: The Rip Off MAD, MAD Book of Word Power, The MAD Sampler, MAD About Sports, The Non-Violent MAD.

 Warner Gift Packs - The MAD Sampler Book: The MAD Sampler, The Pocket MAD, The Invisible MAD, Dr, Jekyll And Mr. MAD.  MAD's Don Martin Carries On: Don Martin Carries On, Don Martin Steps Out, Don Martin Steps Further Out, Don Martin Drops 13 Stories.  Certifiably MAD: Good 'n' MAD, Steaming MAD, The MAD Book Of Magic And ..., Dave Berg Looks At Things, A MAD Guide To Leisure Time.  The Whole 'Don' Set: Don Martin Carries On, Don Martin Drops 13 Stories, Don Martin Cooks Up More Tales, Don Martin Steps Further Out, Don Martin Forges Ahead.  The Certifiably MAD Prohias Spy vs. Spy: The All New MAD Secret File On Spy vs. Spy, MAD's Spy vs. Spy Follow-Up File #2, The Third Dossier Of Spy vs. Spy, The Fourth MAD Declassified Paper On Spy vs. Spy, The Fifth MAD Report On Spy vs. Spy.

There was also a gift pack which contained 5 books that were shrink wrapped with plastic book ends.  There are two different book ends, a red and a gold pair.  The Certifiably MAD gift set can be found in lime green or gold. 

Artificially Flavored Of Course!  (photo of candy package)

 Memphis - BerZerk Candy Werks is reporting widespread success of its MAD Idiotic Fruity Candy.  According to the kids, it's their favorite novelty candy.  Lise Wilson, product manager, says 'the MAD candy is really going over great with kids.  When MAD Idiotic Fruity Candy was tested with fourth, fifth and sixth graders at a Memphis grade school, the kids consistently chose the MAD item as their favorite over other popular kids novelty candies.'  (Editor's note: The other novelty candy was 5 year old doggie bits and tar-pit gummy bears.)  So what do kids love best about MAD candy?  According to the young experts, the Alfred E. Neuman mouth spout on the MAD Idiotic Fruity Candy is really cool and they love the mini-sweet and sour fruit bits that pour out of it.  The special mini-collector's edition featuring famous MAD magazine spoofs that comes with each package of the candy is also a big hit with kids.  Wilson says, 'The kids love MAD candy because they love MAD magazine and think Alfred E. Neuman is really goofy.  They love the gags, jokes and complete irreverence.  It's fun!'  BerZerk Candy Werks has an exclusive agreement with MAD to use that MAD trademark for brand candies, mints and gums.

What's New Dept:

The suspected existence of bootleg MAD busts has been confirmed.  The bootleg looks identical to the large MAD bust but is a bit smaller (5-1/4" high opposed to nearly 6" high) and lighter in weight than the original.  The felt on the bottom is red rather than green.  The busts originated in the Pacific Northwest over the last several years.  They are sold as 'reissues' and are not being passed off as originals.  They are selling in the $50 range.  The official title of Grant Geissman's book will be Collectibly MAD, with a subtitle of The MAD and EC Collectibles Guide.  The book is now expected to be released during Spring 1994, due to problems finding a book designer who was not intimidated by the project.  Two others have started and have bitten the dust.  The book is being designed by Jeff Hixson.  The book will be 10 x 10" size (ala Completely MAD).  Grant has not seen the entire layout at the time of this writing, but what he has seen looks great.  Michael Lerner has articles about MAD collectibles in two upcoming magazines: Baby Boomer Collectibles #3 on sale in October and Spin Again #5 on sale in November.  MAD products in the works for Warner Bros. Studio Stores are cocktail napkins, watches, playing cards, jewelry, mugs, T-shirts, desk plaques, and puzzles utilizing Spy vs. Spy characters and Dave Berg's 'The Lighter Side.'  Lime Rock International will release the final edition of MAD cards.  Each set includes 55 covers plus 4 original art prism cards packaged in a simulated leather covered MAD collector's tin.  A November due date is expected.  There will be a third series of MAD ties released by Watson Brothers in December.  They will feature original MAD graphics.  Gibbon Greetings, Inc. will release during the Summer of 1994, MAD greeting cards, stickers, gift wrap, and gift bags.  What isn't coming out: The Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy video game from First Star Software.  It has been delayed until next year.  The MAD pinball machine from Data East, the MAD key chains from the Button Exchange, and the 1994 MAD calendar have been canceled.  Finally:  MAD #323 features a photo of Eric Cohen, the son of Mark Cohen, in the letters section.  Mark's MAD art collection moves to The Carnegie Art Museum California October 30th and ends January 9, 1994.

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photo of bowling shirt)

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  This is an extremely rare shirt with the 'What, Me Worry?' face, circa 1940s.  The shirt is a bowling style sport shirt in beige; the faces are about 8" high and printed in black and flesh tone colors.  The label reads: 'Star of Hollywood/Made in California.'  Purchased from a vintage clothing store for $450.  Thanks to Grant Geissman for the photo and information.

Filler Dept:

The first issue of PANIC was dated February-March 1954, but it was on the newsstands about this time 40 years ago!

Effanbee Doll Update:

Michael Lerner has been doing some research on the Happy Boy doll.  Here is some information from Effanbee: September 23, 1993 - Dear Mr. Lerner: Thanks for your letter of September 17.  You have already done most of the research on your doll, and there is not much more I can add except: 1) To the best of my knowledge the Happy Boy was never produced in a smaller version.  As you stated, it was produced in the years from 1960 (?) or 1961 to 1964.  It seems that 'Mickey, the All American Boy' took its place after 1964.  2) The doll that your fellow collector has is probably an unauthorized copy.  Effanbee was not producing dolls in the Orient during this period.  3) Regarding the resemblance to Alfred E. Neuman, it is impossible to look into the mind of the sculpter that created the head.  I agree that it does resemble MAD Magazine's funny little character, but I don't know if this was deliberate or accidental.  I hope I have been of some help.  Thanks for writing.  I would guess that your doll is somewhat rare.  I don't think it was produced in large numbers.  Very truly yours, Effanbee Doll Co., Stanley Wahlberg, President.

A call to Michael yielded this information: The Happy Boy doll was produced in three versions - as a boxer, in overalls, and in a nightshirt and cap.  The doll was recently auctioned (October 7th) and went for a bid of $287!  I'm sure the seller is a 'Happy Boy!'

Foreign MAD Dept:  (photocopy of 'I Read MAD' sticker)

This section will showcase a MAD item that originated outside of the U.S.A.  This is an Australian sticker that was produced in 1992.  The translation is: 'I Read Australian MAD.'  The round sticker is in black, red, and white.  The original size is 2-1/8"."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 23 January 1994

Cover: "What if Bill Gaines had grown up in the Franciscan Convent at Siessen?" (drawing by Cecil Sutton)

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

DC Comics exposed - Seems like the big wigs at DC got ahold of my subscribers list.  Once they saw those 10s of names, they realized they could make a killing in the paid circulation if they printed two different covers for MAD #323 (red and yellow logos).  If that many people were crazy enough to subscribe to a two-bit fanzine, surely they would buy both cover varieties.  A source deep inside the MAD offices told me that DC claimed the red ink was cheaper the day they printed the remaining run.  When they saw the circulation figures in issue #325, they realized they were red duped.  I hope everyone had a good holiday.  Santa was good to me.  I got a Dave Berg desk plaque, a book of Alfred E. Neuman napkins and a MAD money clip.  I didn't get the new Alfred E. Neuman bust.  Santa didn't have enough spare change.  Robert Solomon sent me a picture of him dressed in some tacky outfit (see page 5).  Maybe I'll find one in the $1.00 Store someday!  Cecil Sutton once again graces the cover of this fanzine.  But he wants it stated that he thinks the cover concept was stupid and he had no part in writing it (If I had known that I'd have gotten my name in the cover credit, I would have given him ideas a long time ago.

1994 Interest List Dept.

(19 names listed)

Happy Jack Soda Bottle (with photos)

It appears that contrary to speculation a Happy Jack bottle does in fact exist.  The soda was bottled by the Happy Jack Bottling Co. of Los Angeles, CA.  The bottle was manufactured by the Glass Container Corp.  It has an embossed honeycomb pattern all over except for the label areas on the front and back, and the top part of the neck.  It has mustard yellow paint on clear glass.  On the base, the bottle has the logo used by the Glass Container Corp. since 1945.

Alfred E. Neuman Bust, $2500 Cheap!  (with photo)

Warner Brother's Studio Stores has released their version of the Alfred E. Neuman bust.  There were six made and five of them are in the hands of fellow readers of this fanzine.  The sixth was purchased by an actor on L.A. Law.  A total of 25 were commissioned, not sure if the other 19 will be made.

Found Links (with six photos and doll descriptions)

The information below was provided by Robert Solomon (thank you).  If anyone has any more information, please send it along.  I was given a few pages from collector's guides at the Atlanta show from a doll dealer.  Seems that 'Baby Barry' was sired by a 'Daddy Barry' sometime in the late twenties or early thirties.  This was the doll dealer's best estimate.  Effandbee's 'Happy Boy' is a direct descendant of the 'Gene Carr Kids' from the mid teens. 

Trivia Contest - Second Annual

(13 Questions)

Pre-MAD Item Dept. (with photocopy)

This is a postcard from London, England entitled 'Katchy Kids,' series #167.  It was published by Inter-Art Co, Southampton House, London, W.C.  The postcard dealer who sold it to me said it was printed around 1915.  It is a full color postcard and the 'An English' was written by someone along the way. 

Freelancing Dept. (with photocopy of Rick Tulka drawing)

Mark Cohen has co-written this comic.  The cover was done by Rick Tulka.  The other MAD artists are Al Jaffee and Sam Viviano.  Mark and Sam did 'Job Hunters' Hustle.'  Al Jaffee did a fold-in for the back inside cover.  The Sonoma County Business Education Roundtable produced the comic.

Foreign MAD Dept. (photocopy of sticker)

This is an Australian sticker that was produced in 1992.  I wasn't able to translate it.  The original size is 2-1/8 x 6-7/8".

What's New Dept.

Don Martin has a new magazine (comic size) called Don Martin Magazine.  The second issue just hit the streets.  Looks like it will be a great addition to the collection.  One thousand copies of each issue has a signed poster. 

Warner Bros. Studio Store has three Dave Berg desk plaques, an Alfred E. Neuman money clip and belt, and MAD napkins.  Check your local store or call the New York store to order."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 24 March 1994

Cover: Drawing of Calvin/Alfred & Hobbes by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

The MAD Trivia Contest II had four winners with 12 correct.  Michael Lerner, Bruce Liber, Rick Long, and Michael Skinner each win a MAD card autographed by Nick Meglin.  Nine people entered and the range was from 5-12 being correct.  The answers are: 1A, 2C, 3A, 4D, 5B, 6C, 7B, 8A, 9D, 10B, 11C, 12D, and 13B.  Just to let you know, Anne Gaines' middle name is Griffiths.  Stan Horzepa must have thought it was a trick question, he picked C, "None of the above," on a True or False question!  I'll do it again next January, so start studying your MAD trivia!  I had a call concerning the stuff I've been putting in this fanzine.  The person thought I had turned this fanzine into a collection publication.  He felt I had gotten away from printing about MAD and its staff.  I fully agree with him and I'm going to start printing articles about MAD again.  You'll find an Australian article on the facing page.  If you find anything new or foreign, please send it to me.  I'm pretty well stockpiled on old articles.  The next issue is #25.  I hope to add a few extra pages.  If you have been holding back on sending me an article, a few of you have told me you are working on stuff, please send it before April 1st!  I can't believe I've been doing this for four years!  Stay MAD, Ed.

Youth are far from the MAD-ding crowd

Mad magazine is losing the 40-year battle against Hollywood for the hearts and minds of our youth.  There once was a time when a Hollywood film was not considered a success until it had been irreverently savaged by MAD's cartoonists.  They highlighted holes in the plot - but, at least, it meant the film was popular.  It is no coincidence the magazine's circulation peaked in 1973 - with more than two million sales in the United States alone - when it shot torpedoes into the plot of the abominable Poseidon Adventure.  But now Hollywood has greater power over the minds of our young, as Jurassic Park has proved, while MAD's circulation has dwindled.  In Australia it sells 55,000 copies a month, and in the U.S. it has plummeted to 500,000.  Understandably, Annie Gaines, widow of the magazine's creator William Gaines, thinks this is sad.  'MAD taught kids to question their parents, to look at the world not as the mild, tame place they thought it was, or were taught it was,' she said during a visit to Sydney last week to help promote the 15th anniversary of the Australian edition.  'Now we might be too tame for the kids.  In fact, our new bosses (DC Comics) have told us to get more outrageous to try and recapture some of the readers we have lost.  So many things have come up that kids have got interested in.  First they stopped reading, then they started playing video games, they started going to a lot more movies, now they're being bombarded by TV.'  One of the magazine's doyens, cartoonist Sergio Aragones, believes this has restricted kids' imaginations.  'They don't fantasize as much,' says Aragones in broken Hispanic-English that always seems on the verge of laughter.  'See, when you don't have something to fantasize, when you didn't have television, you fantasize about stories, you create things.  When you read Jules Verne you had imagination.  And you could imagine all those fantastic things because you never saw them on television.  You create things.  I don't know if they're not laughing more.  They are repeating more and they are hoping everything is done for them.  They sit there like automations.  But that's what we need in the future, we need all these automations to handle these machines.'  Perhaps that should be the new topic of MAD's satire?  'Yes.' he says, pausing for a while before adding, 'That is our next article.'  And he bursts out laughing.  [photo of Sergio Aragones pointing at a copy of MAD magazine]  (The above was written by Fred Pawle for some unnamed Australian newspaper during the fall of 1993.  I want to thank David Williams for sending it to me.)

Filler Dept:

Annie Gaines on life with Bill ... 'We were together for 20-1/2 years, but were married for 5-1/2.  He was gun-shy, he'd been married twice and thought it was more exciting to have a girlfriend than a wife.  He had long hair and a beard and looked kind of like Santa Claus.  He was just a jolly, wonderful, sweet guy.'  (The above is from yet another unnamed Australian newspaper.  The article was written during her trip to Australia in the fall of 1993.)

Humor in a Jugular Vein - The Art, Artists, and Artifacts of MAD Magazine

Before her death a few years ago, his mother visited and found MAD magazines spread across his coffee table.  'You still reading that garbage?' she asked.  This collection is Mark Cohen's third.  One he lost to Mom, who tossed it when he moved out of the house.  The second went in a divorce settlement.  His ex-wife got angry and then got Mad.  After all, a first edition 1952 Mad can pull in as much as $1,500.  Walking through the collection, showing fans the hidden gags in a piece of artwork or an artist's signature tucked in the background, is the payoff for Cohen.  'There is no high for me that quite compares with being at the exhibit and sitting back watching people enjoy my stuff,' he says.  'What's the point in having a wonderful collection, keeping it at home and hoarding it?'  The words above were written by M.L. Lyke for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 7, 1993.  Mark's collection is at the end of its 12th showing, another six are already planned.  Mark sent me a list of collectibles created for the shows.  I added some more to it and hope you find it informative and useful.  The Cartoon Museum, San Francisco CA, February 2-May 18, 1991 - Program guide that covereded the first three shows; Ohio State University Cartoon, Graphic, and Photographic Arts Research Library, Columbus OH, October 6-November 27, 1991 - Pink Day-Glo Invitation; Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa CA, January 24-March 8, 1992 - Poster, Announcement Card and 'MAD Talk' postcard for February 15, 1992; Sioux Falls Fine Art Center, Sioux Falls ID, March 28-May 31, 1992 - Nothing was created for this show; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA, June 15-July 23, 1992 - Viva MAD Button (press pass) and folded announcement; Memorial Union Fine Arts Lounge, Tempe AZ, September 8-October 1, 1992 - MUAB Goes MAD Button and announcement mailing; Artspace, Raleigh NC, November 6-December 6, 1992 - Program that covered shows #7, 8, 10 & 11, postcard, poster, t-shirt and refrigerator magnet; University Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN, January 14-April 1, 1993 - postcard, poster, t-shirt, What U Worry button, and five foot high painted head of Alfred E. Neuman (one of a kind); Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay OR, May 21-July 25, 1992 - poster, Alfred E. Neuman in hood, skeleton had button, and two large painted canvas signs (one of these signs was stolen during the Seattle show and has never been returned.  A new one was made to replace it, but it still hasn't been sent back to Mark.); Pacific Arts Center, Seattle WA, August 6-September 30, 1993 - poster, postcard & t-shirt; Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard CA, October 15-November 22, 1993 - postcard; California State University, Chico CA, February 1-March 2, 1994 - program covering this and next six shows, poster, postcard, t-shirt, misprint program (only 40 survived, the rest were destroyed), and History Of MAD poster (only 2 were made).  The next show will be at Blanden Memorial Art Museum, Fort Dodge IA, March 20-April 24, 1994.  Nothing has been produced, yet!  Other shows will be in Evanston IN, Stanford CT (I'm going to that one!), New York, NY, Lafayette IN, and Stockton CA.  If you have any articles about the show(s), please send them along to me. 

(Page 7 shows photocopies of some of these items.)

What's New Dept. (Hard Earned Cash to Spend Division)

The folks that bring you the Comics Buyer's Guide, Don and Maggie Thompson, have produced a new book titled Comic-Book Superstars.  The back of the book professes, 'Comic books are an American art form.  Evolving since 1934, they captured public attention almost from the first.  Blamed for juvenile delinquency in the 1950s, they are praised today for their role in overcoming illiteracy.  But who are these people behind comics?  Who writes them?  Who draws them?'  Well this book misses the mark when it comes to the greatest assembled bunch of comic book writers and artists, the folks at EC Comics.  George Evans makes the list.  BUT WHERE ARE: William Gaines, Harvey Kurtzman, Al Feldstein, Jack Davis, Bill Elder, Johnny Craig, Graham Ingels, Jack Kamen, Wallace Wood, Joe Orlando, John Severin, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, and Bernie Krigstein?  Didn't Don or Maggie Thompson ever read EC Comics?  For Pete's sake Don and Maggie, pick up Russ Cochrans's EC reprint series and give yourself a treat!  The book does list some MAD writers and artists: Sergio Aragones, Jerry DeFuccio, Kelly Freas, Don Martin and Greg Theakston.  In the information about each you'll find things like where to write them, birth date, biggest creative influences, 1993 projects, past comic titles and related projects, favorite comics not worked on, and dream comic book projects.  If you're looking for information about EC and MAD staff, this isn't the book for you.  Warner Brothers Studio Stores has an Alfred E. Neuman 20" round jigsaw puzzle for $10.00.  They also have MAD playing cards, which contain two decks, for $8.00.  The Don Martin Magazine looks good.  I just picked up #3.  I'm not sure why it isn't dated, except for the year, but I hope it goes on a regular schedule and continues as long as Don Martin wants to do it.  While this isn't new, I'm not sure everyone knows about it.  If you subscribe to MAD, the magazine is sent in a brown paper wrapper.  The wrapper contains something humorous.  So if you're not subscribing, you're missing out on 8 extra pages of material per year.  And if you haven't resubscribed when your last issue is sent, you'll get a 'special' plastic bagged version pleading for you to send MAD more money.  I wish they sent out reminders (hint), that way I'd have even more junk in my collection.

Gaines EC File Copies (photo of MAD comic books)

Lloyd Levinson sent me the following information: Pictured are some of his Gaines EC File Copies.  He has the complete MAD set.  He owns #4 of the 11 sets that exist.  The set also includes two blue binders to hold the comics.  Now for something that makes you go Hmmmmm ... Sometime during the Fall of 1980, Russ Cochran sent out word concerning the sale of the Gaines EC File Copies: 'For most issues in the collection there are 11 or 12 copies.  If you consult the master inventory list for MAD, you will note that only 9 copies of MAD #19 were found, so in this case copies 1 through 5 will go with sets, copies 6 through 9 will be kept by Gaines, and there will be no individual copies of MAD #19 available.'  So if Lloyd has #4 of 11, where did they find at least two more copies of MAD #19 of the original Gaines EC File Copies in order to make up 11 sets?  And that assumes Bill gave up his 4 copies.  And at a sale that started October 15, 1990, MAD #1-18, 20-23 issues 6, 7 and 8 were sold.  So that gives is two, 11-(12-3), unaccounted for copies of the other MAD comics.  We better get our three favorite spies working on The Case Of The Vault Of Comics, or maybe it should be the Case of Weird Fantasy, or The Case of Incredible Science-Fiction, or The Case of Confession Illustrated!  Write me if you know!

Pre-MAD Item Dept. (photocopy of blotter: 'Hell!  I ain't going to have no automobile accident.  Responsible People Don't Drive Without Complete Coverage.  Let Us Do The Worrying.')

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  Bob Barrett sent this blotter which is in red, black and white.  It's dated 1930.

What -- Me Worry? Yes! (photos of MAD tie)

Grant Geissman sent me the following information: A counterfeit MAD tie has appeared.  The tie is made of polyester and all MAD logos and copyright information has been removed.

Public Service Announcement

MAD Collectibles Alert!  Recently an apparently unscrupulous dealer has somehow been selling some MAD-related collectibles at insanely inflated prices (I'm talking about thousands of dollars over market) to unsuspecting collectors whose wallets are apparently as thick as their brains.  This upsets me greatly, and it is my hope that my forthcoming book, Collectibly MAD - The MAD and EC Collectibles Guide (from Kitchen Sink Press, due late Spring/early Summer 1994) will put the damper on this kind of gouging.  Until the book is released I would strongly caution people against shelling out big bucks for anything without knowing the market.  As many of these MAD-related collectibles fall outside the comic book category (items such as dolls, advertising material, and slot machines have used versions of the Alfred E. Neuman face).  I would strongly urge buyers to consult with knowledgeable (not to mention trustworthy) people in these various other specialized fields before buying (toy collectors, doll collectors, slot machine collectors, advertising collectors, et cetera).  Price gouging on this scale is, in my opinion, immoral but, unfortunately it's not illegal; hopefully a big karmic payback awaits rip-off artists such as this.  A word to the wise is usually sufficient, but it;s all the other people I'm worried about.  Let the buyer beware!  - Grant Geissman (reprinted from 'Oh, So?' March 12, 1993 CBG.)

Filler Dept.

The latest issue of MAD contains its first readers survey.  Vote no!  MAD has also created a new table of contents page.  The change was Done Comatose!  Yeccch!"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 25 May 1994

Cover: "25th Issue (Big Deal)" with border drawing by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

Well I made another milestone in producing this fanzine, 25 issues.  It will take another 4+ years to reach the next, 50 issues.  I want to thank everyone who has gotten me this far.  I received some corrections and additions to the last issue.  Matt Keeley pointed out that the answer to question #1 in the trivia contest is B, not A.  It was a typo.  I scored the entries with the correct answer, so the results stand official.  Matt also has an addition to the MAD Art Show list, a press kit issued for the Pacific Arts Center in Seattle.  It consists of a folder with a miniaturized poster attached to the cover, two letters about the cartooning class that was held there at the same time, a biography of Marc Cohen, a media advisory sheet, a small article on the exhibit, a press preview and four photocopied articles from the other shows.  David Williams sent me a photocopy of an oversized postcard produced for the Sioux Falls, SD show.  It was reported that nothing was produced.  How he found that in Australia I'll never know.  Stay MAD, Ed.

The MAD Magazine Logo - The First 300 Issues (#24 - #232)

The first MAD comic emerged in 1952.  On the first 23 issues the logo appeared only 18 times in its original format.  Five variations appeared over several years to make the appearance look different to that of an ordinary comic book.  This may have confused some early readers looking for the original logo at a paper stand, only to find an unfamiliar type face staring out from the front cover.  It was a gamble Harvey Kurtzman took, possibly not knowing the importance of keeping up consistency with his growing band of readers.  A gamble, today's (conservative) publishers may consider unwise.  But that was Kurtzman - and it was MAD.  It was with issue 24 that MAD underwent a dramatic change.  Gone were the four colour comic book layouts, replaced with gray toned artwork and large areas of text.  Gone was the 10c price tag, replaced by a 25c (cheap) price tag.  The overall look was slick and glossy, but the first thing that any reader would have noticed was the new logo.  Unusual.  Classy.  No sharp edges.  The image would be etched (or ECCHED) into the minds of anyone who glanced at it and they would buy every issue published (so the editors hoped.)  With its curved serifs and decorative fill the new MAD was a masterpiece, but it only lasted three issues.  The logo that appeared on issue 27 was stronger and more stylised [sic] and it's the same logo used today, except for the interior decoration.  Issue 78 was the first time the decorative logo was dropped, although #79 dropped the D from MAD and #67 dropped the logo almost completely.  Some interesting variations of the decorative logo appear on #97 (Don Martin), #98 (artist unidentified), #101 (Spy vs. Spy), #102 (Sergio Aragones), #105 (Dave Berg?), #146 (Al Jaffee) and #170 (barfing figures).  The most recent use of the decorative logo was 1984 on #248.  A hand drawn version of the logo, sketched by Alfred, appeared on the cover of #76 and three other hand drawn interpretations appeared on issues #128, #309, and #310.  Two logos appeared on #61 and then appeared halfway down the page on #103.  It has appeared once as the U.S. flag, #144, twice imitating the Time logo on issues #233 and #269, and was spray painted on issues #163 and #277.  Other variations include a wet look on #55, bullet holes on #158, untuned television on #160, a video game on #230, and blue with white stars on #305.  The most commonly used colour for the logo is red.  The red logo has been used 173 times (57%), yellow 65 times, blue 20 times, green 13 times, white 11 times, pink 9 times, orange 6 times, purple once, silver once, and red, white, and blue once.  (Note that some colours are slight variations on these listed.)  In 1975 and 1989 the logos (or logi) on every issue were red.  Phycolourgists suggest that red stimulates appetite.  Take a look at some fast food logos.  If this is the case, what are MAD readers hungry for?  Better still, what have the editors been serving up all these years?  YECCHH!  MAD has been published in more than a dozen foreign languages over the years.  Spanish, Dutch, German and Finnish just to name a fistful (Editor's note: David lost his index finger in a freak pencil sharpening mishap.)  Each edition takes original MAD articles and translates them into each country's appropriate language.  (What is Japanese for Kaputnik?)  The covers are also translated accordingly, except for one word that appears at the top of every magazine - MAD.  Well almost, the early Swedish editions appeared with GAS as the logo.  But MAD must translate into MAD in every language, except for Swedish (see prior reference.)  Maybe this is a coincidence!  Maybe it isn't, we know in Sweden it isn't (see prior two references.)  Who cares, the Swedish don't (see prior three references.)  MAD is MAD in any language, with the exception of the 'clicking' tribe in Africa and those DAM Swedes (see prior four references)!  Whereas the overall content and format of MAD or GAS (see prior ...) has changed over the decades, one thing remains unaltered - the MAD (Editor's note: I'm removing all remaining references to GAS, see prior six references) logo.  As we race towards the year 2000, the world of publishing is changing rapidly to keep up with the fast moving technology of the nineties and tastes in current trends.  They say the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Let's hope that our favourite logo hangs in there, for another 300 issues, as a globally recognised [sic] icon.  (Play National Anthem now.)  Long live the MAD logo.  The article above was compiled by careless, irresponsible data collectors (David Williams) at The GAS Panic.  Therefore no care or responsibility will be taken for any accuracy or real facts.  (Editor's note: Look for David's exciting article on the PANIC logos in an upcoming issue!)  [GAS logo is at bottom of page 4 with 'SNUPPET FRA DET AMERIKANSKE MAGASIN MAD']

The MAD Artist Quiz

Mark Cohen sent me the following quiz.  Good luck, it's a tough test to pass.

1.  Which MAD artist's first cartoon job was as an assistant on the short lived Debbie Dean comic strip?  Mort Drucker

2.  Only one MAD artist is also a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine.  Can you name him?  Paul Peter Porges

3.  Which artist lived in Lithuamia for several years as a child and was sent Sunday comic sections from American newspapers by his father in the U.S.?  Al Jaffee\

4.  One MAD illustrator who is noted for his children's book illustrations is related to a famous pop artist.  What is his name and the pop artist's name?  James Warhola and Andy Warhol

5.  Three of the MAD guys went through New York's High School of Music & Art and became close friends.  Can you name all three?  Will Elder, Al Jaffee and Harvey Kurtzman

6.  An easy question: What former MAD artist is now noted for his science fiction illustrations?  Kelly Freas

7.  Mort Drucker, Don Martin, Al Jaffee and Paul Coker Jr. each produced syndicated comic strips.  Can you name them?  Benchley, The Nutheads, Tall Tales and Lancelot

8.  Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder are well known for their work on Playboy's Little Annie Fanny.  Several other MAD artists worked on the feature.  Name 3?  Jack Davis, Paul Coker Jr., Al Jaffee and Russ Heath

9.  Which MAD artists appeared on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In?  Sergio Aragones

10.  Which MAD artist is an expert on military uniforms?  George Woodbridge

Filler Dept.

The MAD Art Show is currently at the Stamford Museum in CT.

More on the Effanbee Dolls  (with photo of 'some of the knock off dolls with the Effanbee Happy Boy doll')

Below is another letter Michael Lerner has received and is followed by some of his research on the Effanbee look-alike dolls - February 24, 1994; Dear Mr. Lerner: Thanks for your letter on January 7.  At this point you are much more of an expert on the Happy Boy Effanbee doll than I am.  Bernard Lipfert was a sculptor, living in Brooklyn, New York.  He worked on a freelance basis, for just about every doll company in existence during the 1930s and 1940s.  He sculpted many, many doll heads for Effanbee, Horseman, Ideal, American Character, etc.  As far as the similarity between the Effanbee 'Happy Boy' doll and the Horseman Gene Carr kids, this is not an unusual occurrence by any means.  Copying or 'knocking off' is rampant in many industries, and the doll business is no exception.  I really don't know the origin of the Effanbee Happy Boy, but I doubt if it was sculpted by Bernard Lipfert, as I believe he retired before 1960.  It is highly possible that Effanbee simply took the design from the 1915 comic strip, as this artwork was probably in the 'public domain' by 1960.  I am sorry that I don't have any additional information.  Very truly yours, Effanbee Doll Company, Stanley Wahlberg, President.

Son of Happy Boy  (with photo)

With all the recent discussion over the history of the 1960 Effanbee 'Happy Boy' doll, one more doll has recently emerged on the MAD scene as possibly another Alfred E. Neuman inspired creation.  The doll, which goes by many names, including 'Funny Honey' and 'Happy Herman' is a miniature knockoff of 'Happy Boy.'  The doll dates from around 1965, and it seems many companies, including Frankonia Products and Laramie, offered this doll - which was manufactured in the Orient.  Measuring approximately 5" tall, the doll has rooted, synthetic hair (available in different colors) with painted features - including one painted tooth.  The doll is all vinyl and is jointed at the neck and shoulders.  The Frankonia Products' 'Funny Honey' is a wind-up type that twists, turns, and dances.  The most common version is one dressed in a colored felt top with two felt buttons.  Other variations that exist include a Hawaiian native and a Batman (Batboy) character.  You should be able to find these dolls at doll shows, flea markets, and swap meets.  The average price you should expect to pay is in the $3 to $10 range.  (But unfortunately, the price will probably be going up when dealers realize they might have a 'rare' Alfred E. Neuman collectible to sell.)

More Cameo Appearances  (with photocopy of a page from a DC comic book)

Tim Johnson sent along this late 1960s appearance of Alfred E. Neuman.  I had been told that Superman #386 contained an Alfred E. Neuman panel.  Michael Lerner has confirmed that this information is wrong.  Hope it didn't cost Michael too much for that issue!  Oooops!

What's New Dept.  (with photo of statue)

Warner Brothers Studio Store has released this statue for $34.  It has to be one of the best MAD items produced in a long time. 

Funny Papers, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana has released at least 21 greeting cards that feature Don Martin's stuff.  They sell for $1.25 each.  A phone call to information did not yield a phone number, so I don't have any other info.

At some point, 12 different MAD t-shirts and 6 boxer shorts are supposed to be released.  Initially Macy's and County Seat will be handling them, with more retailers to follow.  There is also a new line of MAD baseball caps in the works.  I'll let you know who carries them once they are released.

Pre-MAD Item Dept.  (photocopy of postcard)

Unlike the card on the facing page, this one is an original sent by Matt Keeley.  It was made by The Naco Line.  If you have any of this type of postcard, please send me a photocopy.  I'd like to compile a list of companies that purchased them for use as advertising.

What -- Me Worry? Yes (Part II)  (with photocopy of counterfeit postcard - 'Sure, I'm for the New Deal!'; and drawing of three Alfreds - see, hear & say no evil)

Grant Geissman sent me a counterfeit black and white postcard.  The image of Alfred is from Colourpicture Publishers Inc.'s later postcards featuring him.  It's from the early 1950s.  The shirt collar is the dead give-away.  Looks like the wording came from other artifacts.

Big Bucks MAD

The new Overstreet Comic Price Guide is out and here is how much MAD and PANIC have increased in value over the past year. 

MAD                                1994            1993        Percent Change

Comics + Magazines        $14,130    $11,280        25.3%

Specials + Annuals            3,286        2,556            28.5%

MAD Total Value            $17,416    $13,836        26.6%

PANIC                                $676        $565            19.6%

If the current rates continue, a complete run of MAD should cost you close to $22,000 next May!  Buy now and save yourself $4,600.  If you had put that dime in the bank in 1952, at 6% interest: last year you would have increased to $1.16.  MAD #1 now lists at $2,500! 

T-Shirt Available

A t-shirt produced for The MAD Art Show is available for $12 plus $3 postage, foreign orders adjust postage accordingly.  Send check or money order to The MAD Art Show T-Shirt Offer."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 26 July 1994

Cover: Drawing of Rorschach test by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

We'll start this issue off by correcting a grave error.  Ian Jurcso sent me a letter stating that 'Potrzebie' was spelled incorrectly on the cover of #25.  Well Mr. Jurcso, Cecil also spelled 'Zeppelin' wrong.  I bet you're not feeling so smug now.  Matt Keeley sent me a letter that identifies the artist of the MAD #98 logo as Al Jaffee.  The signature is right by the foot of the treble clef, at the base of the D in MAD.  And as promised, the PANIC logo article appears in this issue.  Matt also points out that there is a reference to Bill Gaines in the graphic novel World Without A Superman on page 57.  I went to the Cartooning and Gag Writing Symposium at the Stanford Museum and Nature Center on June 4th.  One of the panel discussions featured Nick Meglin, Angelo Torres, Bob Clarke, and Rick Tulka.  Mort Drucker led the keynote session and John Caldwell was on the Free-lance Cartooning panel.  Annie Gaines was also there making sure everyone read from the script and didn't ad-lib.  I need to transcribe my tapes and I'll print some of the highlights.  Everyone was very pleasant and didn't seem to mind signing shirts, books, pieces of paper, car tires, etc.  It was a great time!  Stay MAD, Ed

Stupid Answers to Snappy Questions by Michael Lerner and Jim McClane

As MAD enthusiasts know, trying to find MAD collectibles can be a very frustrating process.  All of you can relate to spending numerous hours at various collectible shows and flea markets, only to come up with nothing new to add to your collection.   What is even more frustrating, is the process you constantly have to go through, in educating dealers about the availability of MAD/Alfred E. Neuman collectibles.  For a character that's been around since the turn of the century, Alfred, and his pre-MAD relatives, are really not that well known among antique and collectible dealers.  The following list represents the 10 most common responses you'll get from dealers when asking, 'Do you have any MAD or Alfred E. Neuman collectibles?': 1) Never heard of him. 2) Alfred E. who?  3) What me what? 4) I deal in antiques -- not comic books! 5) Oh is he that retarded looking boy with the missing tooth? 6) Isn't he the character that looks like Ted Koppel? 7) I didn't bring it to the show.  Give me your card and I will contact you. (You do and never hear from this person again.) 8) I have some really old MADs from the 1970s, are you interested? 9) I think I have something in my vsn, can you come back? 10) I had lots of stuff, but I just sold it all!

The PANIC Logo by David Williams (photocopy of PANIC #1 cover)

The logo appeared in the following colors: yellow (7), white (1), red (1), and blue (1).  Two issues didn't have the logo.  Some logos were smaller in size.  Once it was printed sideways.  It never was printed in Sweden.

One Beer Too Many Dept:  (photocopy of tattoo)

Robert Solomon found this picture in an unidentified magazine.  This is a tottoo that features some guy's belly button as the bullet wound.  Rumors of Mark Cohen trying to purchase the guy's stomach for inclusion in to his art show are false.

Filler Dept:

I forgot when I stopped running classified ads, and this isn't one.  Michael Lerner is conducting a large MAD and Alfred E. Neuman auction July 7th.  If you want to receive the MAD auction catalog send two stamps to MAD Auction.  His past two auctions have been good, thought I'd let you know about this one.  You may want to call him, as this is really short notice.

MAD Art by Dave Matheny, Star Tribune

Mad magazine today is the essence of 12-year-old-boy humor, the print equivalent of hand buzzers, squirting flowers and jokes with punch lines that sound best accompanied by a big boi-oi-oing!  But it was a different MAD magazine 40 years ago.  'Humor in a Jugular Vein: The Art, Artists and Artifacts of Mad Magazine' opens today at the University Art Museum at Northrop Auditorium.  The 200 objects on view range from Mad covers and artists self-caricatures to board games and even a Mad One-Squirt Stapler, most of them from the late 1950s and early '60s.  They tell much of the story of Mad's transformation from pointed satire to juvenile humor.  The magazine was a child of the 1950s -- that dull, pompous decade that was getting ready to burst with self-ridicule.  Any humorist wax in the enviable position of a European explorer in North America in the early 1700s; he could set out in any direction and be assured of ending up in the history books.  The entire culture was a target-rich environment.  'It was just open, really -- a blessing for satirists,' said Jack Davis, then and now one of Mad's 'usual gang of idiots,' by phone from his studio in Georgia.  In 1952, under fire from educators and psychologists for supposedly turning American youth into killer zombies with such horror comics as 'Tales From the Crypt,' E.C. Comics was looking for new themes to assure its economic survival.  And Harvey Kurtzman, who had been writing and drawing, creating E.C. war comics such as 'Two-Fisted Tales,' turned his talents to satire with a new comic book called 'Tales Calculated to Drive You Mad -- Humor in a Jugular vein.'  Its early issues included material not only from such talented artists as Kurtzman, Davis, Wally Wood and Will Elder, but also from writer-actors including radio comics Bob and Ray, and Jean Shepherd, and TV stars Steve Allen and Ernie Kovacs.  Browsing through the University museum show, one finds that the Mad pieces generally lose their hard edges as the years pass.  In a 1961 'Candid Camera' sendup, a man poses as a surgeon and terrifies a patient almost to death by saying he's going to operate without any anesthetic but aspirin.  He also causes a divorce and nasty custody fight.  Mad's artists were the first to parody ads.  (The magazine has never accepted advertising.)  It offered fake tailfins to add to your car and a fake dormer to add to your house.  The early magazine did not feature freckled mascot Alfred E. Neuman on the cover, although his face popped up here and there.  But as the mid-'50s, an editorial change began to come over Mad.  Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner lured away Kurtzman, Wood and others to produce a big, ambitious satire magazine called Trump.  Hefner dropped Trump after just two issues, but by then the split was complete and Kurtzman never returned to Mad.  Many critics would say that satire never returned either.  Depending on your viewpoint -- and you can form your own opinion based on the Alfred E. Neuman covers, Dave Berg's 'The Lighter Side,' and 'Spy vs. Spy,' all on display -- Mad either opted to be funny rather than biting, or strangled under the grips of formula humor.  In 1971, Mad itself became the subject of parody in National Lampoon.  In comic book form, and following the general outline of 'Citizen Kane,' National Lampoon parodied a certain Citizen Gaines (after E.C. Comics publisher William Gaines), who on his fictional deathbed utters the word 'Satire' and dies.  A puzzled reporter spends several pages trying to discover the meaning of that mysterious last word, finding no help from Mad staffers, who have never heard of such a thing.  Among other digs, Kurtzman alleges in a flashback that under Gaines' direction, 'Humor in a Jugular Vein' will become 'Humor in a Juvenile Vein,'  When Gaines died last summer at 70, Mad magazine was still doing about what it was doing in 1959.  The current issue of Mad -- at your newsstand, not at the gallery -- encompasses a range of humorous styles.  There's grisly (a two-page spread showing a serial=killer's apartment) and insipid (an Observation that people who rent limos with tinted windows are ostentatious but don't want to be seen).  The exhibition shows Mad undergoing a subtle change in audience over the years.  Joe Orlando's 1957 'Reader's Disgust' parody is aimed at an older crowd, with subtle touches such as a list of articles that includes 'Now Science is getting Honey From Bees' and 'Can Britain Import Enough Money in 1957?'  The 1963 'Alfred and the Firecracker' -- in which Neuman lights the fuse and then explodes himself -- is aimed at a much younger readership.  The 'Humor in a Jugular Vein' exhibition has also appeared at locations such as the Cartoon Art Museum of California.

Mad's Greatest Streakers - The Non-Nude Running Variety

Mike Slaubaugh has been doing a lot of research on appearances in MAD from issue #24 to issue #328.  Mike has sent me so much data that it will take two issues to print it all.  You know someone is serious when they are tracking down microfilm copies of MAD and writing to MAD for additional information in order to fill in data he didn't have or data he questioned.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

All Time MAD Streakers

Streak        Mad No.    to    Mad No.

1. Berg                            295            34                        *

2. Jaffee, A.                    243            66                        *

3. Martin                        224            29                        252

4. Aragones                    217            112                        *

5. Coker                          215            112                    326

6. DeBartolo                   160            169                        *

7. Drucker                       127            32                      158

8. Torres                         98              135                     232

9. Clarke                         80                30                    109

10. Wood                        64                23                    86

11. Orlando                    63                32                    94

12. Edwing                    62                267                    *

13. Porges                      52                267                    318

14. Jacobs, F.                48                236                    283

15. Davis                        34                174                    207

16. Kurtzman                   28                1                        28

17. Freas                        26                34                        59

18. North, H.                   23                210                    232

19. Rickard                    23                 79                        101

20. Elder                        22                   1                        22

21. Prohias                    22                    81                    102

22. Siegel **                 22                    49                    70

* streak still in progress as of Mad No. 328; ** also had 22 issue streak from Mad No. 100 to Mad No. 121

The All Time MAD Streaker list is composed of guys who have 20 or more appearances in MAD.  The Current MAD Streaker list is guys who have 5 or more appearances through the most current issue.  Often (particularly in earlier issues) the writer is not identified and is therefore marked 'unknown.'  Most recent example is 'MAD Concert Maze' in MAD #319.  Feldstein, Meglin, and/or DeFuccio (i.e. early 'house') contributions are not included unless specially attributed to them.  Only writer and artist contributions are included, not those credited with : 'Idea By.'  None of Mike's College Department reprints (#28, 30, & 34) are included since many were unidentified or illegible.  Mike doesn't have Fred Von Bernewitz's MAD Checklists which he stated might have helped resolve some of the data.  Spy vs. Spy is the final problem, only those with the distinctive Prohias signature are attributed to him.  The Clarke/Edwing episodes are also included where identified.  However, many episodes have neither the author not the writer identified (e.g., MAD #319 & 321), the artist signature is illegible (e.g., #322), or there are only abbreviations that are difficult to identify.  Recent examples of the latter category: 'M' (#320, 323, & 327), 'S' (#324), and 'B' (#326), all are ignored.

Current MAD Streakers

Streak            Mad No.    to    Mad No.

1. Berg                            295                34                        *

2. Jaffee, A.                    243                86                        *

3. Aragones                    217                112                        *

4. DeBartolo                    160                169                        *

5. Drucker                        75                254                        *

6. Torres                        70                    259                        *

7. Edwing                        62                    267                    *

8. Devlin                            6                    323                    *

9. Jacobs, F.                        5                    324                    *

10. Snider                            5                    324                    *

11. Viviano                        5                    324                        *

* streak still in progress as of Mad No. 328

Advertisements (e.g., 'Why Kill Yourself?') are also included, but only for the first appearance (e,g., the Coker ad in MAD #328 is not included since it first appeared in #142.)  You'll want to reference these two pages again in two months when the last two lists (one is really long) appear.  I also will have some more information about how Mike compiled this data.  If you find any errors please pass them along.  And in the November issue look for Mike's exciting article on The Greatest Panic Streakers.

What's New Dept:  (photo of statue)

Gary Kritzberg sent me the photo below.  The person working on this statue must have wanted to be a dentist, the missing tooth has been filled in and painted.  Not sure how many this person 'fixed,' but there can't be many of them available.  An interview of Mort Drucker appears  in the May 1994 issue of Hero Illustrated.  They were running a contest and gave away original Mort Drucker artwork and subscriptions to MAD.  I didn't win, maybe I should have entered.  I reported in the last issue that there was some new Don Martin greeting cards.  They aren;t new, they were produced 5 or 6 years ago.  One of the comic dealers I go to forgot he had them and had just put them out on display.  Guess they weren't too successful, it appears that the company is out of business.  Diamond International Galleries recently had a fixed sale of MAD and EC artwork.  They produced a very nice catalog.  Write to them.  They may still have copies of their catalog available if you didn't get one.  Last I heard most of the artwork has been sold.  They were offering the last artwork in the Russ Cochran collection.

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photocopy of envelope)

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  Ricky Long sent me the following: It's a brown paper envelope that was used for prescription drugs.  Does anyone else have any pre-MAD Canadian items?

Down Under Free-lancing Dept:  (drawing of Bill Gaines)

Steve lopes, who is a contributor to Australian MAD, has an eleven page advertising book that is given to potential clients.  It features caricatures of a bunch of famous people, including the one below. 

Filler Dept:

Mike Bowman supplied the following information to The Wrapper: The MAD Sticker set released by Fleer in 1983 has two different backs for each numbered sticker.  To have a complete set you need 256 numbered stickers and 64 unnumbered 'Trouble Stickers.'  I've never seen a variation, but information I received from Bob Barrett would confirm Mike's findings.

Don Martin T-Shirt Offer  (copy of ad)

No this isn't a classified ad either.  I found this offer in the recent issue of Baby Boomer Collectibles."

 

 

 THE MAD PANIC No. 27 September 1994

Cover: Drawing of bowling scene by Joe Groshek

"Editorial Dept. (I like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

While I was at Mark Cohen's MAD Art Show at Stamford CT, Annie Gaines was telling me about these postcards a company made for MAD.  They produced 3,000 and gave them to MAD.  She asked me if I'd like a couple to give away as prizes in the next annual trivia contest.  Well, if she had 3,000 (at the time most had been given away) surely she could part with enough for the fanzine's subscribers.  The folks around me got a big chuckle over my greediness.  I want to give a big thank you to Annie for providing us with these postcards.  (Don't claim your issue was lost in the mail!)  Joe Groshek started subscribing a little over two years ago.  At that time, he told me he was an artist.  That simple statement immediately triggered a request for cover art.  If judging Sergio Aragones as the fastest artist alive, Joe has to be one of the slowest.  But it was well worth the wait!  Thanks Joe.  The next issue is due November 1st, the day after Halloween.  I'd like to do a special issue on costumes, masks, and other Halloween stuff.  Send me pictures or photocopies of any unusual Halloween related stuff.  Photographs reproduce best if the item is against a white background.  Photocopies reproduce best if a photocopier is used.  Stay MAD, Ed

MAD's Greatest Streakers - Second in a Series of Two

In the last issue I started printing some of the information Mike Slaubaugh has been researching.  Presented on the next few pages is the remaining data Mike provided to us.  The first lot is the number of appearances in MAD magazine (#24-#328).  There are 321 contributors, which averages to one new contributor per each issue.  The list only reflects the number of issues each contributor has appeared in, not the number of articles or pages contributed.  Photographers (e.g., Schild, Krauss) are included as well as a few obviously fictitious names (e.g., Qwerty).

Number of Appearances in MAD

1.    Berg                295            31.    Raiola            44

2.    Drucker            287            32.    Elder            41

3.    Clarke            278              33.    Freas            35

4.    Jaffee, A.        273             34.    Reit                33

5.    Jacobs, F.        258            35.    Tulka               32        

6.    Aragones        252            36.    Snee                31

7.    Martin            246            37.    Hahn                30

8.    Coker            244            38.    Caldwell            29

9.    DeBartolo    240                39.    Krauss            28

10.    Woodbridge, G.    236    40.    Baggi                26

11.    Davis        221                41.    Gersten            26

12.    Torres        196                42.    Devlin            25

13.    Koch            175            43.    Ficarra            25

14.    Prohias        172            44.    Bunk                23

15.    Hart, S.        169            45.    Jones                23

16.    Siegel        156                46.    Prete            23

17.    Porges        146                47.    Doud            22

18.    Edwing        141                48.    Belkin, G.    18

19.    Rickard        136                49.    Hart, C.        18

20.    Silverstone    132                50.    Reilly        18

21.    Kogen, A.        102            51.    Bridwell        16

22.    Wood                87            52.    Franchioni        15

23.    North, H.            82            53.    Liebmann        15

24.    Orlando            81                54. Norman, D.    15

25.    Schild                79                55.    Cooper        14

26.    Snider                59                56.    Laikin        14

27.    Kadau                55                57.    Theakston    14

28.    Viviano            47                58.    Birtcher        12

29.    Brandel            45                59.    Bob & Ray    12

30.    Kurtzman        45                60.    Pound            12

(etc. through # 321 plus 29 cover artists)

Mike sent me three different mail messages concerning his lists, to avoid a lot of confusion, I'll summarize the stuff.  As he put it: When one compiles data on 328 issues of MAD for over 300 contributors with over 6000 contributions, mistakes are bound to happen.  Because you can't add the cover list to the appearance list to get the correct number of appearances (one could appear both on the cover and in the magazine in the same issue), the following should be changed: Clarke, 278 to 280; Davis, 221 to 228; Rickard, 136 to 151; Schild, 79 to 81; Viviano, 47 to 49; Kurtzman, 45 to 47; Elder, 41 to 43; Freas, 35 to 40; Krauss, 28 to 29; Jones, 23 to 27; Hachtman, 10 to 11; Williams, 9 to 51; Mingo, 7 to 94; Warhola, 7 to 10; McMahon, 1 to 2; and Mutz, 1 to 2.  This would move Mingo in to the 'Elite 25.'  Add to the appearance list the following with one appearance: Armanli, Beall, Nast, and Muggs.  That brings the total number of contributors from 321 to 325.  An error in the All Time Streakers (in the last issue): Davis should have a streak of 36, not 34, issues starting with MAD #263, not #174, and ending with MAD #298, not #207.  Add between Jacobs and Davis, George Woodbridge with 37 issues from MAD #59 to MAD #95.  Great job Mike! 

(Pages 6 and 7 reprint a Luann comic strip by Greg Evans that shows Luann's brother applying for a job at MAD)

The above comic strip appeared in the Sunday newspapers that carry Luann.  The date was July 31, 1994.  Michael Lerner sent this to me.

MAD Auto Teller Card  (photocopies of front and back of the card plus a testimonial drawing by "S.T.")

Grant Geissman sent me this MAD item that was given out during trade shows to retailers only.  The plastic MAD auto teller card was released in the mid-1980s.  The front is to the left and the back is to the right.

Filler Dept. (2)

Mark Cohen's MAD Art Show runs September 11th through October 31st at the Evansville Museum of Art and Science, Evansville, Illinois.  Go see it!

If you're in northern New Jersey (we feel sorry for you) and see the license plate WTMEWRY, imitate the cover of MAD #166 to Robert Solomon.  Ron Labbe still has his Massachusetts' license plate MAD - 52.  Any others?

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photocopy of envelope drawing: 'Sure I'm a New Dealer.  for 'just the two of us' are indispensible')

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  Bob Barrett sent me this image of Alfred E. Neuman.  It appeared on a New Deal envelope.  It is printed in blue ink with red lips, tie and buttons  Bob believes it was from the late 1930s.

An Alfred Stretch: (drawing of 'What -- Me Worry?' with hat over eyes)

David Williams sent me this from something entitled Underground Press.  Grunt Free Press relied on a mix of cartoons and pinups.  The paper showed both sides, US and Vietnamese, in a humorous light, and often used other comic book heroes, such as Alfred E. Neuman of MAD (right).

What's New Dept:

Now It's Cheaper To Get MAD - Beginning this month, retailers can get MAD for less money.  Starting in Previews #7, MAD Magazine, which previously carried a discount code of H (40% to all accounts) will now be grouped with DC titles, and carry the discount code of D (or maximum discount).  'DC Comics considers MAD to be part of the family of titles,' said Diamond Vice President of Purchasing Bill Schanes.  'In evaluating the situation, we decided that MAD should carry the same discount as other books in the DC family.'  Diamond Dialogue, July 1994

Comic Book Confidential Available on CD-ROM - Comic Book Confidential, the 1988 documentary by Ron Mann which painstakingly presented the energy and beauty of comics, is now available on CD-ROM format for the Macintosh computer.  The CD-ROM format allows manufacturers to pass massive amounts of information on each CD.  Along with the entire 90-minute movie, the disc contains 120 pages of comic-book stories.  Comic greats interviewed for the movie, and who subsequently appear on disc, included Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Harvey Kurtzman, and Robert Crumb.  (Editor's note: Bill Gaines also appears.)  Diamond Dialogue, August 1994

Missing Link Found - Lightrix, Inc. of San Francisco, CA has produced an Alfred E. Neuman holograph.  The premise for this item is that the missing link has been found, Neumanus Moronicus.  It has two views, one is Alfred E. Neuman and the other is a view of his remains.  The models used to make the holograph were produced by Tony McVey.  Ask for it at your local comic or collectibles dealer.

Collectibly MAD - Grant Geissman's book Collectibly MAD finally has a release date.  The folks at Kitchen Sink will release the book on April 1, 1995.  There will be a hardcover version which contains autographs of Bill Gaines and Grant.  As you can tell, this book has been an ongoing project for Grant for some time now.  I was lucky enough to see a draft.  You won't be disappointed!  Wow!

Crypt-Alfred-Quotes:

I don't know if your newspaper carries a feature called Cryptoquotes or not, so I better explain this contest.  The Alfred E. Neuman quote below appears in a MAD magazine, but it has been encrypted by a simple letter substitution scheme.  The first correct decryption of the quote I receive gets an extra issue added to their subscription.

AZVB MFZMOF XZPB GYB VBNMDX, DB'V BIF CFGO BIDPU!

I must be getting desperate for material!  Be warned: If I get any response at all, I'm going to do this again.

Politically Incorrect Dept:  (photo of LBJ 'What Me Worry?' button)

This pinback button was sent to me by Bob Barrett.  It was released in the mid-1960s as am anti-LBJ item.  Obviously it didn't work very well, as LBJ was elected president.  If you have any other political items that features Alfred E. Neuman, please send me some pictures.  I'll run them in a future issue."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 28 November 1994

Cover: Drawing of the Grim Reaper reading MAD on the toilet by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

The Crypt-Alfred- Quote generated a lot of response.  Mike Skinner was the first to notify me of the answer.  He called me at home.  Tim Johnson called 5 minutes after Mike.  Mike Slaubaugh sent me electronic mail which actually would have been first if I was in my office.  Andy Mueller also had the correct answer, but being in Germany, didn't get the issue unti September 10th.  From now on, the winner will be drawn from all correct entries.  Next issue is the annual MAD Interest List.  I have some pretty poor records on who requested that their name appears.  I've updated my mailing list to include a field to identify if you want to be on the list or not.  Even if you've requested or appeared before, you need to send me another request.  This will be the last time you'll have to notify me.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  If you notice below, I've added Michael Lerner's name to the masthead.  I try to remember who sends me what and give credit, but Michael sends me so much stuff, he makes putting these issues together a lot easier.  I sometimes forget to give him credit and he deserves it!  Have a great holiday season, see you in 1995.  Stay MAD, Ed

Alfred E. Neuman's Quotes

Andy Mueller has all of the quotes that have appeared in MAD stored on his computer.  He told me he solved the Crypt-Alfred-Quote in 23 seconds, and it would have been a lot faster if he had worked backwards.  He sent along the following information.  Most quotes in MAD magazine were used only once, yet these quotes appeared twice:

Issues        Quote

143/144    Nowadays, most bank accounts need month-to-month resuscitation!

167/168    Don't worry about forgetting your girlfriend's birthday: you'll catch it later!

249/251    Some girls get so love sick, they take the first pill that comes along!

312/315    Politicians are people who get sworn it and then cursed out!

A similar quote appeared in issues 198 and 212.

198    Most of the people who slap you on the back expect you to cough up something!

212    Beware of the guy who comes up and slaps you on the back.  He's bound to expect you to cough up something!

MAD Super Special #41 ran the following quote: Sorry! No clever quote this time! Alfred is on vacation!

Since this issue MAD has never again included another 'quick quote' in the  Super Specials.  This leads to only one possible deduction.  Obviously Alfred E. Neuman has been and is still on vacation for almost 12 years now and sends in a bundle of his clever quotes to Annie Gaines every now and then so the readers won't ascertain he's missing in the first place.

Filler Dept:

Rumor has it that the MAD staff will be moving out of its office on MADison Ave. and ending up at the offices of DC Comics within the next 6 months.  If you haven't been for a visit, you better do it soon.  Mark Cohen's MAD Art Show will be at the Museum of American Illustration, New York NY from December 1 through December 24, 1994.

A MAD Halloween

One of the things that really gave EC Comics life was their horror comics.  You can't think of horror and not think of Halloween, and vice versa.  It is surprising how little MAD has used a Halloween theme.  I asked if anyone had any unusual MAD related Halloween items.  I received no response.  Luckily, Michael Lerner and Grant Geissman had sent me some stuff a few years ago.  What follows is my best guess as to what is available.

Magazines - There have been two MAD magazines with a Halloween theme.  The first was issue #59, December 1960.  The other was issue #316, January 1993.  There have been other issues that featured monsters, but didn't have a Halloween theme.

Paperback Books - During the 1987 Halloween season MAD offered an alternative to candy being given to the kids.  For $2.95 you received ten 16-page books.  The covers featured the artwork from Howling MAD and Monster MAD.  The package was billed as Trick-or-Treat Reading.  Two other paperback books feature Alfred E. Neuman as a vampire: MAD Sucks and Son of MAD Sucks.

Costumes and Masks - The most popular Halloween items are the costumes that featured Alfred E. Neuman.  Two were produced by Collegeville Costumes in 1960.  Both appeared in a photo in the letters column in MAD #59, the same issue that featured the first Halloween theme cover.  The Mardi Gras costume is very rare.  Also produced was a more conventional (mask, shirt and pants) costume.  In 1960 another mask appeared in an early issue of Famous Monsters.  This rubber mask could be purchased from General Promotions Co. for $4.95.  In 1977, Don Post released an Alfred E. Neuman mask.  Cesar produced a rubber mask in 1981.  I'm still finding this item at Halloween shops.  One other mask was produced by Topstone.  This one is hard plastic.  I'm not sure what year they produced the mask.  Recently a German rubber mask of Alfred E. Neuman appeared in auction.  Other than it being German, I have no other information about this item.

Imagineering, Inc. - The company that has produced the most Halloween stuff was Imagineering, Inc.  Their first item was the What ... Look Like Me? Disguise Kit which was released in 1987.  The kit contained two Alfred ears, red skin and hair color, tooth black, and a freckle pencil.  The vending case contained a display box.  The leftover ears were repackaged as Alfred Ears in 1988.  The last item was released in 1989.  There were 4 different Nosey Shades, which were plastic sun glasses and an attached nose.  The Nosey Shades were titled: Left in Stitches, Look Your Beast, Accident Prone, and Let Me Out! 

Two and a Half Pages of Pictures (Drawing of 'Dr. Jekyll and two photos of masks)

(Pages 6 and 7 contain photocopies of Cesar mask, Trick-or-Treat giveaway in package, Nosey Shades, Topstone mask, Alfred Ears, and Disguise Kit, plus drawing of 'Mr. Hyde')

What's New Dept:

This section has been expanded this month because a lot of new stuff has been released.  If you know of something new, let us know.

Gibson Greetings, Inc. - (photocopies of three MAD covers) - Get ready for a bunch of greeting cards , wrapping paper, gift bags, and stickers.  I'll be using product item numbers, as this will be the easiest way to talk about the stuff at this time.  As I get more information, I'll update you.  The first items are currently available: MAD stickers.  The sticker sheets are the same, but the packaging is different.  Item #199RU001-0313 contains 2 self-adhesive sheets of 9 different stickers.  Item #199RU002-7313 contains 6 sheets of the same stickers.  Both sell for $1.99.  The 6 sheet package was a special back to school item.  Before Christmas of this year expect to find MAD Wrapping paper.  Two versions will exist: #00179WC141-1962 and #00189WC141-1962.  In early 1995, a small MAD gift bag will hit the stores.  The item number is #00199WL020-0175.  Then the big one: 27 greeting cards will be released over the next 6 months.  Two or three are available now.  The item numbers are: #00165NP400-0084; #00165NP400-0085; #00165NP420-0020; #00165NP450-0021; #00185BG040-2326; #00225BG040-2379; #00225BG040-2406; #00200BG040-2418; #00225BS260-0298; #00225BS260-0304; #00200CG181-0568; #00165QH700-0060 through #00165QH700-0075.

Alfred E. Neuman Holograms - (with photocopy of cover) - I told you a little about this item last issue, but I have more information.  There are too different versions, matted (pictured) or with a plastic stand.  I haven't seen any available yet, but Michael Lerner is selling them for $19.95 each plus $5.00 shipping.  Also ask to get on his mailing list for MAD Times.

Good Days and MAD - (photocopy of book cover) - Dick DeBartolo's new hardcover book is being published by Thunder's Mouth in November.  It retails for $29.95.  The ISBN is 1-56025-977.  Below is a revi)ew published in Publishers Weekly, September 1994.  DeBartolo, a longtime MAD contributor, has written not a history but a collection of often amusing anecdotes that are mostly of the sophisticated/juvenile bent that characterize one of America's most admirable institutions,  Magazine founder William Gaines (who died in 1992) emerges as the superstar: he calculated contracts in odd percentages, replied to letters with comments in the margins, organized a staff trip to Haiti to beg MAD's sole Haitian subscriber to renew, got stuck near the top of a climb up the torch of the Statue of Liberty, and ordered enormous quantities of food at restaurants 'for the table.'  DeBartolo also tells of his own efforts and exploits during his 30 MAD years.  Interspersed throughout are numerous 'forewords' from MAD contributors - Annie Gaines, Michael Gelman, Al Jaffee et al. - - shanghaied into this project by the promise of front billing.  Utter MADness.  Illustrations.  FYI: Lenny Brenner, MAD's art director, for one, wasn't taken in by DeBartolo, as he notes in Foreword Number 41: 'It can't be a very good book, if he wants ME to write the foreword!'

MAD Online by Michael Lerner - If you are a MAD collector who enjoys traveling through cyberspace via your personal computer, the America Online (AOL) service is going to make you very happy.  Through an arrangement with DC Comics, AOL is now offering MAD fan a chance to interact with 'The Usual Gang of Idiots' via DC Comics Online section.  After you log into AOL, you'll find the DC Comics Online section in the Entertainment department.  Once you enter the MAD area, you can download MAD graphics, correspond with the MAD staff, obtain information about the MAD staff, and talk to other MAD fans about a variety of MAD subjects (see photo on page 10).  Current MAD graphics available include recent covers and fold-in covers.  Downloading these graphics is a straightforward process.  You have the option of downloading them now or later.  Each graphic has a complete description, amount of disc space required, and the amount of time needed to download it.  You'll need separate software in order to view the images on your system.  The MAS message board is an electronic bulletin board that allows you to correspond with other fans and collectors.  If you have an opinion about MAD, you can express it here,  MAD collectibles can also be bought and traded here.

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photo of bust)

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  Michael Lerner sent me this photo of a bust that features the likeness of Alfred E. Neuman.  It is hand painted.  The date is not known.

Crypt-Alfred-Quotes

The Alfred E. Neuman quote below appears in a MAD magazine, but it has been encrypted by a sample letter substitution scheme.  All correct decryptions of the quote will be entered in to a drawing.  The winner will receive an extra issue added to their subscription.  Deadline is December 1, 1994,

EPQX AXPANX MCNN IP BZDVOCZY VP OBZY PZ VP B KPUXRHXAV MPFT!

The correct answer to last issue's quote was: Most people don't act stupid; it's the real thing!

You Be The Judge  (drawings of boy and Frankenstein's Monster)

Ian Jurcso sent me this Schedule of Events from the Alameda County Fair.  Is it Alfred E. Neuman?  You make the call!

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 29 January 1995

Cover: Drawing of Cracker Jack parody by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

I received a package a few days ago after hearing about the latest letter bombing.  I didn't order anything!  I was about to toss the package into a pail of water when I recognized Bob Barrett's handwriting.  So my wife opens the package to find a stack of advertising postcards.  You can all thank Bob for the enclosed card.  Michael Lerner went to a comic convention to meet up with Dick DeBartolo.  Ikept bugging him to aend me the interview and now I know why it took so long ... it's long!  Thanks Dick and Michael!  David Williams sent in an original piece, no doubt rejected by Australian MAD.  It appears on page 14.  Thanks Dave!  Mike Slaubaugh has updated and corrected his MAD appearance lists (which appeared in issues #26, 27).  Anyone who wants to receive a copy can a LSASE with postage to him at the address on the page 4.  He also sent me another CHEAP list, which appears on page 13.  Thanks Mike!  Stay MAD, Ed

Third Annual MAD Interest List

The following people requested that their names appear in the interest list this year.  You'll continue to appear in following years until you request that you not be included or you are no longer a subscriber: Bob Barrett, Bennett Barsk, Vander Beasley, Fred Berger, Ron Downard, Mark Finn, Grant Geissman, Michael Georgette, Michael Gidwitz, Stan Horzepa, Timothy Johnson, Ian Jurcso, Matt Keeley, Gary Kritzberg, David Kulikowski. Michael Lerner, Jason Levine, Bruce Liber, Rick Long, Jim McClane, Andrea Mueller, Ed Norris, Michael Parke-Taylor, Richard Sherman, David Silva, Michael Skinner, Mike Slaubaugh, Robert Solomon and David Williams.

An Interview With Dick DeBartolo by Michael Lerner

Recently, Mad historian, Michael Lerner had an opportunity to interview Dick DeBartolo, Creative Consultant at Mad Magazine, about his new book Good Days and Mad, a look back at his thirty year career at Mad and his close relationship with MAD' late founder, William M. Gaines.  This interview took place at the Mid-Ohio Con, which was held Nov. 26th & 27th in Columbus, Ohio.

Michael Lerner: Is the book a memoir or an autobiography?

Dick DeBartolo: It's sort of both.  I've been with Mad a long time -- coming up to 33 years.  It's a memoir of Mad, and it has a lot of autobiographical material because it goes into my TV stuff.  So, it's both.  It's two in one!

Q: Did you set out to make it a tribute to William Gaines?  Was that your original intention?

A: No, the original intention was ... first of all I didn't want to write the book ... and a literary agent called and asked me about it.  I said I didn't want to do a book.  I didn't have time.  Then he called back and said let's have lunch.  Let's just talk about it.  And I was telling some stories about Bill and he said, 'You know, you have such an affection for Bill.  You should really think that your book would keep the memory of Bill alive.'  And I think that if there was ever a sentence that sold me on writing the book, it was to keep the memory of Bill alive.

Q: You became very, very close.  Your relationship was not the boss and the employee.  You seemed to really hit it off.

A: Bill was very generous.  The first time we went to dinner I immediately went to the dessert menu.  Depending how good the desserts looked, I would order smaller and smaller entrees because desserts were everything to me.  So when we had dinner the waitor came over and asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu.  Bill said no we just want all the desserts.  When he found something you liked, he was very generous about it.  So when I found out something he liked, I tried to be very generous too.  He was a big fan of the Statue of Liberty ... and through a bizarre series of coincidences, I was able to get him up into the Statue of Liberty torch.  And he was a big dirigible freak ... there used to be a Mad dirigble.  I got him up in the Goodyear blimp.  So we became really great friends.

Q: Here is somebody (Gaines) who had a lot of money, and could buy anything he wanted, but was touched by even a small gesture.

A: I think that was the important thing about Bill.  Because he was wealthy and generous, people never thought to do anything for him.  Occasionally we would go to a restaurant, not an expensive one, where I would insist on paying the check.  I think just that thought meant something to Bill.  Since I could never buy the gifts that Bill would buy for himself, I would just for a joke, take the opposite tact and buy the cheapest, worst thing that I could buy, and wrap it up like it was something from Tiffany's.  And that used to really kill Bill.

Q: It seemed like you could say whatever you wanted to him, but did you ever go ever the line and say something that made him angry?

A: No.  The only time I ever saw Bill outraged, and it took me three minutes to realize he was kidding, was when I furst joined Mad on the staff.  I said to Bill - I'm a very fast typsit and I have a computer at home.  I won't hit you up for a computer but I want an electronic typewriter.  I told him they were about $400.  He said, 'No problem, go buy one.'  Then a couple of months later he called up livid when he found out that the ribbons were not reversible.  'Every time a ribbon is finished you put in another ribbon?!', he yelled.  I told him that they are self-correcting and that's the way ribbons have to be.  He was really angry and I'm not quite sure why.  Certain little things set Bill off.

Q: Isn't it true that he would stop a meeting if he found out someone made a long distance phone call without logging it?

A: Yeah.  I think in writing the book I found out something about Bill.  I think if he was paying for it out of his own pocket he didn't care.  But if it was being charged to Mad magazine, then he cared.  And to his dying day, if you made a long distance phone call, you had to fill in the log -- when you called, how long were you on the phone.  And if it was business -- exactly what the business was.

Q: Bill Gaines always boasted that he was fat, happy and very wealthy.  Did it make you angry that he would not exercise?  In the end it cost him his life.

A: I did.  There were very few things that we had serious talks about.  If it was more than one block, Bill took a cab.  The day he got his wheelchair, so that he could go from his office to the men's room I said, 'Bill this is crazy.  Walk to the men's room!  At least it is a few hundred feet that you do two times a day.'  He didn't want to hear of it.  He said, 'I love my wheelchair.  I'd live in my wheelchair if I could.'  he was immovable on exercise.

Q: When Bill married Anne (Gaines), how did that change him?

A: First of all, they lived together for many years, so there was not such a dramatic change.

Q: Let's go back further.  For many years Bill lived alone.  Through a letter, he meets Anne, and eventually they begin a courtship.  Did you see a difference in Bill's attitude then?

A: I think the only difference I saw was that Bill had found someone who loved to eat.  Anne was good for Bill because he always needed medication and everything.  So Anne always made sure he got his medication and stuff.  The other thing: Bill loved people to share his interests.  When he found that Anne was interested in learning about wine; about learning about food.  They were always trying to fly to every vineyard of every wine they liked.  So I think Anne enhanced his life greatly.

Q: One thing I found unusual about the book is that you write about all the people at Mad but there is an omission of (former Mad editor) Feldstein.  Was that deliberate?

A: No, not deliberate.  I didn't have any fun times with Al.  I did with Bill.

Q: But Al Feldstein was your boss.

A: Yes, but if you didn't like what Al said, you went to Bill.

Q: But Bill wasn't in charge of any of the editorial.

A: You're absolutely right.  Al was in charge of editorial.  It was more or less a business relationship.

Q: Did he scare you?

A: I think he scared me.  I think he put a lot of pressure on me.  I didn't find any of that fun.  And I wanted the book to be a fun book.

Q: Feldstein, right or wrong, was responsible for taking over the magazine from Harvey Kurtzman and changing the direction of the magazine.  A lot of people fault him for that.  Did you feel that Mad had become too predictable -- when you could pick it up every month and count on the same features being in the same position, like the fold-in or Spy vs. Spy?

A: I'll tell you what the problem is with Mad, or maybe the problem is with readers.  When Nick (Meglin) and John (Ficarra) took over as editors, we started rearranging stuff and dropping stuff.  We said, 'Let's go three issues without the Mad fold-in!'  'Alright, let's do two issues and make (Dave Berg's) The Lighter Side Of ... two pages.'  'Oh, my favorite thing, The Lighter Side Of ...!'  It sort of got to the point where you realize the bulk of the readership is buying Mad for the features.  So I think now you realize that the backbone of the magazine is going to be a movie take-off, a TV take-off, the fold-in, Spy vs. Spy.  But it still gives you half the magazine to do a different mix.

Q: I've noticed that Mad is using new artists in the last couple of issues.  In your opinion has this improved the content?

A: Absolutely!  I think the content is better because they are going for a lot shorter filler pieces.  And a lot more variety in writers and artists.

Q: I know that Mad is going through major changes with its new supervision by DC Comics.  Do you see it ever becoming what Spy magazine is -- where you have more editorial inside instead of just 'cartoony' type stuff?

A: I don't know, given what I just said with what the readers want.  It's possible.  It almost seems that there would have to be a Mad 1 and 2.  It's like when your favorite sitcom drops your favorite character.  You don't want to make drastic changes.  They are starting something new that is going to appear in about three months.  It's just going to be ... I think it's called 'The Fundolini Pages' ... anything the writers want to put in with no restrictions at all ... so it could be poems or jokes.  So that might be a step in the direction you're talking about.

Q: Did you guys pay attention to the competitors?  For a while, National Lampoon took a very big share of your readers.  When you joined Mad in 1962, it was still a humor magazine for adults.  Over the years it changed and became a humor magazine for teenagers.

A: If it did, it changed in its perception to the audience.  At Mad, the one thing Bill would not allow was a reader survey -- (a) because we made fun of them, and (b) because we never wanted to know who we were writing for, because we never wanted to know subconsciously that only 15 year olds got it.  The theory is: if it's funny print it.  If a kid reads it and doesn't understand it, maybe he'll ask or maybe he won't.  But who cares, we laughed at it.  But the one thing that happened since Bill died, is that DC Comics did a reader survey and two amazing things happened -- the first thing was that they got 70,000 replies, which is unheard of, and the second is to find out that the third of our readership is over 25 years of age, which we never knew.

Q: The National Lampoon satire of Mad, Joe Orlando was the artist on that.  (Ironically, he is now the creative liaison between Mad and DC Comics).  Was Bill angry about that spoof?

A: No, I think Bill's feeling was we satirize other people and now they're satirizing us.  I don't think it was hysterically funny, but you can't complain about it because they were doing what we were doing.

Q: You worked a lot with Don Martin?

A: Absolutely, I wrote one entire paperback book and a lot of stories for his other books.  In the magazine a lot of his material was written by other Mad writers.

Q: Don was billed as 'Mad's Maddest artist' and you as 'Mad's Maddest writer.'

A: Right.

Q: It always seemed a shame that you never had a chance to work with, possibly, Mad's craziest artist, Will Elder.  You would have made a great team.

A: Will was really far out of the magazine by the time I hit my stride.  For the first five or six years I was selling them occasional pieces.  Now for 26 years, I've been in every issue.  But Will was pretty much out of the loop by the time I was really cranking this stuff out.

Q: You came into the magazine 1o years after it started and a lot of those original artists and writers had left.  Some had come back.  Was Jack Davis back by then?

A: He was back.

Q: Al Jaffee?

A: Jaffee was back, as a matter-of-fact, Jack Davis and Mort Drucker illustrated my first paperback book.

Q: I've asked this same question to Sergio Aragones -- Have you ever thought what it would have been like to have Harvey Kurtzman as your editor?

A: You know, back then, I guess the first year I was just so excited to be there.  I didn't think if it could be better or worse.  I was just thrilled.

Q: In the late 1980s, Elder and Kurtzman came back to Mad to work on some covers.

A: Yeah, they did 'Miami Vice' cover among others.

Q: Was there any reaction from the artists and writers, or was it something that the fans cared more about?

A: The fans knew it.  You would get a smattering of mail saying that it was goos to see the 'old-time' Mad people back.  There is a big difference between the die-hard Mad fans and the people who pick it up for 10 minutes of chuckles.

Q: Do you have any Mad collectibles?

A: In the beginning I didn't collect anything.  Now I see that I see that Mad merchandise has become collectible because it only lasts for a short time.  I'm trying to buy at least one of everything.  Except the Alfred E. Neuman watch ... I'm not even crazy enough to but the watch!  I've bought the jacket, the sweatshirt, the belt.  Everyone bought the statue but I didn't buy one.  I'm a half-assed Mad collector!

Q: So there are no Mad straightjackets in your closet?

A: No, I don't have any of the good stuff!

Q: When you guys were cranking that stuff out you were only charging a few buck for it.  I bet you didn't think these items would become so collectible?

A: I didn't think anything!  Someone gave me a Mad hologram, and I gave it to some kid.  Six months later I saw that it was $50 at a comic book convention!

Q: I used to see your name in the credits of many of the games shows I watched as a kid.  You used to work for Barry/Enright who produced some of the shows that were named in the quiz show scandals of the 1950s.  The movie 'Quiz Show' is about those shows.  Did you see the movie?

A: Sure!

Q: What were your feelings as someone who knew them as real live human beings?

A: It didn't bother me because it was entertainment.  I guess it didn't bother me because it was the sponsor's money and they built the ratings.  I didn't care.  Also, I was sort of out of that loop because they had this bizarre offspring that they were doing called Winky Dink and You.  Their whole thrust was into game shows so it was sort of nice to be just doing fun things.  I was only 16 when I was writing this TV show, while they were concurrently producing the game shows.  We got to do what we wanted because they were off doing the big 'prime time' game shows.

Q: I know that after the scandals, they went to Canada for a while.  Eventually, they were let back into this country and became very successful with some syndicated game shows they created and produced.

A: They were let back in because, in reality, they had done nothing illegal.  There is a lot of forgiveness in this country!

Q:You had a chance to work in California on TV shows.  Instead you decided to stay in New York.  What was the reason?

A: Because Mad is here.  I could still do all my Mad stuff from California, but I couldn't hold a staff job because that involves helping on covers, helping with department heads, writing the in-house ads, writing the brown wrapper copy.  You have to physically be there.

Q: If you didn't go work for Mad, do you think you would be working in TV today?

A: I would have gone to California and probably worked on a sitcom.

Q: You're getting paid to do something fun for living.  Do you realize how lucky you are?

A: Absolutely!  I've said over the years what could be better than going to the movies?  Making fun of a movie.  Getting paid for going to the movie,  Oh no, it's good!

Q: Now the story is ... and this is on the record ... that you used to charge Bill Gaines an exorbitant amount for going to the movies because Bill had never been to a movie in twenty years!

A: Oh yeah, that was sort of a joke ... people asked, 'How do you make your money?'  We said from petty cash because Bill doesn't go to the movies.  We told him that movies are $50 and popcorn is $100.

Q: It must be tougher now with DC Comics to do that?

A: (Laughs) Oh, right.  Well they know the price of movies!

Q: Do you now have an advantage working for DC, who is owned by Time-Warner?  Can you get some of their movies in advance?  For example, your Batman cover spoof came out exactly when the movie premiered.

A: Right. It really depends on the producer of the movie.  Some of them want us to be there early because they think seeing themselves in Mad is a plus for the movie ... which it is because we hear from our readers that they won't read a satire until they go see the movie.  So I think we actually build box-office.  Time-Warner doesn't automatically get us previews.

Q: One of the criticisms about Mad is the your covers and spoofs are not timely enough because you actually did the artwork four or five months ago.  Is there a way to shorten the lead time?

A: Not with the amount of artwork.  Mad is artwork driven.  So when you have Mort Drucker doing six pages of a movie where you have every panel packed with foreground and background gags it just takes that much time.

Q: It's interesting what your competitor Cracked does.  They will do a cover spoof but will have no interior story.  But at least its timely.

A: That's right.  It looks like they are right on top of it.  I wish that we could have a faster lead time but we don't.

Q: Do you think you will be working there 30 years from now?

A: (laughs) I don't know ... can you tell me that?  Your guess is as good as mine!

Q: In your mind, you would like to be working there?

A: Oh sure.  I enjoy it.  I like cranking out the movie satires.  I love meeting the fans.  I hope it goes on for another 30!

Q: Good days and Mad.  More good days than mad days?

A: Oh yeah.  More good days than mad.  Absolutely.

Q: Thank you.

A: Thank you.

Special Fold Old - Frantic Spoof of MAD (photocopy of two-page 'Free-Wheeling Dept. - How To Put Out An Imitation of Frantic!' (SAD)

Michael Parke-Taylor sent me this parody of MAD.  In MAD #41, September 1958, there was an article entitled 'How To Put Out An Imitation of MAD.'  The pages below are from Frantic #2, December 1958.

Price Tag Dept: by Mike Slaubaugh

Frequency of Price 'Tags' on Cover of MAD (Mad No. 1 to Mad No. 333): Cheap 216; Cheap! 58; (no tag) 28; Cheap? 3; Chimp, Still Cheap and (crossed out) Cheap 2; 23 others 1.

Pre-MAD Item Dept: (photocopy of match book cover)

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  The front (next page) and back (above) of a full cover match book series known as Giant Features Match Books produced by Lion Match Co. Inc., New York.

David Williams' The Top Ten MAD Articles Which Were Rejected in 1994

10. Sergio Aragones: A MAD Look at Pre-Stressed Concrete; 9. What the Pope Does On His Day Off, as Told by Sinead O'Conner; 8. Peter Paul Porges: Brief History of European Fish Scalers; 7. Fold In: David Letterman's Reply to Madonna; 6. Dave Berg's Lighter Side of Circumcision; 5. What If Bill Clinton Had Been A Woman; 4. Cover: Alfred as Kurt Kobain holding a water pistol to his head; 3. Al Jaffee: Hemorrhoids are Not That Uncool; 2. Alfred E. Neuman's Guide to Economic Recovery; 1. The Top 10 MAD Articles Which Were Rejected in 1994.

Don Martin Catalog (copy of ad)

Don Martin has a 'catalog' of good stuff, send for it at the address below.

Crypt-Alfred-Quotes

The Alfred E. Neuman quote below appears in a MAD magazine, but it has been encrypted by a simple letter substitution scheme.  All correct decryptions of the quote will be entered in to a drawing.  The winner will receive an extra issue added to their subscription.  Deadline is February 15, 1995.  The correct answer to last issue's quote was: Some people will do anything to hang on to a job ... except work!  The winner of the contest was Bruce Liber.

WOX QAXZCNXBW'Z 'XVDBDRCV WOXDACXZ' RXFBZ QYWWCBH EDYA RDBXE IOXAX OCZ RDYWO CZ!

You Be The Judge (photocopy of Comics Con Catastrophe! trading card)

Topps produced this card.  Notice the comic MUD.  Topps' Wacky Packages parody of MAD was MUD.  Is this a MAD collectible?  You make the call!"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 30 March 1995

Cover: Drawing of Alfred the Barbarian by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

After Michael Parke-Taylor sent me Frantic's response to MAD's 'How To Put Out An Initation of MAD' article, see last issue, I went searching for more.  This issue contains the Frenzy response.  Michael sent me two more, Loco and Thimk's responses will be in the next two issues.  If you have any others, please send me a copy.  It would be in an Octiber-December 1958 issue.  Michael also wrote: 'You are no doubt correct in assuming that the card from Dinosaurs Attack is a reference to MAD.'  There you have it, by a 1-0 vote the card is now an official MAD collectible.  The jury is still out on Ian Jurcso's entry, see issue #28, the vote ended 0-0!  An update to the interest list is needed.  Tim Johnson moved (and) Bennett Barsk (has a different phone number).  Mark Finn sent me the ad that appears on page 11.  Doesn't Jeff Daniels look like someone we all know and love.  That's right, it's the spitting image of J. Prete (MAD writer).  The guy on the bottom is Jim Carrey.  Stay MAD, Ed

Frenzy's Response to MAD

(Pages 3 through 7 contain photocopies of pages from Frenzy #4, November 1958)  Frenzy ran for a total of six issues, starting with a cover date of April 1958 and ending with March 1959.  The MAD imitator was published by Bimfort Magazines.  The response to MAD #41 appeared in Frenzy #5,679 (actually issue #4), dated November 1958.  Publisher James Stewart Gordon wasn't happy with MAD's article.  He devoted these five pages, none of which are satire, to defend his position.  At least Frantic's (and the others I've seen) response was an excellent parody of the original.  Could explain why Frenzy only lasted the six issues.  Frenzy was billed as: 'The Magazine for Senile Delinquents.'  Like most of the satire magazines it had a mascot type person.  Frenzy used a character that could best be described as an Ernie Kovacs with horns.  Funny they should use that character.  Ernie Kovacs had material which appeared in MAD!  An interesting letter appeared in the same issue: 'Last month I read your lousy magazine and was amazed to find that it could be such a punk imitation of MAD.  Why don't you drop dead. - W.W.W. Scott, Boston Common,  Boston, Mass the voices?  'Oh.  (response) Now be nice!  W.W.W. Scott.' 

John Caldwell

David Williams sent me this article about John Caldwell before he was recognized as a MAD artist.  I don't know where it appeared or the date.  His cartoons have been called 'weird,' 'bizarre,' 'in bad taste,' and, not surprisingly, 'funny.'  'If I had my way,' he says, 'I'd live my life as a Marx Brother.'  His hobbies include 'making red lips, refrigerator interior design, and fashioning pot holders from used dental floss,' and he has 'recently discovered the joys of bacon sculpture and Japanese Jello baths.'  Huh?  John Caldwell, whose work can be seen in The National Lampoon, The New York Times, Oui, Esquire, Writer's Digest and other magazines, not to mention his own collection, Running A Muck, is a man who has a vision -- a vision of bumbling old men, female impersonator kangaroos, beaver vipers and pigeons who play practical jokes on little ols ladies.  Weird?  Yes.  Bizarre?  But definitely!  In bad taste?  The nice thing about bacon sculpture is that you can eat it when you're done.  Funny?  You bet your life, as someone once said.  Caldwell, 34 years old, is somewhat of an enigma.  The first time I called him, I reached a sharp-tongued woman in what sounded like a beer-can factory.  The clatter of machines, the sounds of voices raised in an attempt to be heard over the clatter, the buzz and hum of long distance lines.  'John Caldwell Studio,' said a voice wrapped around a cud of chewing gum.  My god, I thought -- he has a factory where he churns out these drawings of talking snakes and dumpy men in shapeless hats.  I was dumbfounded.  He wasn't in.  The second time I called, I reached Caldwell himself.  No clattering machine-noises, no chewing gum voice.  I had to ask -- 'Do you work in a ... factory or something ... uh, I mean, do you have a big studio?'  No he said, he worked in a 'hole in the wall in Schenectady, New York.'  But the machines ... the voices?  'Oh, that must have been my answering service.'  It sounded reasonable enough -- but I can't get rid of the impression that the man has a whole warehouse full of chewing women in platinum blonde wigs who dress up as shambling mustached men in wrinkled suits and model for bacon sculpture portraits.  And pigs.  Lots of pigs.  Oh yeah, and the frogs.  I bet he visits this frog hotel somewhere -- buys 'em a beer and listens to their life stories, then goes back to the factory and writes it all down.  Craziness like that can't be manufactured -- it's just too true to life.  He's cagey though -- claims he's puzzled himself by the lines which appear on his paper.  'I don't know where they come from, they're not me, and I'm not drawing a family album.  It's not a conscious thing.'

What's New Dept:

(copy of ad for Collectibly MAD)

Gibson Greetings

The following items are available at stores that carry Gibson Greetings: Stickers, e Self-Adhesive sheets of 9 stickers - #0019RU001-0313; Stickers, 6 Self-Adhesive sheets of 9 stickers - $0019RU002-7313; Gift Bag, Alfred E. Neuman and MAD logo - $00199WL020-0175; Greeting Cards: The Lighter Side of Stress, Dave Berg - #165NP400-0084; The Lighter Side of Parenting, Dave Berg -- #165NP400-085; What -- Me Worry?, Norman Mingo - #165NP420-0020; I Miss Hanging Out With You, Duck Edwing - #165NP450-0021; Happy Birthday, woman with shopping cart, Jack Davis - #185BG040-2326; Gift Wrap, Alfred E, Neuman on yellow paper - #189WC141-1962.  Carl Gibson Greetings, Inc. at the store nearest you.

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photocopy of postcard)

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  Jim McClane sent me this postcard.  If you can't read the bottom it says: Copyright 1944.  The Forum Press, Box 189, Los Angeles.  Copies Mailed Anywhere in the U.S.  10c Each.

(Page 11 is a photocopy of an ad for the Dumb And Dumber movie.)

Crypt-Alfred-Quotes

The Alfred E. Neuman quote below appears in a MAD magazine, but it has been encrypted by a simple letter substitution scheme.  All correct decryptions of the quote will be entered in to a drawing.  The winner will receive an extra issue added to their subscription.  Deadline is April 15, 1995.

ZO ZW AR NRAETS M CHTWOZRA RY XUTST BZFZNZYMOZRA ITEMA, IHO ZY ZO TFTS KZK!

The correct answer to last issue's quote was: The President's 'Economic Theories' Means Putting Your Money Where His Mouth Is!  Bruce Liber was the winner.  Michael Skinner came in last or second.  Gee, only two of you!

Alfred Appears:  (drawing of Moron Model)

On page 16 of Cracked #25, July 1962, Alfred E, Neuman appears in a piece on the future of space helmets.  John Severin was the artist.  If you have any other little known appearances of Alfred please send them to me.  Please provide detail such as found above."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 31 May 1995

Cover: Damaged package cover for subscriber 'Wyatt A. Dufuss' drawn by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

Mike Slaubaugh has supplied most of the reference material in this issue.  He sent me the circulation data and my comment was: 'Mike, why don't you compile a list of some data that people would find interesting.  Like, masthead appearances!'  I can't believe he did it, and I was more surprised to actually find it interesting!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  I never knew that so many had appeared.  I promise not to ask him about page number appearances.  The biggest news is Grant's book has been released.  Yeeeah!  It is excellent, especially the parts that mention my name.  My name is on page 3, sixth line down; page 266, again on the sixth line; and finally on page 316, 13th line down.  While the rest of the book doesn't have me in it, it is still worth the read.  Grant has done an amazing job compiling all the photographs, information, and prices, although I felt the value of back issues of The MAD Panic were understated, see issue #20.  Make sure you order the signed hardcover.  See page 11.  It is the only MAD item that Bill Gaines signed for commercial sale.  You should send $3.00 to Sam Kingston for an issue of his great EC fanzine, Horror From The Crypt of Fear.  There's information that even MAD fans would enjoy!  Stay MAD, Ed

Chronology of the MAD Masthead: MAD #1-335 by Mike Slaubaugh

(This section contains information that has been updated on Mr. Slaubaugh's website through 2019.)

Harp On This  (drawing of Alfred E. Neuman)

Everybody wants to get into the act ... Yep, MAD magazine, responsible for thecorruption of more of our fine nation's young minds (or is that of our young nation's fine minds?) than even Rolling Stone, are giving away their very own CD, the tastefully entitled, Harp On This.  They've even managed to enlist some professional help in the form of the Electric Hippies and rooArt label mates, Custard According to Justin Stanley of the Hippies, Harp On This is 'a fitting commentary on the music industry.'  Noted radio jockey Ron E. Sparx contributes his own inimitable style and deep-throated tones to the proceedings in a series of 'hilariously' scripted interludes.  Scarier still is the appearance of the Mad Band, a motley collection of MAD employees (we assume) with musical aspirations.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  (This appeared in the Australian Rolling Stone, March 1994.)

(Pages 6 and 7 are are a copy of a page from 'Angry magazine' (Thimk #4)

Michael Parke-Taylor sent me this response which appeared in Thimk #4, December 1958.  In their masthead for this issue, 'Beware of Imitations' appeared.  Thimk was published by Counterpoint, and ran for 6 issues.  Otis Dracestein (Frankenstein) was their mascot.

(Page 8 contains MAD circulation numbers and chart from 1964 to 1995 compiled by Mike Slaubaugh)

Circulation figures were taken from the March (now Jan/Feb) issues of Mad which reported the Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (required by 39 USC 3685).  Complete circulation figures (broken down into newsstand and subscription components) were not reported by Mad until 1964, so years prior to that are not included.  The graph tracks 'Average No. Copies of Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months' rather than  'Actual No. Copies of Single Issue Nearest to Filing Date.'  Only 'Paid Circulation' figures (newsstand and subscriptions) are included, not the 'Net Press Run' (since many copies are unsold and returned by vendors).  Finally, there is a time lag factor involved in reporting circulation.  For example, the figures reported in Mad No. 222 (Jan/Feb 1995) are based on a filing made in Sept 1994 and reports average circulation for the preceding 12 month that begin in 1993.  [Newsstand sales peaked in 1975; Subscription sales peaked in 1976;  Total sales for 1975 were 2,132.655.]

Letters in Thimk #5 Feb. 1959

Dear Clods: It seems to me that Mad's article on 'How to Put Out An Imitation of Mad' has hit you in a tender spot.  Your article on Angry magazine shows signs of s guilty conscience.  Not only that; it was a very poor imitation of Mad's article.  David Pellman, Kalamazoo, Mich.

 Dear Editor: 'How to Put Out An Imitation of Angry,' although only one page long, is the best thing in the issue. Bill Warner, Fort Lee, N.J.

Dear Sirs: Although your magazine is of generall inferior quality ... 'How to Put Out An Imitation of Angry' was one of the sharpest pieces of satire I have read in the whole lampoon genre - bar none.  John Benson, Grinell College, Grinell, Iowa

Gentlemen: (?) I am writing solely to tell you that you have the most nausiating [sic] magazine imaginable ... A Loyal Mad Fan, Coal City, Ill.

(Thimk) We are printing this solely to show our readers how loyal Angry fans spell nauseating.

Pre-MAD Item Dept:  (photocopies of ads for dental parlors and a restaurant)

This section is for items that predate MAD's first use of Alfred E. Neuman.  MAD first used Alfred on the cover of The MAD Reader, December 1954.  The item to the right appeared in the Terre Haute Sunday Star, in either June or July 24, 1917.  Terre Haute is in Indiana.  The item below (restaurant ad) is not old, but fits in the space.  It's the inside of a match book from The Mason Jar Restaurant and Cafe.

What's New Dept: (copy of ad for Collectibly MAD)

Glass Dept:  (photo of glass)

Gary Kritzberg sent me this photograph of a milk glass from the late 1950s or early 1960s.  It stands 5-1/4 inches tall in real life.  Alfred E. Neuman and the lettering are not decals.  Does anyone know anything more about this item?

Big Buck MAD (Part 95)

The new Overstreet Comic Price Guide is out and here is how much MAD and PANIC have increased in value over the past year:

1995            1994             Percent Change

MAD

Comics + Magazines                        $18,593        $14,130        31.6%

Specials + Annuals                            $3,830        $3,286            16.6%

MAD Total Value                            $22,423        $17,416        28.7%

PANIC

Comics                                            $690                $634            8.8%

Last year I predicted a complete run would cost $22,000.  I missed it by $423.  If the current rates continue, a complete run of MAD should cost you close to $28,700 next May!  If you had listened to me, you would have saved yourself about $5,000.  Save yourself $6,000 this year.  If you had put that dime in the bank in 1952, at 6% interest: Last year you would have had $1.16, and this year it would have increased to $1.22.  MAD #1 now lists at $3,200!  This was a one year increase of $700 (up from $2,500) for a 28% gain.  I'll predict that it lists in next year's guide at $4,500!"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 32 July 1995

Cover: Drawing of 'Famous Morons' comic book parody by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

This issue wraps up the MAD copycats' replies to the MAD article on putting out an imitation of MAD.  I want to thank Michael Parke-Taylor for supplying the original idea and most of the material I've used in this series.  I will dedicate the next issue to Cracked.  (And their sleazy method of getting readers to buy it by using Alfred E. Neuman.  They even got me giving them space in a fanzine for MAD fans, those b**t***s!).  Anyway, if you can send me any photocopies from the inside pages, I have the covers taken care of, I'd appreciate it.  Include issue number and date.  Finally, an era has ended.  MAD has moved out of their offices at 485 MADison Ave.  Who will be the first to supply me an article (and pictures) of the new offices?  Any self-respecting EC?MAD fanzine has to do a report on the MAD offices.  Hey you other EC rag (ooops, fanzine) editors, don't even think of stealing this idea from me.  And stop asking for artwork from Cecil.  I discovered him, I nurtured him, made him what he is, and he's mine!  Those bums at Australian MAD stole David Williams from me, and it's not going to happen again!  (photo of pencil) Stay MAD, Ed

Another Slot Machine  (photo)

Bob Barrett sent me this photo and information back on September 1, 1994.  (If you've sent me stuff and I haven't used it yet, I'll get to it.  See how long Bob had to wait.)  Bob wrote: 'Thought you might like to show your readers another MAD slot machine.  It's a full size machine from the'60s era.  The face lights up.  It will give you 10 dimes when you get 2 Alfred faces with a bar in the middle (just like the mag, 'cheap!'.  Only one like this that I have seen.'

Collectibly MAD Update: Call Kitchen Sink Press and ask for their latest catalog supplement, Spring 1995.  It has Alfred E. Neuman on the cover.

Loco's Response to MAD

(Pages 4 to 7 are copies of pages from Loco #2)

MAD TV

'MAD' ABOUT FOX.  Mad magazine may make its way onto Fox's Saturday late-night (schedule).  Quincy Jones and David Salzman are shooting a one-hour special for Fox based on the magazine that gave America Alfred E. Neuman.  If successful, 'MAD TV' could become a Saturday late-night regular, taking on NBC's 'Saturday Night Live.'  'MAD TV,' some of which will be shot before an audience on Friday, turns segments of Mad magazine into TV, said Adam Small, one of the show's executive producers.  That includes an animated version of Mad's feature Spy vs. Spy and movie-ad parodies.  The above appeared in the New York Newsday, Tuesday, June 13, 1995.  Michael Lerner told me the show is scheduled for August or September.  Watch your local TV listings.  If it's August, I'll print some reviews in the next issue.

Letters in Loco #3

Boy, you guys certainly have your nerve writing such a crummy article about MAD comics.  It's very obvious you don't even have enough imagination to write your own material.  You keep copying everything that MAD does.  When you get some original ideas I'll start reading your magazine again.  I think so little of your LOCO that I refuse to even buy this issue and I'm reading it for free at my neighborhood candy store.  Art Brodsky, St. Louis, Mo.  (Cheapskate -- Ed.)

You're [sic] best and most biting satire to date,  Keep it up.  Oscar Leitman, Queens, New York

COPY CATS! Charles Shuts, Miami, Florida

CATS! Phylis MacLean, San Francisco, Calif.

RATS! Bobby Thompson, Tucson, Arizona

 

Spy vs. Spy Promotion  (copy of book ads: The WEB Empowerment Book and Building in Big Brother)

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless you have to have it because of the cover.  Now if you need to know about privacy in your line of work, then it's a different story.  It's also good for sleep disorders!

MAD Auction: (Ad for The 4th Annual MAD Auction)

MAD Web Surfing:

Here are some URLs that you might want to take a peek at: (URLs for Caltech and two others)

What's New Dept:

Gibson Greetings - Gibson has just released the following cards: Life is short, #175QH700-0060;  Thou shalt not ..., #175QH700-0061;  Important Recall Notice, #175QH700-0062; Here's Some Stuff That ..., #175QH700-0063; Spy vs. Spy, #175QH700-0064; I See Sex ... Money ... Power!!!, #175QH700-0065; Geezer Games, #175QG700-0066; Spy vs. Spy, #175QH700-0067; Mailman, #175QH700-0068; Alfred's Donuts, #175QH700-0069; Wish You Were Here!, #175QH700-0070;  Alfred shaving his head, #175QH700-0071; You Will Keep In Touch, #175QH700-0072;  For your birthday, #175QH700-0074; Alfred in tire swing, #175QH700-0075. 

Macdonald Enterprises - (light switch cover photo) This company is producing MAD light switch plates.  These are handmade using standard white switch plates and old MAD magazines,  I received two samples.  One was quite nice, it covered the entire switch plate.  The other contained small pictures of MAD covers.  It looked rather Bleech!  If you order one, ask for a fully covered switch plate.  These are not licensed by MAD and Susan Macdonald wrote this: 'Also to let you know in regards to copyrights, etc.  I have checked with my lawyer and as long as I do not reproduce the image (enlarge, shrink or copy)  I am not breaking any copyright laws.  I am buying the said magazine or paper etc. and thus can do with it what I may.'  Prices: $5.00 single, $7.00 double, $9.00 triple, $11.00 quad.  Postage and handling is $2.25 for the first three switch plates and $3.45 for 4 or more.  Make check or money order in U.S. funds (in Canada, Cdn. funds) payable to: Macdonald Enterprises.

Alfred Appears  (copy of drawing from Loco #3)

Alfred E. Neuman appears in Loco #3, January 1959.  the article was titled: 'The Frankenstein Fable.'  Dr. Frankenstein posts this sign, 'Wanted! One assistant Monster-Maker 1st Class - No Minors.'  And we know who shows up on the last panel to apply for the job.  Bob Leatherbarrow is the artist and pitched the idea to the folks at Loco."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 33 September 1995

Cover: Cracked drawing by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

This is the latest I've ever been on sending out this fanzine.  The summer was too busy and too short.  I hope things get back to a normal pace.  It may first appear that this issue was easy to put together, but it wasn't.  I spent more time researching this issue than any other to date.  Cracked magazine has released 305 regular issues.  I have about half of them.  I looked through about 7,500 pages of that tasteless magazine looking for the material that appears in this issue.  I have to believe the remaining issues I didn't check would have about the same many appearances of Alfred E. Neuman, MAD, or Bill Gaines.  As I find more, I'll add to the list (it helps to fill the pages of this fanzine).  You might have noticed, Cecil Sutton didn't take credit for the cover.  He sent it to me and that inspired the creation of this issue.  So blame him!  I better wish you a Happy Thanksgiving now.  The next issue is due November 1st, but I may be late with that one also.  I hope not!  Stay MAD, ED

What, Me Cracked?  (Cracked drawing)

This is the issue you've been waiting 33 issues for, my tribute to Cracked magazine.  Now don't get upset, it's really a look at the slams taken toward MAD, Alfred E. Neuman, and Bill Gaines.  Cracked has been around for some time now and they've done their fair share of taking a jab at MAD now and then, but they could never deliver that knock out punch.  I'm not going to reproduce the Cracked covers that featured Alfred E. Neuman.  Most of you have seen them and they are easy to find.  You don't need to flip through approximately 15,100 pages looking for these MAD collectibles.  Actually I didn't either.  I only have half of all the Cracked magazines (anyone got any to sell?).  So there may be an equal amount of material in the other half.  Alfred E. Neuman has appeared on the cover of the following regular issues: #99, 107, 177, 200, 202.  Alfred has now taken a 100 issue leave of absence from Cracked covers.  Cracked first appeared in early 1958 as just another MAD imitator.  But it did what few others never managed to do - survive beyond a few issues.  Sick magazine was released in 1960 and quickly became #2 in sales, but even Sick folded after 131 issues.  A few others have tried such as Marvel's Crazy (94 issues), but today it's Cracked still waging war against MAD.  It may never sell more issues than MAD, but you have to give them credit for trying.  The attack on MAD crested with the departure of Don Martin from MAD to Cracked.  With Don Martin now under contract to Cracked, they opened fire.  The article 'Tales From the Creep' which appeared in issue #250, December 1989, attacked everything that is held dear to a MAD and EC collector's heart.  They called Bill Gaines 'That Fat Freak,' how dare they!  Looking back, it sheds some light on the wacky history of MAD.  Did the attack stop some people from reading MAD?  No!  Cracked won a battle by publishing Don Martin because many of us started reading that magazine so we could continue having our fill of MAD's MADdest Artist.  I've included the title page and a few other panels from that article on pages 8-10.

(Pages 4 through 7 show copies of drawings from the following issues of Cracked: #131 with Alfred in 'If Hit Movies We're Combined (John Severin); #114 'Why Worry Now? (John Severin); #141 Alfred in 'Life's Biggest Losers' (Bill Ward); #188 Afred wearing one of the 'T-Shirts We'll Never See Them Wearing!' (John Langton); #25 Alfred wearing one of the 'Cracked Space Helmets' (John Severin); #151 with Alfred on one of the 'Collision Courses' (John Langton); #255 with Howeird holding MAD during 'Cracked Interviews Howeird Stern' (Rob Orzechowski); #193 letter from 'Al E. Newman'; #272 letter complaining about 'that MAD guy'; #184 showing Alfred on 'Mundo Loco'; #147 with man taking MAD magazine out of a trash can in 'Cracked Interviews the Writing King' (Bill Ward).

(Pages 8 and 9 are a full-page cover of 'Tales From The Creep' by Archie Falbo and Bill Wray.  Bill Gaines is the 'Fat Freak' and a devilish character.  Alfred is the 'Tired Old Mascot.')

(Page 10 has two images of Bill Gaines in 'Silent Night, Boring Night' and 'The Keeper of the Bin of Artwork')

(Page 11 shows a page from Cracked #13 - 'If Different Poets Had Read Cracked' (John Severin) with Bill Gaines and Alfred)

(Pages 12 and 13 show copies of drawings from the following issues of Cracked: #201 with Alfred as an icon on 'War Games' cover; #116 shows letters from two former MAD readers; #142 shows man with ax wearing 'Don't Get MAD Read Cracked' shirt in 'A Cracked Look At An Amusement Area (Don Orehek); #104 another anti-MAD letter; #242 has silhouette of 'Alf' in 'More Cracked List of What's Hot And What's Not' (Gary Fields); #252 has wanted poster of 'William Gaines AKA Blubberbutt Billie' in 'America's Least Wanted' (Rob Orzechowski).

(Page 14 is a full page from Giant Cracked 1969 with Alfred and others reading Cracked.)

What's New Dept:

MAD About The Sixties - A new MAD book is available in the book stores, MAD About The Sixties.  Grant Geissman did extensive work on this book and didn't get enough credit.  The foreword and section introductions are very informative and add greatly to the book.  Grant has selected the best work from the 60s to present to those that once read the magazine and to remind us of MAD's greatness.  Future books will cover the 70s, 80s, and a two-volume look at the 50s.  The book should have been a hardcover.  They would have done that back in the sixties.

Macdonald Enterprises - I reported this last issue, but I made a few mistakes, so I'm repeating it.  For you first timers, they are producing MAD light switch plates using artwork from magazines and Gibson Greetings' gift wrap (looks good) and attaching it to the switch plate.  A double is not 2 switch plates, it's one switch plate that covers 2 switches.  A triple covers three switches, and a quad covers four switches.  Prices: $5.00 single, $7.00 double, $9.00 triple, $11.00 quad.  Postage and handling is $2.50 for the first three switch plates, $4.00 for 4-8 switch plates, and 46.00 for 9 or more switch plates.

MAD Auction #4 had some interesting results: MAD For Keeps and Golden Trashery of MAD sold for $302 each.  The 45 rpm record sold for $177.

EC Fanzine - Chance Fiveash has started a new EC fanzine called Qua-Brot.  Not the second coming of the original, but still excellent.  He sent me a promo to look over and I enjoyed it,  Get in on the ground floor of this oneby sending $2.00 for the first issue.

Look for a set of Groo trading cards to be released this fall.

MAD TV

Fox's Mad TV will take on Saturday Night Live next season.  The one-hour sketch comedy show, based on Mad magazine will start 30 minutes earlier than SNL, Fox Entertainment Group president John Matoian told affiliates at the first day of the network's affiliates convention in Los Angeles.  Matoian di not announce a start date, saying he didn't want to tip off the competition.  Sources say the netwrok is hoping for an early October debut.  The show's cast includes David Herman (House of Buggin'), Orlando Jones (Roc), Phil LaMarr (Living Single), Artie Lang (The Joe Franklin Show), Mary Scheer (Culture Clash), Nicole Sullivan (Herman's Head), and Debra Wilson (Uptown Comedy Club).  Mad TV will include film and TV parodies, political satire, ad spoofs and cartoons based on such Mad features as Spy vs. Spy and Don Martin.  (From BC-BRIEFS Entertainment Briefs, The Hollywood Reporter.)

MAD TV is a one-hour, fast-paced and irreverent sketch comedy show that's going to put life back into late-night Saturdays.  Before there was Saturday Night Live, before there was National Lampoon, there was Mad Magazine.  Now the original bad boys of comedy are ready to take on the'90s in a way only FOX would dare.  MAD TV will include film and television parodies, political satire, commercial spoofs, social commentary and pop culture send ups.  Nothing will be sacred: get ready for Gump Fiction and Republican Gladiators.  The classic cartoons Spy vs. Spy and Don Martin from the original magazine will be brought to animated life under the supervision of Klasky/Csupo (the Simpsons, Duckman).  MAD TV is a production of QDE (The Fresh Prince of Beol-Air, In The House).  Quincy Jones, David Salzman, Fax Bahr & Adam Small, and Steven Haft are the executive directors.  (From a FOX press release.)"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 34 November 1995

Cover: Grim Reaper drawing by Matt Teske

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

I devoted most of this issue to MAD TV.  I've watched three episodes and have mixed views on it.  Some of it has been very good, and other parts have been pretty bad.  My favorite parts have been the Vud commercials and Quantum Dream Team.  I thought most of the monologues have been weak.  When I saw the first skit, searching for the show's performers, I thought they don't understand MAD.  Bringing the pages of MAD to animation has also been both good and bad.  The Spy vs. Spy animation is working, but then again, it always was a visual strip that had a lot of action.  Don Martin's art in MAD doesn't come across well in animation.  His humor lacked action and relied on the sight gag.  Compare it to his animation in the VH-1 commercials to see the difference, because Don Martin can create humor with action.  The only other MAD art that would fit in well would be Duck Edwing's Ventriloquist Priest and Al Jaffee's Hawk and Dove.  The latter is outdated for today's market.  Overall, I'm glad MAD TV is with us and I hope it lasts for many years.  I wonder if the reruns will be called: MAD TV Specials and MAD TV Super Specials?  Best of shows will be called: The Worst from MAD TV?  Show out-takes and bloopers: MAD TV Follies?  And the first book about the show The MAD TV Reader?  Have a good Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.  Stay MAD, (Ed)

This Group Must Be 'Mad' - Troupe sparks comedy fight on Saturday night

Long before 'Saturday Night Live,' even before National Lampoon, lots of adolescent-minded folks got their yucks from Mad magazine.  Now, as SNL and the National Lampoon movies limp along, shells of their former funny selves, the origimal bad boy of controversial comedy is hitting the small screen.  'We feel that the audience is looking for the comedy, commentary, something with bite,' said Mad TV co-executive producer David Salzman, whose show enters the Saturday night fray.  'The unifying concept of our show, and of Mad Magazine and what is still so fresh and resonant, is that you take a Mad look at everything -- everything is fair game.'  The producers licensed the Mad name and assembled an appealing ensemble cast of relative unknowns -- David Herman, Orlando Jones, Phil LaMarr, Artie Lange, Mary Scheer, Nicole Sullivan and Debra Wilson.  While the names may not be too familiar, at least one player has an extremely famous head who whose brain remains splattered in the car after an accidental gunshot in Pulp Fiction.  'We made a point of not hiring just straight stand-ups because I think a lot of shows have done that lately,' said co-executive producer Adam Small.  'We give the cast an idea and let them run with it so it comes organically from them.'  The producers stress that except for the animated versions of Spy vs. Spy and The Don Martin Department (by Klasky-Csupo, the animation house that does Duckman), the TV show will be quite different from its print namesake.  '(The show) will have to live on its own merits,' said co-executive producer Quincy Jones, the lengendary musician-producer.  'It's a metaphor for what the sensibility of humor's all about.  And it has to live week to week like anything else.  I don't think we can depend on nostalgia or retro.'  The hour long sketch-based show will feature the usual suspects -- film, TV and commercial parodies, political satire, pop culture send-ups -- plus the unusual.  Musical guests, for example, attracted by the well-connected Jones, will not only sing but act in skits, too, like the pilot's sketch featuring hard rockers, Poison.  'By having the music guest join in the fun at the same time,' said Small, 'we're going to find new challenging ways to incorporate the music in the show.'  And while comedy remains the main thrust, Jones cannot resist a comparison to his first love.  'It's a jazz thing,' he said of the new series.  'It really is no matter what anybody says about where it's going it'll evolve into what it's supposed to be, with the cast getting to know each other and understanding the pace.  It's like a good rhythm section.'  (The above was written by Harvey Solon, The Boston Herald, October 13, 1995.)

Mad promising with things we'd like to see - TV Preview (photo of MAD TV cast)

Big deal, it's not live.  What, who's worried?  Surely not Alfred E Neuman but maybe the ghost of Saturday Night Live past.  Mad TV, a sketch-comedy romp closer in brash tone to Fox fare like In Living Color, is already more alive than SNL in its latest non-starter of a rebuilding season.  In Mad's promising if not uneven first hour, the movie, the music and ad-slogan parodies are funnier and more polished than SNL's belabored flop-sweat norm.  The radical and sexual mix of the cast is better balanced, too.  Among the well-produced filmed segments: gross-out roadkill twists on those Budweiser frog commercials, and a rap-video spoof that mocks the pretentious protestations of media superstars like Ice-T and Ice Cube, declaring It Ain't Easy Being Me as they drink Perrier, consult their accountants and primp for their close-ups.  The only obvious connections to the magazine are so-so cartoon segments based on Spy vs. Spy and those hinge-footed Don Martin characters.  Otherwise, the tone is more recklessly vulgar than I remember Mad being during my own adolescent addiction, some 20 or so years ago.  At least one sketch is as lame as typical SNL: a Trek takeoff title Deep Stain Nine, about intergalactic drycleaners (Lint screen at maximum!)  But most of it is on a more inventive plane: a silly collision of Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump, a sardonic look at an MTV contest winner's ill-fated week with the group Poison.  Unavailable for preview: segments featuring Kato Kaelin.  I didn't miss them.  Of the cast, keep an eye on blond genius Nicole Sullivan.  Her broadly played character of a blithely bigoted cosmetics saleswoman has all the markings of a breakout, and she is riveting in a monologue in which Mad triggers her memories of childhood trauma.  'I don't want to be here,' she whimpers, 'I want to be on Friends,'  It could be worse.  She could be stuck in the muck of Saturday Night Deadly.  (The above was written by Matt Roush who gave Mad TV 2-1/2 stars out of 4.  USA Today, October 13, 1995.)

Pre-MAD Item Dept: (photocopy of Pace Mfg. Co, ad)

The advertisement on the left was sent by Michael Parke-Taylor.  It is from 1936 (the form number reveals the date) and is black printed on yellow stock.  There are four panels (only two are shown) in the entire ad.  One is a letter from a 'typical operator' and other contains two other pictures of the slot machine.

The Mad Show - (photo of tabs) - The tab tins below don't pre-date MAD, but it does fit the space I have left to fill!

Mad TV: Alfred E. Newman [sic] would be very, very pleased

A Fox executive sits in his stall in the men's room -- mercifully, the door is shut -- peppering his flunkies with questions about Mad TV, which premieres Saturady night (11 p.m., Channel 25).  'Have you got the cast?' he yells.  The cast?  The flunkies exchange shocked looks.  They forgot the cast!  They rush out, jump into a pickup truck and drive frantically around the mean streets, picking up a homeless man, a babbling Vietnamese veteran, two hookers and their pimp (he calls himself their 'social coordinator') and a despairing woman who's about to jump off a bridge.  Back to the studio, cast in hand, one more problem solved.  This is the opening of a preview tape of the Fox network's bid to take a bite out of vulnerable hide of NBC's Saturday Night Live.  That sketch-comedy show, once a landmark effort of TV satire, is now struggling to reinvent itself after two decades.  In competing with it, Fox has gone back to the drawing board.  Literally.  Before there was SNL or National Lampoon, there was Mad magazine.  Now there's Mad TV.  That's the line Fox is taking with its new show, whose target audience is too young to have grown up on the real article in the 1950s.  In the spirit of the original, Mad TV bills itself as the 'nothing sacred' show, and went so far as to plan a sketch spoofing Schindler's List.  (The bit, which has reportedly brought protests from director Steven Spielberg was not in the preview tape.)  For the most part, the japery in Mad TV compares favorably with that on SNL these days.  The tape makes it play tighter and quicker.  The cast is of course not the 'cast' thrown together in the skit.  In fact, it seems to be the usual suspects -- i.e., fresh-faced stand-up comic actors and improvisers.  The waifish Nicole Sullivan stands out in a monologue about how she first read Mad magazine, a hilariously deadpan story she ends up saying she'd prefer to be on Friends because 'I don't feel safe here.'  There are surprises.  Two angry black prisoners in their cell turn out to be a rap group seeking 'motivation' from their director for a video they're shooting.  Besides Sullivan, the little-known ensemble features stand-up comedian/actor Bryan Callen; writer Orlando Jones; comedian/actor Phil LaMarr; comedian/actress Debra Wilson; comedian/actress Mary Scheer; comedian Artie Lange; and comedian/actor David Herman.  Executive producers Fax Bahr and Adam Small are documentary filmmakers.  Small co-directed a documentary about the national tour of the rock band Youth Brigade and Social Distortion; Bahr directed 'Heart od Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse,' the acclaimed study of Francis Ford Coppola's filming of Apocalypse Now.  (The above was written by Bruce McCabe, The Boston Globe TV Week, October 8-14, 1995.)

Happy with debut ratings

Los Angeles -- Fox Broadcasting Co. is anything but angry with the ratings earned by MAD TV in its premiere opposite Saturday Night Live.  MAD TV drew more young adult viewers and was respectively close to SNL in total viewers in a half-hour of direct competition with the NBC show last Saturday, Fox said Thursday.  'I didn't want to say we have a certified hit here, but it was a very encouraging premiere,' Fox programming chief John Matoian said.  Matoian is wise to be cautious: Last week, MAD TV faced and SNL rerun, a compilation of 1990-91 season highlights.  This Saturday, it goes against an original SNL that is hosted by David Schwimmer, one of the stars of NBC's hit comedy Friends.  That's likely to cut into MAD TV's ratings, although Fox was buoyed by the wide range of viewers who tuned in to the show's debut, including teenagers, adults 18-34 and older adults, Matoian said.  MAD TV, a sketch comedy show loosely inspired by the venerable MAD magazine, airs from 11 p.m. to midnight EDT; SNL is on from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. EDT.  In the 11:30 p.m. - midnight direct competition, MAD TV posted a 5.1 rating and 13 share, while SNL earned a 6.2 rating and 15 share.  Among the coveted 18-34 crowd, MAD had a 5.2 rating , 22 share; SNL had a 3.8 rating, 16 share.  Total program averages were a 5.6 rating, 13 share for MAD and a 5.6 rating, 16 share for SNL.  Each ratings point represents 959,000 viewers; share is the percentage of TV sets in use at any one time that are tuned to a particular broadcast.  (The above was found on the homepage of the Nando Times, October 20, 1995.)

What's New Dept:

William Gaines Book - (photocopy of book cover) - Michael Slaubaugh went digging through some book titles and came up with this one, William Gaines: Mad Man by Steven Otfinoski and it was published in 1993.  It was written for the Mad In America series, which highlights the unique schievements of some of our country's most innovative and dynamic besiness people.  The book is written for the younger readers and doesn't contain any new information.  But, it contains many photographs that I never had seen before.  Anne Gaines and the MAD staff helped supply the material for this hardcovered 48 page book.  The ISBN for the book is 0-86592-080-X.  You can order direct from the publisher with a money order for $13.95 plus $3.00 postage from Rourke Publishing Group.

Draeger Woodcraft - Alfred E. Neuman Clock - (clock photo) - Michael Lerner told me about these clocks.  I received this information from Robert Draeger: The closck is about 24" tall and 13" wide.  It is made up of several cuts of wood assembled to give it a three dimensional effect.  These clocks are not mass produced.  They are done as they are ordered.  It takes about two weeks to complete an order (with Christmas almost upon us, it may take longer).  Each clock is hand painted and air brushed to give it more dimension.  The wood we use in the process is pine.  The paint is acrylic and the final coat is a clear semi-gloss protective finish.  The total cost of the clock is $60.50.  This includes packing and shipping via Priority mail.  Orders can be sent to Robert Draeger.

Johnson Smith's Holiday Catalog - The company that brings you 'Things You Never Knew Existed' is selling Russ Cochran's MAD software book.  We know about the book!  But that isn't the news.  The cover of the catalog pictures a slightly re-worked version of the book's cover.  You can get a catalog by calling the customer service department.

Baby Boomer's Collectibles - The December 1995 issue (Charlie's Angels cover) has a review of Grant's book Collectibly MAD.  You can get back issues (with a credit card) by calling.  And if you don't have issue #3, December 1993, order that while you're at it.

Cesar Mask - I stopped by the local Halloween shop and noticed an Alfred E. Neuman mask that looked familiar.  It's an updated version of Cesar's 1981 mask, it still bears the copyright date.  The hair is tan with white, instead of red, and the freckles are gone.  I guess they're trying to make it not look as much like Alfred.  If you need one, look around for an older version, otherwise check out the Halloween stores while they're trying to dump their stock, you might get a good deal.

Horror From The Crypt Of Fear - You should send $3.00 to Sam Kingston for an issue of his great EC fanzine Horror From The Crypt Of Fear.  Sam needs for you to subscribe so that he can continue.  Support the fanzine!"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 35 January 1996

Cover: Toy Story drawing by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

I finally did it!  Sorry this issue is so late.  I've been very busy since the last issue: got a new job, became the president of the local professional organization I belong to, and became treasurer of the local youth hockey association.  But this is the fanzine business, so you shouldn't be shocked that the schedule has finally gone way off base.  I've done pretty well the last 6 years staying on very close to schedule.  I hope the next issue, March, will be only a couple of weeks late.  And then back to a regular schedule again.  I have lots of stuff to cover in the next few issues.  Luckily you guys still send me a lot of stuff to use.  David Williams sent me another Australian interview that I hope to start in the next issue; and some pretty good pre-MAD stuff also.  I think O covered all of the new stuff available in this issue, instead of waiting to include some in the next issue.  Hope you didn't mind me supplying Michael Lerner with your addresses so that he could send out the Alfred E. Neuman ring advertisement.  There was enough for everyone so I let him have the list.  I still don't take advertisements unless it's something special like the Michael's MAD auctions.  Hope to do this soon again!  Stay MAD, Ed

A Pilgrimage to the MAD Fans Mecca! by Tim Johnson  (with two photos on page 5)

The weekend of October 20-22, 1996, Gary Kritzberg and I flew to New York City to attend the MAD about MAD art auction at Sothebys.  We also toured the MAD offices, and did other touristy things.  Some excerpts from our trip:

Thursday, October 19, 1995 - Gary and I flew out of Chicago at 8:30 pm.  Arrived in New York at 10:45.  Got to the hotel around 11:15.  Went to bed early in anticipation of the 'Big Day.'

Friday, October 20, 1995 - We attended the auction at Sothebys.  Got there at 9:30 am.  We knew other collectors were going to be there, so we started introducing ourselves around.  Other MAD collectors in attendance (that we know of anyway): Grant Geissman, Michael Lerner, Jason Levine, Bob Solomon, and Mike Gidwitz.  Some of artists in attendance were: Al Jaffee, Paul Peter Porges, Mort Drucker, Leslie Steinberg and Richard Williams.  The auction was fun.  There were two sessions.  The second session was busier than the first.  Prices for art varied greatly.  Most interior stories and panels went for hundreds of dollars, while the most expensive item - the cover to Worst From MAD #9 - went for $17,000!  At least two people in the room spent over $60,000 each on artwork, I didn't even raise my paddle.  Oh, well.  After the auction, the group of us walked over to Annie Gaines' apartment for drinks.  We had a really great time.  Annie owns some beautiful MAD artwork (about 7 covers, plus a lot of interior stuff), along with an impressive display case full of MAD treasures.  She even allowed us to view the Gaines file copies of the E.C. Comics.  Annie also has an astounding Statue of Liberty collection.  After drinks, we all walked to a bar/restaurant to have dinner.  There we met up with Nick Meglin, Angelo Torres, Sam Viviano, and David Williams.  Jim McClane showed up a little later.  What a great day!

Saturday, October 21, 1995 - Gary and I toured the MAD offices with Grant, Jason, and Annie.  The MAD office has two large display cases full of MAD collectibles, nothing too rare, but impressive none the less.  The walls are adorned with lots of original cover art, and there is a statue of Alfred standing in a corner by the front door.  Now I can say that I visited the MAD offices (and I probably will again).  After the tour we rented a car and drove to Jim McClane's home in New Jersey.  Met up with Bob Solomon and Michael Lerner there.  Although I've only seen 3 or 4 other collections, Jim has by far the best one I've seen.  He owns lost of cool pre-MAD stuff, plus some ultra-rare MAD items, like the straightjacket, original t-shirt, Mardi Gras Halloween costume, and the Alfred E. Neuman hand puppet.  After a while, we all gathered around Jim's piano to hear Annie sing, She Got A Nose Job, with accompaniment from Grant.  What a riot!  After leaving Jim's, we drove back to New York.  The night was spent walking around Times Square, taking pictures, and people watching.  I almost got my pocket picked.  Thanks Gary! 

Sunday, October 22, 1995 - Gary and I did the typical New York tourist thing, took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  What a terrific experience that was!  We flew out of New York at 3:00 pm and arrived in Chicago at 4:30.  I said good-bye to Gary and headed home.  It's hard to believe how quick the weekend went by.  Upon reflection, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  And I would suggest that if you can afford $500.00, which is what it cost me for the hotel, airfare, and cab fare, you should spend a couple of days in New York to tour the MAD offices, do touristy stuff, and have some fun.

Photos on the next page - Top picture from left to right: Jason Levine, Tim Johnson, Michael Lerner, Jim McClane, Robert Solomon, Annie Gaines, Gary Kritzberg, and Grant Geissman (at Jim's house).  Bottom picture from left to right: Tim, Robert, Annie, Tom Anderson, Tom's kid, Jason, Michael, Charlie Kochman, Grant, Nick Meglin, Mike Gidwitz, and someone Jason doesn't know, so I cropped him.  (at Annie's apartment).  These pictures were supplied by Tim and Jason.

(Pages 6, 7 and 9 contain copies of ads for MAD TV.)

What, them worry?  Going Mad at Sotheby's by Elizabeth Moore and Judy Peet  (photo of signed Collectibly MAD book)

Scenes We'd Like to See (and did!): Dithering baby-boomers paying through the nose for scraps of that goofy icon of American satire, Mad magazine.  Proudly wearing 'What, Me Worry? buttons, they were at the formerly exclusive Sotheby's auction house on Manhattan's tony Upper East Side yesterday, bidding madly for 30 years of collective artistic output - and sundry goods - from 'the usual gang of idiots,' known as the staff at Mad.  A cartoon of a man with his finger in his nose sold for $2,070, including the 15 percent buyer's premium.  The desk ('original food stains intact,' said the catalogue) of portly Mad founder William Gaines sold for $7,475, 10 times its low-range Sotheby's estimate.  The biggest seller was cartoonist Norman Mingo's cover art of 'The Ninth Annual Edition of The Worst of Mad,' a 1966 work that showed Mad mascot Alfred E. Neuman in a tuxedo crooning while caricatures of the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Bob Dylan and Harry Belafonte cringed and retched in a circle around him.  That tasteful little number sold for a hefty $19,550, more than triple the pre-sale estimate of $6,000.  In all, the crowd laid out $832,628 for 400 pieces of Mad.  So, who bought this stuff?  'Me and some other dummy,' joked beaming Joshua Leland Evans, after his bid claimed the mammoth Gaines desk.  A sports memorabilia dhop owner, Evans vowed that the battered piece of furniture will never leave his sight and will become the centerpiece of a 'Mad room' in his Old Bridge home.  'This is a personal thing; I'll never ever sell it,' Evans gushed.  'This is the ultimate.  Mad is an icon.  It's as important a symbol as Coca-Cola.  To me, Gaines' desk is a lot more interesting than a cover with Alfred E. Neuman peeing in the snow.'  Maybe, but that was up for grabs too, and brought $9,775.  The collectibles were put up for sale by Time-Warner, which took control of the Mad empire through its subsidiary, DC Comics after Gaines died in 1992.  Sotheby's comic consultant Jerry Weist said the corporate giant agreed to honor Gaines' original contract with the artists, who each collected a 'healthy piece' of the auction price.  Two of those genius idiots made personal appearances at the auction, signing autographs for eager fans, Mort Drucker, whose original artwork for a 1964 bonus calendar sold for $17,250, and Al Jaffee, best known for his Mad fold-ins on the back cover of each issue.  'Yes!' shouted Thomas Anderson, when his bid of $3,750 (plus 15 percent) was accepted for a Jaffee fold-in of the Grand Canyon that turned into two people fighting.  Anderson, formerly of Brick Township who now collects comic memorabilia in Birmingham, Ala., brought his wife and 10-month-old daughter to the auction and easily spent $10,000 in the first hour.  His motive was nostalgia, not profit: 'I grew up with Mad.  It pokes fun at life,' he said.  But the bidding was no joke.  Bespectacled assistants took telephone bids during the auction as a marquee over the revolving stage displayed each item's price in dollars, British pounds, German marks, Swiss and French francs, Italian lira, and Japanese yen.  Most black-and-white drawings went for less than $3,000, but color cover pieces - particularly those featuring the magazine's mascot, Neuman - drew upwards to $5,000.  (The above appeared in The Star-Ledger, October 21, 1995.)

What's New Dept:  (photo of skateboards)

FLIP Skateboard - Jared Johnson sent me this information.  There are two Alfred E. Neuman skateboards available, also wheels, a sticker, and a t-shirt.  they can be ordered by calling.  The mini-skateboard is item #DKFLC and costs $44.95.  The wheels are called 'Rune Glifberg,' named after a California skateboarder, and cost $5.95 each, order #WHFLC.  You might also try your local skateboard shop to see if they can order this stuff for you.

Gibson Greetings - There are four new cards available.  It seems the number system has changed.  The first 5 characters change - example 00185BG040-2326 is the same card as 00200BG040-2326.  The new cards are BG040-2406, BG040-2418, BS260-0304, and one that wasn't on the original list I printed, 165X03939.  This is a Christmas card and is smaller than the others.  Any others?

Pre-MAD Items  (photocopy of matchbook cover)

Tim Johnson sent me a copy of this pre-Mad (?) matchbook cover.  By the looks of the telephone number, I think it's late 1950s or early 1960s vintage.  There's a '61' next to the manufacturer's logo, at the top of the matchbook as shown, which may indicate the year 1961.  I included it here because the picture can be found on postcards from the 1940s.  If you have any other matchbook covers, I'd be interested in seeing and printing them in these pages."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 36 March 1996

Cover: Drawing of Alf with ape in Janet Jackson pose by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

Here it is one week after I finally got issue #35 out, and this issue is almost finished.  Thanks Dave!  As you'll soon see, David Williams supplied us with a good interview of Sergio Aragones and Annie Gaines.  It must have taken him a bit of time to transcribe all of it.  Mike Slaubaugh supplied the center spread.  I think it's the oldest image to appear in this fanzine.  It's from a book entitled: Commercial History of Rushville and Rush County.  It was compiled by Geo. L. Johnson and assisted by Geo. W. Campbell.  The book is dated 1899!  The only thing wrong with this book is that Mike offered it to John Hett before me :-(  Wouldn't you know it, the company whose phone number I printed last issue doesn't have any more of the Alfred E. Neuman skateboards or wheels.  If you find another supplier, please send along the information and I will print it in the next issue.  Cecil Sutton has sent me another supply of covers.  You won't be able to see my favorite until the December issue.  Thanks again Cecil for all the wonderful artwork!  Stay MAD, Ed

Sergio Aragones & Annie Gaines Interview - Nov. 1993

 This interview was conducted by Tony Delroy in November 1993 on Radio Station 2BL in Australia.  It was transcribed by David Williams. 

Tony Delroy:  MAD magazine has been in business for 40 years, taking the mickey out of all that is held sacred.  I don't know whether you've caught Murphy Brown's wall recently -- it's covered in MAD magazine posters.  Alfred E. Neuman has obviously struck a chord.  In its 40 year history the satirical humour of MAD has never faulted in sending up anything and everything from politics to religion.  Many public figures see a lampoon from Mad as almost a pinnacle of recognition.  A unique legend in the public world, the magazine has refused advertising, believing that commercial influence would compromise its judgment.  The magazine has been published here (Australia) with a local edition for 15 years -- as a matter of fact, the 15th anniversary issue is now on the stands.  Sergio Aragones has been a MAD cartoonist for 30 years.  He is paying a flying visit to Australia from New York and he joins me in the studio tonight.  Good evening.

Sergio Aragones:  Good evening.

TD:  For a start Sergio -- you are responsible for marginal thinking.  Now for those who are not total devotees of the magazine, can you explain what marginal thinking is all about?

SA:  Well ... I've been doing cartoons all my life, since I was a kid, and coming from Mexico we used a lot of pantomime cartoons and when I arrived in the United States the majority of humour was with words, with the British inheritance on the punch line.  I found myself I had a lot more ideas than they had space in the magazine.  So I started trying to feed all my work anyplace I could and the only space empty I saw was the corners.  So I asked them if I could do pantomime cartoons for them.  They thought it would be very difficult first for the size and second coming with so many ideas that often, but with practice I had doing it -- so it was no trouble.

TD: I mean, it's a very unusual concept.  Did they have difficulty in the initial stages even with the printing and fitting it in with the concept?

SA: Yes, it was very strange.  First they didn't want to do it -- said it cannot be done, and I said, I'll do it until I run out of ideas -- and they said OK.  So far I haven't run out of ideas -- there's been over 10,000 of them.

TD:  That's amazing.  Can you explain the creative process for us as a cartoonist?  It must be very, very difficult to come up with ideas which essentially do without words.

SA:  It's not difficult in a sense that I've been doing it all my life.  Probably if you try to do it -- someone says OK, I'm going to think of some jokes without words -- it would be difficult, but it's like a musician, a cartoonist is an actor.  You start very young and the process becomes a matter of living.  It's so normal that to me thinking cartoons without words is as natural as walking.  The process is also, after you do it for a long time, not formula like, but you do get a formula to do it well.  You take a subject and you find something that hasn't been done with it, you eliminate all the unnecessary words and then you arrive at the solution.

TD:  You almost have to go where people have never gone before though with MAD.  It's mostly out of left field and very original and creative stuff.  Have you always been like this?

SA:  Umm ... yes, I think so.  That was probably the judgment of the editors and publisher, seeing a cartoonist that fits their world.  I didn't know I fit there.  I did what I did and suddenly they saw me as a part of the group and these ideas are part of the whole thing and then suddenly you're hired as a cartoonist from that particular place.

TD:  Sergio, how do you spark an idea?  Is it literally one of those things that comes to you in the middle of the night or do you actually sit down and say OK -- I've got to draw a cartoon for this month's edition.  Now what am I going to draw about?

SA:  That's exactly how it is.  You sit down, you sit there and take a subject and look at the most absurd thing that can happen to that particular subject and mathematically you have it.  The brain is like a computer.  It stores away all that you've already done so you say, tell me some of your cartoons, it would be very hard for me because I have them in a place I cannot retrieve them, and it would be almost impossible because all the photos of comics would be already done.  So my mind is completely fresh everyday.  I don't remember anything I've done.

TD:  Well do you have mental blocks?  In other words, do some days do you sit there thinking forget this, I'm going to lunch?

SA:  Well we do that on purpose when we don't feel like working.  You know, (when) I have a mental block, I don't feel like working, you call the publisher -- I have a mental block.  I cannot think of anything.

TD:  We have an extra special guest tonight.  The late Bill Gaines was the creator of MAD magazine and ran it for most of the last 40 years.  He died, I think, last year, but his widow, Annie Gaines is now General Manager of MAD magazine and she's also on a flying visit from the States.  How are you?

Annie Gaines:  I'm very well thank you.  It's wonderful to be here.

TD:  Bill Gaines, the creator of the magazine, obviously one of the driving forces -- he really kept it going.

AG:  Oh, yes.  One of the driving forces.

TD:  Why did he decide to make it a freelance magazine?

AG:  Oh, it was always a freelance magazine.

TD:  Just because it created a freshness of ideas all the time?

AG:  Sure, we can always have new people with new ideas.

SA:  The way he explained it to me, he said, if you become lazy or your artwork goes down, we can hire somebody else.  And at the same time, if you don't like what we pay you, you can leave anytime you want.

TD:  Yeah, I would imagine Annie, the office atmosphere of MAD would be unique with that many creative people about?

AG:  Well actually, the artists and writers work at home and they just send or bring stuff in depending on how far away they live.  But they do make occasional visits and sometimes when they visit it is kind of crazy.  And on other days, when the editors have their conferences, you can hear raucous laughter coming out of the room.  Sometimes it's so loud I have to run and look, just to see what they're laughing at.

TD:  Annie, did Bill do any drawing himself, or was he just a creative spark?

AG:  No, he did no drawing.  He was just a wonderful father figure who did everything to do with the business end of it, but the people wanted to make him laugh, and they would do anything possible to make him laugh, because he had a great laugh.

TD:  Well of course Bill Gaines' father max actually had link to cartooning.  I think he was one of the original instigators of the Superman comic.

AG:  Well actually, Max is considered the father of comic books, because he is the first person who took some funnies, folded them down to comic book size and put a sticker -- a price sticker on the cover and sold them on newsstands.  I said to somebody one day that I wish the family had a royalty on every comic book ever sold.  If he could have patented the idea of the comic book ... (laughter)

TD:  Indeed.  It was an interesting philosophy he had with MAD magazine of not accepting any advertising.  Did he suffer any stage during the development of the magazine because of that?

AG:  Actually, some of the very first MADs, the comic book MADs, did have ads and then later when it became a magazine, he eliminated the ads because he had grown up reading a magazine called PM in New York, and PM had no ads and he had the highest regard for this publication, and he wanted MAD, in its own way, to be like that.

TD:  Annie, why did he decide to use the character of Alfred E. on the cover?  Who is Mr. Neuman?

AG:  (laughter) He's a fictitious character who's been around for more than a hundred years.

TD:  I can't believe he's fictitious (laughter).

AG:  ... more than a hundred years.  We just adopted him and gave him a name.

TD:  So he must be part of American folklore, but we know him in no other connection, other than with MAD magazine.

AG:  Yeah.  Well in America, he was used in advertisements for dentists over the years; the tooth was missing and underneath was the legend, 'It Didn't Hurt A Bit.'  Then it would be advertising a certain dentist, and he was used on postcards -- just in a million ads over the years.

TD:  So Alfred E. has almost become, well he is the masthead of MAD isn't he?

AG:  Yes, the mascot, right.

TD:  Sergio, is the magazine looking for new directions or planning new initiatives or is it going to keep on doing what it does?

SA:  No.  No.  It has changed a lot.  They're always looking for young writers.  The only problem has been that with a lot of printed matter the talent goes to television, but they realize that is very volatile -- television, so they come back to the printed matter which stays forever and it's more recognized.  Not as lucrative, but more recognition.  So they're coming back and a lot of young persons that have grown up with MAD are starting who have much better elements now.

TD:  Has it become a multi-generational thing, because I know I grew up with MAD magazine, and are you finding now the children of the baby-boomers are picking up on MAD?

SA:  Oh yes, I grew up with MAD too.  When I was in high school, I remember seeing it for the first time and dreaming of one day working for them.  But, when I go to signing books, which we just did one this morning, signed the 15th anniversary issue.  Father, sons, and some have grandkids, going in to it to sign autographs.

TD:  It's really strange -- Cartoonists.  I guess, get a lot of kudos, but I mentioned your name two to a couple of our regulars last week and they went: 'Wow -- Sergio Aragones,' isn't that incredible because it's one of those names I guess they've seen a lot over the years and you become your drawings?

SA:  Yes, it's very pleasant.  It's one of the great things about it, and one of the advantages is that they don't recognize your face.  They recognized your work, so you can go through your normal life without ever being disturbed or anything.  It's just when you mention your name, it's very pleasant, because they recognize with relation to your work, not with any actors or gossip or anything.  So it's great.

TD:  It's like me, they always say you've got a face for radio.  (laughter)  Annie, just one thing.  I was told by our trivia buff that Bill actually had a great collection of memorabilia of the Statue of Liberty.

AG:  Oh yes, we both collected it and I still have the collection and it's I think recognized as one of the best collections in the world, outside of a museum.

TD:  What sort of things do you have in it?

AG:  Well we have everything from the crumbiest souvenir ...

TD:  Souvenir spoon, right?

AG:  Oh yeah, I have lots of spoons, a lot of silver spoons, right up through things that Bertholdi made, things that he sculptured and then were cast by foundries and I have a terra-cotta model from 1875 which is signed by Bertholdi.  So we have some exquisite things.

TD:  Have you a lot of Statue of Liberty gnomes in the backyard?

AG:  (laughter) Actually, I live on the 25th floor of an apartment building, so I don't have a backyard.  But yeah, the whole apartment is full of Statue of Liberty.  Things on the wall, things in cabinets.

TD:  Well 40 years strong and in Australia 15 years of the Australian edition and that's what we're marking.  As you've pointed out, it's become multi-generational and it's obviously selling well as it always has.  Thanks for joining us tonight and enjoy the rest of your stay in Australia.

AG & SA:  Thank you.

Rushville and Rush County Book  (pages 6 and 7)

What's New Dept:

Gibson Greetings - I've found another two greeting cards: BM635-0541, which wasn't on my original list, and BG040-2406, which was on the list.  I almost didn't recognize the first one, I wasn't expecting to see any Tom Bunk artwork in this series.  That leaves two greeting cards that I haven't seen: BS260-0298 and CG181-0568.  I also said that there should be flat wrap, #00179WC141-1962.  Seeing how the first 5 numbers are the price (that's why they change), it's most likely the same wrap with a different price.

Cartoon Art Museum - There is currently an exhibit called: Harvey Kurtzman - retrospective of a MAD Genius.  There are a few things worth ordering.  the catalogue for the show which costs $17.50 plus 43.00 shipping.  This is very nicely done and contains some Kurtzman stuff I've never seen before.  Not much MAD art, one page, but if you like Kurtzman's work, get this one.  There is also a special edition Completely MAD for $50 (hardcover) or $24.95 (softcover) that contains a bookplate signed especially for the Museum by Will Elder.  If you're interested in these, call to be sure they aren't sold out.  I haven't received mine, so I can't comment on the bookplate.  They also have other stuff available which has been sold by Kitchen Sink Press.  Order from Cartoon Art Museum, 814 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103.

Keen Eye Dept:  (photocopy of two card packages)

Lime Rock - There are two variations on the foil wrapper of the first two series of cards.  David Williams noticed this one.  The same difference can be found on each.  One has a preprinted price, 99 cents and $1.25 Canada, and the other one doesn't.  He didn't find any differences on the Spy vs. Spy packages.  Have you?

Up The Academy - (photocopy of poster) - The one-sheet poster for Up The Academy has two versions.  One variation can be seen below (from Michael Lerner's The 4th Annual MAD Set Sale & Auction.)  The under-caption states: 'A comedy gone totally MAD.'  The other variation, which can be seen in Collectibly MAD, has the under-caption of: 'The education they got wasn't in books.'

MAD Interest List

The annual MAD Interest List will be published in the May 1996 issue (only five months late).  If you were on last year's list(see the January '95 issue) and want to remain on it, do nothing.  If you want to be removed from the list, send me a letter stating so.  If you weren't on last year's list (see the same issue referenced above) and want your name and address known to other readers of this fanzine, send me a letter stating so.  And by the way, you need to be a current subscriber as of issue #37(the May '96 issue)."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 37 May 1996

Cover: Drawing of Mickey Mouse Alf by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

Another late issue!  Maybe the July 1st issue will reach you before this one.  The July issue will be toward the end of the month.  A big thank you goes out to Annie Gaines.  She supplied the insert poster that comes with this issue.  I only had enough for the subscribers, so don't go looking for it if this is a sample issue.  I'm going to try a change in policy.  Actually I've done it in the past.  If you have multiples (3 or more) or are conducting an auction of an unusual item (no magazines, paperbacks, or other common things) for sale (no want lists) I'll put a plug into future issues.  The item(s) must include a full description and number available, and price.  If it's an auction notice, see previous issues for examples.  To give you a real example of an unusual item for sale.  John Hett has 5 sets of three different Canadian boxer shorts: AEN posing in square background, AEN posing in circled background, and AEN's face and MAD logo on black.  The price is $50 per set.  Call John.  Stay MAD, Ed

MAD Interest List - 1996

The following folks have requested that their name address, etc., appear in this year's interest list.  We'll do it all again next year: Barrett Amiss II, Tom Anderson, Bob Barrett, Bennett Barsk, Fred Berger, Alan Bernstein, Ron Downard, Randal Dull, Mark Finn, Joe Groshek, Chris Harne, John Hett, Stan Horzepa, Jared Johnson, Tinothy Johnson, Ian Jurcson, Matt Keeley, Gary Kritzberg, David Kulikowski, Michael Lerner, Mike Levin, Jason Levine, Rick Long, Jim McClane, Andreas Mueller, Ed Norris, Michael Parke-Taylor, Richard Sherman, David Silva, Michael Skinner, Mike Slaubaugh, Robert Solomon, Matt Teske, David Williams.

Comics stamps gone 'MAD' (photocopy of page from April 1996 MAD)

MAD magazine, which has long been a leader in published satire and parody, has again entered the world of postage stamps with a feature in its April 1996 edition.  Ten of the 20 Comic Strip Classic stamps have been incorporated by MAD into classic panel form to continue the scenes portrayed on the stamps.  For an example, the Blondie stamp portrays mail carrier Mr. Beasley as the victim of a collision with Dagwood Bumstead, while Dagwood's wife Blondie looks on.  The MAD parody shows the actual stamp as the first panel in a three-panel strip.  In the second panel, Mr. Beasley, still sprawled on the ground, has pulled a handgun which he is firing, while shouting, 'I've had enough!!  This is the last time you barrel into me, Bumstead!'  The final panel shows the front page of the Daily News with a photo of the Bumstead family and the headline, 'Another Postal Worker Goes Berserk, Kills Entire Family and Dogs.'  Other stamps receiving the MAD treatment include Rube Goldberg's Inventions, Prince Valiant, Dick Tracy, Alley Oop, Little Nemo in Slumberland, Li'l Abner, Flash Gordon, Terry and the Pirates, and Popeye.  In keeping with the irreverent MAD style, the parodies range from the risque to scatological, though Popeye uses his punch to emphasize, 'Dat's what I tink of yer latest stamp price increase!'  The parodies fill three pages of the 48-page issue.  The future was written by long-time MAD contributor Al Jaffee, with art by Walt F. Rosenberg.  At the top of the feature is the heading, 'Putting our thirty two cents in dept.'  The Comic Strip Classics stamps were issued last Oct. 1 by the U.S. Postal Service.  MAD has addressed stamps several times in the past, and perforated cinderellas (stamp-like creatures) have been featured in special issues.  MAD magazine has been in publication since 1952.  MAD is published monthly (except bimonthly for January-February) by E.C. Publications Inc.  It is distributed to newsstands nationwide.  The cover price is $2.50.  The April issue is scheduled to remain on newsstands until April 8; it may be available beyond that date at some locations.  (The above appeared in Linn's Stamp News, April 8, 1996.  It was written by Michael Baadke,)

MAD Opinion & Commentary  (copies of cartoons that appeared in The Indianapolis Star - March 25, 1996 and July 7, 1995)

MAD Grooves

Grant Geissman has been actively involved in the effort to get out MAD Grooves, Kid Rhino R2-72435, for many years.  The first run of 8,000 copies left out this liner note.  Grant asked if I'd print it in here: Ben Vaugh is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose music is humorously quirky retro-blues-rock hyphenate.  His credits include the alternative rock band Ween.  Vaugh's most recent album, Rambler '65, was recorded entirely inside a 1965 Rambler sedan.  Why contribute to a MAD album?  'It's a combination of the two thing my dad hated: rock & roll and MAD magazine,' says Vaugh.  Grant also wrote: This project has been two years in the making, and they didn't know if they could get the three Big Top songs or not until just a few weeks before the deadline, but they finally came in.  Due to a publishing royalty problem, two songs had to be thrown out at the last minutes: 'What, Me Worry?' and 'Stamp Out Hate' (from The MAD Show), but I think it's a very strong compilation nonetheless.  The 'What, Me Worry?' song will likely show up on a future Rhino project, perhaps on a Dr. Demento album.  Also, Nick Meglin wrote the short bios of Norm Blagman and Sam Bobrick on pages 13 and 14 of the CD booklet.  Grant wanted to be in the Interest List, but he hadn't sent his subscription payment to me in time.  Now that I have his check, you can reach him.  Another project Grant is working on, MAD About The Seventies, is near completion and due out in book stores sometime in September.

The Completely MAD TV Episode Guide - Part I

Michael Lerner has been busy logging each episode of MAD TV and is sharing it with us.  In this issue, episodes 1-5 are covered.  There have been 19 as of June 1, 1996.  MAD TV has been picked up for another season!  MAD TV - A production of QDE (Quincy Jones David Salzman Entertainment) in association with the FOX Entertainment Network; Executive Producers: Quincy Jones, David Salzman, Fox Bahr & Adam Small and Steven Haft; Director John Blanchard; Producer: James Jones; Cast: Bryan Callen, David Herman, Orlando Jones, Phil LaMarr, Artie Lange, Mary Scheer, Nicole Sullivan, and Debra Wilson.  Note: All weekly shows are 1 hour in length.

Premiere (Show #1); Air date: Oct. 14, 1995; Guest stars: Kato Kaelin and the band Poison; Segment #1 - 6:39 - Cold open - MAD New Cast, Opening Credits, Beer Cast, VUD #1, Cast Bumper; Segment #2 - 6:59 - Cast Bumper, Vancome, Ice Cube/Ice Tea Video, News Report 911, Spy vs. Spy - Bomb, Kato Promo #1, Graphic Bumper; Segment #3 - 7:47 - Graphic Bumper, Don Martin - Camping, Nicole's Monologue, Gump Fiction, Spike Lee Red Devil Ham, Kato Promo #2, Cast Bumper; Segment #4 - 6:05 - Graphic Bumper, Kato Tells All, Poison, Dave's Monologue, Cast Bumper; Segment #5 - 5:51 - Alfred Bumper - Hitchhiker, Spy vs. Spy - Pogo Stick, Second Hand Cancer, Debra's Monologue, Mac Dumpsters, Graphic Bumper; Segment #6 - 7:40 - Alfred Bumper - Washing Machine, Don Martin - Out of Gas, Artie's Monologue - Version #2 'Masturbation,' Deep Stain Nine w/ Star Trek, Day Care, VUD #2, Cast Bumper; Segment #7 - 1:27 - Graphic Bumper, Closing Beer Cast, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 42:28.

Show #2; Air date: Oct. 21, 1995; Guest stars: Kato Kaelin, Beverly Johnson, Joe Walsh; Segment #1 - 2:25 - LAPD Correct, Opening Credits; Segment #2 - 8:04 - Cast Bumper, Nicole's Room Opening, Quantum Dream Team, Powerbook #1: Newt, Cast Bumper; Segment #3 - 10:18 - Graphic Bumper, Don Martin - Ice Cube Boy, Virtual Homeless, Bryan's Monologue, Pick Up and Delivery, Cast Bumper; Segment #4 - 9:56 - Alfred Hitchhiker Bumper, Spy vs. Spy - Gorilla, Phil's Monologue, Crimson Tide II, Post Office Massacre, Powerbook #4: Snoop, Cast Bumper; Segment #5 - 5:01 - Cast Bumper, Don Martin - Frog Legs, New Neighbors, Mary's Monologue - Part I, Graphic Bumper; Segment #6 - 5:22 - Cast Bumper, Mary's Monologue - Part II, Air Guitar Store, Spy vs. Spy - Train, Powerbook #2: McVeigh, Graphic Bumper; Segment #7 - 1:22 - Cast Bumper, Nicole's Room Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 42:28.

Show #3; Air date: Oct. 28, 1995; Guest star: Peter Marshall; Segment #1 - 7:17 - Phone Sex, Opening Credits, A.D.D. Girl, NDI vs. AE&E #1 - Nicole, Graphic Bumper; Segment #2 - 5:37 - Cast Bumper, Outing Dummy, Psychic Cop, Spy vs. Spy - Tuba Bang, Graphic Bumper; Segment #3 - 7:36 - Graphic Bumper, Debra and Debbie, Racism vs. Spam, First to a Million, Don Martin - Wishbone, Graphic Bumper; Segment #4 - 6:02 - Graphic Bumper, First to a Million Runner, Apollo the 13th, Phil's Mulatto Monologue, Don Martin - Blow-up Girl, Graphic Bumper; Segment #5 - 9:17 - Graphic Bumper, Cookin' with Sherry, Circus Guy, Homeland Improvement, NDI AE&E #2 - Woman, Graphic Bumper; Segment #6 - 4:42 - Graphic Bumper, Stones' Video Intro, Like a Rolling Stone Video, Graphic Bumper; Segment #7 - 1:56 - Graphic Bumper, A.D.D. Girl Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Tags; Program Time - 42:28.

Show #4: Air date: Nov. 4, 1995; Guest stars: Michael Buffer, Adam West, Gary Coleman, Roy Jones; Segment #1 - 6:58 - Life with Buffer, Opening Credits, Post Tyson Fight Opening, Highagain, Graphic Bumper; Segment #2 - 5:28 - Graphic Bumper, Boxing Corner #1 - Hair, P.R., Spy vs. Spy - Umbrella, Graphic Bumper; Segment #3 - 6:29 - Graphic Bumper, Boxing Corner #2 - Makeup, Vancome Lady ER, Lying Promo; Segment #4 - 8:55 - Graphic Bumper, Stones' Video Intro, Woody Allen Action Flick, Sex Therapist, Dennis Rodman PSA, Bumper; Segment #5 - 7:30 - Graphic Bumper, Family Feed, Republican Gladiators, Don Martin - Fisherman; Bumper; Segment #6 - 5:17 - Graphic Bumper, Advice, Other White Meat, Spy vs. Spy - Sewer Chase; Segment #7 - 1:55 - Graphic Bumper, Timpani Roll Close, Dennis Rodman Outtakes, Closing Credits, Tribute to Trudy Herman, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 42:33.

Show #5: Air date: Nov. 11, 1995; Segment #1 - 6:19 - Conference Call, Opening Credits, Cameraman Open, IZM - Paris, Bumper; Segment #2 - 10:24 - Cast Bumper, Krishna Rock, Low'd Expect - Mary/Debra Setup, Urine Monologue, Affirmative Crips, Gut Urine, Cast Bumper; Segment #3 - 5:17 - Graphic Bumper, Don Martin - Beach Shovel, Larry King Gone MAD, Low'd Expect - Artie, IZM - Tortue, Promo; Segment #4 - 6:29 - Cast Bumper, When Harry Met Willy, Low'd Expect - Nicole, The Guy, Don Martin - Beach Face Rip, Cast Bumper; Segment #5 - 6:52 - Cast Bumper, Electric Chair, Valley Girl Meets MXI, Low'd Expect - Bryan, IZM - Drug Deal, Promo; Segment #6 - 4:59 - Cast Bumper, Celibacy Backstage, Graphic Bumper; Segment #7 - 2:08 - Cast Bumper, Spy vs. Spy - Log Jam, Soundman Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 42:08.  (More episodes will appear in the next issue!"

(Issue includes Special Bonus Insert: MAD 1996 Calendar)

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 38 July 1996

Cover: Drawing of 'Leather Boy' by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

I want everyone to know that Grant Geissman and his book Collectibly MAD were nominated for the 1996 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Publication: Book.  It's great to see him being recognied by the comic world for his outstanding work.  Grant spent many years planning, gathering information, writing, and producing one of the best books we all have in our personal libraries.  Good luck Grant!  Other 1996 Eisner Award nominees worth mentioning are Sergio Aragones and his Groo comic for Best Writer/Artist, Humor.  Basil Wolverton is a Hall of Fame nominee.  With election year upon us I'd like to do a two issue (#39 and #40) political special.  The first containing political cartoons (that haven't appeared in MAD) and the second containing unusual 'Alfred E. Neuman for President' items and a (hopefully) complete checklist.  But I need help, so if you could please send me photocopies of any items that would fit either issue and I'll try to include them in one of the next two issues.  Stay MAD, Ed

MAD Grooves on Dr. Demento

The following transcript of the June 23, 1996 Dr. Demento show was found on the web. 

Dr. Demento: We got a new CD called MAD Grooves featuring a lot of long unavailable music inspired by MAD magazine.  Rhino Records is the label.  Requested by Jerry in Temecula ... 'She Got a Nose Job,' by Mike Russo, Ian Hayes, and the Dellwoods from the album 'Mad Twists Rock 'n' Roll' now on the new MAD CD.  Four years ago, one of the greatests artists associated with MAD magazine, Kelly Freas was a guest on the show, and he remembered what the atmosphere was like in MAD magazine during those glory days.

Freas: Imagine somebody spraying inhaleable Benzedrine into a loony bin, just turning it loose.  If they weren't playing practical jokes on each other, they were sitting there with heads in their hands trying to figure out how to murder something they considered wonderful like the time the whole staff went to see Moby Dick, and came out absolutely stunned.  How could you satirize such a gorgeous thing such as this?  So no work was done for a day or two, finally they came up with one of the best satires they ever did, perhaps not quite as typical as most, but one that was the most interesting to me personally.  The cover conferences were such a riot.  Everybody got into the act from the elevator man on up to the receptionist to the delivery kid, anybody who came by was called in.  It was absolutely incredible the people who got their input, and we would start off with a sheet of paper of everything from full staff to sheets torn out of notebooks that people have sent in with idea sketches that they thought should be on the cover of MAD magazine.  We go through every damn one of them.  We never neglected them once.  And we separated the ones that couldn't be used for matters of bad taste more than anything else; MAD did have a certain element of taste, usually bad, but, eventually we have a few set off for future reference and two or three of these are definitely GOs (the material) and we'd pick one of them finally and Bill Gaines never failed to send a check for $50 bucks, and remember, this is 1950: a check for $50 bucks for the first person who suggested the idea.

Dr. Demento: That was 'What, Me Worry?.' by Alfred E. Neuman and his Furshlugginer Five.  MAD magazine supplied artwork for the picture sleeve of the single from the 1959 45 release, the liner notes of the new Mad Grooves CD explain that the editors didn't really think much of that record, which is why it's not included on the CD.  We thought we'd share with you, anyway, on Jim Croce singing: 'He's MAD, MAD, Alfred Neuman, MADdest boy from the whole downtown, MADder that the whole King Kong, MADder than a junkyard dog.'  This was originally a flexi-disc bound in the MAD Super Special #26 in 1978.  'Makin' Out' (shortened version), by Smile from the CD.  Yes, it's simple purified disco.  Freas remembers the founder and publisher William Gaines.

Freas: His personality carried through everything.  His personality is what put the whole thing together and that gave MAD its identity.  Bill was an extremely intelligent, well educated, and well bred man, and extremely moral, ethical was a better word for it, a true gentleman.

Dr. Demento: You see those bumper stickers that say 'Question Authority,' if I were to say that was perhaps one of the implied cliches.

Freas: It was more than implied; it was occasionally stated bluntly.  That was one of the reasons why Bill would not accept any advertising in his magazine.  He says gladly they want to be in a position to throw a brick at anybody, which he promptly did.

Dr. Demento: 'The Boy From ...,' from the off-Broadway musical comedy The MAD Show and also on the new CD.  'She Lets Me Watch Her Mom And Pop Fight,' from Fink Along With MAD, also not on the new MAD CD but a lot of fine music with great liner notes to tell the whole story.  [Either the transcriber or Dr. Demento got this one wrong. - Ed]  MAD Grooves also contains a couple of contemporary 90s renditions of some vintage MAD magazine songs such as 'Blind Date,' by Green Jelly recording this in a studio that once belonged to Frank Zappa.  Look for the CD with a picture of Alfred E. Neuman holding a compact disc on the cover on the Kid Rhino Records label.

MAD Checklist - Limited (to number sold) Edition

Chris Harne has produced a MAD checklist which he is selling for $3.00, this includes shipping.  The checklist is for checking off which issues you have and marking the condition.  Lists for regular, special, and annual issues are included as well as a list of all the MAD paperback books.  It's seven photocopied pages with 5 staples (Chris spared no expense) running down the left hand side.  Sure to be a classic!

Hair Tonic - Not on this head!  (photo of Greasy Kid Stuff)

Jim McClane recently got a call from some bald guy who no longer needs this stuff.  Jim has a couple available for trade (hint: he loves pre-MAD things).  Another bottle will be in Michael Lerner's 5th Annual MAD Auction (see last page).  Our guess is that it appeared right after the book Greasy MAD Stuff appeared, which would date it in the mid-1960s.  In case you can't read the high quality photocopy, the label reads: 'Be A Rink, A Grease, A Tough - Use Greasy Kid Stuff - Guaranteed To Attract Old Baseball Players - D & S Enterprises, Edmonds, Wash. - 3-1/2 FL OZ'  The bottle is clear, the label is black & white, the goop is white, as is the cap.  The bottom of the bottle has an embossed 4 which could mean 1964.  Greasy MAD Stuff was first printed October 1963.

Original MAD Artwork - Curtis Woodbridge is offering for sale the art for the back cover of MAD #324.  The price is $2500.  And if you were wondering, yes, Curtis is George Woodbridge's son.

MAD Collectible Plate - Franklin Mint will be releasing an Alfre E. Neuman plate during September 1996. 

Miscellaneous Stuff Dept:  (Drawings of 'Chelsea Clinton,' 'Stage Money' and 'New York Journal Humorous Supplement, Sunday, April 1, 1900 - The Medal For Goodness')

The picture on the left is from LCD (Summer 1993) magazine, which is a program guide from the FM station WFMU.  The picture above is stage money that may be pre-MAD.  The picture below was recently obtained by Michael Lerner - a great early Alfred E, Neuman piece.  I believe the 'c' in the right corner may be a copyright that Dirks wanted for his artwork.  Dirks isn't named in Completely MAD.

The Completely MAD TV Episode Guide - Part II

This is the second part of Michael Lerner's MAD TV episode guide.  This issue covers episodes #6-10.  Note: All weekly shows are 1 hour in length.

Show #6 - Air date: Nov. 18, 1995; Guest stars: Scott Wolf, Matthew Fox, Neve Campbell, Dana Gould, Jamie Farr.  Segment #1 - 6:32 - O.J. Plates, Opening Credits, When We Knew, Calvin Klein Ad #1, Cast Bumper.  Segment #2 - 6:36 - Cast Bumper, Stop Smoking #1, Oprah Winfrey, Swimming Pool, Cast Bumper.  Segment #3 - 6:33 - Graphic Bumper, Stop Smoking #2, Vague, Calvin Klein Ad #2. Promo.  Segment #4 - 9:31 - Cast Bumper, Stop Smoking #3, Clueless of the Lambs, Dana Gould Monologue, Don Martin - Harp Fall, Cast Bumper.  Segment #5 - 6:59 - Cast Bumper, Nicole's Monologue, Movie Trailer, Party of Five, Spy vs. Spy - Slinky, Promo.  Segment #6 - 4:40 - Cast Bumper, Debbie Dander - Sem. Train, Calvin Klein #3, Spy vs. Spy - Sunbeam, Graphic Bumper.  Segment #7 - 1:37 - Cast Bumper, Party of Five Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos.  Program Time - 42:28.

Show #7 - Air date: Nov. 25, 1995; Guest stars: Ken Norton, Jr., Dave Foley, Billy Barty.  Segment #1 - 4:56 - Low'd Expect - Dave, Opening Credits, Ken Norton Jr. Open, Organ Donors, Graphic Bumper.  Segment #2 - 8:53 - Cast Bumper, Disruptive Principal, Low'd Expect - Phil Navajo, Football League, Don Martin - Waterskiing, Cast Bumper.  Segment #3 - 8:42 - Graphic Bumper, Tyson vs. Barty, Hard to Oppress, VUD Light - Mob, Spy vs. Spy - Funland, Promo.  Segment #4 - 6:47 - Cast Bumper, Happy Storytime Lady, Low'd Expect - Orlando, Tapeworm Monologue, Don Martin - Fat Freak, Cast Bumper.  Segment #5 - 6:14 - Cast Bumper, Math Made Easy, Dave Foley Monologue, VUD Light - Devil, Promo.  Segment #6 - 5:46 - Cast Bumper, Imaginary Friends, Spy vs. Spy - Torpedo, Duck, Duck, Goose, Graphic Bumper.  Segment #7 - 1:09 - Cast Bumper, Imaginary Friends Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos.  Program Time - 42:28.

Show #8 - Air date: Dec. 9, 1995; Guest stars: LL Cool J, RuPaul.  Segment #1 - 7:22 - Bumper, Sweatin' to the O.G.'s, Opening Credits, Lottery Open - Losers, Lottery #2 - Exec. Prod., Graphic Bumper.  Segment #2 - 8:10 - Cast Bumper, Daytime Jane - Ellen, LL Cool J Monologue, The Octoroom, Don Martin - Scalpel, Cast Bumper.  Segment #3 - 8:13 - Graphic Bumper, Daytime Jane - Larry, Gump Fiction, Scat Chat, Spy vs. Spy - Jail Spring, Promo.  Segment #4 - 5:55 - Cast Bumper, UBS Promotion, Daytime Jane - Ed, Cast Bumper.  Segment #5 - 6:10 - Cast Bumper, Ejaculation Monologue, Don Martin - Rescue Plane, Promo.  Segment #6 - 5:15 - Cast Bumper, Lady Madness, Spy vs. Spy - Dreamboat, Graphic Bumper.  Segment #7 - 1:23 - Cast Bumper, Lottery Close - Apology, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos.  Program Time - 42:28.

Show #9 - Air date: Dec. 16, 1995; Guest star: Pauly Shore.  Segment #1 - 7:34 - Bumper, Easy to Assemble, Opening Credits, Holiday Show Open, Wonder Rake 5000, Graphic Bumper.  Segment #2 - 5:56 - Cast Bumper, Van. Lady - Dept. Store Santa, Fruitcake vs. Santa, Spy vs. Spy - Plunger, Cast Bumper.  Segment #3 - 7:20 - Graphic Bumper, Raging Rudolph, College Advisor, Promo.  Segment #4 - 10:13 - Cast Bumper, The X-mas Santa Forgot, The Bank, Pauly Shore Monologue, Cast Bumper.  Segment #5 - 4:59 - Cast Bumper, Donut Shop, Happy Go Lucky Phil, Bumper.  Segment #6 - 4:55 - Cast Bumper, Last Call, Spy vs. Spy - Tank Bomb, Graphic Bumper.  Segment #7 - 1:31 - Cast Bumper, Holiday Show Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos.  Program Time - 42:28.

Show #10 - Air date: Jan. 6, 1996; Guest stars: Andy Kindler, Dave Ketchum.  Segment #1 - 4:24 - Bumper, Opening Credits, Cast Open, US Commercial, Graphic Bumper.  Segment #2 - 6:33 - Cast Bumper, Clintfield Knowledge, Spy vs. Spy - Spaghetti Door, Cast Bumper.  Segment #3 - 6:02 - Graphic Bumper, Handicapped Toilet Police, The Go-Between, Promo.  Segment #4 - 7:16 - Cast Bumper, Get Smarty, Improv, Don Martin - Brick Layers, Cast Bumper.  Segment #5 - 8:14 - Cat Bumper, Mafia Management, Andy Kindler Monologue, Spy vs. Spy - Fleas, Promo.  Segment #6 - 6:29 - Cast Bumper, Line of Duty, Emotional Prostitute, Don Martin - Cake Machine, Graphic Bumper.  Segment #7 - 3:30 - Cast Bumper, Mime Psychiatrist, Cast Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos.  Program Time - 42:28.

(More episodes will appear in the next issue!

MAD Interest List Update - The following people should have been on the interest list published last issue or had an error in their information: Michael Georgette, Bruce Liber, Tom Anderson, Stan Horzepa, Tim Johnson.

Nostalgia World #20 - Features Alfred E. Neuman on the cover and an article on MAD collecting.  Price is $3.00 includes shipping.  Many available from Reed Grele.

MAD Auction

5th Annual MAD Auction set for Sept. 20 - MAD collectors across North America will be going MAD on Friday night, Sept. 20, 1996 when the 5th annual MAD Auction takes place from 7 pm to 3 am EST.  Attracting an audience of die-hard MAD collectors and new fans to the publication, this year's fully-illustrated catalog will feature an incredible mix of old and new MAD magazine and Alfred E. Neuman collectibles.  The catalog will be divided into two sections: Part one is the set sale section which will feature MAD comics, magazines, annuals, specials, paperbacks and a limited amount of MAD collectibles.  These items will be presented on a first-call, first-reserved basis.  Part two is the auction section which will have numerous lots of various MAD and Alfred E. Neuman collectibles to bid on.  Minimum bids will be set for each item.  Bidders will have the option of either mailing in their bids or phoning in their bids the night of the auction.  Order your 5thh Annual MAD Auction & Set Sale catalog now.  They are priced at 46.00 each. 

Consignment Items Wanted.  Do you have any rare or unusual MAD or Alfred E. Neuman items you want to consign to the auction set-sale?  There is still plenty of time to get your collectibles into the catalog.  The auction will be advertised in various national toy collecting publications, which means thousands of collectors across the United States and Canada will have the opportunity to order the catalog.  MAD is one of the hottest collectibles in the '90s.  Your collectibles will be seen not only by dedicated MAD collectors, but by toy collectors and investors.  Items in past MAD auctions have gone for record prices.  Why not offer your MAD collectibles in this year's catalog?  The catalog closes on July 16th.  For more information about consigning items to the catalog or purchasing a catalog, please contact Michael Lerner."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 39 September 1996

Cover: Alfred in space drawing by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (I Like to Hear Myself Talk Division):

I have to thank Chris Harne!  The MAD Panic finally appeared, amongst a bunch of other crap, in MAD #349.  The congratulations started rolling in as soon as the issue hit the streets.  First I heard from Mike Slaubaugh, then, oh it doesn't matter.  It's also the first time Cecil Sutton's artwork has appeared in the magazine.  I hear he gave his entire family magnifying glasses.  If anyone wants an autographed, by me, copy of MAD #349, please send $20.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling to the address below.  It's sure to be worth something in the future.  Future value may vary from century to century.  I know I shouldn't say the 'C-word,' but if anyone has the cipher device or the printed code from the CRACKED fan club kit and is willing to trade or sell it, let me know.  I 'cracked' their substitution cipher a while ago, but I still would like to get one of these items.  I don't even know what it looks like.  Last issue I requested political cartoons and received none.  But, luckily you've sent me some in the past, plus I had some of my own.  I still need unusual or rarely seen 'Alfred E. Neuman' for president (or another office) items.  Stay MAD, Ed

MAD At The Editorials  (copy of Toronto Star 'What, Me Worry?' drawing by Corrigan

Editorial cartoons are a humorous look at the state of politics or current affairs.  Alfred E. Neuman, or people drawn to look like him, has been the subject of many of these cartoons.  Usually he appears when some political person or the general public doesn't appear to care about some subject and we get a look at the 'What -- Me Worry?' attitude.  Michael Parke-Taylor sent me a couple from Canada.  The one below is from The Toronto Star, January 1995.

(Pages 4 through 7 contain six drawings from The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Frank magazine and The Hartford Courant.)

What's New: Grant's second MAD reprint book, MAD About The Seventies is due out this month.  The list price is $26.95.

The Completely MAD TV Episode Guide - Part III

This is the third part of Michael Lerner's MAD TV episode guide.  This issue covers episodes #11-16.  Note: All weekly shows are 1 hour in length.

Show #11 - Air date: Jan. 13, 1996; Guests: Tony Orlando and Presidents of the USA.  Segment #1 - 3:48 - Candidate #1, Opening Credits, Show Open, Presidents/USA, Commercial, Cast Bumper; Segment #2 - 8:59 - Cast Bumper, Lounge Lawyer, Spy vs. Spy - Macaroni Factory, Office Window, Graphic Bumper; Segment #3 - 7:03 - Graphic Bumper, Don Martin - Civil War, Window of the Soul, Candidate #2, Promo; Segment #4 - 6:11 - Cast Bumper, I Could Do That, Presidents of the USA - Lump, Candidate #3, Infomercial Tag, Graphic Bumper; Segment #5 - 8:01 - Cast Bumper, Time Manager, Spy vs. Spy - Lab Fly, Big Game, Dan Promo; Segment #6 - 3:51 - Graphic Bumper, Take A Letter Rock/Paper/Scissors, Don Martin - Bear Hunt, Cast Bumper; Segment #7 - 4:28 - Cast Bumper, MAD About Jew, Show Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 42:21.

Show #12 - Air date: Feb. 3, 1996; Guests: David Faustino and the band The Pharcyde; Segment #1 - Bumper, Cotton Swabs, Opening Credits, Show Open, Heart Pops, Cast Bumper; Segment #2 - 8:06 - Cast Bumper, Martin, Spy vs. Spy - Magnet Nail, Poetry Class, Graphic Bumper; Segment #3 - 7:02 - Graphic Bumper, Menace II High Society, Don Martin - Tennis; Segment #4 - 6:44 - Cast Bumper, Rescue 911, Gordy Lane, Spy vs. Spy - Kill Command, Craphic Bumper; Segment #5 - 5:47 - Cast Bumper, Crisis Center, Hitman Promo; Segment #6 - 4:23 - Graphic Bumper, Needy Guy, Instant Personality, Cast Bumper; Segment #7 - 4:10 - Cast Bumper, Dog Show, Close Closing, Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 42:28.

Show #13 - Air date: Feb. 10, 1996; Segment #1 - 4:27 - Bumper, Low'd Expect - Folk Singer, Opening Credits, Show Open, Vista Card - Militia, Cast Bumper; Segment #2 - 6:49 - Cast Bumper, Dr. Goodwrench, Spy vs. Spy - Rock Drop, Memory Power, Graphic Bumper; Segment #3 - 7:32 - Graphic Bumper, XXX Files, Low'd Expect - Danza, Promo; Segment #4 - 6:04 - Cast Bumper, Your Cheatin' Head, Don Martin - Chemistry Set, Jim Carrey School of Acting, Graphic Bumper; Segment #5 - 7:28 - Cast Bumper, Low'd Expect - Bubble Ron, Van. Lady - Hostage Negotiator, Sick of It, Promo; Segment #6 - 6:16 - Graphic Bumper, That's How They Get You, Quality Time, Cast Bumper; Segment #7 - 3:54 - Cast Bumper, Foreigner Psychiatrist, Show Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 42:30.

Show #14 - Air date: Feb. 17, 1996; Guests: Whoopi Goldberg, Brian Austin Greene; Segment #1 - 7:19 - Bumper, Show Open, Opening Credits, Happy News Network, M. Jackson Infomercial, Bumper; Segment #2 - 7:29 - Bumper, Wannabe Grilling, Rude Lady, Spy vs. Spy - Hair Dryer, Bumper; Segment #3 - 6:18 - Bumper, Davey & the Son of Goliath, MAD Segue, The Instigator, Promo; Segment #4 - 5:29 - Bumper, Sports Injury, Coffee House, Don Martin - Beach Ball Boy, Bumper; Segment #5 - 6:34 - Bumper, Good Cop Bad Cop, All About Whoopi, Don Martin - Tee Pee Guy, Promo; Segment #6 - 4:27 - Bumper, UBS Wake, Odds and Evens: The Movie, Bumper; Segment #7 - 3:51 - Bumper, Disruptive Waitress, Show Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 41:28.

Show #15 - Air date: March 9, 1996; Guest: Dave Higgins; Segment #1 - 7:08 - Bumper, Coffee and Donuts, Opening Credits, Show Open, Ink Blot, Bumper; Segment #2 - 5:56 - Bumper, Low'd Expect - Rick #1, That's My White Mama, Bumper; Segment #3 - 7:41 - Bumper, Terms of Imprisonment, Low'd Expect - Rick #2, Dream Stealer, Promo; Segment #4 - 6:24 - Bumper, Joel & Connie: Small Claims, Low'd Expect - Rick #3, Spy vs. Spy - Bomb Assembly, Bumper; Segment #5 - 7:27 - Bumper, Eddie Murphy Audition, Dave Higgins Monologue, Promo; Segment #6 - 4:29 - Bumper, Gobar and Hagop, Don Martin - Assembly Line, Bumper; Segment #7 - 2:53 - Bumper, Low'd Expect - Rick #4, Show Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 41:58.

Show #16 - Air date: March 16, 1996; Guests: Chris Hardwick, Barry Williams; Segment #1 - 5:11 - Bumper, Gen X News #1, Opening Credits, Show, Open International Coffee-Hangover, Bumper; Segment #2 - 8:12 - Bumper, Ozark Singled Out, Dole Commercial, Bumper; Segment #3 - 6:29 - Bumper, Casino Man, International Coffee - Ripped Off, Promo; Segment #4 - 6:03 - Bumper, Gen X News #2, Doctor's Visit, Bumper; Segment #5 - 5:22 - Bumper, Insanely Disappointed, International Coffee - Kidnapping, Promo; Segment #6 - 5:08 - Bumper, Gen X News #3, Survival Weekend, Spy vs. Spy - Slam Dunk, Bumper; Segment #7 - 5:40 - Bumper, The Big Game, Show Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 42:05.

More in the next issue.

You Make The Call  (Copy of Aurora Plastic Corp. ad)

This model ad for Aurora came out the year following Aurora's Alfred E. Neuman model.  Is this their attempt to further capitalize on him or whoozis it?"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 40 November 1996

Cover: Computer/White-out drawing by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

This is my 40th issue and when I started I was hoping to publish at least 14 so that I had a longer run than MADzine which stopped at issue 13.  I only need to publish 10 more issues to hit the goal of 50 which I set for myself in issue #25.  Michael Lerner had a very successful auction with all but 10 items receiving bids.  There were a total of 137 items.  Michael's yearly auction has to be one of the highlights of the MAD collecting scene.  The auction shocker: I'm sure I'm going to make someone mad at me, but I cannot believe some fool paid $64 for a September 1995 issue of Hustler magazine.  Just to prove I wasn't insane in judgment, I went to a flea market after hearing about it and found two people with that issue for sale, one for $2 and the other was $3.  Hello!  I need photographs of HAM (radio) postcards for the next issue.  If this issue appears to look different it is because I switched to Microsoft Word V7.0.  I finally gave up on AmiPro and my old 386/20 machine with 5mb of memory and a 120Mb disk.  I upgraded to a laptop 486/50 with 16mb memory and a 350mb disk.  Stay MAD, Ed

The 1984 Run For Office  (photocopy of 1984 ballot)

Not since 1968 did Alfred E. Neuman have such an organized promotional campaign for his run for the President.  The campaign started with a full color advertisement on the inside cover of MAD #251, December 1984.  Running on the promise of a clear voice of indecision, Alfred E. Neuman had his official W.I.N. (Write in Neuman) T-shirt available for only $10 in adult sizes and $8 for kid sizes.  The T-shirt also came with a write-in ballot which was to be returned to MAD, pictured below.  You could pick up your T-shirt at the following campaign offices: JC Penney, Belk/Leggett, and Gayfers.  If you couldn't make it to the stores, there was mail order.  Alfred for President in Clearwater, FL was sending out the T-shirt, bumper sticker, additional order form, and a thank you note to the MAD Party Boosters.  You could also get an Alfred E. Neuman mask made by Cesar.  The mask appeared a few years earlier.  Alfred E. Neuman didn't win in his run for office in 1984.  Too bad he wasn't running this year.  I'm sure he'd have a much better chance.

(Pages 4 through 7 have photocopies of campaign materials)

Get Well Soon - Gary Kritzberg was in a serious car accident and is currently paralyzed from the chest down.  He has been operated on and is getting some feeling in his arm.  Let's pray for the best.  You can send him a note in Yorkville, IL.

What's New - A new MAD tie is being produced by Ralph Martin.  It can be ordered by calling.  The tie is $17.50.  You can also request a catalog.

Election Results

I'm writing this on election night 1996 and I have to report that Alfred E. Neuman did not win this year.  This marks 40 years of trying and still the American people have tossed away their vote for someone else.  We have Bill Clinton for another 4 years.  Ecch!  I've been voting since 1976 and I still have yet to see my vote for Alfred E. Neuman appear in the local paper.  It's a conspiracy by the United States government to keep him out of office.  I hope the folks at Time Warner do a better job next year.  They can give Alfred E. Neuman lots of air time now that they own TBS!  Force the issue and give Alfred a chance!  Wouldn't it be great if they put together something like they did in 1960, 1964, and 1984?  The 1968 campaign doesn't count, it was a copy of the 1964 campaign.  Give me the pinbacks, bumper stickers, campaign posters, straw hats, etc.  I'll purchase many!  And, maybe in 34 years someone will pay me $2,094 for each 2000 campaign kit.  Someone paid that much this year for the 1960 campaign kit!

The Completely MAD TV Episode Guide - Part IV

This is the fourth part pf Michael Lerner's MAD TV episode guide.  This issue covers episodes #17-19, plus two specials.  Note: All weekly shows are 1 hour.

Show #17 - Air date: April 6, 1996; Guests: Claudia Schiffer, Kim Coles; Segment #1 - 7:55 - Claudia Bumper, Opening Credits, Show Open, O.J. Bloopers, Bumper; Segment #2 - 8:04 - Bumper, Levis - Diapers, That's My White Mama 2, In Your Ear #1, Bumper; Segment #3 - 5:40 - Bumper, In Your Ear #2, Lethal Talkin', Promo; Segment #4 - 6:46 - Bumper, For Your Files Only, Spy vs. Spy - Monkey Business, Bumper; Segment #5 - 4:34 - Bumper, Homegirl Surgeons, Levis - Birthmark, Bumper; Segment #6 - 4:41 - Bumper, Intimidation Commercial, Levis - Nuts, Bumper; Segment #7 - 4:18 - Bumper, Valedictorian, Show Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 41:58.

Show #18 - Air date: May 25, 1996; Guest: Bruce McCulloch; Segment #1 - 5:40 - Bumper, New X-News #1, Opening Credits, Show Open, Headache #1, Bumper; Segment #2 - 8:45 - Bumper, Beauty Pageant, The New Job, Spy vs. Spy - Projector, Bumper; Segment #3 - 7:33 - Bumper, New X-News #2, Babewatch, Headache #2, Promo; Segment #4 - 7:15 - Bumper, Drug Bust, Bruce McCulloch Monologue, Levis #2, Bumper; Segment #5 - 5:41 - Bumper, Funeral DJ, Headache #3, Spy vs. Spy - Love Robot, Promo; Segment #6 - 5:53 - Bumper, New X-News #3, Hearing, Spy vs. Spy - Fail Safe, Bumper; Segment #7 - 1:11 - Bumper, Show Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 41:58.

Show #19 - Air date: June 1, 1996; Guest: Harland Williams; Segment #1 - 3:50 - Bumper, Martial Arts #1, Opening Credits, Show Open, Spishak Margerine, Bumper; Segment #2 - 8:07 - Bumper, Meet The Folks, Low'd Expectations - Danielle, Fugitive, Bumper;  Segment #3 - 5:37 - Bumper, Martial Arts #2, Spy vs. Spy - Sidewalk Switch, Party Dad, Promo; Segment #4 - 5:35 - Bumper, Low'd Expectations - Budduda, Gumboy and Poker, Martial Arts #3, Bumper; Segment #5 - 8:46 - Bumper, Joey Devanzo, Harland Williams Monologue, Bumper; Segment #6 - 4:51 - Bumper, Low'd Expectations - Carol, I'll Kick Your Ass, Bumper; Segment #7 - 5:12 - Bumper, Zany and Madacp, Show Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Credits; Program Time - 51:58.

MAD TV Specials - All are 30 minutes in length.

The Best of MAD TV - Air date: Jan. 7, 1996; Segment #1 - 5:37 - Main Title Sequence, Cast Introduction, Gump Fiction, VUD #1 - Tongue, Bumper; Segment #2 - 4:47 - Bumper, Woody Allen Action Flick, NDI vs. AE&E - Nicole, Cast Bumper; Sequence #3 - 5:47 - Bumper, Cast - Middle, P.R., MacDumpsters, Bumper; Sequence #4 - 5:55 - Bumper, Raging Rudolph, Highagain, Cast Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 22:06.

MAD Goes to the Movies - Air date: March 10, 1996; Segment #1 - 4:40 - Bumper, MAD THX Logo, Opening Credits, Cast Open, When Harry Met Willy, VUD - Watch Out, Bumper; Segment #2 - 6:53 - Bumper, Menace II High Society, Cast Wraparound - Anti Drug PSA, Bumper; Segment #3 - 3:55 - Bumper, Apollo the 13th, IZM - Paris, Bumper; Segment #4 - 6:44 - Bumper, Terms of Imprisonment, Cast Close, Closing Credits, Production Company Logos; Program Time - 22:12.  More next season.  Thanks Michael!

An Australian Run  (copies of four stickers)

Having lost is every Presidential election since 1956 (MAD #30), Alfred E. Neuman ran for office in Australia during 1993.  He didn't win down under either!  These were the stickers used to promote his campaign.  Only 5,000 sheets of four were printed."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 41 January 1997

Cover: Drawing of Panic #1 Christmas scene parody by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

Well I've been late before, but this is ridiculous!  I've kept it dated January 1997 otherwise some poor collector. in the future, might spend way too much time and money tracking down the 'missing' issue.  I hope to have the March issue out in April and the May issue out before June.  But don't bet the farm on it.  Cecil Sutton did the cover for the Christmas issue, but it fits just as well in this time frame.  Gemstone has finally reprinted the Panic comics.  It will take 3 years to release all 12 issues, but it will be worth the wait.  The Arnie Kogen interview in this issue also talks about Panic.  It's been a while since I addressed the Panic part of this fanzine.  The new and improved MAD is about to be released.  Let's hope for the best.  The usual gang of idiots, no not the DC Comics crew, has been expanded.  It will be fun to see if the cutting edge satire returns.  Look for some indoor display material to appear.  You might be able to get your local comic dealer to part with it.  More information about the revamped magazine appears on page 9.  If you send in a label from Tang you can get a free issue of MAD.  I hadn't tried Tang in a very long time.  After drinking it, I remember why that is true.  Well, at least I'll get a free issue of MAD and maybe the kids will drink it.  Ecccch!  Stay MAD, Ed

An Interview with Arnie Kogen

The following interview was conducted sometime during December 1995 by Ian Rogerson and Alison Drower for radio station 2MMM.  DJ Williams, he used to be known as Dave until he became a famous Australian MAD writer and DJ sounds a lot funnier, transcribed the audio into 10 handwritten pages.  Thanks DJ! 

Q: MAD magazine is still as vicious and cruel and unremitting in sending up gutless TV, movie and rock celebrities of the world and politicians too.  We do enjoy that.  Now this morning we've been courageous enough to have in the studio a bloke who's been writing the funny bits of MAD since 1959.

A: Yes.

Q: He is here.  He's a big weasel too in TV land. (laughter)

A: I've never heard bloke and weasel used in the same conjunction, but fine.

Q: And he's won 3 Emmy awards.  It's a bit of a TV kind of theme this morning.  Arnie Kogen welcome.

A: Hello. (clapping) Thank you.

Q: How are you?

A: Good.  I'm looking at the view here.  It's the best view I've ever seen.

Q: We have beautiful views on triple M.

A: That's Copenhagen, Denmark?

Q: That's right, incredible isn't it?  We have it change every day.  Now Arnie, MAD magazine, how did you get involved with it in the first place?  What happened?

A: What happened was I just finished college.  I graduated college and MAD was a very funny magazine, still is, but it was hysterical and I figured I'd try to write for it.  Oh actually, I wrote a comedy routine for a comedian called Mordy Gunty and then before I sold it to him I went to MAD magazine and I said, 'I've got a story for you.'  They said, 'Sorry we're all booked up, but this is interesting.  If you want you can go to Panic magazine, other magazines.'  At that time there were like 20 other MAD imitations.  So I went to Panic.  He said, 'This is great.  What else do you have?'  I said, 'Well, I'll check some stuff out and wrote new ideas.'  He said he wanted to buy everything and it's $25 a page and at the time MAD was $37 a page.  I said great.  I figured about $400, that's going to be incredible.  He said, 'But we can't pay you now, we'll pay you when we get the money.'

Q: So after they'd sold the magazine?

A: After he said he'd have some money.  So I said no.

Q: Is that why they called it Panic?

A: That was called Panic, yes.

Q: Because anyone that contributed panicked because they never got paid.

A: And the I went to sell it to MAD.  I sold the stories to MAD.

Q: I guess it's something that kids have grown up with, but I was looking at a copy the other day and I thought MAD magazine, the interesting thing is that I used to read it all the time ...

A: Me too!

Q: ... and I thought, it's actually become a bit ideological sounding.  Would you agree with That?  I mean it's got a real position these days.

A: Yeah, I think it varies.  I think there's like 12 or 14 hundred articles, but I think some are crazy and some are conservative, not conservative, traditional.  I read something about a year ago, a satire about a Chinese menu.  I don't know if you got it out here, it's hysterical!

Q: Well how much has Australia contributed as far as writers and artists?

A: None.

Q: Well, that's cleared up.

A: None at all.  Actually the first Australian author was a convict.

Q: I get it.  I get it!

A: I found it amazing taking a tour of Sydney, that the convicts started this city and so forth.

Q: We'll be fleecing you on your way out today.  No, but Arnie, it's interesting too because it's a great outlet for writers.  I'm looking through your bio here and you have written for many Hollywood shows: Mary Tyler Moore Show, Carol Burnett Show, The Tonight Show, Bob Newhart, Jackson Five Variety Show.  Wow, what happened?

A: Yes, Michael was 16 at the time and Janet was 9 and it was a variety show.  It was pretty successful and they were singing and doing comedy sketches.

Q: Did you write their jokes?

A: I wrote their jokes, for Janet.  Tito was quite funny.

Q: Without doing anything?

A: And that was fun to do.

Q: As long as you didn't write the Brady Bunch Christmas Hour.

A: That was 1976 and Jermaine wasn't with them then.  But the rest were there doing the show.     

Q: You've worked with Bob Newhart.  You've done the Dean Martin Show as well too, and Candid Camera.  I was also wondering, Mary Tyler Moore Show, didn't David Letterman write that show too?

A: David was on the show that I did.  I did a couple of the shows for Mary Tyler Moore that you know.  But we had a variety show that didn't quite work out, and the cast was Mary Tyler Moore, David Letterman was a regular, Michael Keaton was a regular, Suzie Kurtz from Sisters, a great cast.  Letterman was not happy singing and dancing.  He cannot sing or dance.

Q: That doesn't surprise me.  As a writer, what is it that keeps you going?  Have you ever thought: I'm going to go out and write a book?

A: Snapple.  Snapple keeps me going.

Q: It keeps me going too, by the way.  It's amazing too, isn't it after about the first 13 bottles?  It's all natural of course.

A: I've had about 15 bottles by the way.  I just keep thinking about new things and I write screenplays and movies.  My son, you mentioned the Simpsons, he was producing the Simpsons for a couple of years and is now doing a show called The Single Guy.

Q: We'll probably get that next year.

A: Yeah.  It's on the same night as Seinfeld and Friends.

Q: That sounds like a heavy night to watch.

A: It's a heavy night, yes.

Q: What is your opinion about some of the best writers on American shows - ever?

A: Ever, I think Mary Tyler Moore, All In The Family.  I like the early Newharts.

Q: He's a quirky guy, isn't he?

A: Yeah, he's a great reactor.  He's been successful 2 or 3 times which is very difficult.  He's a great reactor.  Um, I'm sure there's something I'm leaving out.

Q: How do you feel about them bringing back The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island?

A: I haven't watched The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island.  Are they bringing it back?

Q: Well, you see Australia is just getting pay TV.

A: I didn't know.

Q: Everything is coming back.

A: I'll have to watch.

Q: Were you involved with Gilligan's Island at any stage?

A: No.  Not at all.

Q: Good, just checking that.

A: Part of my deal was that I would not be involved in Gilligan's Island.

Q: We've actually got Sherwood Schwartz on tomorrow's show.  He was the creator of Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch.

A: Sherwood is in town here?

(That's about half the interview.  I'll publish the second half in the next issue.  Arnie talks about Candid Camera, Antonio Prohias, Alfred E. Neuman, and some other members of the MAD family.  DJ also has some follow up notes based upon meeting Arnie Kogen.)

(Pages 6 and 7 show a copy of the cover of '73' magazine.)

This is the cover of 73 magazine.  The artist must have been a big fan of MAD.  He's captured it well in this parody.  I'm still looking for radio calling cards that feature Alfred E. Neuman.  Ididn't receive any from my previous request, although Stan Horzepa sent me a copy of his regular calling card.  The two I have are from amateur radio operators 1Q-1848 and KQA-1974.  There must be others.  Please send me a copy.

The MAD Tang Phone Line - There is a toll free number to call about the Tang offer.  I called the number, pressed 1, and got the following information.  For the free issue you need the complete label from any size or flavor canister of Tang.  Mail both to MAD Tang offer.  They recommend that MAD is for children at least 8 years old.  I was hoping there was going to be some type of humorous message, but it was duller than the spoon you'd use to stir your Tang.  Ecccch!  Save Tang the phone call cost, it's not worth listening to, unless you cannot fall asleep!

New Idiots and Old Revamp America's Favorite Humor Magazine

Just in time for Alfred E. Neuman's birthday (April Fool's Day, 'natch), MAD MAGAZINE's Usual Gang of Idiots unveil a brand-new issue of MAD Magazine!  Big deal?  You got that right!  Issue #356, arriving on March 5, is not another typically great hilarious addition to American literature, friend!  This one's got a new look, a new feel, and a new direction to add to the classic bad taste that MAD is famous for!  MAD's not only pushing the envelope further than ever before, it's mutilating and stomping on it in a way that's sure to capture your heart as it destroys your mind.  For one thing, the issue welcomes some new idiots into the gang -- some of the greatest cartoonists and humorous illustrators working today, or so they claim (since they ended up in MAD, you can judge for yourself!)  Spin's 1995 'Cartoonist of the Year' Peter Kuper brings the old favorite 'Spy vs. Spy' into the next millennium with his distinctive airbrushed stencil style, and joining him on the bandwagon are fellow ink-slingers Bill Wray, C.F. Payne, Kevin Pope, Mark Fredrickson, R.J. Matson, Kyle Baker, Tim Shamey, V.G. Mercado, Steve Brodner, Drew Friedman, and Herman Mejia -- just to name a few.  Not to mention (though of course we will) a gaggle of new prose jokesters to help keep it all vaguely literate.  But that doesn't mean we're throwing out the bathwater with the jacuzzi, folks!  No Way!  Never happen!  No, the likes (or dislikes) of perennial MAD favorites -- Mort Drucker, Sergio Aragones, Al Jaffee, George Woodbridge, Angelo Torres, Rick Tulka, and even Dave Berg are still around to elevate the aesthetics of our classless pulp!  Wow!  Seal that in your fershlugginer mylar bag and smoke it!  And as if this isn't enough to make you drop to your knees and shout 'Hoo hah!', beginning with issue #356 MAD will be arriving in stores every month -- that's two more issues a year of the best comedy, parody, and arrested adolescence.  Best of all, it's five bucks more in the till!  Ao what does it all mean?  Hey, it's comedy, not particle physics.  Just look at the wealth of new features like 'Melvin & Jenkins,' a pair of politically incorrect doofuses, and 'The Adventures of Monroe,' a hapless, angst-ridden teenager.  Timely?  Oh yes.  Hard-hitting?  You know it.  Shamelessly trend-hopping?  Goes without saying.  With its long history of subversion, heckling, and out-and-out rabble-rousing, MAD is uniquely qualified for the vital service it has selflessly dedicated itself to on your behalf: bringing the snake of satire into the New World Order's garden -- whatever that means!

Tang Goes MAD In Cross=Promotion - Helping to launch the new look of MAD will be a large mass-marketing promotional campaign with everybody's favorite, Tang.  Centered around the tagline 'Has Tang Gone MAD?', the campaign will include: 10-second television commercial advertising a free issue of MAD with a Tang proof-of-purchase; Mort Drucker illustrated advertisements in the April, May, and June issues of DC's comics, featuring the proof-of-purchase offer; Sweepstakes advertised with Tang point-of-sales in grocery stores and free-standing inserts in March Sunday newspapers nationwide, with first prize to be winner's likeness drawn into a personal MAD cover (not for reproduction) and 1,000 second prizes of a year's free subscription to MAD.

Point-Of-Purchase - DC will also be providing special P.O.P. support for the new MAD, with the following items arriving in early February: A 4-color counter display featuring the head of Alfred E. Neuman; two 4-color, 17" x 22" posters; One 7-piece mobile, featuring old favorites and new characters; A co-op ad slick.

(The above is from the February 1997 issue of Diamond Dialogue.)

Polka Party - (photocopy of Alfred-accordian postcard) - Ben Rosenberg sent me a copy of a recent postcard, mailed February 11, 1997.  The inscription on the postcard read: 'Bring this invitation for a complimentary microbrew made especially for this event.  Accordion Amber or Polka Down Brown, COURTESY OF Tim McCarthy and GT 'Shunt' Mellie.  Donations accepted.'

'MAD about MAD' Exhibit - Tim Johnson has some of his collection at the Milwaukee Public Central Library.  It is running from February 22 to April 15, 1997.  A flyer and tri-fold brochure were produced.  If you're in Milwaukee, you can find the library at 814 West Wisconsin Ave.  The exhibit is in the Rare Book Room which has to tell us something about the state of MAD collectibles.  The exhibit got a nice write-up in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 2, 1997.  Also included was information about the new MAD.

Future MAD Reader and Current Tang Drinker (baby photo) - Tim and Jenny sent me this photo some time ago.  It's their daughter Emma Louise Johnson.  Emma was born on August 28, 1996."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 42 March 1997

Cover: Alf-in-the-Box drawing by Matt Teske

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

This is the start of my 8th year producing this fanzine.  In all that time I've never produced a best of issue, mostly because I don't have enough material to fill that issue.  But with MAD having their New MAD hitting the streets, I thought I'd do The New MAD Panic.  It will be a one-shot deal and is not part of your basic subscription to this rag.  The cost will be $2.00 and it will be a limited edition; only 75 copies will be printed.  You must be a current subscriber and only one issue per household will be allowed.  I don't know when I'll finish it, but I'm sure you won't mind me holding on to your money while you sit by the mailbox waiting for it.  If you're not one of the first 75, your money will be put into my kids' college fund; I mean refunded.  I've read the 'new' MAD and I had a hard time telling it apart from the 'classic' MAD.  The airbrushing art in Spy vs. Spy has caused the feature to expand to 2 pages instead of its normal one.  Monroe and Melvin & Jenkins add nothing to the magazine.  I liked the Tom Bunk cover border.  It reminded me of the early magazine issues.  Kyle Baker, Timothy Shamey and R.J. Matson will be assets; Hermann Mejia and Kevin Pope will be liabilities.  It was great seeing Joe Orlando back drawing for MAD.  And give Bill Wray something worthy of his talents.  MAD wasted the back cover on Absolut WinterAbsolut Kevorkian should have gotten that spot.  It was a great ad parody.  Will its new additions attract lots of new readers?  I don't think so.  Will it keep its old readers?  Yes.  Let me know what you think of the 'new' MAD!  Stay MAD, Ed

An Interview with Arnie Kogen

This is the second part of an interview conducted sometime during December 1995 by Ian Rogerson and Alison Drowser for radio station 2MMM.  DJ Williams transcribed the audio into 10 handwritten pages.  Thanks again DJ!

Q: Now what are some of the funniest lines you've been involved with?  I mean stuff that still makes you laugh, and do the lines actually last?  Do they have any shelf life?

A: Some do.  I was thinking of -- Candid Camera was one of the first shows I did; and the ones I've enjoyed most.  I was looking for the sheep shearing piece because I've done a lot of Shepherd humor over the years.  When I did Candid Camera I used to sit in a room and write.  A bowling ball would go down an alley and smash the pins into pieces.  Well one of the things was an aptitude test where you get the kids results of an aptitude test in high school and we talked to these kids and say, 'Okay, you should be a lawyer,'  And, one of the things was, 'You should be a shepherd,'  The kids would say, 'But, I want to be a lawyer.'  'Well, it says here shepherd.'  And they would leave him alone.  'I can't be a shepherd!'  And, another thing I loved doing was in the New York Times.  I placed an ad in the classified section alond side statistician and account: 'Shepherd to tend flock, handy, will not cry wolf.'  And, I would leave it there.  And the New York Times would say, 'I can't place this for you.'  I said, 'Why   not?'  'Well, you've got to be specific.'  I said, 'Shepherd, that's specific.'  And they would say, 'That's okay, but what's this, will not cry ?'  I said, 'Well, it's just a term used in the trade, meaning, will do the job and not kid around.'  They would say, 'Okay, we'll place it.'

Q: Did you get any response?

A:  One response, from New Jersey.  He said, 'We have a farm in New Jersey,'  'We want to hire you,'  I said very frightened.  He said, 'I've changed my mind.  I want to be an accountant.  I don't want to be a shepherd anymore.'  Turned out to be a friend of mine putting me on.

Q: Now!  Now just getting back to MAD magazine.  There's a couple real standards in MAD.  Spy vs. Spy, who writes that?

A: Ummm.  Who does write that?

Q: Antonio Prohias.

A: Antonio Prohias.  Yes.

Q: Very bent man.

A: Yes.  I haven't seen him in quite a while.  He's Cuban and he was on a few MAD trips.  And, Sergio Aragones does a lot of crazy stuff.

Q: And Alfred E. Neuman ...

A: He was a dental poster at the turn of the century.  And, the dentist I guess said, 'What -- Me Worry?'  They picked that up and used it as their trademark.

Q: That's a great idea.  Do you think, what's happening with MAD now.  It's obviously global; it's right round the world.  Are they expanding their comedy?  How many writers do they have now?

A: Well, I'm not one of the originals, but I came along in the late fifties.  About three others: Stan Hart, Larry Siegel and Dick DeBartolo.  They've been writing for years.  I don't write as much as I used to.  I only have time for about one story a year now.  I used to do about three or four.  But, most of them are writing for television.

Q: Well, there is a MAD television show.  It's like a late night MAD show.

A: I've seen that, yes.  It's against Saturday Night Live.  I've seen it a couple of times.

Q: We'll get it on cable eventually.

A: Yeah.  Eight years from now.

Q: Well Arnie, it's a pleasure talking to you.

A: Is it over?

Q: I'm sorry, would you like to hang around?  We've still got Peg (Southern Exposure) still hanging around in one of the rooms backstage.

A: No.  I've had a great time.

Q: And, what are you doing after this?

A: We're going on a two-week cruise through Australia, then New Zealand.

Q: On the Love Boat?  They will give you some good gags.

A: Perhaps.  I'll see some sheep shearing.

Q: Arnie Kogen, a pleasure.

A: Thank you very much.  I enjoyed it.

Some additional notes about my visit with Arnie Kogen - Jason Davis, Australian MAD Editorial Coordinator and I had the pleasure of lunching with Arnie and his wife after the interview.  Although I didn't want to pry too much, I did find out a few things about Arnie.  For instance, he has written several articles for MAD under an alias.  I can't tell you what it is, but check out the Empty Nest parody.  Apparently, he used to work on that show and thought it may have been a clash of interest doing a satire of the same show.  His son, Jay Kogen was producer of a number of Simpsons episodes.  That could explain the MAD link, as MAD has appeared three times, to my knowledge, over the years.  The final thing I learned about Arnie: his inside leg measurement, which I was sworn to secrecy never to reveal it unless interrogated by the trouser police.  By the way, check out the entry in the index of Collectibly MAD against Arnie's name.  Arnie never wrote a MAD paperback.  Arnie's first article appeared in MAD #48, July 1958, entitled 'Graduation Speeches That Somebody Listened To.'  Back then, writers didn't get credit.  Joe Orlando was the artist.

Don't Toss Your Cookies - A company named Star Jars has licensed the rights from DC Comics to initially make two cookie jars.  The first will be a classic Alfred E. Neuman.  The other will possibly be a Spy vs. Spy, with half being black and half being white.  The price of these is expensive, typically around $200-300 each.  The high cost is due to the hand painting and multiple firings involved.  They will be limited to sets of 1,000.  More products such as salt and pepper shakers could follow.  Advanced orders to secure low numbered pieces can be made by calling them.  With a $25 deposit you can secure the same number for all products they release.  You can reserve an Alfred E. Neuman cookie jar without the deposit, but you aren't guaranteed a low number.

(Pages 6 and 7 contain a fold-in parody ad for ACME Advertising of Cleveland)

This is from the Cleveland Society of Communicating Arts' newsletter, dated April 1, 1990.

MAD TV Tickets - (copy of ticket) - You can get tickets to the MAD TV show off the Internet.  Here is one of my used tickets.

The Hobby Suffers A Loss - If you haven't already heard, Jim McClane sold his MAD collection to another collector in Texas.  The transaction involved the largest collection of MAD and Alfred E. Neuman collectibles ever to exchange hands.  Jim will no longer be active in the MAD collectibles hobby.  He had the knack for turning up unusual items in quantity and was always willing to help others with their collections.  I want to wish Jim and his family well with their future plans and thank him for all he's done for me and this fanzine.

Highly hyped 'Mad' will feature new look, same 'low standards' - Sponsorship aids comeback of magazine Mom and Dad love to hate.

Remember when you were a kid and late at night, when your parents were asleep, sometimes you'd lie in bed and -- even though you knew your folks had warned you not to -- you'd do it anyway?  Yes, you'd turn on a flashlight beneath the covers, and start to read the most tasteless piece of trash you could get your pudgy little fingers on: Mad Magazine.  And how good it felt.  Because in the '50s and '60s, Mad was the forbidden fruit of an entire generation of readers, filled with satire, sick jokes and bizarre illustrations.  Things got safe for a while after that, with Mad circulation falling through recent decades.  But grab your aspirin, Mom and Dad, because Mad's 'Usual Gang of Idiots' is staging a comeback.  Mad is launching a redesign of the magazine that will hit the newsstands today.  And while the Fox network's Mad TV is a snotty challenge to Saturday Night Live, Mad will also be aggressively promoted for the first time in its history in a deal with Tang breakfast drink that will feature the magazine in nationwide TV commercials.  'The new Mad will be naughtier than ever.' said editor John Ficarra.  'We'll be up to our usual low standards.  But we'll be racier and we'll go further, with a more in-your-face attitude.'  The Mad redesign was the result, said Ficarra, of reader demand.  'Some reader named Hecky wrote in and demanded we change things.'  Yeah, not to mention the fact that Mad's circulation has fallen from a high of 3 million to a current 400,000.  That was almost enough to make that Mad guy consider changing his 'What, Me Worry?' motto.  (Frank Nuessel sent me the above article which appeared in the March 12, 1997 issue of The Indianapolis Star.  It was in the Publishing column.)

Gibson Greeting Cards Checklist - Jason Levine created the checklist on the previous page (below).  Jason also writes: I can only assume that I am not the only MAD collector that has been extremely frustrated trying to complete a set of the Gibson greeting cards.  Looking for the older items is frustrating and difficult enough, who needs the same trouble for new items? (I know the nosey-shades and towels are a sore subject for many of us.)  To make your lives easier here is a complete list of the Gibson cards.  There are 32 distinctly different cards (33 counting the 'SVS w/cake' with and without glitter).  I have also noticed cards with different prices, dates and copyright messages.  I am sure that this list is not nearly complete to these types of variations.  Good luck completing your sets.

#    Code                        Year    Description                    Artist        Occasion

1    175-QH700-0060    94        Running wrong way        Davis        Birthday

2    175-QH700-0061    94        Ten commandments        Caldwell    Birthday

3    175-QH700-0062    94        Recall notice                    --                Birthday

4    175-QH700-0063    94        Various gifts                    Warhola    Birthday

5    175-QH700-0064    94        SvS w/club                    Prohias        Birthday

6    175-QH700-0065    94        Fortune teller                    Davis        Birthday

7    175-QH700-0066    94        Geezer games                    Coker        Birthday

8    175-QH700-0067    94        SvS champagne                Clarke        Birthday

9    175-QH700-0068    94        Beware of dog                Edwing        Belated birthday

10    175-QH700-0069    94        AEN w/donut sign        Mingo        Miss you

11    175-QH700-0070    95        Ear canal                        Warhola    Wish you were here

12    175-QH700-0071    95        AEN w/shaved head        Williams    --

13    175-QH700-0072    94        Hypnotize #1                    Mingo        Keep in touch

14    175-QH700-0073    94        Hunchback                        Caldwell    Birthday

15    175-QH700-0074    94        AEN in tire                        Mingo        Hang in there

16    195-NP200-0362    94        AEN w/dolphins                Mingo        Birthday

17    165-NP400-0084    94        Lighter side of stress            Berg        --

18    185-NP400-0085    94        Lighter side of parenting        Berg        Baby

19a    165-NP420-0020    94        'What-Me Worry?'                Mingo        --

19b    175-NP450-0020    94        'What-Me Worry?'                Mingo        --

20    175-NP450-0021    94            Dungeon scene                    Edwing       Miss you

21    185-BG040-2326    94            Bag lady w/cart                Davis            Birthday

22    250-BG040-2379    94            SvS w/cake (glitter)            Manak        Birthday

23    250-BG040-2379    94            Svs w/cake (no glitter)        Manak        Birthday

24    250-BG040-2406    95            Women w/cart                    Berg            Birthday

25a    235-BG040-2418    95            Hypnotize #2                    Mingo           Birthday

25b    250-BGo4o-2418    96            Hypnotize #2                    Mingo           Birthday

26    250-BG040-2491    96            Slot machine                        Freas            Birthday

27    225-BM635-0541    95            Boy in toilet                        Bunk            Birthday

28a    225-BS260-0298    94            Man on island                    Jaffee            Belated birthday

28b    250-BS260-0298    94            Man on island                    Jaffee            Belated birthday

29a    225-CG181-0568    94            Man on lift                        Aragones        Get well

29b    250-CG181-0568    96            Man on lift                        Aragones        Get well

30a    165-X03939            95            AEN jumping barrels        Freas            Christmas

30b    195-X03939            95            AEN jumping barrels        Freas            Christmas

31    195-NP200-0363    95                AEN picking nose            Williams        Birthday

32    195-NP200-0364    95                GW cross dressing            Williams        Birthday

33    250-BS260-0304    95                Svs don't walk                    Manak        Belated birthday

MAD About The Fifties - The third book in the series will be released this Spring, but don't look in the bookstores for it.  You won't find it.  The first edition will only be available from the Quality Paperback Book Club.  You'll be able to find it in the bookstores this Fall, but it most likely will have a different front cover.  The cover art for the book club edition is from MAD #31.  Grant Geissman is still the driving force behind this collection series.  The book is 288 pages, of which 96 will be in color.  The cost is $19.95 and postage is usually $2.80.  You need to be a member of the book club to order.  You can get more information about the book club at the Quality Paperback Book Club address.

Sergio Aragones News - Mike Slaubaugh, resident Aragones expert reports: A 3-page Groo (by Aragones, Evanier, Sakai, and Luth) story will appear in an upcoming issue of WIZARD;  Dark Horse Comics will be publishing an all pantomime black and white comic by Aragones.  The first issue should appear this summer;  Aragones and Evanier are finalizing a contract with DC for a comic with all new characters to appear later this year (at the earliest).

Better Late Than Never: The February 28, 1997 issue of Comics Buyers Guide featured MAD and EC Comics.

Anyone Know Where They're Selling These?  (photo of Alfred E, Neuman doll) - Frank Nuessel sent me the following from The Indianapolis Star, April 2, 1997.  Mad mascot Alfred E. Neuman flaunts an oversized cover of the 'new, unimproved' magazine.  Editors vow 'an edgier attitude' and 'unprecedented ... stupidity and bad taste.'"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 43 May 1997

Cover: Drawing of body-builder Alfred by Joe Groshek

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

Another late issue, seeing how this has become a trend instead of an exception, expect all future issues to be late.  If an issue arrives around the time when you used to expect it, think of it as a slip-up on my behalf.  I'm looking for some more cover art for this fanzine.  I don't pay for it, but you get the thrill of seeing your work on a cheaply produced fanzine.  I'm sure it will help fill out that resume, if nothing else.  Michael Lerner did a nice article on surfing the web looking for MAD sites.  There is another thing the Internet is good for, besides causing you to spend less productive time in the office, and that's email.  If you have access to electronic mail, send a message to (me) and I'll add you to the distribution list.  At times I'll send out more timely information, which usually ends up in these pages.  Example, most of the Internet users already know there is another Gibson greeting card that didn't make last issue's list.  It's #CG175-0209 which is a Don Edwing 'Get Well' greeting card.  And talking about contact information, it's time for the yearly (and late) MAD Interest List.  If you wish to be included, send along a letter stating that you want to be listed.  If you were on the last list, send along a letter if you want to be removed from the list.  You must be a current subscriber as of issue #44.  Stay MAD, Ed

MAD Mike On Assignment by Michael Lerner

Mission: To travel the Internet and find the best MAD related WEB pages in cyberspace.  Tools: My trusty computer, Sparky; plenty of coffee.  When Ed assigned me to this mission, I knew that it would be a difficult one.  Rumor had it that the editor had previously sent out other 'volunteers' to locate MAD WEB sites, only to never be heard from again.  Sure the risks were great, but what the hey, I knew that if anyone could find these elusive cyber-beasts, I was the man to do it.  The Internet is like one of thos anxiety dreams that wakes you up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night -- you know -- like the one where you have to dial a phone number but you can't remember the number or your fingers are too large to push the buttons (maybe I should stop eating before bedtime) -- anyway you have to respect the Internet in order to cruise on it.  It's pretty unwieldy out there in cyberspace and you have to watch your front (and back) at all times.  If you're not careful, some computer-geek might ensnarl you in some sick and twisted programming loop that will render you powerless to do anything.  Eventually you will be forced to commit computer suicide by rebooting your computer before you have a chance to back out of your operating system -- a gory and messy way to die.

The Basics of Surfing the Net - As my grandfather once told me, 'If you want to play with the big boys, make sure you know the rules!' (He actually said this in Yiddish but I don't think many of you would understand it).  So before any of you MAD-addicts start running off and contacting these WWW sites (World Wide Web - for you neophytes), make sure you have a grasp of some basic Internet terms and procedures to avoid complete confusion and mental breakdown.  (For example, if you think a FAQ is the way people in Boston talk when they curse at you (as in FAQ you college boy!), you'd probably be better spending your time figuring out how many Gibson card variations exist.  There are two basic tools needed in order to deal with the Internet -- a WEB BROWSER and a WEB SEARCH ENGINE are applications that allow you access and view information on the Internet.  Every computer cowboy (or cowgirl) has their favorite WEB BROWSER, but my own personal choice is the Netscape Navigator 2.X or later.  You can download it free of charge from numerous WEB sites.  SEARCH ENGINES will search the Internet for specific sites.  Again, everyone has their own favorite but I've found that a SEARCH ENGINE that incorporates multiple search engines at once to look for information is a more effective way to search.  SavvySearch is one example.  Now one more thing before we embark on our journey -- the more firepower you have coming out of your computer the less hassles you will encounter when surfing the net.  This is especially true when it comes to your modem (if you don't have a modem, then as my grandmother once said, 'You ain't gonna see squat!').  Any modem slower than 28.8 is a complete waste.  The quicker your modem the faster you will be able to receive WEB pages.  You will quickly discover that WEB pages that are created and programmed properly will download much quicker than those WEB pages that are poorly designed and those which contain multiple images to view.  Be careful, WEB site viewing can eat up hours and hours of time.  If you are paying your Internet provider by the hour, you could end up using lots of billable time.  But if you are paying for unlimited access to the WEB, then go ahead and take all the time you want -- just remember how to get back home!

MAD WEB SITES - I have reviewed as many MAD related sites on the WEB as I could over a three-day period and have come up with the following list of candidates that should satisfy the curiosity of most die-hard MAD fans.  (Some of these have links to other MAD sites not listed).  Instead of grading each one, I'll let you decide which ones are better than others.  Good luck on your journey!

Official MAD WEB Sites - DC Comics/MAD Magazine (DC Comics also has an official site which has a MAD section, exclusively on America On-Line.

Unofficial MAD WEB Sites - Asad's MAD Magazine; Jordy's MAD Zone; MADWAD's MAD Page; Web Gone MAD; Whole Furshlugginer MAD; MAD Collectables; The MAD TV Home Page (with screen shot) ; E Pluribus Neuman!

MAD Related Sites - Mark J. Cohen Original Cartoon Art; Al Feldstein; Comic Art & Graffix Gallery

(Pages 6 through 10 have screen shots of various websites - MAD Online Unofficial; The Whole Furshlugginer MAD; MADWAD's MAD Page; Al Feldstein; The Web Gone MAD.

Web sites don't last very long.  The average is 45 days.  'MAD Online Unofficial' is one of those web sites that has disappeared from the face of the Web.  I have rearranged the web page graphics.  Most web pages are much more organized and contain more information.  This is just a sample to give you a better understanding of what might be available on the Web. 

What's New Dept.

Alfred Neuman Statue - The Alfred E. Neuman 12" statue is finally available in Spencer's Gift stores.  It is a smaller version of the Warner Brothers Studio Store version and larger than the Spencer's Gifts Christmas Tree Ornament version.  It comes in a box, which is the part I liked the best.  Priced at $24.95, it's a good deal.  Someone on the Internet has already paid $52 plus postage for one.

New Mail Order Business - Jared Johnson has started a new mail order business called Mad Guys Comics.  He just released a new 'catalog' and if you didn't receive it, call and complain to him.  Jared is selling Don Post Studio masks, t-shirts, and an Alfred E. Neuman Official Seal Sticker.

Pittsburgh Comicon (with photocopy of ad) - The recent Pittsburgh Comicon, April 18-20, was offering discount tickets for $1.00 off.  The flyer/ticket has a couple of Alfred E. Neuman graphics on it.  These are in short supply, only 1.8 million were produced and distributed at local area McDonalds.

Management Changes for MAD - DC Comics recently announced the appointment of Dorothy Crouch to the position of Vice President Licensed Publishing and Associate Publisher of MAD Magazine.  In her new position, Crouch will be responsible for all published appearances of DC Comics' properties outside of comic books.  Her duties at MAD will include working with the editors on their business issues, as she previously did as a consultant.  For the past 12 years, Crouch operated Crouch International, providing publishing-related services to clients, including MAD Magazine and Diamond.

What -- Me Graduate? (copy of Erasmus Hall Senior button)

Bob Barrett sent me this photocopy of a pinback button.  It's a 3" cello in blue and yellow.  This button wasn't hard to date at 1958.

MAD Reprints

DC Comics will be reprinting the original 23 MAD comics.  Scheduled for a May 14 release, each issue will have 96 pages and it will run for 8 issues.  Price will be $3.99.  I wish they had taken Gemstone's EC format, but this will still be nice."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 44 July 1997

Cover: Drawing of 'Man Of The Year: Bill Gaines' by DJ Williams

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

John Hett called me a while back to talk about his new MAD fanzine (see page 11) and what I thought about it.  I think it's great that we have another publication that is filled with MAD information.  I will continue publishing this fanzine.  We both believe that we won't be overlapping each other too much.  I wish John as much success and enjoyment as I have had over the past 8 years,  As you know, I don't run advertising in this fanzine.  The one exception is Michael Lerner's Annual MAD Auction (see page 10).  If you're not familiar with the auction, it's the best collection of MAD, Alfred E. Neuman and related stuff that has been made available over the past 6 years.  This year should surpass the previous years.  Order a catalog even if you don't think you'll bid.  The pictures alone are worth the price.  I know the masthead at one time stated that no back issues exist, but that's not totally true.  I keep a small number around and enough of you have recently asked about back issue availability.  I have the following available (quantity in parenthesis) for $2.50 each, except for numbers 29 & 37 which are $5 each.  The price includes postage and there are no quantity discounts.  Please call to reserve issues.  The available issues are: #27 (2), 29 (5), 30 (2), 31 (1), 32 (2), 33 (2), 36 (3), 37 (8), 38 (5), 39 (1), 40 (3), 41 (9), 42 (8), 43 (7).  Stay MAD, Ed

MAD Interest List - 1997

The following people are interested in hearing from other MAD and Alfred E. Neuman collectors.  I'll publish another list next year: Barrett Amiss II, Tom Anderson, Bob Barrett, Bennett Barsk, Alan Bernstein, Ron Downard, Randal Dull, Dan Dvorak, Mark Finn, Grant Geissman, Michael Gidwitz, Chris Harne, John Hett, Stan Horzepa, Jared Johnson, Timothy Johnson, Ian Jurcso, Matt Keeley, Gary Kritzberg, Richard Landivar, Michael Lerner, Mike Levin, Jason Levine, Bruce Liber, Rick Long, Andreas Mueller, Ed Norris, Michael Parke-Taylor, Richard Sherman, David Silva, Michael Skinner, Mike Slaubaugh, Robert Solomon, Matt Teske, David Williams.

You Make The call (drawing of 'MAD Matches' and photocopies of 12 matchbook covers) - Below is the cover of the plastic box that contained the matchbox covers pictured on pages 6-7.  MAD Matches wasn't a licensed MAD item, but it has the look and feel of something MAD might do.  Is this a MAD item?  Tim Johnson sent me this information: The date on this item is 1958 and it was produced by the Metalart Co. of Providence, RI.  The cover is white with a red base.

Al Jaffee Paperback Book List  (copy of ad for Al Jaffee Meets Willie Weirdie)

Tim Johnson and I were recently talking about how many paperback books Al Jaffee has released.  This list should be a good guide to what is available from not only his work that embraces MAD titles, but also books he did on his own merits.

MAD Paperbacks - Spews Out Snappy Answers To Stuoid Questions (Feb 68); The MAD Book Of Magic And Other Dirty Tricks (Feb 70); Spews Out More Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions (Feb 72); MAD (Yeech!) Monstrosities (Feb 74); Spews Out Still More Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions (Mar 76); MAD Inventions (Mar 78); Good Lord! Not Another Book Of Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions (Mar 80); Freaks Out (May 82); Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions #5 (Aug 84); MAD Brain Ticklers, Puzzlers, And Lousy Jokes (Jul 86); Once Again Spews Out More Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions #6 (Nov 87); Sweats Out Another Book (Aug 88); All New Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions #7 (Aug 89); MAD (Yeech!) Rejects (Aug 90); Holy Cow! Not Another MAD Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions #8 (Dec 92).

MAD Big Books - MAD's Vastly Overrated Al Jaffee (1976); MAD's Very Best Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions (Aug 86); More MAD Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions (Jul 90).

MAD Books Illustrated by Al Jaffee - Sing Along With MAD (Frank Jacobs Nov 70); Clods' Letters To MAD (Clods 5-1/2" x 8" - Dec 74; 4-1/2" x 7" - Jul 81); The MAD Guide To Self-Improvement (Dick DeBartolo Mar 79).

Non-MAD Books - Tall Tales (Dec 63); Al Jaffee Gags (Nov 74); Al Jaffee Gags Again (Aug 75); Al Jaffee Blows His Mind (Nov 75); Al Jaffee's Next Book (Aug 77); Rotten Rhymes And Other Crimes (Nick Meglin Jan 78); Al Jaffee Bombs Again (Mar 78); Al Jaffee Draws A Crowd (Aug 78); Al Jaffee Sinks To A New Low (Dec 78); The Ghoulish Book Of Weird Records (Apr 79); Al Jaffee Meets His End (Sep 79); Al Jaffee Blows A Fuse (Jan 80); Al Jaffee Gets His Just Desserts (Jul 80); Al Jaffee: Dead Or Alive (Nov 80); Al Jaffee Fowls His Nest (Apr 81); Al Jaffee Hogs The Show (Jul 81); Al Jaffee Meets Weird Willie Oct 81); Al Jaffee Goes Bananas (Jan 82); Al Jaffee Shoots His Mouth Off (Jun 82); Willie Weirdie Scares The Pants Off Al Jaffee (Nov 82); Willie Weirdie Zaps Al Jaffee (May 83); Willie Weirdie Bleeps Al Jaffee (Aug 83); Willie Weirdie Teaches Al Jaffee Some New Tricks (Mar 84); Willie Weirdie Drives Al Jaffee To Distraction (Nov 84).

With 45 paperback books to his credit Al Jaffee is the most prolific writer or artist who has done work for MAD.  From February 1968 to December 1992, Al Jaffee had 44 books released, which is almost 2 books per year.  Some books listed have the author's name in ().  In these cases, Al Jaffee was only the illustrator.  He has another book due out soon (see page 11).

(Page 10 is an ad for The 6th Annual MAD Auction - Friday, Sept. 12th!)

What's New Dept.

Another Al Jaffee Book - A new hardcover book entitled Mad Fold This Book will be released shortly.  It is a collection of Al Jaffee's trademark Fold-ins.  The foreword will be by Peanuts creator Charles H. Schultz.

Collectors' Showcase - The July/August 1997 issue of Collectors' Showcase has an article entitled: 'Collectibly MAD' by Grant Geissman, pp. 38-46.  It is a condensed version of Grant's book with numerous color and B&W photos reprinted from that book, plus some new photos (Norman Rockwell letter to John Putnam, MAD Grooves, 1959 MAD/AEN wine carafe sent as a gift to distributors.

New MAD Fanzine - Announcing a brand new fanzine for MAD fans, collectors, and the mentally unbalanced.  Tool Publications (John Hett) presents The Journal of Mad-ness.  Come and witness bizarre articles of never before published material, editorials, interviews, reviews, checklists, collectors trading post, and old and new collectibles profiled ad nauseum.  John will be using the 1899 Rushville image of Alfred E. Neuman as his 'mascot.'  The Journal of Mad-ness will be published quarterly and the first issue will be launched in September of 1997.  The Journal of Mad-ness will be magazine size available through subscription only until distribution is in place, so order now!  The first issue contains the following: Original articles about MAD and its history; New interviews with featured artist or writer; the complete Sergiography; reviews; editorials.  A one-year subscription is $24; individual issues are $5 plus postage.  Send check or money order to John Hett.

What -- Me Embarrassed? (photo of baby in MAD diaper)

Tom Anderson sent along this picture of his daughter Siobhan who was born April 30, 1997.  Tom provided the caption ('I can't believe you're making me wear these Daddy!') and the first truly good use of the magazine.  At least he didn't use copies of this fanzine.

The cover art was sent to me by Dave (DJ) Williams over the Internet.  It is the first cover that has been included as part of the actual document.  It's also the first cover done by a MAD artist!  Thanks Dave!"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 45 September 1997

Cover: Drawing of Alf with giant brain by Cecil Sutton

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

I received a copy of John Hett's The Journal of MADness, and I'm impressed!  If John can keep his fanzine going I'll be even more impressed.  The first issue runs 44 full pages, while I run 72 half pages or 36 full pages per year and I have a difficult time getting enough material.  I can not imagine producing 176 pages per year.  I hope everyone receiving this fanzine has subscribed to The Journal of MADness by now.  If you haven't you're really missing out on what will be a great fanzine.  I don't want to give away anything but, I thought the second paragraph of Pipebombs was excellent!  For those boobs that haven't subscribed, send $24 to John Hett.  Doug Monasebian would like to do an article for this fanzine.  Doug, please don't send the article to that other rag.  Remember I gave you the plug!  Anyway, Doug is a plastic surgeon.  He removes excess VISA available credit lines, and has put together a list of facial features that make Alfred E. Neuman what he is today.  Doug would like others to tell him what they feel makes Alfred, like Alfred.  The article will list those qualities and the procedures that he would do to correct them.  Doug can be reached in New York.  The November issue (#46) will be out sometime this year.  I'm only 2+ months behind with this issue.  Stay MAD, Ed

Don Martin's Banana Peals  (with photocopies of four cards)

Don Martin created a series of greeting cards known as Banana Peals.  The cards were produced by Funny Papers, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana.  The cards are priced at $1.25 and $1.75 in Canada.  I don't know when they were produced or the total number.  There is a gap at 213.  I don't know if that card was produced or not.  If you know of any other Don Martin card that is not listed, please send me a description that would fit the format below.

Description                        Card Number        Card Type

Man in Jail                        GB10.201                Birthday

Operating Room                GB10.202                Birthday

Juggling Birthday Cakes    GB10.203                Birthday

Worker with Street Sign    GB10.204                Birthday

Shell Game                        GB10.205                Birthday

Lady with hair as horns        BF10.206            Birthday

Dancer and Drummer        BF10.207                Birthday

Magician Sawing Woman    BF10.208            Birthday

Rooster and Chickens        GB10.209                Birthday

Housewife Sitting at Table    BF10.210            Birthday

Yodeler                                GB10.211            Birthday

Woman at Piano                 GB10.212                Birthday

Two Spies Passing Note    GB10.214                Birthday

Tennis Player                    MB10.215                Birthday

Woman on Skateboard        BF10.216                Birthday

Woman in Jungle                LB10.217                Belated Birthday

Brick Hitting Man's Head    LB10.218                Belated Birthday

Newlyweds in Bed            YA10.219                Anniversary

Planned Parenthood            BC10.220                Congratulations

Cliff Divers                        WC10.221                Congratulations

Man with Fly Head            GW10.222                Get Well

Vincent Van Gogh            WF10.223                    Friendship

Mae West Type Character    LL10.224                Friendship

Censored                            GT10.225                    Love

Teacher at Chalkboard        LL10.226                    Love

Tarzan and Jane                    LL10.227                    Love

Man Eating Oysters            LL.10.228                        Love

Woman Crying                    GF10.229                    Sympathy

Mime in Four Poses            GF10.230                    Sympathy

Man on Desert Island        MF10.231                    Friendship/Love     

Lady Godiva on Horse        GF10.232                    Friendship/Love

Wrestling Match                GF10.233                    Friendship

Ape and Statue of Liberty    GF10.234                    Ex-Love

Man Carrying Statue            GF10.235                    Breaking Up

Gambler's Spinning Wheel    MF10.236                Goodbye

 

MAD Auction

Michael Lerner recently held his 6th Annual MAD Auction.  Here are the prices realized from that auction.  If the final bid is blank, the item received no bids.  I want to thank Michael for supplying this list.

Number        Item                                                                            Final Bid

001                EC/MAD Announcement                                            $75

002                EC Fan Addict Kit Envelope                                        25

003                EC Comics Group - Stationery                                    293

004                EC Collector Fanzine/1972 EC Conv. Pinback Lot        36

005                EC Fan Addict Kit (Duplicate)                                       125       

006                MAD Lafayette St. Label                                                133

007                MAD Lafayette St. Stationery Lot

008                MAD Stationery Lot                                                        100

009                MAD Moving Postcard - 850 3rd Ave.                            80

010                MAD Moving Postcard - 485 Madison                            242

011                Lenny Brenner Business Cards                                        20

012                Xmas Gift Subscription Cards                                            20

013                Bill Gaines Business Card Lot                                        150

014                Nick Meglin Business Cards Lot                                    10

015                John Putnam Envelope                                                    10

016                Invitation for MAD Art Show                                        58

017                MAD Certificate - signed by B. Gaines                            48

018                60 Minutes Letter                                                            64

019                MAD Money Promo                                                        50

020                MAD Style Book                                                            302

021                MAD Office Tote-Bag                                                    89

022                MAD Calendar Lot                                                            40

023                MAD for Keeps Hardcover                                                94

024                MAD Forever Hardcover                                                  140

025                Golden Trashery of MAD Hardcover                                354

026                Ridiculously Expensive MAD Hardcover                        182

027                Musically MAD LP                                                           

028                Musically MAD (Stereo) LP                                            55

029                MAD Twists Rock 'n Roll LP                                           

030                Fink Along With MAD LP

031                MAD Show LP w/Ticket attached                                    55

032                MAD Showcard                                                                30

033                MAD Show Script/MAD Show Showcard Lot                165

034                MAD Show Poster                                                            227

035                Up the Academy Movie Poster & Pinback Lot (2)            165

036                Up the Academy LP                                                            20

037                Small AEN Bust                                                                150

038                AEN Large Bust                                                                450

039                AEN Large Bust (unlicensed)                                             242                                      

040                AEN Japanese Bust (unlicensed)

041                AEN Mardi Gras Costume                                                1,611

042                AEN Halloween Costume (no box)                                    125

043                1960 AEN for Pres Pinback                                                100       

044                1964/1968 AEN for Pres Pinback

045                1964 AEN for Pres Kit (missing poster)                            100

046                AEN 1984 AEN for Pres Lot                                                80

047                AEN Aurora Model Kit                                                        250

048                Fleer Cards (Complete Set)                                                    68

049                Fleer Sticker Lot                                                                   

050                AEN (Nash) Skateboard                                                        244

051                Squirt Toys Set Lot                                                                150

052                MAD Squirt Toy: Fire Extinguisher                                        12

052A            MAD Squirt Toy: Headset                                                          12

052B            MAD Squirt Toy: Chewing Gum                                                22

052C            MAD Squirt Toy: Calculator                                                        12

052D            MAD Squirt Toy: Pen/Pencil                                                        12

052E            MAD Squirt Toy: Lighter                                                            12

052F            MAD Squirt Toy: Camera                                                            27

053                Concepts Plus Watch                                                                    60

054                AEN Warner Bros. MAD Watch                                                72

055                Hardees-MAD Set Lot                                                                75

056                MAD Mugs Lot                                                                            55

057                MAD Candy

058                Unbound Bonuses Lot

059                Foreign MAD Lot                                                                        74

060                British MAD #1 & #2 Lot                                                            220

061                British MAD Pinback                                                                    113

062                Finland Promo Book                                                                        25

063                Iskalde Gross                                                                               

064                Norway MAD Bound Volume                                                        65

065                AEN German Mask                                                                       

066                Don Martin Finland Poster                                                            30

067                Don Martin Greeting Cards                                                            64

068                Don Martin Party Guide                                                                10

069                Spy vs. Spy Video Game                                                                64

070                Spy vs. Spy Nintendo Game                                                            25

071                Spy vs. Spy Gameboy Game                                                            40

072                Spy vs. Spy/MAD Game Lot                                                            35

073                Tourista Mexican Game                                                                    30

074                MAD Morality Trade Paperback                                                    44

075                MAD About the Fifties (signed) Lot                                                83

076                Humbug Lot                                                                                        220

077                Humbug/Playboy Kurtzman Lot                                                        40

078                Playboy Magazine (1957)                                                               

079                MAD World of William Gaines hardcover                                        42

080                MAD Freaks #2-6 Lot                                                                        40

081                Oui Magazine (1979)

082                Scholastic Scope                                                                                45

083                Gibson Card Lot                                                                                100

084                MAD Imitators Lot                                                                            35

085                MAD T-shirts Lot B                                                                            35

086                AEN Socks (pair)                                                                                98

087                Syquest Bag (with AEN)                                                                    10

088                MAD TV Stationery Lot                                                                    20

089                MAD TV Promo Kit  (in envelope)                                                    25

090                Australian Tie                                                                                    107

091                AEN Yellow T-shirt                                                                            70

092                AEN 'Original' T-shirt (purple)                                                            76

092A                AEN 'Original' T-shirt (blue)                                                             76

093                K-Mart T-shirt Lot                                                                               

094                Boxer Shorts (Canadian)                                                                        61

095                Completely MAD Pinback                                                                    117

096                New MAD Counter Display                                                                    83

097                Sons of Champlin Cards

098                Bob Adamcik Matchbook                                                                        40

099                AEN Gumball Prize (unlicensed)                                                            48

100                Set (4) Comic College Decals                                                                55

101                Beatnik Decal                                                                                        20

102                Postcard Lot                                                                                            35

103                LBJ Pinback                                                                                            48

104                AEN Blue Pinback                                                                                    58

105                Bill Gaines 'Santa' Pinback                                                                    44

106                AEN unlicensed patch       

107                MAD Mirrored Sign                                                                                217

108                Slot Machine Glass Marquee                                                                    146

109                Mason Jar Matchbook/Happy Chap Gumball Prize                                44

110                Silver & Bronze AEN Coin Set                                                                128

111                AEN Folkart Rug   

112                Davis - Family Tree Poster                                                                        30

113                Mark Cohen Art Exhibit Lot                                                                        87

114                Kurtzman Poster (signed)                                                                            110

115                Big Bucks (signed) Print                       

116                Richard Williams Cover Rough                                                                250

117                Bob Clarke Artwork                                                                                    110

118                Duck Edwing Artwork Lot                                                                        200

 

MAD TV Instant Collectibles - Tim Johnson and I were talking about the MAD TV bus tour when he mentioned a way to get a MAD collectible for less than seventy cents.  Send away for the winner's list and rules, it might have a MAD logo or better on it.  And if nothing else, it's still MAD related.  Here are four addresses to send a SASE to: MAD TV Comedy Sketch Sweepstakes & MAD TV Pool Boy Contest.

MAD TV Non-promotion Tour - If you're on the Internet you've most likely been at the MAD TV website.  They have a schedule of the MAD TV bus stops.  The tour happened to be coming to Boston on a Friday and at Harvard Square from 1:00-3:00 pm with Pat from the cast.  It didn't list where in Harvard Square, but having spent many days and most of my college years' nights in there.  I was sure it would be easy to find.  Harvard Square is a small area.  WRONG!  I looked for the bus for a little over an hour, even asked two police officers.  Jason Levine wanted to see the bus in New York City but the schedule wasn't posted before or on the day of the event.  I checked this past Friday for the Saturday and Sunday appearances.  It was blank.  And they wonder why nobody comes out to see them!

(Before MAD's Talking Stamp (photocopies of label and postcard) - This article appeared in Linn's Stamp News, October 13, 1997 and was written by John M. Hotchner.)  I have discussed in this column the origins of MAD magazine's signature character Alfred E. Neuman and tracked him back into the late 19th century.  But I just have to share with Linn's readers two exciting covers that I found at Pacific 97 that relate to the development of the character.  The first is my guaranteed laugh cover, as shown on page 12.  I can hardly contain myself every time I look at it.  Maybe it isn't Alfie, but the resemblance of this genuine person, who just had his 'picter took' sometime before the cover was canceled on Sept. 12, 1904, is remarkable.  The second example is a label affixed to the back of a cover and illustrated below.  It is printed in red, white and blue, and there is no doubt that it was intended to be a Neuman look-alike.  The cover dates from 1915 and bears the corner card of 'Delscamp-Roemhildt Co., Paints, Glass and Painters Supplies.'  I wonder what other early philatelic evidence of Neuman is still lurking out there in covered boxes and accumulations.

What's New Dept:

More Al Jaffee Books - Although not new I thought I'd place it here.  Eugene Phillip sent me the names of two more Al Jaffee books.  They are: Funny Jokes and Foxy Riddles & Ghastly Jokes.  If anyone has extras, please contact me!  And while I'm at it, I left Eugene off the interest list.

Test Marketing - MAD is test marketing the magazine with and without the border.  Some people have found both variants in their area.  Which variant depends on the store's distributor.  Look for this to continue for at least a few issues.

Advertising - I've been think ing about this for a while now and have decided on a policy change.  This is a publication to serve the interests of MAD collectors.  It's hard to be a collector if you never purchase anything.  And it's hard to purchase anything if you don't see advertisements.  So starting with this issue I'm going to include any advertisement you want to submit, as long as it serves in the MAD collector's best interest (i.e., no 900-SEX-TALK ads).  Ad costs: Business card $5 per issue or $25 for 6 issues; half page (4.5Wx3.5H) $10 per issue or $50 for 6 issues; and full page (4.5Wx7H) is $15 per issue or $75 for 6 issues.  Word ads will be 10 cents per word per issue.  Purchase 5 get the 6th free.

This is a real advertisement: (request for lists of original MAD cover art for sale)

Contest Dept. - (15 x 15 grid of letters for word search) - Below is a word search puzzle that contains 33 MAD related words.  I'm not going to supply the word list.  That wouldn't make it much of a contest.  (with instructions)

Another real advertisement - (Cracked, Sick and other 1950s MAD imitator comics and magazines)

Another real advertisement - I NEED COVER ART FOR THIS FANZINE!!"

 

                  

 

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 with 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. 51 November 1998

Cover: Drawing of Bill Clinton by Joe Groshek

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

One down and one to go, and my records for most issues longest running MAD fanzine stays intact.  Unfortunately, Jerry Moore is ceasing publication of his fanzine MADlog with the next issue.  I didn't receive it from the start, but I got the reprint issue and I enjoyed all of them.  Especially the interview of me!  Good luck with the new projects.  If you haven't seen it yet, Dick Hanchette has put the fanzine online.  A special edition of issue #50 appears.  Dick wants me to put all the issues up on the website.  I'm not sure.  I'm leaning toward a 'best of' series.  A lot of the stuff is outdated.  I hope everyone, by now, knows Grant produced the book Collectibly MAD.  I may expand the original articles and provide more graphics to enhance them.  Stay tuned.  After a year of having AOL, I finally set myself up with an account that I actually use.  Please send email to my new address - madcellar.  Now you may ask, why the name?  I started selling MAD stuff on ebay and if you have ever been over to my house you would know where my wife insists I keep my MAD collection.  She must actually like all those collectibles.  I, on the other hand, have to stay in the shed.  If you're ever in the Boston area, let me know.  I'll come stay in your hotel room with you.  We might even be able to visit the cellar.  Stay MAD, Ed

Subscription Notices - Not Paying Your Bills Pays Off or How To Get MAD Mad At A Fanzine Editor!  (photocopy of 3 envelopes, 2 invoices and a graphic)

I stopped my subscription to MAD a number of years ago.  They started repeating the gag protective covers and I was already buying my 'keeper' issue at the newsstand.  When MAD offered the Erasable Board, it was time to start the subscription again.  And with it, I received two additional collectibles.  This is how to get yours: First call the 800 number and order a subscription.  When the clod on the phone asks you how you are going to pay -- tell them to bill you.  Then, when the first notice/bill comes in, don't pay that either.  Wait for the second bill.  I paid this one!  I didn't want to lose out on the MAD premium.  For those more daring, wait for the third notice and let me know what you get.  The above picture is the envelope the notices came in.  Notice the code number '35F1 3'; on the second notice the code is '35F2 3'.  On the back is the graphic on the left.  It appears opposite the window in the front.  And, on the back of the first envelope is the code 'PE-12-BB01' and on the second, 'PE-12-BB02'.  Otherwise, the envelopes are identical.  Inside the first notice, there is a return envelope and an Acknowledgement Form.  Inside the second, there is a return envelope and a MAD Invoice.  Both envelopes are identical and carry the code of 'PE-13-RC02'.  The Acknowledgement Form has the code 'PE-H4-BB01' and the MAD Invoice has the code 'PE-H3-BB02'.  Pictured on page 4 are the Acknowledgement Form and the front of the return envelope.  Above are the MAD Invoice and the back of the return envelope.  Don't blame me for a bad credit rating!

THE EC Companion - Fred von Bernewitz and Grant Geissman's book is complete and fully designed.  It's waiting the official release date, which will most likely be in the Spring 1999, from Kitchen Sink Press.  A limited edition version will be signed by most of the original EC creators.  Bill Gaines will be represented by a special rubber stamp.

The MAD Panic Issue #26-50 Index

(Pages 5 through 12 contain a listing of the contents of 25 issues and photocopies of 9 covers)

Wanted: Foreign MAD paperback books, Cracked magazines and related stuff, and '50s satire comics.

Tanya 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 two for $34.95, and all 3 for $42,95.

Tim Johnson's Auction Prices Realized - I'm not going to list all the prices realized, as Tim had over 200 lots.  I'll list what I believe to be some of the highlights.  The steal of the auction - the MAD Trip Souvenir!  Many of the paper items received no bid, which is keeping the trend seen in this year's Spring auction.  Looking forward to next year!  Items: 1980 AEN for President Poster - $376; Alfred E. Neuman Psychedelic Poster - $586; MAD TV Cardboard Standup - $215; American Marketing Works T-Shirt - $165; Alfred E. Neuman Refrigerator Magnet - $222; MAD Trip Souvenir - $100; Don Martin 'The Whole Don Set' Box - $235; 1964 Campaign Kit - $300; Alfred E. Neuman Latex Bust - $200; The MAD Show Poster - $185; The World Is Going MAD Box Set - $252; MAD Beach Towel - $475; MAD Morality Pinback Button - $1,454; Alfred E. Neuman Ceramic Clock - $259.

Revell-Monogram Funny Car - (photocopy of kit box) - It only took 33 years for the next MAD related model to appear.  This 1:24 scale model was scheduled to be released in August, but I just found it this month.  If you can't find it in your area, ask your local hobby shop to order model number 85-7657.  It should cost you less than $13.00.

Diamond Comic Distributors: If you ever wondered how MAD related stuff sells against other comic related stuff; the Alfred E. Neuman action figure was the second most ordered toy for the month of October.  The Jay & Silent Bob action figure was first.  Who?

An Inside Look At MAD (photocopy of letter and article)

In the last issue I published a letter from Bill Gaines to a reader.  I found it very interesting to get an inside look at the thoughts of the man who ran MAD.  I decided to see how this pans out as a regular feature.  Here is a letter from Jerry DeFuccio to Tom Koch.  If you have any letter that you would like to share, please send it along.  This one reads: 'Dear Tom, The Unknown Poetry went two pages.  On the next series of poems (whenever), it'll be a good idea to send us copies of the original poems.  We had to delete one one beat from the Wilt the Stilt and add one beat in the David Janssen poem.  Feldstein is a stickler on meter but all worked out fine.  Except for my unscheduled trip to the library.  Also, we'd like to know when alternate lines are indented.  Your two movie pieces came in but Nick and I haven't been able to give them more than a cursory reading at this junction. - MAD-ly, Jerry  P.S. At least I learned the Janssen poem is 'Lord Randall.'  Feel like I'm on the $64,000 Question.'

Using my handy-dandy The Complete MAD Checklist No. 3, I find that the article in question appeared in MAD #101, March 1966.  The article is titled The MAD Treasury of Unknown Poetry Volume IV.  Jack Rickard is the artist.  The article had 7 poems.  Picture on the right is the panel that featured MY Son, The Fugitive by Mrs. David Janssen, Senior.

Not Seen Before  (photos of wooden postcard and book)

This wooden postcard ('Accuracy Is Our Watchword - We Never Make Misteaks') was recently up for bid on the ebay auction site.  I don't believe it has been pictured in any MAD related publication before.  It is the same image as the 1959 Eden Plastics Corp. raised plastic postcard.

And, this Avantus Green paperback book ('Look Who's Laughing') sold for $132 and change.  It's a Joyful Compendium on Arkansas.  The book was published in 1947.  Roland Coover had notified me about this book a month or so before this book came up for auction.  For something I had never seen before, I was shocked when another came up so soon. 

And, a 1959 wine carafe that Bill Gaines gave away as a gift to some distributors sold for $1,476."

 

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 occurred 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. 53 March 1999

Cover: Drawing of Alf as Colonel Sanders by Kent Gamble.

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

John M. Hett's Journal of MADness hit the big time!  His journal exceeded Diamond Distributors' expectations.  John should be proud of that achievement.  I've decided to start a new award: the Best MAD Item on Ebay.  As most of you know, MAD items have been selling for record prices recently.  With these price increases, a number of rare items have suddenly appeared in the work shops of some less than talented folks.  If you see something that is worthy of receiving the Best MAD Item on Ebay Award send me the item number.  I wish I had grabbed the picture for this issue's winner, which can be found on page 11, but I didn't want to waste my disc space.  I'll picture the winners in the future.  Wait until you see this crap!  The next issue will feature the almost annual MAD Interest List.  For the new folks, it's a list of collectors who want to hear from other collectors.  If you were on the list last year, you'll be on it this year, unless you tell me to drop you.  If you want to be on it and were not on it last year, send me any of the following information: name, address, phone, email.  You must be a current subscriber to this fanzine to be included.  Remember, that other fanzine doesn't offer good stuff like this, so spend your dollars here first!  Stay MAD, Ed

Paperback Book Contract

Richard Landivar recently sent me a copy of a legal contract from March 31, 1975 for the MAD Jumble Book to be published in Sweden.  I was going to point out the highlights, but after reading it I thought I'd reprint the whole thing.  Not many of us have seen these before, so I hope you find it interesting.  All the material is presented.  The format has been slightly changed to fit the format of this fanzine.

(Pages 3 through 7 contain a very long contract between three MAD artists (Frank Jacobs, Robert Clarke, Max Brandel) and a representative of the Swedish company.)

PANIC Swipe  (photocopies of pages from PANIC #6 and CRAZY #4)

I picked up a copy of Inside Comics #2 (Summer 1974) the other day and found an article about the swipe of some PANIC material.  Marvel's CRAZY #4 (May 1974) ran a page of classified advertising written by Kenneth Kassen.  Of the 28 classified advertisements at least 20 of them were directly stolen from PANIC #6.  Here are two examples given in the article:

From PANIC - 'Moustache wax in 100 pound barrels.  Cheap.  You can never tell when someone will call you at 2 A.M. some morning and ask, 'Got any moustache wax?'  Be prepared.  $1.00 per barrel, you pay postage.  Useless Products Sales Corp., Nome Alaska.'  From CRAZY - 'Moustache wax in 200 pound barrels.  $3.95.  Cheap.  You can never tell when someone will call you up at 2 A.M. some morning and ask: 'Got any moustache wax?'  Be prepared!  Useless Products Sales Corp., Box 19."

From PANIC - 'Fool your friends.  Surplus Electric Chair.  Really works.  Interesting item to liven up a dull party.  This'll kill 'em.  Can be upholstered to look like ordinary furniture.  Supply limited.  Prison Products Surplus Corp., Box 210V, Alcatraz, Va.'  From CRAZY - 'Fool your friends.  Surplus electric chairs.  Really works.  Interesting item to liven up a dull party.  This'll kill 'em.  Can be upholstered to look like ordinary furniture.  Complete price $625.  Supply limited.  Write our 'hot-seats' dept for more information.  Useless ...'

According to the article, a source said that Bill Gaines has referred the matter to MAD's lawyer, Jack Albert, and Albert would formulate MAD's eventual course of action.  Anyone know the outcome?  Let us know!

New Mad Funny Car Debuts At Pomona  (with two photographs)

Pomona, CA - After a 1998 season as one of the most popular cars on the NHRA Funny Car circuit, the MAD Magazine race car begins the 1999 season with a new design and a new driver.  Under the guidance of last year's driver, Jerry Toliver, the new driver will be the hot newcomer, Dale Creasy, Jr.  The new paint design features MAD Magazine favorites Alfred E. Neuman, Spy vs. Spy and the irreverent humor for which MAD is famous.  Previous versions have been so popular Car & Driver Magazine named it the best design of the year.  The merchandise was among the three most popular at track side last year, even though the car did not have a winning season.  Go figure.  'With this new car, MAD will once again put the drag in drag racing,' said MAD co-editor Nick Meglin proudly.  'I guess the thing I'm most proud of,' added MAD co-editor, John Ficarra, 'is that the MAD car is the only NHRA car with a complimentary salad bar in its trunk.  It's little things like that that make the car what it is.'  Both Meglin and Ficarra said they hoped to be at track side in Pomona for the new MAD car's debut, though conceded it was unlikely given how the judge has turned down previous requests to have their security ankle bracelets removed and let them travel interstate.  MAD Magazine is America's longest-running humor publication.  Founded by Bill Gaines in 1952, MAD has inspired generations of irreverent fans with its ridiculing of politicians, movies, television and modern life, and with popular characters such as Alfred E. Neuman and Spy vs. Spy.  Whether in print, on television, film or cyberspace, MAD remains one of the favorite American icons.  Go figure.  (Press release from MAD)

What's New Dept: 

Comic Book Marketplace #66 - (photocopy of magazine cover) - Frank Nuessel notified me about the January issue which contains a great article on Kelly Freas.  The article is well illustrated with his MAD artwork.  As a bonus, the center spread contains 16 full color Freas MAD covers and 8 back-covers (4 to a page).  There are two sidebar articles titled 'Mad about MAD, The cover art genius of Kelly Freas' and 'MAD's Marvelous Mascot!'  The second sidebar is pretty poor, and doesn't add anything.  A brief death notice about Joe Orlando can be found on page 59.  And, as an added bonus if you liked CRACKED, the editorial is about the magazine being ignored by collectors and can still be found at bargain prices.  There are 4 early CRACKED full covers in the center spread as well.  I would highly recommend buying a copy of this issue.  You may be able to get the issue from Gemstone Publishing if you can't find it on the shelves.

Toliver Funny Car Stuff  - (with four photos) - Look for a couple of new Spy vs. Spy funny car hats and t-shirts.  I'm sure these won't be offered for long with the change of drivers, then again, you might be able to find them in the bargain bin.

New Switch Plates - (with two photos) - If you search the ebay auction I'm sure you'll find these two switch plates still being offered for an opening bid of $14.99.  I'm not sure if these are licensed.

Best MAD Item on Ebay Award - A glass bottle with Alfred E. Neuman on it.  The brown painted image was the stencil from MAD Follies #5.  Opening bid $10.00.  Worth: the 5-cent deposit!

Hill Dental Co. - It didn't hurt a bit! - (with photocopy) - This is a dentist's advertisement for painless extraction of teeth.  This gem from 1904 is from the Hill Dental Co., of Albany and Schenectady, New York.  It's an advertising premium booklet containing approximately 30 pages of graph paper, maybe used to keep track of dental appointments.  Our hero is on the cover and the inside covers have calendars for years 1904 and 1905 and more painless promises.  Back cover has fee schedule (teeth extracted 25 cents, full set of teeth for $5) and more dental blurb.  Front cover has small light stain and the first 3 pages have numerals in pencil, with a reference to one Peter Weidman's hay bill for 1908.  Booklet measures 2-1/2 by 4-1/2 inches.

The Little Giant Book of Optical Illusions

Page 245 of this book has a large number of tiny dots.  The instructions say to hold the book at a distance from the eyes and an image will appear.  Although the Answer Section in the back of the book calls it 'a grinning face,' the image is definitely Alfred E. Neuman.  The book is written by Keith Kay and published by Sterling Publishing, 1991.  Reported by Mike Slaubaugh."

 

 

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 the 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. 55 July 1999

Cover: Drawing of Custer Alf by Kent Gamble

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):  (photo of flag and tin boxes)

Are MAD collectors any smarter than Alfred E. Neuman?  I sometimes wonder!  Let me give you a couple of reasons why I ask this question.  Someone recently posted the flag on the right on eBay.  It's a Confederate flag with Alfred E. Neuman.  Do any of the readers of the fanzine not recognize the image?  For those that don't, look in MAD Follies #5 or The Ridiculously Expensive MAD.  This flag fetched $26.25, with another bidding $25.00 for it.  If anyone wants any item with this image on it let me know.  Buy the item, send me the item, $20.00, and appropriate return postage and you will own a genuine MAD collectible.  Wonder what the final price would have been if the seller had claimed it was carried by the 9th Virginia during the battle at Gettysburg, 1863!  Second reason, look at the picture on the left.  What do you see?  Multiple new tin boxes.  Top bid $33.50 plus two more boxes selling at $20.00 each.  Some of us waited and paid the opening bid of $6.50 for one.  I could cite many examples of this type of bidding on new items, but won't.  Stay MAD, Ed

Kelly Freas Interview on Dr. Demento  (photo of Freas)

The following Kelly Freas interview was aired as part of the Dr. Demento radio show.  The program featured songs from the then newly released MAD Grooves CD.  The air date was June 22 & 23, 1996.  I'm not sure if the original interview was any longer.  (Song - She Got A Nose Job)

Q: About 4 years ago, one of the greatest artists associated with MAD magazine, Kelly Freas, was a guest on our show and he remembered what the atmosphere was like at MAD magazine during those glory days.

A: Imagine someone spraying inhaleable benzadrene into a loony bin and just turning it loose.  If they weren't playing practical jokes on each other, they were sitting with their heads in their hands trying to figure out how to murder something that they considered absolutely wonderful.  Like the time the whole staff went to see Moby Dick and came out of it absolutely stunned.  How could you satirize such a gorgeous thing as this?  So, no work was done for a day or two and finally they come up with one of the best satires they ever did.  Perhaps not quite as typical as today but one that was of most interest, to me personally, was the cover conferences which were a riot.  And, everybody, everybody got into the act from the elevator man on up, the receptionist, the delivery kid, anybody who came by bringing a pizza, he was called in.  It was absolutely incredible, all the people who got their input into this thing.  And we would start off with a sheave of papers, about a foot thick, of everything from pool scrap to sheets torn out of notebooks, but people had sent in with idea sketches what they thought should be on the cover of MAD magazine.  We would go through every dang one of them, we never did neglect a one and we would separate the ones that couldn't really be used, usually for matters of taste more than anything else.  MAD did have a certain element of taste to it, usually bad.  But eventually we would have a few we would set off for future reference and two or three that these are definitely gos.  We'd pick one finally and Bill Gaines never failed to send a check for fifty bucks, and remember this is 1950, a check for fifty bucks ...

Q: That was a lot of money!

A: ... to the person who suggested the idea.

(Songs - What, Me Worry and Makin' Out)

Q: ... we'll move on after we listen for just a moment to Kelly Freas, the MAD magazine artist, as he remembers MAD magazine's founder, publisher, the late William Gaines.

A: His personality carried through everything.  His personality was what held the whole thing together but gave it its identity.  Bill was an extremely intelligent, well-educated, well-read man, and an extremely moral man, an ethical, was probably a better word for it.  A true gentleman.  A real gentleman!

Q: You see these bumper stickers now and then that say 'Question Authority.'  If I was to say perhaps that it was one of the implied truths ...

A: It was more than implied, it was occasionally stated quite bluntly.  That was one of the reasons Bill would not accept any advertising in the magazine.  He says flatly, we want to be in the position to throw a brick at anybody, which he promptly did.

(Songs - The Boys From ... She Lets Me Watch Mom & Pop Fight, Blind Date.  The song It's a Gas is played later as the #4 song in the Funny Five.)

BTW: The Chicago in 2000 Worldcom Bid issued a series of trading cards featuring professionals in the science fiction and fantasy fields.  The picture of Kelly Freas on the previous page is card #24, issued on September 20, 1996.  Some other Frank Kelly Freas facts: Born: August 27, 1922 in Hornell, New York; First Publication: Cover Weird Tales, November 1950; Hugo Awards: Best Professional Artist, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976; ASFA President: 1982-1983; Even if we ignored his 10 Hugo Awards, Kelly has still won numerous awards, including the Frank R. Paul, the Ink Pot, the Skylark, the Rova, the Lensman, the Phoenix, the LASFS Service, the Neographics, the Daedalos Life Achievement, the Art Teacher Emeritus, The International Fantasy Expo's Award for Best Professional all Media, and the Chesley Award with Laura Freas in 1990; Kelly's work can be found - aside from on the covers of numerous books and magazines (including old issues of MAD) in Frank Kelly Freas: The Art of Science Fiction, The Astounding Fifties, and Frank Kelly Freas: A Separate Star.  (The above facts were found on a website.)

Is This Alfred?  (drawing of the Yellow Kid)

I was flipping through the book Hake's Price Guide to Character Toy Premiums and noticed this photograph of the Yellow Kid.  It;s an advertising card for Sweet Wheat Chewing Gum and it's dated 1896.  Richard F. Outcault's kid first showed up in 1895 and lasted through the comic strip's end in 1898.  The earliest Alfred E. Neuman image appears at about the same time the Yellow Kid is dropped.  The earliest dated image I've seen is in The Promoter for Rushville from 1899.  Let's look at the similarities: 1. The Yellow Kid's ears are the ears on early Alfred E. Neuman images both stick out about the same.  Even Norman Mingo drew Alfred E. Neuman with his right ear larger and tighter to the head.  The left ear was smaller, lower, and stuck out more; 2. Next come the famous offset eyes.  The Yellow Kid's right eye is higher than his left eye.  Most early Alfred E. Neuman images have the eyes even.  The Alfred E. Neuman image on the Comfort Soap pinback button does have the offset eyes.  Again, Norman Mingo drew Alfred E. Neuman with the eyes uneven, right higher than left; 3. Finally, Alfred E. Neuman's most famous feature, the missing tooth.  Most Yellow Kid images have him with one or two teeth in the middle of his mouth.  This image has two teeth, but look at the gap.  It's larger than other Yellow Kid images I've seen.  If you look at The Promoter image, Alfred E. Neuman's middle tooth is missing.  The Yellow Kid was used in many very successful advertising campaigns from 1896 and on through the years.  Did the original Alfred E. Neuman artists purposely try to make their kids look close enough to the Yellow Kid as to cause confusion at first look and capitalize on the Yellow Kid's success?  Take a look at SICK #98.  Who's on the cover?  Wrong!  It's not Alfred E. Neuman, it's Huckleberry Fink.  Or, is it the Yellow Kid?

The MAD Show  (photos of program, Playbill, sweatshirt, poster and button)

One of the highlights of the 1960's was The MAD Show, one of the last great revues.  It had music by Mary Rodgers, and lyrics by Marshall Barer, Larry Siegel, and Steven Vinaver.  It also had uncredited lyrics by Rodger's close friend, Stephen Sondheim, who wrote 'The Girl from ...' for this show, where it was performed by JoAnne Worley.  Others in the phenomenal cast were Linda Lavin, MacIntyre Dixon, Dick Libertini and Paul Sand.  All went on to great careers as actors and character comedians.  Direction is attributed to Alfred E. Neuman.  This is the PREVIEW program from the show, before it opened.  That means it's simple -- only 4 pages.  Cast and creator bios (Mary Rodgers' mentions her five children, ranging from 1 to 13 years old), but no song list (it was probably still being toyed with at the time).  No ads.  No pictures (except for Alfred E. Neuman on the cover).  However, as a BONUS, stapled inside the program are two authentic newspaper ads for the show, each with a phony, and funny quote, one attributed to Alfred E. Neuman ('Much Funnier Than Pousse-Cafe' -- if you need that explained, you won't get it), and one suggesting that the play is performed by the 'inmates of Clarenton.'  The above was written by stevemr.  Below are some other not often seen The MAD Show Collectibles.  Clockwise from above: Playbill program, Sweatshirt, Tab tin button, The New Theatre Poster.

eBay MADness  (photocopy of deck of cards)

I happened to notice this item on eBay recently: 'Mad Magazine Buck playing cards by Remembrance.  All 52 cards are there plus 2 jokers.  They are in very good condition with very little use.'  With 3 minutes left in the auction, I notice the cards are sitting at $50.25 and tell my wife that it will double in the last minute.  What follows is 14 seconds of MADness.  I decide to bid $55.00 with 25 seconds left.  Five seconds later, Gary Kritzberg gets in his bid of $62.50.  Tim Johnson still has the high bid.    But that holds up for only 1 more second as Dick Hanchette gets in a $226.00 bid.  Tim sits cool and collected, waits 8 more seconds, and with 11 seconds left in the auction, tops Dick with a $228.50 final price.  Wonder what his maximum bid was!  So much for my prediction.  Tim told me he had a set of these playing cards five years ago and traded them for a Baby Barry doll without tie or shoes.  Did he get a bargain?  You make the call. 

A few Interest List updated email addresses that should be noted: Roland Coover, Ed Norris and Gene Phillip.

Cracked Blockbuster #13 - (copy of cover and one page) - The Summer '99 issue of CRACKED BLOCKBUSTER has a MAD reference in its 'Script Your Own South Park Movie' article.  The fourth bullet under Dialogue has the 'What, me worry?' phrase.  I never knew Stan was a MAD fan, but I guess the writer, Tony Frank is one.  The artist is Gary Fields.  The above was submitted by my son, Keith who is an avid MAD and CRACKED reader.  That's my boy!

An Inside Look At MAD - (copy of letter) - 'May 8, 1979.  This year, it's The Yucatan (Cancun) for five days and then New Orleans for two days, to quiet your bowels!  Dates: Thursday 10/25 to Thursday Nov.1.   We'll be staying at the El Presidente in Cancun and at the Monteleone in New Orleans.  Must have your final decision by June 4th.  BY JUNE 4THPLEASE!  Love and kisses, Bill.'

What's New

Time Life Books - (photocopy of book cover) - Grant Geissman sent me some information about the Time Life series: Our American Century Collection and the book: Rock & Roll Generation: Teen Life in the 50s.  One of the 'chapters,' 4 pages, is about MAD.  It contains a small write-up and 14 images.  Grant's MAD About the Fifties and Reidelbach's Completely MAD are listed in the bibliography.  You can oredr the book by calling.  Grant's invoice showed the book being $19.99, shipping $3.99, plus applicable tax.

The Cartoon!st - Grant also sent me information about a feature in The Newsletter of the National Cartoonists Society.  The March-April 199 issue has a Jack Davis cover painting of him in a knight's suit of armor, riding a horse, and holding a paintbrush.  Next to him is Alfred E. Neuman riding a smaller horse and carrying the ink well.  A one-page article title: Davis' chances at syndication stripped away appears on page 8.

Starr Wars Stamps - (photocopy of sheet of stamps: 'Starr Wars' page from MAD magazine) - The folks at Coolstamps have this 6.25"x4.5" sheet of six stamps, in stock, from the new Russian country Abkhasia (not yet UPU).  It's artwork from a recent issue of MAD.  You can order from the website and the price is $5.95.  Greg and Paulette were nice enough to send me one sheet to give away.  I'll do a drawing from all correct answers I've received by August 7, 1999.  Question: In what issue of MAD did this art appaer?

Totally MAD - (photos of box and screenshot of software) - Frank Nuessel sent me the following from The New York Times, Thursday, June 17, 1999.  'Coming to CD, the Compleat [sic] Alfred E. Neuman - Rather than waiting for the project Gutenberg to get around to it, Broderbund Software is rereleasing Mad magazine in digital form.  Totally Mad, a set of seven CD-ROMS's [sic] ($69.95; Windows 95 and later), contains the entire contents of the magazine from its inception in 1952 through December 1998, including all the work by its best known artists, its movie and television parodies ('Gall in the Family,' 'The Oddfather') and animated versions of the famous 'fold in' back pages.  So now your parents no longer have to tell you to stop reading that garbage and can now tell you to stop clicking on that garbage.'  Below is one of four screen shots from the ShopTLC website.

Pinball Wizard? - photo of MAD PINBALL patch) - A pinball company, Data East (now Sega Pinball), started in the late 70's.  They gave all employees (about 70-80) silk jackets with an embroidered patch on it.  It became a tradition for every game produced.  The MAD Pinball patch was for a game to be based on MAD magazine.  The MAD Pinball game was designed and scheduled for production, hence the reason why the patches were produced.  But, the game was canceled due to some legal or copyright issues and Data East being in financial trouble.  Dimensions of the patch, not the pinball machine, are about 3"x4" and the patch is in full color.  Thanks to Dick Hanchette for this information.

Visit the 'MAD In Brazil Fan Club' at website address.

Wanted: The other satire magazines' premiums.  Things such as the Thimk t-shirt, the Cracked 3-ring binders and notebooks, etc.  Let me know what you have."

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 56 September 1999

Cover: Drawing of Alfred the boxer by Kent Gamble

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

I donate a lot of space to the Totally MAD CD set this issue, not because I didn't have anything else to write about, but because this is a landmark for MAD collectors!  You get almost instant access to any article that MAD has done since 1952.  I can't tell you the number of hours I've spent with my thre The Complete MAD Checklist volumes by Fred von Bernewitz.  Now this information is only a few mouse clicks and keystrokes away.  The CD has other stuff including interviews, animated cartoons, MAD Minutes, and the recordings of those record inserts that none of us want to tear out of our magazines.  i hadn't heard of some of the songs, and I've owned those records for years.  The MAD Minute tapes are basically unavailable.  (Dick DeBartolo, why don't you release them all on CD?  Please!)  About the only thing I didn't like about the set was the Totally MAD website.  It's Totally Pathetic!  It's not worth the disk space it's taking up.  Another problem is with the installation of the MAD theme.  The installation puts the theme in the wrong directory.  But that's easy to fix.  USA Today gives it 4/4 stars (see article on page 8), but I'd give it 5/4 stars!  Stay MAD, Ed

Totally MAD  (photo of box)

The CD set was released over the Summer and it was well worth the wait!  Let's start of with what every collector wants to know: What other Totally MAD collectibles exist?  Mike Slaubaugh provided information on this subject.  Ellen Brodsky, Producer of Totally MAD provided additional information which appears in bold. 

Totally MAD Collectibles - Mouse pad (black with color Evolution Alfred graphics, 11,000 made).  Give away for pre-orders and available from certain retailers only; Sell sheets (8.5" x 11", color graphics on front, B&W on back, 5,000 made).  Not released with the product.  This was marketing information for retailers and reviewers; Party invitation (oversized color postcard for July 22 release party in NY, 250 made).  Not released with the product.  This was an invitation to a press party we threw in New York; Insert card with ordering information (full color graphics, similar in size to the MAD subscription cards inserted in the magazine, 10,000 made); Note sheet with Totally MAD logo and Sergio Aragones illustration (about half the size of a sheet of paper, 800 made).  Not a promotional item.  Not released with the product.  This was something created for our E3 booth where Sergio Aragones was drawing for us for a day.  Beta CDs, not sure how many were made.  (Beta 4 dated June 24, 1999).

Press Release - The Software World Goes Totally MAD: Broderbund Releases The First Complete Digital Collection of MAD Magazine on CD-ROM - Every Outrageous Issue, Nearly 50 Years of Audacity, and Countless Bad Jokes Are Now a Click Away - Novato, CA - August 3, 1999 - All the wry wit and wisdom that reflect popular American culture throughout 364 issues of MAD Magazine is now encapsulated and preserved in the Totally MAD CD-ROM collection from the Broderbund unit of The Learning Company, a division of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT).  The seven CD-ROM set, which contains every issue of the humor magazine, nearly 22,000 pages from 1952 through 1998, is available from Broderbund for Windows for an estimated street price of $69.95.  'We are extremely honored and excited by this product,' said John Ficarra and Nick Meglin, co-editors of MAD Magazine (although neither could explain why they spoke in unison).  'We always feared that having this much MAD Magazine concentrated in one place would pose a mental health hazard,' continued Meglin.  'We're still not convinced that it's totally safe, but we're willing to take the risk in order to get the product out on the market in time for the holiday season.'  'No other product in our nearly 50-year history,' said Ficarra proudly, 'more clearly illustrate just how much of our lives we have utterly wasted,'

MAD Memories - Totally MAD includes all the characters and features that made the magazine famous: the grinning, gap-toothed, red-haired, and freckled icon Alfred E. Neuman; the notorious Spy vs. Spy; the wise-cracking Lighter Side; every memorable cover; every Fold-In; MAD cartoons and music, and rarely seen video interviews with The Usual Gang of Idiots.  Most important, Totally MAD preserves the satirical humor that has made the magazine infamous for skewering the worlds of politics, entertainment, sports, advertising, and just about anything or anyone that took themselves oo seriously.  'For nearly 50 years MAD Magazine's irreverent look at the world has entertained millions of adults and adolescents alike,' said Eric Stone, vice president of Broderbund's reference products.  'Totally MAD provides MAD fans with an opportunity to remember the days when you mocked the establishment and poked fun at the pretentious with the Usual Gang of Idiots from MAD Magazine.'

MAD Inside and Out - Even before the box is opened, there are clues that this is not your typical software package.  The oft-overlooked system requirements recommend: 'To run this program properly you should have a computer.  (Our technical research shows that a working one in preferred.)  Your computer should also have one of those little slide-out 'snack trays.'  Take the snack out and put in one of the small round CD-ROM things that are in this package,'  Windows CD-ROM or NT 4.0 CD-ROM (Windows with curtains and blinds are optional.); Premium 90MHz or higher (Any slower and you'll be dead by the time you get to reading issue #245.); 32MB RAM, 30MB hard-disk space, 2 byte soft chewy center; 9" shelf storage space for the box; SVGA graphics card and monitor, 256 colors minimum (Warning: Colors may run if washed.); 2x CD-ROM drive (Use faster CD-ROM if you're in a hurry!); 8-bit sound card to hear great audio ruined by your crappy 2-bit computer speakers!; Mouse (or IBM-compatible chipmunk); Optional: A chilled beverage and Fuzzy slippers.

MAD Science - The technology behind Totally MAD gives fans a whole new way to experience all of their favorite features.  Designed with the magazine's editors, the MAD-ized Trash Heap interface sets the mischievous mood and introduces users to the product's many features.  A 'not-so-serious' but powerful search engine lets users specify a favorite feature, artist, writer, subject, or date range - or just type in a keyword.  The cover browser lets viewers scan through all the covers year by year or month by month.  Flexible controls let the user read an issue page by page or jump to a specific section.  Users can manipulate the viewing area by zooming in or by rotating the screen.

Since You Can't Fold Your Computer ... - A favorite feature found only in MAD Magazine, Fold-Ins, morph from one picture into an entirely new one as readers fold the page.  In Totally MAD, the Fold-Ins 'fold-in' automatically or users can choose to click and drag them with their mouse.  The entire collection has been digitally reproduced to provide the highest quality graphics and printing capabilities.  Users can print any area, any single page, or any range of pages in color or black and white, depending on the original format.

About MAD Magazine - MAD Magazine is America's longest-running humor publication.  Founded by Bill Gaines in 1952, MAD has inspired generations of irreverent fans with its ridiculing of politicians, movies, television and modern life, and with popular characters such as Alfred E. Neuman and Spy vs. Spy.  Whether in print, on television, film or cyberspace, MAD remains one of America's favorite icons.  The MAD Web site is located at madmag.  Customers interested in inquiring about Broderbund products may call.  They can also receive product information and technical support  online.

Newsgroup Discussion - Some interesting stuff appeared on the newsgroup about the missing articles: Issue #30 pages 38, 39 by Carl Reiner; Issue #32 pages 41-44 by Jean Shepherd; Issue#33 pages 34, 35 by Eddie Lawrence; Issue #36 pages 12-15 by Wally Cox; Issue #40 pages 44-47 by Andy Griffith.  All four that I've found are licensed articles from comedy performers/writers who probably retained their copyrights, and from whom Mad was unable to obtain releases for reprints.  One of these was Eddie Lawrence's 'Old Philosopher' routine, which is probably not a big loss.  The Wally Cox piece would be nice to see in this set, but again, not a biggie.  Also missing was Andy Griffith's 'football' momologue, which is a classic but only half as much fun in print as it is to hear him perform it live.  Go find a tape of this routine and LYAO.  The last missing item I discovered was Jean Shepherd's 'The Night People vs. Creeping Meatballism.'  This article is a classic, both in the writing, and in the Wally Wood illustrations.  It is criminal that this piece is missing from the CD as it's a beautiful, fascinating piece.  However, all of the above, as I said, are licensed reprints of other writers' material, not originally prepared from MAD (except for the artwork, of course).  I guess in that sense we can say that all of the material that originated from the Mad writing staff is included, but not some of the art that was commissioned for the outside writing.  Which is a shame, because much of the material set the tone of the Mad's of that period, and should be included in the set.  Maybe the rights can be secured at some future time, and included on an update disk?

Questions to Ellen Brodsky and her replies:  Can you shed some light on why the articles are missing?  Will they be available at a later date on the web site?  No.  We are as complete as we could be.  There shouldn't be any problem with future pieces, since MAD owns the copyright clearly for everything now; What are the plans for keeping the 'CD' current?  The CD has been created to allow updates.  If the product does well, we expect updates to follow.

The $1 Reason This Set is Great - (photo of jukebox) - And the best part of Totally MAD is a reference to my fanzine!  Look at the bottom right button on the jukebox.  It's the MAD PANIC button!  I noticed there isn't a Journal of MADness button nor any other reference to it!

With Totally Mad, magazine is (for the) PC by Steven L. Kent, Special for USA Today (August 16, 1999)

Before Bill Gates touched his first keyboard or Beaver Cleaver cut his first tooth, there was Alfred E. Neuman.  For 43 years, the wide-eared, grinning goof has appeared on the cover of Mad magazine, asking 'What, me worry?' in every conceivable situation.  Maybe you better start worrying, Neuman's about to appear on PCs everywhere.  No, he's not a new virus.  Mad has teamed up with Broderbund to make Totally Mad, containing 47 years -- including the four predating Neuman -- and 22,000 pages of Mad humor.  It's all there, from the pointy-faced assassins of Spy vs. Spy, to the peanut-headed, bucktoothed imbeciles of the Don Martin cartoons, to the timely but silly movie spoofs.  In fact, you will find little but Mad magazine in every bit of Totally Mad's 4.6 gigabytes.  For as long as it has existed, Mad has stood for the cleanest possible humor that can still appeal to kids.  Along with belches, drool and bile, the average monthly issue contains jokes about such weighty issues as Pamela Lee and Star Wars.  This is a magazine that has poked fun at politics and social concerns since before Eisenhower became president.  Cramming all of that irreverence into a few CDs takes talent, and Broderbund has done a remarkable job.  From its simple interface to its shortcuts and sideshows, Totally Mad is totally Mad.  Booting up these CDs is like walking into an attic and finding stacks of perfectly preserved magazines.  You can leaf through this collection in a number of different ways.  The most enjoyable is to browse the covers.  Totally Mad has a scrolling interface with stamp-size copies of every cover, from October 1952 through December 1998, plus covers from special features and bonus books.  Flitting through old Mad covers feels like a junior-high reunion.  It's a walk down memory lane not just for the magazines that you read, but also for the culture of the times, and the people and things that made you laugh.  Click on a cover of interest, and Totally Mad opens the entire issue to you.  The default setup displays two pages at a time and is too small to read, but you can zoom in and read the fine print.  Totally Mad also features a powerful search engine that lets users scan for past favorites by topic, title or artist.  It also includes a virtual jukebox with Mad musical hits and a number of animated cartoons.  Obvious as it sounds, the way you'll react to Totally Mad depends on how much you like Mad magazine.  If you enjoy thumbing through old issues, you'll thumb to your heart's content with this collection.  If you like Mad only in doses, chances are you'll get bored.  One last warning: Totally Mad contains everything that appeared in the magazine.  When I first received it, I enthusically searched for my favorite Don Martin cartoon, only to realize that it had appeared in a Don Martin paperback and is not included.  On the other hand, I certainly found yards of his other work.  Since 1955, the cover of Mad has had the word 'cheap' printed under its price.  Today, original issues sell for big bucks, and complete collections are almost unheard of.  So for $70, Totally Mad may not be 'cheap,' but it is a bargain.  Totally Mad - four stars out of four.

Cracked #21 - (copy of magazine cover) - This drawing appeared in the article 'Rejected CRACKED Covers.'  The story line reads: 'Getting out a cover for CRACKED is a painful process.  And it usually shows in the finished art work.  Nevertheless when cover conferences are held, everyone joins in.  What they do is throw around ideas.  And after the conference what they do is throw around the artists.  This happens when ridiculous cover ideas are submitted.  These are the covers you never get to see.  And so like you shouldn't feel you are missing anything, artist John Severin has recorded for posterity a few of these ...'  This drawing appears on page 23.  The cover date is Sept. 1961.

MAD Maquettes - (photos of models of Alfred E. Neuman and the spies) - I can just hear you: What is a maquette?  It's French for 'model,' which is the reason why they called them maquettes.  Who would pay $150 for a model, unless it was Cindy Crawford?  Warner Bros. Studio Stores will sell the new limited edition Alfred E. Neuman and Spy vs. Spy maquettes.  The two spies will come as a set.  The Warner Bros. Studio Store located in the Staten Island Mall will debut and sell the maquettes on Thursday, September 23, 1999 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.  Appearing that night will be MAD co-editors, Nick Meglin and John Ficarra; artist and current art director, Sam Viviano; and maquette sculptor, Tony Cipriano.  To place an order for the maquettes or for information about attending the show call Jeanette Iannaconne.

Tim Johnson's Annual Auction - (copy of auction cartoon) - This year's auction will be held Friday, September 24 and Saturday, September 25 from 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. EST.  Items in the auction include consignments from past and present members of the 'Usual Gang of Idiots.'  Featured items from over 200 lots include: MAD Show Tile Potholder, MAD Cruise T-Shirt, MAD Varsity Jacket, MAD in Monte Carlo T-Shirt, Norman Mingo's cover rough MAD #79. Bill Gaines' personal items, Original 'Mermaid' back-cover artwork by Paul Coker, Bill Gaines' personal Tales From the Crypt Varsity Jacket, MAD Show paperweight, Pages and pages of scripts and stories from MAD writers, MAD Valentines Day coffee mug.  Tim will be sending out announcement emails and postcards.  Catalogs will be $8 and will be ready the first week of September.  You can order a catalog from Tim Johnson.

The Journal of MADness - (photocopy of magazine cover) - Whenever I receive a letter it's always the same thing: we wish we could get more of The MAD Panic!  I'm not increasing the size of this fanzine but you can get the next best thing, more of my in-depth MAD insights in John Hett's journal.  You can subscribe by sending $21 (U.S.) or $34 (Canadian) for 4 issues to John Hett.

Too Much Time on My Hands Collectible? - (photocopy of envelope) - Have you ever thought of writing to one of those companies that advertise in MAD magazine.  Well I did!  MAD #384 had an advertisement for this great sounding product, which I could not wait to receive.  I rushed off my order the same day that I read the magazine!  What a disappointment to get my order back because of an insufficient address.  If MAD is going to take advertisements, I wish they'd do a better job verifying the company's address.  Aaarrgh!

Alfred E. Neuman Coin Bank - (photos of two banks) - This ceramic bank recently appeared on eBay and sold for $179.50.  It was described as, 'Bank stands 5-1/4" tall with base being 2" tall, 3" wide and 2-3/8" deep.  Alfred E. Neuman is 3-1/4" tall.  Coin slot is in front on top of the base and there is a 1" diameter hole in the bottom with no stopper.  The front has a $ at each corner and 'Me - Worry?' across the middle.  Bank is in good condition with no chips or cracks.'  My first impression is that the bank was created by Moseley or was created by taking an impression of that bust.  I think it is the latter because the C.B.M. initials are not described.  Anybody know the history?"

 

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 little off 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. 58 January 2000

Cover: Drawing of Y2K Guru by Kent Gamble

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):  (drawing of Santa Alf)

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and survived all of the Y1K bugs.  I got a few newer items that I didn't have in my collection.  I gave my son Keith a copy of the Spy vs. Spy Big Book.  That MAD feature is his favorite.  He was surprised that Antonio Prohias had written and drawn features others than Spy vs. Spy.  I enjoyed reading them again, as you don't often see them.  My two boys are in the 6th (Keith) and 9th (Brian) grade and both had an occasion to wear the MAD Alfred E. Neuman tie by Ralph Marlin.  My daughter wanted no part of it.  I asked each of the boys what their classmates thought of it.  Only one of Keith's classmates recognized Alfred E. Neuman.  The most common comment was: 'Why is Santa missing a tooth?'  Almost everyone who commented to Brian knew it was Alfred E. Neuman, but one thought he was the guy from MAD TV.  I hope that the 11-year-olds find out someday what they are missing!  Stay MAD, Ed

Totally MAD (Yes) Again!  (photos of envelope and ads)

I'm sure you were hoping to find something different starting on this page, but I'm doing it again; another feature on the Totally MAD CD set.  I received another mailing from Broderbund, and besides the item itself, there are a few things to note.  The envelope picture above measures 9" x 6", which is larger than the previous mailing.  It's basically the same design, except the new offer is for one free gift, while the first mailing offered two free gifts.  Broderbund has also added one word: 'Our Price Cheap!' on the lower right.  The price has been dropped to $59.00, as shown on the picture on the left.  You'll notice the free gift is the software product Dogz, your virtual pet.  This product has no connection with MAD, other than it appearing as a free gift.  I don't know if MAD had to approve the giveaway or not, but it sure fits their CHEAP image.  Pictured on the left is basically the same as the first mailing except for the notice of the Dogz software and the price.  The inside reflects the new gift and the price tag, as does the back of this color glossy sheet.  The biggest change for the collector that needs everything is the box.  Pictured below is the back of the envelope.  Notice the box in the lower left corner - the free toilet paper graphic is missing.  My guess is that Broderbund did this so when the Dogz software fails to attract buyers, they can stick in a real MAD premium and not have to change the box again.  At least I hope that's the reason.  I didn't get this 'new' set yet, but I hope Dogz is better than the free fonts we got for registering the software!  Broderbund should stick to giving away MAD related stuff.  There is one item I don't have.  Mike Slaubaugh reports that there is a Totally MAD reviewer's guide.  This is a spiral bound 32-page, 8.5" x 11" book separated into nine sections.  Very professionally made with great color graphics and, lots of promo information, tidbits, etc.  By far, the coolest of all the promo items!

Request for Comments

Much of the Internet and the services available on it were built based upon RFCs (Request for Comments).  RFC822 (ARPA Internet Text Messages) has a number of Alfred E. Neuman references.  I guess the Dept. of Electrical Engineering at the University of Delaware must have been MAD fans.  A.1.1. Alfred Neuman; A.1.2. Neuman - BBN-TENEXA - These two 'Alfre Neuman' examples have identical semantics, as far as the operation of the local host's mail sending (distribution) program (also sometimes called its 'mailer') and the remote host's mail protocol server are concerned.  In the first example, the 'Alfred Neuman' is ignored by the mailer, as 'Neuman-BBN-TENEXA' completely specifies the recipient.  The second example contains no superfluous information, and, again, 'Neuman-BBN-TENEXA is the intended recipient; A.3.2. Using some of the additional fields; A.3.3. About as complex as you're going to get. (with user information.)  [And if you didn't know, BBN is Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc.]

Check out this site: popculture,com/coll1299/mad

Mark Cohen - December 19, 1999 - We'll miss you Mark! R.I.P.

Hacking Totally MAD

Recently I was poking around in the newsgroups and I found this information posted by Colin Hemming.  I hope you find it interesting: I have recently bought the Totally MAD collection of 7 CDs and found a couple of features of the Veeblefetzer less than perfect: in particular, the limited range of resolutions at which you can view a page.  I have poked around a bit and have come up with the following way of improving things.  (Note to non-techies: this may appear like gobbledly-gook but just follow the instructions and everything will work out fine.)  1.  Ensure that Totally MAD is not running.  (If you're not sure what to do if it is running.  (If you're not sure what to do if it is running, then stop reading now - this process is too complicated for you); 2.  Open Windows Explorer (Start Button - Programs - Windows Explorer) and go to the folder where you installed the Totally MAD programs.  If you don't know where this folder is go to step 3.  If you do, then locate the file called cnm,ini and go to step 4; 3. To find the folder where you installed the Totally MAD programs, from within Windows Explorer: select (Tools - Find - Files or Folders) in the 'Named' box type 'cnm.ini' drop down the 'Look in' box and select 'My Computer' make sure the 'Include subfolders' box is checked click the 'Find now' button.  After a few seconds you will see 'Cnm.ini' appear in the main box under the 'Name' column.  If there is more than one you will probably find that one is on your CD drive and the other is on your hard drive.  Locate the one on your hard drive; 4. Double-click on your cnm.ini file and one of the following will happen: Either - Notepad (or some other program) will open showing lines of text, starting: ]Version] - Name=Totally MAD - This is fine, go to step 5.  Or - an 'Open With' dialogue box appears, with a list of programs in the main box; scroll down this list until you see 'Notepad', click on it and then click the 'OK Button'.  You should then see the Notepad window described above.; 5. Scroll down the file until you see a section headed [IssueViewer].  Within this section you will see a line that reads: ScaleFactorList=0.20,0.25,0.35,0.50.0.75,1.0,2.0 - Yes - these are the scale factors that are used in the 'zoom' control in the veeblefetzer (20%, 25$ etc.).  You can change these to have as many or as few as you wish, just type your new factors into the line and delete the unwanted ones as you would with a word processor, and make sure you have a comma and a space between each factor.  When you are finished, save the file from within Notepad on your other editor (File - Save), exit the editor (File - Exit) and (re-)start Totally MAD - you will see your new factors; 6.[a] What works best for you will depend on the size of your monitor and your screen resolution.  I have a 17-inch monitor running at 1024 x 768 and I have found: ScaleFactorList=0.20, 0.25, 0.35, 0.50, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, 1.0, 1,25, 1,5, 1,75, 2.0 works very well.  You may find that a totally different set fits your monitor and your style of viewing - you can of course change these factors as often as you wish to fine-tune them for your situation; 6.[b] Another thing which annoyed me a little with the program is that it starts with the Trash Heap.  What I want to do with the program (fool that I am) is read the magazines, not navigate through what I consider to be, well, a heap of trash.  I have found that you can bypass the Trash Heap and go straight into the Cover Browser as follows: open the cnm.ini file for editing as described above, find the section headed [Startup] replace the line 'Startup=MadTrashHeap' with the line 'Startup=MadCoverBrowser'.  You may find it convenient just to disable the first line by putting a semi-colon in front of it and typing in the second line.  This makes it easier to revert to the Trash Heap if you want to at some later date.  I have done this and my Startup Section looks like: [Startup] ;Starup=MadIssueViewer pieceuid=813062018 ;Startup=MadTrashHeap Startup+MadCoverBrowser; 7. Readers can stop here.  I hope this has been of help and your grateful thanks will be gratefully received; 8. Don't blame me if you screw up your ini file to the extent that your program doesn't work!  Didn't I tell you to make a backup before you started messing with it?  Hah - didn't I?  [Oh, no, I didn't.  Luckily, there's a (backup) copy of it on every CD.]

Great Moments on eBay  (photocopy of eBay items list)

I recently did a keyword search with the words MAD and RARE.  I wanted to find those unusual items that I don't have in my collection, nor do many of the other collectors.  I was thrilled I was able to find 16 rare items.  I thought to myself: 'How will I afford all of these things?'  I printed the list and headed to the basement to see what I was missing.  'Spy vs. Spy Die-Cast Car,' nope have that.  Good!  That saved a few dollars.  'MIB! RARE! MAD Magazine Alfred E. Waterball,' dodged another wallet buster.  A 'What Me Worry Doll,' from Spencer Gifts no less!  Wow, an issue of MAD #143.  Maybe if it's in Mint++++ I can upgrade!  A 'Mad Boxed Set'; did anyone actually label any of these items correctly?  Yes, it's f Princess LeiaThe MAD Scene!  I don't own that set and judging by the high bid of $67.66 for a set in good condition (box very faded) this seller was correct.  Oh well, I can't be high bidder on all of these items.  Wonder what condition the 'RARE Close Encounters in Mad Magazine, 1978' item is in?  Cool!  It's in poor shape bu it comes in plastic sleeve.  This is rare!  I've never seen one below VF condition for sale before!  What other rare items can I get: MAD #100, MAD #103 or MAD #107?  No, I go for the item 'Mad Magazine Trading Cards - Rare - Series 1' for the opening bid of $0.75 in a Dutch auction of 10 sets.  Drat!  I forgot to bid and so did everyone else.  I hope the seller puts those 10 sets back into the safe!

Garry Moore Photograph  - (photo and blow-up) - This is a 7" x  9" publicity photo from the 1950s.  Pictured in the black and white photo is TV personality Garry Moore (from the TV show I've Got a Secret) and directly behind him is a portrait of Moore with MAD magazine's mascot Alfred E. Neuman!  According to Jay Lynch, the 'Alfred E. Neuman' portrait was used on Barry Moore's CBS morning show circa 1954.  It was supposed to be a composite of the various cast members' facial features as taken from photographs.  Since the artist's job was to come up with a portrait of the 'Me Worry?' kid, he or she achieved this by reducing or enlarging features, pasting them in the appropriate place and then airbrushing the entire thing.  This would have been before 'Alfred' began his long stint as MAD magazine's mascot.

Postcard - (drawing of 'Me Worry?' Mortimer Snerd) - This postcard pictures Mortimer Snerd, who was the Country Bumpkin friend of Charlie McCarthy.  Edgar Bergen added this character to the 'cast' in 1939.  Not sure of the date for this one.

What's New - (t-shirt photo) - The Dale Creasy Jr. racing t-shirt pictured below can be ordered online.  The shirt is described as: Item IRTA143-A Dale Creasy, Jr. Caution Student Driver Humorous tee recognizing the MAD car's newest driver.  Alfred and crossbones on front with rendering of the new black and gold funny car on back.  $22.00 to $26.00 depending on size.  If you don't have access to the web, you could try calling.  I don't know if they will take an order or not via the phone.

Cracked #341 - (photocopies of cover) - Alfred E. Neuman appears on the upper left-hand corner of the cover to Cracked #341, January 2000.  Pictured on the right ('Y2K? What Us Worry?') is a close-up of that graphic.  No other MAD or Alfred E. Neuman references appear in this issue.

Overstreet Price Guide - The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide 30th Edition will have two EC related covers for the year 2000.  Al Feldstein will do a horror cover featuring the Crypt Keeper, the Old Witch, the Vault-Keeper, and Drusilla.  Al Williamson will do a science-fiction cover.  Look for it this Spring.

Sergio Aragones Comics - (photo of comic book cover and barber shop drawing) - The comic pictured on the left is a one-shot from Dark Horse Comics.  Mark Evanier teams up with Aragones once again, as does Stan Sakai and Tom Luth.  Luth doesn't have much to do as only the front and back covers are in color.  Although impossible to see in the picture to the right, Aragones has an issue of MAD on the table in the lower right corner.

Sergio Stomps Star Wars - (comic book cover photo) - Sergio Aragones also has another new comic, Sergio Stomps Star Wars, one-shot being released in February 2000.  This will be a 32-page comic in which Mark Evanier again subjects himself to Aragones' madness.  Aragones himself winds up coming face-to-face with the heroic Luke Skywalker, the wise Yoda, and the deadly Darth Maul.  Aragones is a Jedi Knight trying to win the hand of Princess Leia.  Dark Horse Comics is the publisher.  Make sure you ask your local comic dealer to hold one for you.

MAD Racing Hat - (photo of hat) - You can order the hat pictured on the left for $24 from the NHRA online store.  The URL is listed below.  The description reads: Truly an electrifying design.  The Mad logo and Alfred highlight the embroidery that makes this hat so much fun.  Sizes available: One Size Fits Most.

Antikamnia Paperweight - (photo) - Bob Barrett was lucky enough to find this Antikamnia paperweight picturing the 1908 calendar image of Alfred E. Neuman.  This is a glass paperweight with a full color decal attached to the bottom.  It is 2-3/4" wide x 4-1/8' high.  It says: 'For Pain and Fever, Headaches, Neuralgias and Nervousness' at the top, 'Pain about the Teeth' in the center, and 'Didn't hurt a bit' at the bottom left.  At the bottom in very small type it says: 'Distributed by the Antikamnia Chemical Co,'  It is printed by the early stone litho process.  It has a small hole in the decal on side of his head.  Any time Bob wants to part with it, I'd be willing to trade this for it: Mad Magazine Trading Cards - RARE - Series I.  I might even be persuaded to trade up to 10 packs!"

 

THE MAD PANIC No. 59 March 2000

Cover: Drawing of Alfred as Abe Lincoln by Kent Gamble

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

I didn't realize this until I sat down to write this editorial; I'm the first one to release a MAD fanzine in two different centuries!  If John Hett had waited 4 days before sending out his last issue, he would have been the first.  But, once again John has to play second fiddle to my lead.  Once again it's time to let you know that the Annual MAD Interest List will appear in the next issue.  If you were listed in last year's list and want to be again, do nothing.  If you don't want to be listed again, let me know.  If you weren't in last year's list and want to be listed in this year's list, let me know what to publish (name, address, phone, and email).  Remember, if you're listed you might receive mail from deranged individuals looking to buy, sell, and trade MAD stuff.  Someone at MAD must have been promoted for this idea.  Instead of releasing 2 different covers on a regular issue, they did it on their XL edition.  A regular issue costs $2.50 x 2 = $5.00; the XL issue costs $4.99 x 2 = $9.98, which allows MAD to get another $4.98 gross from collectors!  Stay MAD, Ed

Don Martin, January 6, 2000 - R.I.P. (drawings of cockroach clerk, angry boss and runaway power saw)

 I have my favorite MAD artists and writers, and then there is Don Martin.  He's the artist/writer that got me interested in MAD and later got me buying CRACKED.  How he's not everyone's all-time favorite is beyond me.  A few of the artists could create more polished art, and some writers could write better stuff, but it was in issue after issue that I went looking for Don Martin's stuff first.  He was consistently funny.  I now know Don Martin had some help along the way in his later years, but that doesn't matter.  The end product was Don Martin!  It was funny!  I know the artists and writers of MAD's glory years are at an age when we shouldn't be shocked to hear that one of them has passed away.  But, I still am!  Wherever Don Martin may be, I'm sure he's back to cartooning and those around him are laughing!

New York Times Obituary - January 8, 2000 - Don Martin, 'Mad's Maddest Artist,' Is Dead at 68

Don Martin, the Mad magazine cartoonist with a rubbery slapstick style whom the magazine billed as 'Mad's maddest artist,' died on Thursday at the Baptist Hospital in Miami.  He was 68.  The cause was cancer, said Christine Thompson, a hospital spokeswoman.  Mr. Martin's hapless characters inhabited a topsy-turvy, Kafka-esque world in which a hotel guest complaining about cockroaches might discover that the desk clerk himself was a giant cockroach, complete with four arms, stubble, cigar and irately quivering antennae.  His prototypical drawing was a jug-eared, slack-jawed, knock-kneed and hinge-footed man impervious to all types of mayhem, even when he is tap-dancing over an open manhole and bouncing off a skyscraper beam.  After his first cartoon to Mad in 1956, Mr. Martin continued to draw for the magazine until 1987, when he left to work for a rival magazine, Cracked, because of disagreements over reprint rights with Mad's publisher, William M. Gaines.  Like many other magazines, Mad pays artists on a work-for-hire basis and reserves the profitable reprint rights.  Mr. Martin felt so strongly about the issue that he testified before a Congressional subcommittee on the rights of freelance artists.  Paperback collections of Mr. Martin's previously unpublished cartoons were issued starting in 1962 with 'Don Martin Steps Out!' and have sold more than seven million copies.  His gags fit in well with the 'sick' school of the 1950's humor, but his loose, kinetic style and outrageously physical form of attack brought the strips into their own dimension.  Like latter-day Harold Lloyds, his characters named Fonebone and Captain Klutz were at odds with the modern world.  Machinery was always the enemy, from power tools to steam rollers to things as simple as a paper-towel dispenser.  Mr. Martin elevated the comic book sound effect to new onomatopoetic heights.  In his wacky world, a squirting flower went SHKLITZA, and recalcitrant meals of spaghetti or pizza made inimitably meaty sounds.  Each form of physical torture had its own exquisite sound: getting slapped in the face with a wet mackerel went SPLADAP, while getting conked with a frying pan went PWANG.  His own vanity license plate read SHTOINK.  He attributed his style to influences as diverse as the grotesque characters of Bosch, the manic energy of the Warner Brothers cartoons and the elegant line of Al Hirschfeld.  Mr. Martin's admirers included Gary Larson, known for the twisted humor of 'The Far Side.'  An animated version of Mr. Martin's cartoons also appeared briefly on Fox Television's 'Mad TV.'  Mr. Martin was born in Passaic, N.J., grew up in Brookside, N.J., and attended public school in Morristown, N.J.  'It is interesting that all three towns deny any and all of this information,' he wrote in the 1970's.  He then studied at the Newark School of Fine Art for three years and graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Art in Philadelphia.  He drew despite a degenerative eye condition for which he underwent corneal transplants.  To produce his last strips, he needed to wear special contact lenses that caused great discomfort and to work with a magnifying glass.  He is survived by his wife, Norma; a son, Max; a brother, Ralph; and a grandson.  (The above was written by Eric Nash.)

The Tampa Tribune Obituary - January 8, 2000 - Don Martin, Mad cartoonist, dies (photocopies of Cracked cover and three other Martin drawings)

MIAMI - Don Martin, longtime Mad magazine cartoonist who drew an assortment of wild-haired characters, punctuating the grotesque action with wacky words like SPLOP! and POIT!, has died.  He was 68.  Martin dies of cancer at Baptist Hospital, hospital spokeswoman Christine Thompson said today,  During his 30-odd years as Mad contributor, Martin based his humor on misery and misfortune to crack 'sick' jokes.  The magazine dubbed him 'Mad's Maddest Cartoonist.'  The guy poisoning pigeons in the park -- 'I hate pigeons' -- winds up killing the people who gather around to sample his scrumptious popcorn.  Mona Lisa, as the reader realizes only in the last frame of the strip, is sitting on a toilet.  Hapless boobs with big feet get squashed in all manner of ways.  'There's always been physical suffering in comedy,' he once said.  'Even ancient clowns kicked each other in he seat of the pants or hit each other over the head.  It's the same thing in our time, just a little stronger.'  The cartoons had a vocabulary all their own.  SHKLIP was the sound made when construction workers tossed concrete at each other.  SPLOP described a surgeon throwing body parts into a doggie bag.  FAGROON came from a collapsing skyscraper.  His license plate read SHTOINK.  "Is it funny?  That's the only test I know when it comes to cartooning,' Martin once said.  'Not whether it's sick, or whether it's going to ruin people's values or morals.  You only have to ask a simple question: Is it funny?'  His twisted approach influenced generations of younger cartoonists.  'Don Martin was the one who really stood out,' Gary 'The Far Side' Larson told The Miami Herald in 1990.  'I really always loved his work. He was such a great artist.'  Martin left Mad magazine in 1987 after a falling-out with its publisher, the late William Gaines, accepting a job at Cracked, a competitor.  Martin chafed at the tradition that Mad, like most publishers, retained all rights to reprint and profit from his work that is used, paying him on a freelance basis.  But he put out paperbacks of cartoons not published in the magazine, eventually selling more than 7 million copies.  Martin drew despite a degenerative eye condition that forced him to undergo cornea transplants, wear special, highly uncomfortable contact lenses and use a magnifying glass while drawing.  'He was a shy and retiring sort of guy, considering he drew a comic strip that was crazy,' said a longtime friend, Laurence Donovan.  Martin was born in Clifton, N.J.  He began his undergraduate work at the Newark Institute.  He earned a fine arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  He began submitting drawings to the fledgling Mad magazine in the mid-1950's.  (The above was an Associated Press report.)

The Illustrations - Page 3 - This illustration was used by The New York Times in their obituary.  It's from MAD #86, April 1964, page 26.  'In The Acme Ritz Central Arms Waldorf Plaza Hotel;'  Page 4, top - First Don Martin in MAD #29, September 1956, page 23. 'Alfred E. Neuman Answers Your Questions;'  Page 4, bottom - Don Martin character with power tool from MAD #156, January 1973, page 19. 'New Power Tools For The Home Craftsman;'  Page 5 - Don Martin's second swimsuit cover from CRACKED #298, May 1995;  Top left - This is preliminary cover art, submitted to then editor Al Feldstein for approval for the 1970s MAD paperback Don Martin Comes on Strong.  The art is colored pencil on sketch paper, and there is no fading of the colors.  Sheet size is 75." x 10.5";  Bottom, left - Black & white sketch (on 8.5" x 11" paper) entitled 'Big Bucks' Farts.'  It indicates the art was for Swedish Klutz II;  Above - Black & white cover rough for the paperback book Don Martin Pushes Ahead.

Cracked Magazine's Web Page - (screen shot of Don Martin cover) - The following tribute to Don Martin appeared on the CRACKED web site.  It pictures the first Fon Martin swimsuit cover.

MAD #1 Millennium Edition - (photocopy of comic pages) - Tom Anderson pointed out that there are two versions of this comic.  The first version, pictured to the right, left off the credits to William Gaines and Harvey Kurtzman.  The second version added both, but only William Gaines' name can be seen in the picture to the left.  Not sure how many of each version was produced.

What's New

Creasy Photograph - (photo of car) - This 8x10" photograph was taken at the Autolite Nationals at Sears Point, 1999.  The photos are $10 each plus $3 for s&h per order.  California residents must add 7.375% tax.  You can order this full color photo from: John's Racing Photos.

Warner Brothers Print - (with photocopy) - Tim Johnson sends along this information: There is a new Alfred E. Neuman  color print entitled 'See Ecch, Hear Ecch, Speak Ecch' that became available January 10.  The print borrows its theme from the Golden Trashery of MAD hardcover book, where we have Alfred covering his eyes, ears, and mouth, each in its own pose.  The artist is Mark Stutzman, and the print is limited to 350 pieces.  It measures 21"x42" framed, and retails for $250.

Filler from Mike Slaubaugh:  This may be too obscure for even the most hardcore MAD addict, but on episode #95 (Fall 1986) of the television show St. Elsewhere, Dr. Victor Ehrlich (played by Ed Begley, Jr.) remarks to a nurse: 'I found Mr. McGyver's chart between MAD magazines in the gift shop.'

Tales of Terror! - The EC Companion - (photocopies of two book covers and a tip-in sheet) - Grant Geissman informs us that his next project, with Fred von Bernewitz, has been signed by Gemstone and should be released late Spring or early Summer.  It's an update of the famous EC Checklists series, which von Bernewitz and Joe Vucenic produced.  This book has a ton of information on the EC history.  It also pictures all of the EC comics in full color.  Pictured on the left is the hardcover edition.  The book will also be published as a softcover, pictured below.  And what would the collectibles field be like without a limited edition version of the book.  It will have a tip-in sheet autographed by Al Feldstein, George Evans, Marie Severin, Sheldon Moldoff, Joe Orlando, Jack Davis, Adele Kurtzman, Angelo Torres, Nick Meglin, Jerry DeFuccio, Johnny Craig, Al Williamson, Fred von Bernewitz and Grant Geissman.  A special William Gaines rubber stamp was also made and incorporated into the tip-in.  The tip-in is pictured on the left.  There will only be 500 copies of this edition.  I'm sure they will go fast.  I asked Grant why a few MAD references weren't included.  He thought they would be more appropriatein his updated Collectibly MAD book, which is under proposal consideration.  I can hardly wait for this one!

The Journal of MADness - (photocopy of button) - John Hett is releasing a special issue: The Journal of MADness #8-1/2.  It is the Tom Koch Supplemental Issue, and it must be ordered by May 1, 2000 for $6.50.  John will only print as many as are ordered!  John is also offering this pinback button, for $3.50, to anyone who subscribes or renews his or her subscription, $20 for 4 issues, before May 1, 2000.  There are back issues of The Journal of MADness available.  Issues #3 and #4 are $6,50 each.  Both in very short supply.  Issues #5-8 are available for $5.00 each.  Folks outside of the United States shouls contact John for postage rates.

Great Moments on eBay - (photocopy of shirt material) - About a month ago this shirt, listed as a MAD collectible, went up for bid starting at $3.00.  The auction ended at the same price for the very lucky MAD collector.  I'm still trying to figure out which part looks like Alfred E. Neuman.  The description read: Out of MY Way!  This shirt will make its own way through a crowd!  The driver of these bumper cars looks kinda like Alfred E. Newman [sic] and shouts 'Move Over'; 'Here I Cone'; 'Krash!'  Nice bright colors, three button neck closure, 100% cotton, marked 'XS'.  Looks like it would fit a very petite lady or a larger child.  24" long.  Very good used condition.

1947 Calendar - (photo of calendar) - This calendar was printed in 1946 as an advertising piece for an insurance company.  The print reads as follows: (the question marks indicate text that can not be read) 'Hello, World!  Me Worry?  I Should Say Not!  My Dad Insures With PERCY AGENCY, Inc.  (?)  Baton Rouge Louisiana (?)  Seasons Greetings 1947'  The Alfred E. Neuman image is in black & white, and the calendar is printed on a cream colored stock.

Filler: Mike Slaubaugh tells us: Tim Johnson recently sent some humorous observations by comedian Steven Wright, including the following: 'Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it!'  Sound familiar?  Check out the Alfred E. Neuman quote  that appeared in the masthead of MAD #204 from January 1979: 'Experience is something you never have until just after you need it!'"

 

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. 61 January 2001

Cover:  Drawing of Chef Alfred by Kent Gamble

"Editorial Dept. (Not Much To Say But Fills Space Division):

Yes, I'm still alive and so is this fanzine.  I don't know where the time went.  After missing the July issue, I thought I'd have the September issue done on schedule.  The same for the November issue when I missed the September issue.  Now that the normally scheduled January issue is due, you're receiving it early.  So you really don't have anything to complain about!  I wasn't planning on taking up most of this issue with the article about MAD's 400th issue, but I thought it had some great insight and felt it was worth the space.  A lot of new stuff has been released since May, and I thought about adding some if not all of it in this issue but now most of you know about those products.  If you don't, check out Dick's [Hanchette] web site for a complete list.  He does a great job posting the new products.  I hope to have the next issue out on time -- March 2001.  I really want to get this fanzine back on a regular schedule.  Thanks for sticking by me and I'll see you in two months.  Stay MAD, Ed

The Vote MAD Funny Car  (photo of MAD funny car)

 The following article will contain some information about Dale Creasy Jr.'s new MAD funny car and some of the merchandising surrounding it.  The first piece is a press release.

Alfred E. Neuman for President - Burbank, Calif., July 26 - Alfred E. Neuman, the gapped-toothed, grinning MAD Magazine cover boy, will announce his candidacy for President of the United States via the newly designed MAD Racing Pontiac Firebird Funny Car of Dale Creasy Jr. to be unveiled at the Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals in Sonoma, California on Aug. 4.  Alfred E. Neuman has been a candidate in every president election since 1956, except the years in which he had a real shot of winning (1988's Bush/Dukakis matchup, for instance).  Alfred also ran for president in 1967, 1983 and 1995, even though elections weren't held in those years (Alfred figured he'd have a better chance if he were the only candidate running!).  On his candidacy, Neuman pronounced, 'Political campaigns are when voters find out what politicians stand for and politicians find out what voters will fall for!'  'I'm happy to support Alfred's run for office, mainly because I feel sorry for him,' said Dale Creasy Jr.  'We've got the MAD Racing Pontiac Firebird on the right track and we're absolutely guaranteed to have more success than Alfred has had in the political arena.'  In his many bids for the presidency, Alfred has amassed a sizeable (though not impressive) collection of campaign slogans.  Among them: Let's Put Some 'Sap' In The Executive Branch! Neuman For President!; Alfred For President - He Knows How To Spell Potato!; Alfred E. Neuman For President! You Could Do Worse, and Lots of Times You Did!; Put Alfred in the White House! At Least It'll Get Him Off the Streets!; The One Candidate Who Makes You Feel Good - About the Other Candidates! Alfred E. Neuman For President!; Alfred E. Neuman For President - There Are Bigger Idiots Running!  Sports service, Action Performance and Racing Champions will support the campaign with licensed merchandise -- Doug Schneider, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.  Above is the new Vote MAD funny car at the start of a burnout.  Any car that looks this good has to have some merchandise that the collectors will purchase.

Merchandise - (photos of model, hat and shirt) - The first thing is an Action 1/24 scale version of the car.  The easiest place to purchase the diecast cars is on the web.  Many web-based retailers have it in stock.  Features include: a working roof-flap, tail wing struts, working steering, plug wires, and underbody structure.  Only 4,420 cars were made.  Also available on the web is this cap - Dale Creasy, Jr. Vote MAD Cap IRHW143-C.  A political star is on the horizon.  So when you cast your ballot in November ... remember the little message on the back of this cap.  Snap adjust.  Sizes available: One size fits most. $24,00.  Also available from NHRA Stuff is this t-shirt.  Creasy Jr., 'Vote MAD' IRTA143-C.  The only candidate running on a Nitro-powered platform to add horsepower to this country.  Alfred throws his hat into the ring on this off the wall T.  Sizes Available: M, L, XL, XXL $20.00; $22,00 (2X).  I'm sure more stuff will be released in the next month or two.  Usually a 1/64 scale car and a Racing Champion 1/24 scale version of the car follows the Action release.

Missing Alfred E. Neuman is cause for worry - The Associated Press, STEVENSVILLE (AP) -- Alfred E, Neuman is worried.  The Harris family is also worried, because the giant head of the Mad magazine cover boy is missing from their lawn in this southwestern Michigan community.  The 5-foot-tall, 5-foot-wide statue with the gapped teeth, freckles, big ears and polka-dot hat has graced Richard and Patty Harris' lawn for more than nine years.  Over Halloween weekend, it disappeared.  'When we told the police that Alfred was gone, they said, 'Oh no, they've got Alfred,''  Harris told the Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph for a report Sunday.  The head originally graced a building at an amusement park in Indiana.  It ended up with an antique dealer after the park closed, and then Harris bought it.   'It was an important piece for our family,' she said, only half-jokingly.  'It kind of reflects our family philosophy,' Harris said of Alfred E. Neuman's 'What, me worry?' trademark line.  'When the boys were born, we bought it,' she said.  'that was the outlook we wanted them to have on life.'  Copyright 1999.  The Holland Sentinel.

What, Them Worry?  (photocopy of cover of MAD #400 and photo of Nick Meglin)

As Mad celebrates its 400th issue, its editors wonder how to stay funny in a world gone mad by.  Let's get this out of the way right now, because so many of you will find this hard to believe: Yes, Mad magazine still exists.  It is still being published 48 years after it was created by Harvey Kurtzman and William Gaines, neither of whom lived long enough to see their child reach its 400th issue, which will arrive on November 14.  And it looks very much like the Mad you (or your father, or your grandfather) read forever ago: It still contains its movie parodies, its advertisement send-ups, its familiar features (say, 'The Lighter Side of ...,' the 'Mad Fold-In,' and 'Spy vs. Spy'), its black-and-white pages and slightly off-color jokes.  In fact, if you didn't know better, you might swear a new issue of Mad was filled with nothing but reprints from old issues.  If you read it in 1959 or 1963 0r 1978 or 1982, you know what you will find inside its pages.  Reading it today is like walking through a museum, its exhibits encased in amber.  Mad also still employs old men who worked there in the 1950s and '60s; the so-called Usual Gang of Idiots has changed little in decades and does so really only when one of the idiots drops dead.  Oh, there are the occasional new guys or the random appearances by well-known hipsters (among them Drew Friedman and Peter Kuper, the latter of whom now draws and writes Spy vs. Spy)and the magazine's internship program infuses a little new blood into the aging body.  But most of the children draw and write like the parents who came before them.  The world outside changes -- Frank Sinatra jokes have given way to Backstreet Boys parodies, Lolita has been kicked out by Harry Potter, and Batman rides shotgun with Pikachu -- but the pages inside have not.  Nor has the cover.  Each issue still features a grinning, gap-toothed man-child on its cover.  Yes, Mad is very much alive, kept going in the year 2000 by so many of the very men who were around when Alfred E. Neuman was still in diapers.  Al Jaffee, the creator and keeper of the fold-in 37 years after its inception, recalls when Time referred to Mad as a fad that would soon enough disappear.  'Well, we're still around,' Jaffee says, without mentioning that Time Warner, Time's parent company, owns Mad.  At this very moment, he is finishing the fold-in for the 402nd issue; someone forgot to tell Jaffee, who began working in the comic-book industry in early 1940s, that he could have retired long ago.  Sergio Aragones, who has drawn the tiny wordless cartoons that appear in the margins, the so-called 'Drawn-Out Dramas,' since coming to the United States in 1962, is not surprised Mad is still around, only that he continues to work for it, contributing more than he did in the 1970s.  'I am surprised only that so many of us are still around,' he says, his English still drenched in his native accent.  One of the two men charged with running Mad, coeditor Nick Meglin, has been a Madman almost since its inception, joining the staff shortly after it transformed from comic book to magazine with the July 1955 issue.  Hardly a week goes by that someone tells him they can't believe he's still plugging away at it, overseeing parodies of Dawson's Creek and Pokemon and the WB Network.  At times, he too finds it unfathomable, if only because he joined the staff thinking it would be a short-term gig, a way of killing time till his career illustrating magazines and writing children's books took off after he got out of the Army.  That was more than 40 years ago, when Bill Gaines still ran the magazine like daddy and dictator, taking his staff on annual overseas trips but only if they made quota, meaning they turned in a certain amount of pages a year.  Alfred E. Neuman might have been the magazine's public face, but Gaines -- a corpulent, hirsute, rumpled man whose body gave out in June 1992, when he was 70 -- was its private inspiration.  'Mad went through its greatest growth during the 1950s and '60s, and Bill Gaines created such an atmosphere of fun working for him that I never stopped to think I could be making more elsewhere,' Meglin says, sharing a conference call with his much younger counterpart John Ficarra, who considers himself 'second-generation Mad,'  The two have been coeditors since 1985, when longtime editor Al Feldstein retired to the wide open space of Wyoming and, later, Montana.  'Bill was taking us on trips all around the world, going to great restaurants, having fun with the freelancers who all became my friends, and I don't know of anyone who had a better time.  And the attraction has not changed.  To this day, when Al Jaffee brings in a fold-in, you go, 'Holy Christ, how did he do that?'  Like most things once written off as a fad, Mad has thrived long enough to survive the lean years: Meglin and Ficarra say that circulation hovers around 500,000 copies each month, which is way off from its heyday of the 1970s, when it sold an average of 1.8 to 2.5 million copies every month.  (The best-selling issue was September 1973, which featured a Poseidon Adventure spoof.  The cover, featuring a sinking luxury liner and the floating red high tops of Alfred E. Neuman, was reprised in 1998 for a Titanic parody.  Mad never ripped off antone so much as itself.)  For a while, Mad was the second-best-selling magazine on the newsstands, topped only by TV Guide, but newsstands have gone the way of the Edsel and Eisenhower.  Meglin insists that subscriptions have increased in recent years only because it has become harder and harder to find Mad on the magazine racks.  'It's frustrating knowing the work is good and fewer people are reading it,' Meglin says.  If it's surprising that Mad is still around, it's only because it was long ago supplanted by the very things it helped create: Without Mad, there would have been no National Lampoon, without which there would have been no Second City, without which there would have been no Saturday Night Live, without which there would have been no David Letterman ... and on the list goes, until Mad disappears into a tiny speck in comedy's rearview mirror.  For years, it had no competition; it was class clown in a room filled with bores, but now it's one of dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of jokers in the deck.  We live in a culture of parody -- a culture in which most Americans get their news from David Letterman and The Daily Show, in which new advertisements parody the very products they're pushing, in which The Onion and Modern Humorist offer fake news stories easily mistaken for real.  As such, Mad is no longer required reading.  The aberration has become the norm; the clown has been co-opted and rendered straight man.  'The culture has become hard to top,' Meglin says.  That has become our greatest barrier, the fact we could have never created Monica Lewinsky.  How do you top that?  Well, you can't.  In the past, it was easy, because everything was taken so seriously, and now, less is taken seriously.  But Mad doesn't create, and that's wonderful.  People believe we have done all of these wonderful things through the years, when all we've done is reflect what's going on.  John and I like to use the analogy of a funhouse mirror: We just hold up the mirror to the society, the politics, the culture, whatever is happening, and it's a distorted, exaggerated image for humor's sake, but it's really reflecting an image and not creating one.'  'We can still do things no one else can because of their medium,' Ficarra adds.  'In the 400th issue, we have a takeoff of the children's book Goodnight Moon called 'Goodnight Room,' and it's a dead-on parody of the book, but it's Bill Clinton getting prepared to leave the Oval Office, and it follows the exact same cadence of the book; it's drawn in the same style, but it recounts his eight years in office.  Saturday Night Live is a great show, and Mad TV is a great show, but they can't do that on television.  We are still in print, and when we do print-to-print satire, we're still very strong.  I don't know of anyone else doing it.'  Harvey Kurtzman started Mad in 1952 'out of desperation,' he wrote in his 1991 oversized book From Aargh! to Zap!: Harvey Kurtzman's Visual History of the Comics.  During the late 1940s and early '50s, Kurtzman had been editing and writing EC Comics' war books (among them such titles as Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat), but he had grown tired of researching his stories; it took him weeks to write a single story.  'I needed a less demanding, more lucrative format,' he wrote, 'and I found it in satirical humor.'  Kurtzman had become infatuated with college humor magazines; he became enamored of the 'sledge-hammer' style of humor, the irreverence and rage that gave way to a little thoughtfulness beneath the rowdy and silly surface.  Artists and writers such as Will Elder, Wally Wood, and Jack Davis came on board and turned out such stories as 'Superduperman,' 'Flesh Garden,' 'Mickey Rodent,' 'The Lone Stranger.' and 'Melvin of the Apes,' all of which read like comic-book tales as written by the Marx Brothers.  The story has long been told that when the Senate began cracking down on comics -- after psychiatrist Frederic Wertham published his 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent, in which he suggested that comics promoted violence and sexual deviancy among children -- Mad swiched to its current magazine format to skirt the limitations of the new, government-approved Comics Code.  The Code disallowed violence and sexual content, even when only hinted at; it introduced a new era of Puritanism that nearly killed the industry until the 1960s.  But the truth is, Mad switched to its current format only because Gaines wanted to keep Kurtzman, who wanted to move away from 'the crumminess of the traditional comic-book format  -- the cheap paper, the poor printing, the low price, and all the rest.'  He wanted to create a grown-up magazine, a 'real' magazine, and Gaines agreed to the switch in 1955.  It was not enough: Kurtzman ending up leaving Mad in 1956 even after Gaines offered him 50 percent ownership.  Kurtzman was too ambitious and too restless to remain with his old friend, and he went on to start up a number of ill-fated humor magazines, among them Trump (funded by Hugh Hefner), Humbug, and Help!, the latter of which employed such young nobodies as Woody Allen, and Robert Crumb.  Had he remained with Mad, Kurtzman, who died in 1993 at 68, after struggling with liver cancer and Parkinson's disease, would have been a wealthy, famous man.  Instead, he's merely a legend.  'The only track Harvey was ever on was upgrade, upgrade, upgrade,' says Jaffee, who attended the High School of Music and Art in New York with Kurtzman in the 1940s and worked at Trump and Humbug before joining Mad full-time in 1956.  'Upgrade means spend more money, and Bill was the bankroll, and Harvey was the genius, and Harvey's genius was in saying. 'I want to get Norman Rockwell to do our covers,' and Bill was saying, 'No, no, no, let so-and-so do it, he works cheap,'  Harvey got tired of doing a comic book when he saw that he could be successful with satire, so Bill had to go along with upgrading the magazine.  What he couldn't go along with was upgrading Harvey's share, although he went pretty far.  Hefner appealed to Harvey's sensibilities, because Hefner was willing to plow back the profits and build an empire of good magazines, and he felt Hefner would go along with that, where Bill would fight him every inch of the way.  That's one of the reasons why, no matter what Bill offered Harvey financially, he was still going to go with the dream of Hefner helping him get to Mt. Olympus.'  For years now, Kurtzman's child has felt like a vestige -- an antique always covered in dust, no matter how much Pledge you use.  With its black-and-white illustrations and cache of familiar names who've lingered in the magazine since the 1950s and '60s -- among them such icons as Aragones, Jaffee, and Mort Drucker (most identified as the artist responsible for the movie and TV parodies) -- Mad looks, on the surface, little changed since its heyday.  Even its parodies of South Park, Tom Green, Britney Spears, and Behind the Music seem one step behind the times; they look like something lifted from an issue printed in 1972, despite the up-to-the-minute subject matter.  Reading Mad today is little different than watching MTV in black-and-white; it makes today seem a little bit like yesterday.  The editors will admit that has certainly led to its decline in readership: Its once-faithful readers have grown up, even if Mad cannot and will not.  'We're black-and-white in a color world,' Meglin says.  'It feels like we're coming from the days of black-and-white television, and on top of that, it's drawn in the narrative format that comic books and comic strips are still part of, so people think it's less adult than text, so they move on before they should.  Their sensibility may still be very well wrapped in Mad's material and Mad's approach, but they're at the age where they don't want to appear in a subway car or a bus reading an issue of Mad and not a grown-up magazine, if you will.  That has a negative effect on readership.'  Mad has struggled to remain relevant in the age of Howard Stern and Eric Cartman; long-gone are the West Side Story and Ladies' Home Journal parodies, replaced instead by such features as 'Monroe,' featuring a troublemaking kid,, his porn-obsessed dad, and a mother who's always falling out of her teeny bikini.  And the magazine has become obsessed with sex and shit jokes; Mad, which once refused to work blue, is working brown.  And while Aragones insists he loves the evolutin '' 'Hey, I laugh at a lot of fart jokes,' he says, chuckling -- Meglin has struggled with the inevitable change, which began in April 1997, when Alfred E. Neuman appeared on the cover of the magazine Xeroxing his ass.  'This culture has become coarser, because of South Park, which could thrive because of Howard Stern, which could thrive because of something else prior to him that pushed the envelope,' Meglin says.  'Because we reflect all those changes, Mad has become coarser, so I see an evolution, and this is hard for me to convince people of, but in some cases, I see us doing work that is superior to what we used to do.  My frustration comes in that our readership was so much larger then; our exposure was greater then than now.  I want to say, 'Hey, people, remember us?  We're better now.  Take a look!'  Aside from the coarse things, which I personally don't like, there's always been a place for all these voices.  Personally, I am not comfortable with this.'  'If Nick did not work here,' Ficarra says, 'he would not be an audience we're writing for.  At all.  Although, Nick, one of your favorite features is 'Monroe,' which is very funny but one of the edgier things we do.  I think everybody has different lines in the sand about what they find objectionable; someone else may be really put off by death humor.  But all of these things are in Mad, and everyone will be turned off by one particular thing, and hopefully, we balance it out so if you don't like one thing, you can turn the page and get something else coming at ya.  For every doggy-doo gag, there's a Shakespeare takeoff.'  'Yeah.' says Meglin, 'like Hamlet walking in dog shit.'  Ficarra doesn't waste the set-up line.  'Feces or not feces,' ne says, giggling, 'That is the question.'  (Copyright New Times, Inc. November 2, 2000)"

What's New - (photo of t-shirt) - Look for a new MAD t-shirt that isn't anything to rave about.  For $20.95 or $22.95 for an XXL you receive a pretty cheap looking shirt.  But it's a MAD shirt so you might as well purchase one before you pay double that on eBay next year.

Revell recently reissued the Aurora Alfred E. Neuman model.  You can purchase it for a lot less than an original, plus you won't feel guilty when you build it and give it a horrible paint job.  Revell put some new graphics on the back of the box.  Look for it in hobby stores near you.

Special MAD Auction - MAD Magazine Founder, Bill Gaines' Stuff

Annie Gaines and her family will be moving to Ireland next summer, and she will be moving just a few of her MAD treasures.  The others will be appearing in Tim Johnson's upcoming auction.  Among the items included are: a MAD beach towel, Alfred E. Neuman (Newman) bust, a gold German Alfred bust, loads of foreign MAD magazines and paperback books, foreign MAD premiums, foreign EC comic hardcovers, MAD clothing (ties, hats, boxer shorts, t-shirts, and even a pair of bikini underwear), mint condition MAD hardcover books (including a factory-sealed copy of the Ridiculously Expensive MAD), Bill Gaines' personal belongings, items from the desk of Bill Gaines ... and the list goes on!  Catalogs are fully illustrated and cost $8, shipping is FREE!  The catalogs are currently in production, and will be shipped in mid to late January.  The free shipping will be in effect for any quantity ordered.  Please email Tim with any questions or comments.  Payment must be made by cash or money order (a check is OK, but only if Tim has dealt with you before) and should be sent to Tim in Milwaukee.

Why? - (photocopy of envelope) - Why did someone have Aragones sign an Alfred E. Smith FDC cache?  Wished I owned it!"

 

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