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Posts Tagged ‘Mad Magazine

“What, me worry?”*…



When Tales Calculated to Drive You MAD—Humor in a Jugular Vein first appeared in 1952, it was like nothing ever seen before. The comic book parodied comic books, which were then under assault as purveyors of violence and degeneracy that contributed to delinquency, homosexuality, and, of course, the spread of communism. Mad made fun of all that, too.

Within three years, the publication became Mad Magazine, a name change that allowed it to flaunt the prohibitions of the Comics Code Authority. The CCA was an industry effort to tone down comics and hold state censorship at bay. Soon television, movies, advertising, and politics all joined comics as fodder for Mad’s mordant humor. Indeed, the takeaway of Mad was that all of the above were forms of advertising.

Nathan Abrams argues that Mad’s non-partisan critique of Cold War America had more effect than the more famous New York intellectuals working for DissentCommentary, and Partisan Review… No icon was safe: Mickey Mouse, Khrushchev, Joe McCarthy, Superman, George Washington, Norman Rockwell, Madison Avenue, and psychoanalysis all become grist for the writers and artists working in the gap-toothed Alfred E. Neuman’s mill…

How Mad Magazine Informed America’s Cultural Critique

* Alfred E. Newman


As we honor our elders, we might recall that it was on this date in 1939 that one of Mad‘s targets– Superman– went wide into the culture: the daily Superman comic strip premiered. (Superman, the character, had debuted in the comic Action #1 the prior year.)  The strips ran continuously until May 1966; at their peak they were run in over 300 daily newspapers and 90 Sunday papers, with a readership of over 20 million.

superman source


Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 16, 2019 at 1:01 am

Bling, bling…

Designer Alexander Amosu’s $100,000+ suit

In these days of economic challenge, parsimony is the reigning virtue: cheap is the new black…  still, a few carry the torch of acquisitive aspiration.  One can find a passel of pointers to opportunities to consume more or less conspicuously  at The Most Expensive Journal.

As we read it and weep, we might spare a grateful thought for Bill Gaines and Harvey Kurtzman; aon this date in 1952 they published the first issue of Mad (appropriately called the “October-November” issue :-)…  When asked to cite Mad‘s philosophy, Gaines responded, “We must never stop reminding the reader what little value they get for their money!” (or, in Art Spiegelman’s gloss:  “The message Mad had in general is ‘The media is lying to you, and we are part of the media.’ It was basically… ‘Think for yourselves, kids.'”)


source: Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site

Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 8, 2009 at 1:01 am

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