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A mad look at MAD!

By: | Apr 05, 2003 04:52 AM

Hi frendz,

Thanx for the ''overwhelming'' response for my earlier contribution (Archer's Sons of Fortune: almost 90% rated my post as thrash!!) Well guess it deserved it, but still I stand by my opinion, this Archer is not even worth a glance. But now I have decided to move on to something better and lighter. Itz a magazine, and the name itself indicates itz attitude: ''The Mad''.

Mad about Mad!!

Almost 10 years ago, one of my schoolmates introduced me to Mr.Alfred E Neuman (Mascot of MAD) and since then he hasn’t stopped me smiling!! Be careful.. He laughs at you and at everything about and around you; but don’t worry (what?! Me worry?!) he laughs mostly at himself!! (I can sense a faint smile in the faces of all those readers who are still hooked to Mr.Neuman!)

MAD had its most glorious time during 70s and 80s. Those guys Literally made a living by laughing at anything from Vietnam to Elvis, from coldwar to Reagan's closet, they satirized American culture. MAD was also noted for its absence of advertising. Back then the cover said it was ''35 cents - cheap!'' Now the looks have been changed, all pages are in color, MADvertising is on, quality gone down and as if to compensate(!), the price has gone up.

Why shall one read Mad?

1.The legendary cover pages. Almost all feature Neuman. Quite often the theme tends to be repetitive. But sometimes they really are prophetic. (Plz visit collectmad.com/madcoversite to flip thru MAD covers of all editions.)

2.Editorial and mails. Stupid answers by Ed to ridiculous queries!! Don’t miss out the snaps of the celebrities looking dumb holding MAD. Hats off, ''usual gang of idiots''!

3.'' Spy Vs Spy '' by the Spanish cartoonist Antonio Prohias, who according to Mr.Neuman knows only three words in English and two of them happens to be spy!

4.'' The lighter side of .... (anything under sun) series '' even though the cartoons are not so catchy, the punch lines usually are.

5.''A mad look at .... (anything under sun) series '' I loved the stuff on boy bands and on terrorism training camps (it indeed was prophetic!)

  1. Marginal cartoons resting on the corners of almost all pages. They are often the funniest section of the magazine.

  2. The best part: Don Martin cartoons. The drawings are too good, not even a single stroke in those sketches looks odd. The expressions and features of the characters, the backdrop, shading.. Infact everything is so perfect that three generations got hooked to this space.

8.''Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions'' by Al Jaffee : You often feel that you should have given these answers to some idiot who just might had asked you those questions.

  1. Fold-In back cover. Al Jaffee started it as a parody of Playboy's foldout cheesecake centre fold pictures. But I dont know whether playboy still comes out with such foldouts!! (Plz enlighten me with proof!!)

Why one shall not buy a MAD from newsstand?

  1. Chances are that your friend already has bought it. Neuman advocates borrowing!!

  2. MAD is not what it was. Most of the visionaries (William Gaines (Publisher), Don Martin, Dave Berg, Prohias) are no more. Although there are replacements and imitations for their classic series', they are nowhere near the originals.

  3. The parodies of TV shows and movies testify the lack of ideas.

  4. Even though now it is glossy, the contents are too shallow. Humor is not as sharp and striking as once.

  5. An old edition from a second hand vendor always gives more value for money!

It had many imitators like ''Crazy'', ''Sick'' and ''Cracked''. apna India also is not bad in imitating, with clones like ''Definitely Insane'' and ____ ( had once bought another duplicate published from Vasant kunj, Delhi, can't recall itz name.. anyway not worth it!!). But none could emulate MAD's popularity and success. Good old MAD publisher William Gaines reportedly kept a voodoo doll in his office, into which he would stick pins labeled with each of MAD's imitators. He would remove a pin only when the copycat had ceased publishing. At the time of Gaines' death, the doll had only one pin on it and it was of ''Cracked''!! But Gaines can happily rest in peace and be assured of good company, for reading ''Cracked'' always makes yours truly determined of joining Gaines soon!!!

Thanks for reading,

Yours Truly/-


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Additional details about MAD Magazine

How often is this magazine printed: Monthly   |   Are you a subscriber: No Comment   |   If a subscriber, will you renew your subscription? No Comment   |   If not a subscriber, how often do you buy this magazine: Anytime whenever I feel like    

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