I've always been a sucker for MAD Magazine's anthologies; those fat, floppy-covered book that collected together thematically linked comics from the magazine's history. They were the perfect blend of humor and mystery (when I was nine years old, I was convinced "Spiro Agnew" was some kind of TV clown).
MAD anthologies have grown up with their audience. The latest one, Inside MAD: The "Usual Gang of Idiots" Pick Their Favorite MAD Spoofs, is a gorgeous hardcover that's definitely aimed at adults who fondly remember those old paperbacks.
As the title implies, this is a "best of" survey of the magazine's entire run, and each piece was personally chosen by a MAD staffer or prominent friend of the magazine, who then wrote a brief introduction to the piece and what it means to them. Some of these essays are a little thin, but at their best, they shed light on the way that MAD influenced generations of artists, writers and other creators.
The book has a guest intro from Judd Apatow, and also features pieces by Roseanne Barr (introducing "Grossanne"), Whoopi Goldberg, Todd McFarlane, Mort Drucker, John Stamos, Tony Hawk, Penn Jillette, David Lynch, and many others. There's also a three-page-long "fold out" with an Alfred E Neumann poster on one side and spectacular Sergio Argones mural on the other.
After a lifetime of puzzling over the topical context of MAD anthologies, here, finally, is a MAD book that is all about context. And jokes.
Inside MAD: The "Usual Gang of Idiots" Pick Their Favorite MAD Spoofs
For years, Anita Sarkeesian and her crew at Feminist Frequency (previously) have been striking terror into the hearts of reactionary assholes by saying calm, smart, funny, sensible and insightful things about how video games reveal our social attitudes.
I’m in the UK for the British Walkaway tour, which kicks off tonight at 7PM in Oxford where I’ll be in conversation with Tim Harford at Blackwells.
I took great advantage of my 36 hour hiatus from the Walkaway tour, but I’m back at it today, with a 2PM appearance at Burbank’s Dark Delicacies, before I go straight to the airport to fly to the UK for my British tour.
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Learning to code is a perfect way to grow your technical sophistication, and open up a host of new career options. But since most “learn to code” initiatives focus heavily on web development, it can be tough to find good resources for general-purpose computer science outside of a 4-year degree program. To get a broad […]