Spy vs Spy is and was the best thing about MAD

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As a kid, my favorite thing about MAD was "Spy vs Spy." (I didn't know that "vs" stood for "versus" so I pronounced the comic "spyvisspy.") The strips were excellently drawn and plotted, and were the most appealing part of the magazine to me. It was a wordless one-page comic about two oddly pointy faced spies, one dressed in black and the other dressed in white. Other than their different colored outfits, they behaved identically. They hated each other and created elaborate Rube Goldberg type machines to try to kill each other. Sometimes their machines worked, often, they'd backfire. They were tricky but usually too clever for their own good.

This anthology colorizes 150 "Spy vs Spy" comics drawn by Antonio Prohías from 1961 until his death in 1987. The book also includes a collection of "Spy vs Spy" comics by the talented cartoonist Peter Kuper, who took over the strip when Prohías died. The anthology features a section of wonderful "Spy vs Spy" tribute drawings by noted cartoonists such as Peter Bagge, Bob Staake, Darwyn Cooke, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, and Bill Sienkiewicz. There's also a biography of the Cuban-born Prohíasm and a new 4-page color strip by MAD luminary Sergio Aragones about his friendship with Prohías. With all the new material here, this book is a must for anyone who loves "Spy vs Spy."

Spy Vs Spy: An Explosive Celebration

by Antonio Prohías and Peter Kuper

Liberty Street

2015, 224 pages, 8.8 x 0.8 x 11.2 inches

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