In MAD #7, illustrator Drew Friedman has a fantastic portrait of the great science fiction illustrator, Frank "Kelly" Freas, along with a short essay about seeing a copy of the paperback Son of MAD (with a Freas cover) as a kid.
Beginning in the late 1950s, the renowned illustrator Frank “Kelly" Freas was hired by MAD to be their cover artist. His vivid cover for the 1959 paperback Son of MAD is the first MAD image I remember seeing, and it remains, to this day, my favorite cover. The abject fear in the poor gorilla's face, the terrified-yet-nuanced pose of his body, the curled toes -- all as he’s encountering the infant Alfred E. Neuman as seen from behind. Pure visual perfection!
The cover is memorable to me for another reason. In the Beatles' first film A Hard Day's Night, the character Shake is briefly seen reading Son of MAD in the opening train scene. Two towering icons forever converged in that moment, the Beatles and MAD! When I first watched that scene, I was so thrilled my head (almost) exploded.
The moment I discovered that cover at age 5, my life changed. From then on, I was a Son of MAD. Not only did it lead me to becoming an obsessive MAD fan, but it spurred my mission to someday join the “Usual Gang of Idiots," something I later (amazingly) achieved.
Here’s my take on that life-altering piece.￼
Drew's story and illustration page was art directed by Suzy Hutchinson, and is reprinted here with the kind permission of MAD.
The great Al Jaffee turned 99 last week. He’s been contributing to MAD for 64 years and is famous for his hidden-image-within-an-image MAD Fold-Ins on the inside back cover of the magazine. Happy belated birthday, Al! (Back in 2011, when Al was just a kid, Ruben Bolling and I interviewed him on my podcast, Gweek.) […]
In 1959, MAD Magazine released a delightful 45 RPM single from Alfred E. Neuman And His Furshlugginer Five titled “What—Me Worry?” The B-side is the fine instrumental “Potrzebie.”
In 1978, the usual gang of idiots at MAD gave us “Star Roars,” starring Lube Skystalker, Cree-Pio, Bar-stool, Ham Yoyo, Chewbacco, Zader, and Oldie Von Moldie. May The Farce be with you! Always. Below are a couple example strips but can see the entire parody here.
Promoting products is almost nothing like it was back in the Mad Men days. In fact, the digital landscape has changed the ad game so much that it barely even resembles early Grey’s Anatomy days anymore. Marketing a product digitally isn’t about the right ad slogan or color scheme. It’s about crafting the narrative around […]
Every once in a while, we see a new product come along that’s so versatile and elegantly simple that it’s strange no one’s ever gone there before. Portable lights themselves aren’t new, but there’s something about the MOGICS Coconut Light that’s so seamlessly well-designed and adaptable that it feels startlingly original. The Coconut is basically […]
With the U.S. cautiously reopening, it’s probably time to take stock of where you’re at. After spending all these weeks in the house, you’ve likely already assembled a little list of items you either realized you were missing or need to replace. And those kinds of revelations probably apply to nearly every room. We got […]