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.
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.
Writer Kenny Keil and award-winning artist John Martz have an all-new satirical comic timeline in the upcoming issue of MAD #550, titled “The Future of Job Automation.” It takes a jab at robots’ success in taking over human jobs in the future – even if they don’t always get it right. The upcoming issue will […]
Plop! was a humor magazine published by DC from 1973 to 1976. I bought most of the copies when they were on the newsstand, and I still have them. It was an unabashed rip-off of Harvey Kurtzman’s 1950s MAD, and not as good. The best thing about this self-described “New Magazine of Weird Humor!” were […]
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