Al Jaffee's MAD Life: how a traumatized kid from the shtetl became an American satire icon

Back in 2010, It Books published Mary-Lou Weisman's biography of MAD Magazine icon Al Jaffee: Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography; I missed it then but happened upon Arie Kaplan's 2011 writeup in The Jewish Review of Books this morning and was charmed by the biographical sketch it lays out. Read the rest

Sticker portrait of Alfred E. Neuman (RIP, MAD)

Noah Scalin (previously) writes, "I'm so devastated to learn about Mad magazine's imminent demise. I just recently finished my own portrait of Alfred E. Neuman, made from stickers, inspired by the reboot of the magazine (which features new works by artists inspired by growing up reading Mad). Mad was such a seminal part of my childhood. As a budding activist I loved seeing popular culture, politics and advertising skewered in such a clever & subversive way (as children's entertainment!). The world is losing a shining beacon just as it needs it most." Read the rest

MAD Magazine gets a reboot

MAD Magazine has made the move from New York City to Los Angeles, relaunching itself with a new logo and staff (for instance, the magazine has its first female art director, Suzanne Hutchinson, aka Suzy Splab).

Issue #1 has already hit the newsstands.

Here's what's in store:

Introducing MAD's first issue EVER*, featuring full-length spoofs of Star Wars and Riverdale! Plus, "A MAD Look at Harassment" from Sergio Aragonés, "Pop Culture That Didn't Make It Into Ready Player One," an all-new Potrzebie Comics section, The MADifesto, Spy vs. Spy, the Fold-In, and much more! (*Technically, this is our first magazine-format #1 issue ever!)Introducing MAD's first issue EVER*, featuring full-length spoofs of Star Wars and Riverdale! Plus, "A MAD Look at Harassment" from Sergio Aragonés, "Pop Culture That Didn't Make It Into Ready Player One," an all-new Potrzebie Comics section, The MADifesto, Spy vs. Spy, the Fold-In, and much more! (*Technically, this is our first magazine-format #1 issue ever!)

I noticed you that if you get a 2 or 3 year subscription, they'll send you a little tiki mug that looks like Alfred E. Neuman. Want!

WELCOME TO THE ALL-NEW, SOMEWHAT-FAMILIAR MAD!

Issue #1's cover art by Jason Edmiston

(Pee-wee Herman) Read the rest

Spy vs Spy is and was the best thing about MAD

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

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

$(removed) Buy one on Amazon Read the rest