Mad and its mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, are instantly recognized American icons, and its humor, whether considered offensive, sophomoric, or on target, is legendary. Its first 400 covers are showcased in this all-color album. The early covers, dating from when Mad
was a comic book,
were done by its first editor, Harvey Kurtzman. Since then, many others have drawn the covers, mocking countless fads, stars, and politicians but always incorporating Norman Mingo's classic rendering of Neuman, "the gap-toothed 'What--Me Worry' idiot kid," in the design. Memorable covers are legion: Mingo's 1961 "upside-down-year" reversible cover; Kurtzman's vast field of orange with a tiny illustration in the upper-left corner, from 1954; and Basil Wolverton's 1954 masterpiece, "Beautiful Girl of the Month," are all grabbers to this day. What little accompanying text there is is informative, though singling out 12 covers as representing the "Soul of Mad
" seems pretty arbitrary. Whether for the trip down memory lane it affords or as an introduction to Mad
, a fine collection. Mike TribbyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
MAD is the world's leading satire magazine publishing under that title. Created in 1952, it was the brainchild of William M. Gaines, who has been operating on a reduced work schedule since his death in 1992.