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MAD - Cover to Cover: 48 Years, 6 Months, & 3 Days of MAD Magazine Covers Paperback – September 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823016846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823016846
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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 Tribby
Copyright © 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.

Customer Reviews

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See all 12 customer reviews
Just the high quality reproduction of the covers would make this a great book.
cozplay
The only drawback for younger readers will be that knowledge of the current events of the time is a precondition if you are to get the joke.
Charles Ashbacher
BTW, Robert Silver's photmosaic book cover, made up from the magazines covers, is stunning.
Robin Benson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By H. Laser on September 27, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ooh.. the FIRST customer review. Well as Alfred said on the cover of issue #100.. "Big Deal!" This wonderful book, beautifully depicts the cover of every issue of MAD since its 1952 inception as a comic right up to the December, 2000 (400th!) issue and is an absolute gem. Another gotta have it for MAD collectors and lovers everywhere. Very high quality glossy printing, high quality wraps with inner leafs featuring an hilarious family history of the lineage of the idiot gap-toothed boy, some covers are printed full page, some smaller, each documented as to the artist and the writer/designer, all in chronological order. Many with alternative designs that were rejected for one stupid reason or another, preliminary pencil sketches, and even a surprise on the bottom corner of each page that I won't reveal but you'll get a kick out of it if you buy the book. MAD is not just a cultural icon and the best satire magazine ever created, but also a nearly fifty year history of idiotic stuff that America and the world has produced. This book is a beautiful time capsule of all of it.
The photomosaic cover by Robert Silvers is a masterpiece (see his site ... to see how he does it).
Twelve thumbs up! If you feel like wasting even more money, get the seven CD set "Totally MAD" which has not only all the covers but every page of every issue up to 1998.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on November 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
The first copy of Mad I saw was issue 29 in September 1956 (still got it too) and I was hooked. How could a magazine be so funny and be so spot-on with its satire? Easy, just employ the `usual gang of idiots' that's how. I kind of grew out of it when I discovered the National Lampoon, how could a magazine be so funny etc, etc. But I have always had a soft spot for Mad and this book of covers is a super addition to my back issues and other Mad books.

All 399 (up to November 2000) covers are in this well designed and printed book Mostly one or two covers to a page sometimes with Frank Jacobs' commentary and with a lot of the latter covers you get to see the preliminary cover roughs. As the years go by you can see how the covers changed from simple visual gags into ones that are much more graphic and busy because they have to work harder on the newsstand. The ideas are still very funny after all these years though. My favorite is issue 35 (October 1957) a wraparound that celebrated the fifth anniversary with a great painting from Norman Mingo showing a few dozen very famous American merchandising characters seated round a dining table, Alfred's at one end grinning. I would love this as a poster.

I think it is worth mentioning for Mad fans the seven CD-ROM `Totally Mad' set, every page from the issue one thru to December 1998, the interface is very user friendly and the discs have a lot of additional aural and visual surprises.

BTW, Robert Silver's photmosaic book cover, made up from the magazines covers, is stunning.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on April 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Mad: Cover to Cover" is a glorious full-color collection of the cover art of "Mad" magazine, from its founding as a comic book in 1952 to 2000. The outrageous covers are accompanied by witty and insightful commentary by Frank Jacobs. Since "Mad" has satirized so many aspects of American popular culture throughout its existence, this book also serves as an ironic look at five decades of United States history.
Most of the covers feature Alfred E. Neuman, the goofy red-haired kid who, as the symbol of "Mad" magazine, has become an instantly recognizable (and, dare I say, beloved?) cultural icon in his own right. We see, over the years, the many crazy incarnations of Alfred: on Mount Rushmore, as Baby New Year, as Batman's Robin, as Uncle Sam, as Michael Jackson, as a Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle, etc.
The running commentary offers fascinating glimpses behind the scenes of "Mad." Particularly interesting is the story of the long-suppressed cover depicting the first President Bush burning a flag; with the outbreak of the Persian Gulf War, the "Mad" team decided that the incendiary cover was inappropriate for the time.
This is truly a marvelous book, full of color, laughs, and memories. Even if you're not a regular reader of "Mad," you may find this book to be a fascinating mirror on American fads and foibles.
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Format: Paperback
If there are better sight gags than those on the cover of Mad magazine, then I have yet to see them. This book is a collection of the first 400 covers and some of them had me hysterical with laughter. My favorite was the one where Alfred is holding a hard taco shell behind a Mexican dog that is straining mightily. Others were just as funny, although some did require explanation. The producers of the magazine were not above applying a little duplicity when creating the covers.

The only drawback for younger readers will be that knowledge of the current events of the time is a precondition if you are to get the joke. For example, some covers feature political figures, and if you don't know anything about them, the joke is lost. Other covers are spoofs of hit movies of the time, so the explanatory captions are a welcome addition. Having lived through those times, I understood most of them, but there were a few times when I didn't understand the joke until I read the caption.

This book is very funny and you cannot help but be impressed by the quality of the artwork and the zany intelligence that went into the covers of Mad. The producers of Mad constantly lampooned themselves as idiots, but they were without question geniuses.
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