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Spy Vs. Spy: The Complete Casebook Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823050211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823050215
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An artist and his legendary comic strip are honored by MAD magazine in Spy vs. Spy: The Complete Casebook. Antonio Prohias's wordless, Cold War-inspired spoof of the agents of international intrigue portrays the twin enemies outdoing each other in elaborately stupid plots to achieve the other's demise. Assembled after Prohias's death, the volume commemorates the cartoon's 40th birthday as well as Prohias's compelling personal story (in 1960 he fled Castro's new regime in Cuba after being unofficially blacklisted for his political cartoons). Comic book fans, especially of the MAD variety, will love this intelligent tribute to an artist. 70 color and 300 b&w illus.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

James Bond isn't the only cold war-era secret agent whose career continued to flourish after the fall of Communism. For 40 years and counting, the white spy and the black spy have waged never-ending battle on the pages of Mad. Their creator, the late Antonio Prohias, a political cartoonist who fled Castro's Cuba in 1960, was a font of variations on the theme of having one spy meet violent death at the hands of the other. In the next issue, of course, the deceased had been resurrected to resume hostilities. This collection reprints all 247 of Prohias' strips and selections of those by his successors, who include noted illustrator Peter Kuper. The strips were to be read at monthly intervals, however; consumed in bulk, they can become tedious. For baby boomers who grew up with Mad, this dossier may evoke nostalgia as well as chuckles, and younger readers may greet the spies' "joke-and-dagger" shenanigans with out-and-out guffaws. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I would read these with him and laugh just like everyone else.
Anita
I was very happy to find everything in two convenient, large, well put together books.
E. Nazario
I've loved spy vs. spy since I was a kid and this is a monster collection.
leedad06

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By D. Leonard on April 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'd give this book 5 stars regardless, because I've always loved Spy v Spy -- and this book delivers the goods: Every Spy v Spy Prohias worked on in his life.
But, what REALLY sets this book apart is the the wealth of OTHER material: His other MAD features, cover ideas, and a lot of biographical information covering his life in Cuba and the comics he did there. How many of MAD's contributors can say they were chased out of Cuba by an angry mob (with Fidel himself leading the pack)?
But, the bottom line is the material: If you like Spy v Spy, you'll love this book. The extra material is just icing (albeit extremely intersting and diverting icing) on the cake.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Girard on October 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you're a fan of Spy vs. Spy you'll love this book. A compilation of Spy vs. Spy cartoons plus a history of Spy vs. Spy, how & why it got started, etc. When I used to buy MAD magazine Spy vs. Spy was the cartoon I looked for & anticipated the most. I bought this for my kids & they love it also, even though many of these cartoons are older than they are. This is timeless reading.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Metcalf on November 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a reader of Mad for over 47 years, I am so glad to see an anthology of "Spy vs Spy". Antonio Prohias' dialogue-less, joyfully savage satire of the Cold War (and war in general), was always a favorite of mine. One spy gruesomely doing in the other, only to have him resurrected the next month (or a few pages later) to gleefully subject his counterpart to a savage Rube Goldbergesque death of his own (the precursor to Kenny in "South Park"?) And aren't they really just the same guy in a different suit?
Included in this book are all the Spy vs Spy's ever printed in Mad, along with all the "Spy vs Spy vs Spy" strips, in which the gray lady spy always gets the best of her male counterparts, Prohias' work in Cuba (that got him a "request" to leave from Castro) as well as Prohias' other work for the magazine. While "Spy vs Spy" goes on in Mad, it's just not the same. The new strips are OK, but they lack the Prohias touches such as the extended fingers (like Dr. Suess on acid). With Prohias, Don Martin and Dave Berg gone, we are losing the giants. Fortunately we can turn to volumes like this and which keep these artists like Al Jaffee, Mort Drucker and Jack Davis in the here and now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Spy vs. Spy: The Complete Casebook" collects the complete run of the late Antonio Prohias' comic strip from 1961-1987, published by MAD Magazine. The title characters are two equally sinister agents--one dressed in black, the other in white--who constantly war against each other with many a different scheme.

On occasion, the Spies are joined by the Gray Spy--a female operative who always triumphs over the Spies, who are blinded by their love for her. This book also contains artwork by Bob Clarke and Peter Kupfer. There are also extras in this book, including photographs of Spy merchandise, unpublished sketches and essays by Prohias' friends at MAD.

This book has a secret agent, film noir feel to it. It appears that the comics were easily inspired by The Shadow--but to a greater extent, the Cold War.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By N. N Wahlert on October 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
In my early MAD Magazine days, I naturally took to the more visually-oriented stuff (Don Martin, Aragones's "drawn-out dramas," etc.); the movie & TV satires I didn't graduate to till I began actually watching the stuff they satirized. Among the former things above, Antonio Prohias's iconic spies ruled the day.
I know the strip wasn't to everyone's taste; I guess it's a matter of being reared in the uninihibitedly-violent era of cartoon humor I grew up in. Indeed, there's something rather childish about the bonk-about retaliation engaged in by Prohias's venerable creations (I'll confess- I was always rooting for the White Spy!!--I guess he fought DIRTIER).
But there's another side to Prohias many will find relevatory. He fled to the US from Cuba in 1959 to escape arrest & execution by Castro; this book does show us his earlier strip, "Tovarich," depicting a despicable Soviet dictator meant as indirect reference to the situation of Prohias's native country. Other entries in this book show "one-shot" cartoons he did for MAD: One such article is "The Pearl." Not many have seen this cartoon, but its 2 pages are potent stuff indeed. It's an incredible story of a deep-sea diver who kills an octopus to claim a pearl; the diver's pummelled by a one-eyed old salt, who rides the high seas and whose lifeless hand provides a sunbather with the stolen clam; the sunbather's given one too many strong drinks by a floozy, who nabs the clam; she's shot to death by the bartender. He breaks open the clam, only to find a paper advertisement for Earl's Pearl Shop!
Powerful stuff, and you'll see more of the same in "Spy Vs. Spy--The Complete Casebook." He's no longer with us, but Prohias's work collectively tells us a whole lot about human greed and oppression.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
AWESOME!!!!!!! I can't describe how excited I am about this book! I am eight years old and am a loyal, dedicated fan of MAD Magazine. But I have always LOVED Spy vs. Spy. When I first started reading MAD, Spy Vs. Spy was the main reason I read the Magazine. And this book features EVERY single Spy Vs. Spy Comic Strip ever made. So if you love Spy Vs. Spy (and/or a Fan of MAD but also a somewhat minor fan) and you're planning your Xmas list, add this to it! Also, if you like this book, you might want to consider adding the following to your list as well as this book. "Spy Vs. Spy" the video game for game boy color. (Yes I'm Talkin about the original game. So what if it's old? That does not mean it stinks. IT ROCKS!!) PETER KUPER I SALUTE YOU!!!!
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