List Item: Read half of the 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die
Progress: 57/501Title: MAD
Editor: Harvey Kurtzman
I learned something new with this comic – that the long running MAD Magazine actually started life as a comic series that is a lot like Shock SuspenStories and Frontline Combat. In the three stories within each issue they go between genres like horror, war and science-fiction – pretty standard for this era. However, as the series progresses the depiction of the genres start to become more and more infused with parody.
It’s a gradual process that starts with a wink it its eye and then ends up with full blown take downs of contemporary cultural references and other more famous characters like Superman, Alice in Wonderland and Tarzan. I mean, a frequent character is a take on Sherlock Holmes as being both wildly intelligent, so this kinda speaks for what the comic ends up becoming.
As it starts off MAD isn’t exactly a stand-out comic because I’ve read a lot of these before. As the comic goes on the ratio of hit-to-miss gets better (with the best moments being when the stories start to go a bit surreal), but it’s still not the best comic I’ve read so far. In fact, it’s downright average. Still, it’s interesting to see how this world famous magazine got its start.