Holy Veeblefetzer, Batboy! This gigantic 22″x 15″ coffee table book, Tales Calculated to Drive You MAD: Artist’s Edition is an absolute level 11- I GOTTA HAVE IT on a scale of 1-10 on the “Stuff Tom Wants” meter. I had no idea this was on the horizon, or I would have pre-ordered it long ago.
The book features “nearly 20 incredible stories and a dozen classic covers” with at least one thing representing every issue of MAD from #1 to #18. That sort of thing has been done many times, but this edition is unique because the art within is scanned from the actual original art and printed same-size as drawn! These are not just enlargements but the actual original art pages, complete with stray pencil lines, white out, margins, mark-ups, paste-ups and other production elements. That means you get to see, up close and personal, the pages as they were delivered into the hands of Harvey Kurtzman by the likes of Wally Wood, Bill Elder, Jack Davis, and Basil Wolverton. It’s the next best thing to owning the original art. Here’s an unboxing and sneak peek by Doug Gilford of madcoversite.com:
One sad note is that, so far as I can tell having not seen the entire book, the only artist who’s work is featured in it and who is still walking the earth is Jack Davis. No chance to get it signed by the rest of them, unless Houdini was wrong.