Rather than post the Dreaded Deadline Demon today since I am swamped with Monday deadlines, I’m posting a suitably lame list of links to MAD related articles, sites and other general wastes of time and drains on American productivity. Fa fa fa.
Han Shot First Dept.-
There is a nice feature about the MAD parodies of the Star Wars films over on starwars.com, including an article with Mort Drucker and a Q&A with writer Dick Debartolo. Mort was the artist on all the film parodies except the original Star Wars (Harry North did that one, but Mort later did the “musical version”) and the last one (which was illustrated by Hermann Mejia… no musical version but I did begin rhythmically snoring about 1/3 of the way through the film). Dick wrote all of the parodies. I guess George Lucas has a pretty good sense of humor… a lot better than his sense of film direction, anyway. Thanks to Jason Chalker for the heads up.
One Smoggy Day in L.A. Dept.-
A recent article in Los Angeles Citybeat magazine praises MAD for it’s continuing fearlessness in political humor. The writer makes a good point that, while it’s hardly courageous today to bash the Bush administration with their approval ratings somewhere around the “freezing point of gin”, MAD had the guts to point out absurdities and stupidity by the government even shortly after 9/11… when any criticism of the government was labeled “traitor talk”, “anti-American” and Dixie Chick CDs were being burned despite the fact that the first amendment is possibly the very definition of American freedom. He fails to mention MAD‘s emergency replacement of the cover of the very next issue to this:
…which was done at great cost to the magazine and it’s publishers, nor the very serious letter to readers within. However his point is taken.
On a similar note, MAD is often being accused these days of being a liberal, lefty rag. When asked in an interview if the magazine is ever accused of political bias, then editor Nick Meglin answered “Always… by both sides.” Editor John Ficarra is quoted on the subject in the very article linked above:
“Since its inception during the Eisenhower administration, MAD‘s policy has always been to mock the man in office. We begin each new administration with a clean slate and we wait for them to do something really stupid. (Usually that happens around day two.)”
Since I mentioned it above. Here’s that Nick Meglin interview from a few years back in Pop Cult Magazine. Nick is retired now enjoying life and writing musical comedies for the stage. He is very much missed around MAD, let me tell you. He always took me somewhere fancy for lunch when I visited the MAD offices. Beyond that… good riddance. I really miss the lunches, though. Sam Viviano‘s idea of splurging on the expense account is to let me “supersize” my value meal.
Hold the Onion Dept.-
This is an oldie but a goodie. The folks behind the humor newspaper The Onion have long been known as old MAD fans. A few years ago they did this article paying homage to the magazine in their own, unique way. MAD reciprocated later with a parody of their newspaper in an issue.
One Man’s Trash is another Man’s Magazine Dept.-
These next few links are permanently in my “MAD Links” section on the blogroll but as many readers get so fantastically bored with this blog they seldom get to that part, and because they are especially interesting or excellent resources, I will plug them here again:
The Official MAD site- The red headed stepchild of the DC universe is begrudgingly given a tiny corner of their massive web presence. Links to official message boards, current issue sneak peeks, free downloads (no porn, that you have to pay for), submission guidelines, ads to buy stuff and more. (Note to DC- Please make my check payable to “Tom Richmond”, and this one better not bounce)
Doug Gilford’s MAD Cover Site- A true monument to those with waaaaay too much time on their hands, Doug has painstakingly scanned every cover of every issue of MAD and organized it on his website. You can browse by year, alphabetically by TV or movie parody, search by keyword, look up current price value by issue number and condition… or you could call a girl and go out on a date. All kidding aside a great resource.
Mad Mumblings- The best MAD fan message boards on the internet! Of course that’s not saying much as they are the ONLY MAD fan message boards on the internet. Still, it is filled with people who would much rather search the far corners of Doug’s cover site than go on a date, so you have to respect that!
Mike Slaubaugh’s MAD Lists- Painstakingly researched and updated lists by Mike on such vital MAD statistics as yearly circulation numbers, consecutive issue streaks by contributors, total number of covers by… individual………. art……ists………………………………
……….sorry, I dozed off there for a second.
I check his “Contributor Appearances” list every month to see if I have finally passed that punk Scott Bricher in “total number of issues appeared in” yet…. Nope.
Check out individual “Usual Gang of Idiots” links also over to the right in the blogroll, as well as a few other permanent MAD links. Have fun, kids… and stay out of my yard.
278 Another great caricature workshop in the books! 2018 workshops planned for LA, Atlanta and Switzerland so far, with more to come. Visit tomrichmond.com/workshops for all the details!
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