Thursday, April 09, 2015


Haw! It figures that the very first MAD paperback collection was entitled THE MAD READER so why not CRACKED's debut on the spinning bookcase display be a direct swipe anyhow??? Considering what an alternate dimension version of MAD CRACKED had been for way too long a time wouldja think they were gonna call this thing anything but???

I gotta admit that although I cringed whenever I saw this mag at the stands throughout my MAD-loving days I do find this smattering of some of the earliest CRACKED stories ever to be printed to be rawther entertaining. Even funny at times. John Severin's art was perhaps at its post-EC best (and even the "serious" piece contrasting tee-vee western characters and their real life counterparts was pleasing enough for my eyeballs to behold), and although Jack Davis wasn't putting as much fine-lined detail into his art like he did in the MAD spectacular "Let's Go For a Ride!" (as well as his TRUMP and HUMBUG contributions) his stories were at least as good as it got compared with some of his later slapdash crankout. Even Bill Elder does some of his great comic strip parodies which are always amazing even if I don't think the POPEYE panel that pops up here really captured the various MAD (let alone PANIC) versions he previously gifted us with.

Whoever was scribbling the text for these stories was sure doing a better job than they were in the CRACKEDs that I used to sneak peek on scant occasion. Sure a good portion of the turds they popped out might have seemed trite compared with the main competition, but the timely spoofs dealing with such astute subject matter as beatniks, BAT MASTERSON, SEA HUNT and Bridgette Bardot still make for funtime reading especially in an age where comedy more or less has become loudmouth assaults on whatever target of self-righteous ire some sideways turd of a human being may harbor these days.

And between you 'n me dontcha think we can sure use a whole lot more real har-hars these days whether it be a Gavin McInnes or Jim Goad column somewhere online or better yet one of those DIVERSITY CHRONICLE articles that keep me laughing from here to Fanabla because it's like 2015 and you're not supposed to laugh at these things like you could have even a good ten years back!

One final note---it is interesting (though not exactly surprising) to see that even in these early issues the CRACKED writers were poking fun at their main inspiration with blatant references to not only Alfred E. himself but EC boss Bill Gaines (the latter even being pictured with his face unobscured unlike old Neuman's). Yeah I know that Alfred E.'s visage had been spotted in a variety of MAD knockoffs in the late-fifties (and even in TRUMP), but when I was a kid I was once shocked to see a CRACKED cover where mascot Sylvester P. Smythe was seen sticking pins into a voodoo doll who looked suspiciously like you-know-who. Somehow to an adolescent pus-package such as myself this seemed like a horrid blasphemy, but considering most of the blasphemies that are accepted and whole and true these days it's like well, what else is there gonna be to shock and offend me these days, eh? (or is that yawn...). Still it was quite a surprise for me, and although I hadn't heard of any lawsuits regarding the use of MAD's very own Esky/Playboy bunny I was sure as shootin' under the impression that one was gonna be just around the corner!

But then again when I was an adolescent I thought that anybody who was famous and on tee-vee alla time was an automatic millionaire, and when you're twelve you do see the world kinda skewered, y'know?

1 comment:

top_cat_james said...

Say, are we going to get a review of the second volume of the Bobby London Popeye strips? It came out last fall.