I found this old Halloween issue of MAD magazine from 1960 recently,
Love the headless horseman graphic.
It just screamed, “Frame me and put me on your mantle”.
So naturally, I did.
I haven’t actually read a MAD magazine since John Lennon was alive, so I did a little research.
MAD magazine is an American humor magazine founded in 1952 by editor Harvey Kurtzman. It was originally launched as a comic book, but converted to magazine form in 1955. There have been about 550 issues and circulation peaked in 1974 with just over two million subscribers. (Pretty impressive for a magazine who’s readers mature out of it by age 14).
I know that most people would never consider MAD magazine to be a thought provoker, but from it’s very beginning, MAD showcased a spot-on satire of everything in popular American culture; movies, TV, advertising campaigns, politics, the media, and especially the nuclear family.
In 2007, Los Angeles Times reporter Robert Boyd wrote, “All I really need to know I learned from MAD magazine”, stating:
The magazine instilled in me a habit of mind, a way of thinking about a world rife with false fronts, small print, deceptive ads, booby traps, treacherous language, double standards, half truths, subliminal pitches and product placements; it warned me that I was often merely the target of people who claimed to be my friend; it prompted me to mistrust authority, to read between the lines, to take nothing at face value, to see patterns in the often shoddy construction of movies and TV shows; and it got me to think critically in a way that few actual humans charged with my care ever bothered to.
When you really think about it, it’s not hard to see the influence that MAD Magazine has had over the last 65+ years; The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, Stephen Colbert, The Family Guy, Dr Dimento, The National Lampoon, Caddy Shack, Jim Carey, South Park, The Daily Show, Weird Al Yankovic, and The Onion.
Looks pretty good framed too.