I never read any of the MAD magazine knockoffs of the sixties. However, in recent years I got a little curious about SICK, the magazine that provided most of Joe Simon's daily bread in that decade. It doesn't seem to have been really popular with comics people, if one can go by the fact that hardly any issues have been annotated on Grand Comics Database.

To be sure, Simon was part of the problem. Just from looking through one back issue purchase, hardly anything is signed. And apparently some of the contributors weren't big comics-people. I got interested in one piece done (I think) by an artist named Arnold Franchione (if I made out his weird signature correctly). But the guy's name isn't on Google.

Does anyone here recognize said name?

And, more generally, what's the opinion, if any, of SICK?

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Wow, Gene, you have certainly nailed an area of ignorance for me. Now I'm curious. If I can find anything out, I'll post it here.

I never read Sick, but I tried looking up a penciller on GCD and found one reference to:

Arnoldo Franchioni [as Francho]

I looked in all of my usual venues for online scans of Sick, and didn't find it anywhere. The best I can add to the body of knowledge so far are the issue descriptions at mycomicshop.com. That should help with creator research, at least.

My first search was for a penciller with the name "Arnold," which only turned up a single reference to Arnoldo Francioni. I just repeated the search for a penciller named Arnoldo Franchioni. It turned up a full page of references to work for Mad, Crazy, Cracked and Bananas (no Sick). All are 1 to 3 page efforts.

I have a DVD of 50 years (I think) of Mad. I could dig out a sample page if you want to see it.

Richard Willis said:

I never read Sick, but I tried looking up a penciller on GCD and found one reference to:

Arnoldo Franchioni [as Francho]

I took a look through Behaving Madly and The Sincerest Form of Parody (both anthologies of MAD immitators) but Sick wasn't mentioned. the only place I found reference to it was The Best of Simon & Kirby, which featured an essay ("Sick Humor"), two features and one cover (a Fighting American parody).

  1. ...I bought SICK a fair amount off the stands in the Seventies, IIRC, completely?? after Simon had ended his connection with the title. Is my input wanted anyl? I don't know that IIbought Sick during the " Sick-sties ":-) I
  2.    remember a 60s back of Sick I bought during the Seventies, whose cover showed the Sick mascot character and Fighting American. I presume that was from Joe Simon's era. One 70s Sick cover I remember was one showing the mascot reclining in a shopping cart full of unopened candy bars - with the candy bars being realistically depicted! Way Pop Art!

I tried GCD but I think the first time I entered "Arnold." I found it with "Arnoldo," but as I said not much of SICK has been catalogued. It does look like he was only known for cartoons in various humor mags.

The "superhero issue" of SICK is one of the few issues that GCD fully described, probably because that's one superhero fans went out of their way to collect-- and yes, that was definitely Joe Simon's era.

Thanks for the feedback.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

I took a look through Behaving Madly and The Sincerest Form of Parody (both anthologies of MAD immitators) but Sick wasn't mentioned. the only place I found reference to it was The Best of Simon & Kirby, which featured an essay ("Sick Humor"), two features and one cover (a Fighting American parody).

...Did that cover show Fighting American and SICK's mascot character both under different...lampshades?...of a mad scientist's machine that was going to switch their brain with each other? That's the 60s bacish that I had.

I vaguely recall SICK as being a MAD knockoff that shared space on the newsstands with Cracked and Marvel's knockoff Crazy, but I don't remember actually reading an issue. 

I remember reading SICK as a young teen, feeling more than surprised that I was allowed to read it, given that one of the ongoing strips featured a naked woman that was always strategically posed to avoid being explicit (hey, I did say I was a young teen at the time. What do you think I'd remember?). Other than that, it wasn't at all funny.

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