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My name is Pig

And wen its nite

Or wen the moon

is shiyning brite

and all the mayds

haf swepped the flor

I stay up late

I float the boar

Doctor Hmmm? said:

If you aren't familiar with "I lik the bred" (the original), look it up.  If you aren't immediately envious of the author, there is something seriously wrong with you and I'm not sure we could ever be friends.

When work at Marvel dried up Groot got a job teaching judo. Art by Edvard Moritz.

This post displaced the thread Randy Jackson reads the Golden Age Superman from the homepage.

In the 50s a lot of publishers tried imitations of EC's MAD (in its colour comic phase). What I find striking is they all quickly ended. I've long wondered how readers figured out so quickly they weren't what they wanted: they often looked good.

Perhaps they were always distributed very widely, and dropped when the sales didn't justify that level of distribution. Likewise, if Charlton distributed its titles at different levels, it could be the Charlton Action heroes titles were dropped because they were distributed more widely than some other Charlton titles, and couldn't support it. In this interview Frank McLaughlin says Judomaster "topped off" sales. A more widely-distributed title can have higher sales and a lower sell-through. I'm just speculating, though.

Some of the magazine-MADs had long runs. I've never read Sick, or much of Cracked or Crazy, and I'd be interested in hearing if any of you have fond memories of them. (I did read a Star Wars satire in Cracked or Crazy, and I don't know which it was. Vader wore a saucepan on his head. It wasn't good.) I've read mention on the board of the quality of John Severin's art in Cracked. But did the title ever make you laugh? When I don't really like a comic I look for something to like in the artwork. To be fair, I don't know I'd find the MAD stuff that once seemed witty to me witty today. But there's so much to like in the artwork.

Bob Rozakis has said multiple times that when he drove DC's comicmobile the most popular comic with the kids was Plop! This makes me wonder if it failed due to its name or packaging. Most issues had grotesque covers by Basil Wolverton or Wally Wood. In his article at the link Rozakis says the covers caught many kids, but perhaps they repelled people placing orders. Martin O'Hearn has an interesting item on the background on one of the stories here.

According to the GCD Swing with Scooter "was supposed to premiere in May-June 1966 Showcase and was even advertised as such, as in Doom Patrol 103, but it was at the last minute decided to start with #1 due to Beatlemania". The issue of Showcase for May-June 1966 was #62, with Inferior Five's debut.

I read a few Cracked. Unlike its online descendant, the magazine was slavishly imitative of Mad. It had good artists, but it wasn't as funny. Plop! was an odd and rather creepy DC imitator of comic-Mad, but from the 70s. I never read Crazy or Sick; I read some issues of Mad House when I was very young, and seem to recall thinking it was (1) funny and (2) somehow connected to Mad, which was obviously the point of the title. And my brother had an issue or two of CARtoons, which was, of course, Mad for gearheads.I found them mildly amusing.

Luke Blanchard said:


Some of the magazine-MADs had long runs. I've never read Sick, or much of Cracked or Crazy, and I'd be interested in hearing if any of you have fond memories of them. (I did read a Star Wars satire in Cracked or Crazy, and I don't know which it was. Vader wore a saucepan on his head. It wasn't good.) I've read mention on the board of the quality of John Severin's art in Cracked. But did the title ever make you laugh? When I don't really like a comic I look for something to like in the artwork. To be fair, I don't know I'd find the MAD stuff that once seemed witty to me witty today. But there's so much to like in the artwork.

Bob Rozakis has said multiple times that when he drove DC's comicmobile the most popular comic with the kids was Plop! This makes me wonder if it failed due to its name or packaging. Most issues had grotesque covers by Basil Wolverton or Wally Wood. In his article at the link Rozakis says the covers caught many kids, but perhaps they repelled people placing orders. Martin O'Hearn has an interesting item on the background on one of the stories here.

I didn't read any of the MAD imitators until after I had dropped MAD itself, having essentially outgrown that sort of humor. (At least as it was in the '70s.) I read a couple of issues of the Severin one, but found nothing memorable about it. I collected the Marvel magazine, but only skimmed it. I found Plop! generic and juvenile, and also a graveyard for old, mediocre Aragones cartoons meant for House of Mystery and House of Secrets before the serious Orlando era. The best stuff, obviously, had already been used.

In short, I didn't enjoy any of it after age 14 or so.

I wouldn't say Cracked was "slavishly imitative" of MAD; it did have its own personality. Whereas MAD was studiously cynical, Cracked was silly and goofy. 

Sure, Cracked copied various things about MAD like the interview segment. Where MAD used a guest character to conduct the interviews, Cracked had a regular character, Nanny Dickering. Early on, John Severing modeled her on Juliet Mills from the then-current TV show Nanny and the Professor, but later artists like Sururi Gumen, and Severin, drew her differently. Then cheesecake artist Bill Ward was let loose on the strip. His version of Nanny Dickering gave her a three-foot tall beehive hairdo with a ribbon in it, giant breasts, a skinny waist, a skintight miniskirt and stiletto heels. Nanny looked that way ever since -- even when John Severin drew her again.

But Cracked has its own features like the long-running "The Cracked Lens," still pictures with goofy captions. They would promise to end the strip -- "The Last of the Cracked Lens" -- with increasingly determinative titles -- "Absolutely, Positively, Definitely the Last of the Cracked Lens, Part XXVIII, and We Really, Really Mean It This Time!"

Cracked made better use of its mascot, Sylvester P. Smythe. Alfred E. Neuman was pretty much limited to MAD covers, but Sylvester was a regular character in stories. I remember one feature that discussed his entire family -- dad Gus, the "big broom" of the clan, and his two brothers and such. And the artistry of John Severin sold it; you could clearly see the family resemblance in the different faces.

And as MAD was centered on Mort Drucker's art -- so much so that even today, every issue's movie or TV parody is drawn by a Drucker imitator -- John Severin was the soul of Cracked. I have to admit I think Severin's art is a bit stiff, but I love it. For serious pieces, he could give us photo-realistic images with exacting detail, but he could cut loose and be silly when he wanted, too. And he painted covers too, despite the handicap of being color-blind. 

Severin didn't do everything, of course. Cracked had Don Orehek, Howard Nostrand, Warren Sattler, Bill Ward, Charlie Rodgrigues, Vic Martin and Mort Drucker imitator Wally Brogan. And Don Martin joined Cracked after he had a falling out at MAD.

Luke Blanchard said:

Some of the magazine-MADs had long runs. I've never read Sick, or much of Cracked or Crazy, and I'd be interested in hearing if any of you have fond memories of them. (I did read a Star Wars satire in Cracked or Crazy, and I don't know which it was. Vader wore a saucepan on his head. It wasn't good.) I've read mention on the board of the quality of John Severin's art in Cracked. But did the title ever make you laugh? When I don't really like a comic I look for something to like in the artwork. To be fair, I don't know I'd find the MAD stuff that once seemed witty to me witty today. But there's so much to like in the artwork.

Other than Cracked (see above), I've only seen an issue or three of Sick or Crazy, which were pale, weak imitations of MAD. About the only thing I remember of Sick is a parody it did of the then-hot TV show S.W.A.T. , called "S.W.E.A.T."

If I recall correctly, Crazy was a Marvel product, wasn't it?

Yes. They used to advertise it in the colour comics with the line "the magazine that dares to be dumb". Marvel first used the name for one of its 50s MAD imitations. (Two others, Riot and Wild, ran at the same time. Riot was briefly revived later.) It first revived the Crazy title for a short-lived 1972 (on sale)-73 colour comic with Not Brand Echh reprints. The magazine was launched in 1973.

Charlton also used "Crazy" names in the 1950s after first Marvel title was cancelled, for Crazy, Man, Crazy and This Magazine is Crazy.

In 1970, 72-73 Marvel tried a satire comic called Spoof. It only managed five issues. It tried another humour comic in 1974-75 called Arrgh! which carried a mix of new stories and 50s reprints.

I remember Spoof reprinting some Not Brand Echhh. I don't remember how much was new material, if any.

I don't see mention of any at the GCD. You might be thinking of the 1973 Crazy.

A funny kids title called Li'l Kids appeared in 1970-73 (with a hiatus). A lot of the contents were reprints. The last three issues, from 1972 (on sale)-73, led with new stories featuring a black kid called Calvin by a cartoonist called Kevin Banks.

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