Mad magazine was founded in 1952 by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines, although the magazine’s moronic-looking mascot, Alfred E Neuman (pictured), wasn’t introduced until 1956.
Norman Mingo, the illustrator who painted Neuman, joined the staff of Mad at the age of 60 having previously worked as a commercial artist. Mingo retired in 1979 and passed away in May 1980, aged 84.
Mad‘s avowed intention was to make fun of anything and everything, which made it a ‘must-read’ for smart-ass high school students and pseudo-slacker college-drop-out guys.
By the late 70s its adolescent core had discovered the National Lampoon and its naked babes and moved on.
Many would argue as to the exact period of Mad‘s halcyon days – It all depends on when you were a lonely, introverted adolescent who was too sarcastic to have friends . . .
The fold-ins, Spy vs Spy, Al Jafee, Don Martin, The Lighter Side Of . . . , Sergio Aragonne’s teeny little gag drawings in the margins. Furshlugginer! Portzahie! Yecch!
Mad also used to publish big fat Super Specials all the time; collections of old material (mostly jokes about Spiro Agnew) with a few new pages thrown in and some stickers and posters – and the occasional flexi-45 RPM single.
Issues post 1984 have been G.R.I.M rather than M.A.D.