Sunday, March 04, 2007

Scope Visits Mad

This one hasn’t survived the ravages of time in very good condition but this April 1973 issue of SCHOLASTIC SCOPE was the first time I really got to know anything about the folks behind MAD Magazine. I probably saw my first issue of MAD around 1965 (it was at my friend Greg’s house down the street) but I never really read it regularly as it somehow seemed for older kids. Around 1969, I did discover the paperback of THE MAD READER and was introduced to Harvey Kurtzman’s earlier MAD COMICS stories but that’s a whole different kettle of worms (or is that can of fish?). BY ’73, though, I had become familiar with and intrigued by MAD and here was this great article right in my classroom. Come to think of it, didn’t kids get in trouble for reading MAD in class? Now here SCOPE was telling us it was okay! These may well be the first pictures of Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein that I ever saw. The article was like a walk through the offices with quotes from Meglin, DeFuccio and Len Brenner along with the first two of a gazillion Sergio Aragones anecdotes I would hear over the years. It even touched briefly on EC and the horror comics scandal, a subject that would later form the basis of my senior class thesis just a few years later.

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