My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!


My first encounter with Mad magazine was in my uncle's dorm at UCONN where I saw a copy of the fly swatter cover (number 57, September 1960) lying on his desk. Although I was only 9 years old, I recognized the brilliant satire behind that cover and soon I began spending my allowance (25¢ Cheap) on the output from the usual gang of idiots.

mad_57 I never missed an issue and expanded my madness to include everything that Mad had to offer... not just printed matter, but also Mad trash like their bust of Alfred E. Neuman.

I amassed quite a collection, but there was a gap... issues 1 to 61, that is, those issues published before I started buying the mag.

Issues 1 to 23 were the comic-book-formatted Mads and were very expensive. But publisher Russ Cochrane saved the day when he reprinted the comic books in oversized hard cover format – so who needed expensive old yellowed dog-eared comic books, when I could have Mr. Cochrane's beautiful pristine reprints?

That narrowed the gap in my collection to issues 24 to 61. The higher end of the gap was affordable and I picked up those issues from various sources for a few bucks apiece. But the low end of the gap was much less affordable and I resigned myself to living with a permanent gap just like Alfred E's dental work.

AEN_bust Nevertheless, I posted my want list in various places on the Internet and one day out of the blue, I received a response from a fellow who offered to sell me 21 issues in the low end of the gap for $30 plus postage. (The fellow's mother had collected the 21 and he wanted to give them a good home. I assured him I would give his Mom's Mads a good home and we completed the deal.)

Those 21 issues were numbers 24 to 44 in fine to very fine condition. Number 24 (the first magazine-formatted Mad) in very fine condition alone goes for over $750, so this was a very fine deal.

After that, I filled in the rest of the gap very quickly.

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