Monday, March 11, 2013

MAD, Volume 2

1986, first edition, from Russ Cochran, Publisher
MAD, Volume 2
Bought newish for unknown
Worn hardcover

Well, this is better than the first volume.  There are still the pointless text-only stories (this time a series with "BVDs" as a parody of the "KGB"), and Kurtzman's drawn-as-well-as-written Hey, Look! comic strip (and the man is even less of an artist than a writer), but the artists, Bill Elder in particular, are hitting their stride.  Also the ads for MAD and its sister publication PANIC (by Kurtzman's successor as MAD's editor) have a nice satiric edge that's often missing from the movie and comic-book parodies.  By the time we get to #12, with not only the classic "Starchie" but a "high-class intellectual" cover, MAD is sometimes actually funny.  True, the parodies of "Mark Trail" and "From Here to Eternity" are pretty forgettable, but the 3-D piece has some good concepts.

If I haven't said anything about the constant sexism (and occasional racism of the "cannibal" sort) in both volumes, it's because when the writing is this mediocre, I don't really expect any sort of nuance or sensitivity.

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