35 Cents Cheap

When we think of Mad magazine, we think of Jack Davis.

We could think of Dave Berg, or Antonio Prohias, or Al Jaffee, or Sergio Aragones, or Norman Mingo, but no, it’s Jack Davis who lands first.

When we think of Mad, we think of the artists. The Usual Gang of Idiots included writers, of course, and one William M. Gaines, but now Dick DeBartolo comes to mind.

One writer. Took a moment.

Mad was visual, rich in sight gags, unmatched in caricature. The political cartoonists of the day were good — very good — but they could get away with one panel at a time, with the same subject. Jack Davis would illustrate pages of a movie parody, then knock off a TV Guide cover or two between issues.

Jack Davis nailed the exaggeration. He nailed the composition. He nailed the line. God, he was good. Any 10-year-old could see that.

Which places us in our era, something you have to do with a generations-spanning institution: 1969-1975, pretty much, 35 cents cheap, with a price increase or two before we checked out. The paperback collections were 60 cents. We bought as many as we could.

What was amazing about Mad was that it didn’t pander. They knew who their audience was — kids like us — but they didn’t bother to fit the product to our perception. They’ll do Midnight Wowboy if they feel like it, or Bob & Carol & Tad & Alas, or Carnival Knowledge, and like hell Dad’s letting us see any of those, but no matter. They’re having fun. So are we. It’s contagious.

Mad had a “reputation”. We had to campaign for permission to read it. Dad finally relented, and of course it didn’t take long until he was swiping our issues so he could read them.

Don’t recall what Dad thought of the infamous middle-finger cover. Not one of our favorites, although it’s inescapably memorable. Too on the nose.

Better: The cover with the giant barcode, stating they hope it breaks every supermarket scanner in the country. That was their response to being required to desecrate their cover with a barcode in the first place. That was Mad’s first barcode cover.

That was Mad.

We remember those covers. We remember those artists. We remember the cross-section of an engine, paired with a “happy section”. We remember the “Nixxon” sign above the White House — timed to when Enco/Esso changed its name — and the tagline “But it’s still the same old gas!” We remember that someone sent a letter to the editors on MADison Ave., the envelope bearing nothing but a smiling Alfred E. Neuman and a zip code. We remember the letter being successfully delivered.

We remember a lot. We haven’t looked at those issues in more than forty years.

And now, well, looks like it’s gone.

The news isn’t yet official, but the evidence is stacking up. Mad famously never ran ads, so it wouldn’t have been a victim to those vicissitudes, but it was a print magazine that entertained generations of kids who had no Internet to distract them. Once upon a time you could buy it at the corner store with your 15-cent comic books, but printing and distribution haven’t gotten easier over the years. We don’t even know who owns it now, what with Time Warner gone.

Whatever its fate, Mad had its moment, a good long one, and we were there for one of the best stretches of it. Mad was there for us when it counted, when we were learning about comedy, the craft of humor, and what we learned remains with us to this day.

Literally. That’s a Mad “department” right above the post title. If there’s one thing Mad taught us, it’s never let fine print go to waste.

50 comments:

8:01 am • Thursday • July 4, 2019

MAD was one of the staples of mine too.

I wish everyone here a happy July 4 to remember what US Amercia once stood for and not the shitshow quasi-Stalinist tank parade in DC led by the Tantrum In Chief.

11:01 pm • Friday • July 5, 2019

Odd I didn’t think of Don Martin until now.

12:29 am • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

So Jeffrey Epstein. Can we discuss?

Hey Stinquers – please remind me – in many ways the past 10-15 years with you wacky kids on a variety of platforms have become a blur. But I swear to the FSM that since the Nick Denton /Ana Marie Cox / Megan C. / Ask a Lobbyist Days of Wonkette, that we have been discussing what a disgusting sack of shit Jeffrey Epstein is, along with his followers-on of Dershowitz, Clinton, Trump, et al. I think this started around 2002 or 2005 when there were those weird AF articles in VF and New York magazines.

Could that explain why I am so FUCKING OBSESSED with this new story? And why I can’t understand why MSM won’t reference the (settled in November 2016) case brought by the woman who was 13 years old when she was raped by Trump and Epstein?

I haven’t gone down the memory tube (because it would make me sad) to see if baked and I had the same conversation 10 years ago about Epstein/Clinton/Trump. I have a spidey-sense memory that she had thoughts – lots of thoughts – about them, given she was from that same fucked up rich Manhattan milieu, and to her credit, she embraced the FDR “traitor to her class” label.

But bring all of those fucking assholes down. Now. This story is so horrifying.

1:14 am • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

@SanFranLefty: I’ve seen the Gawker Diaspora bringing up Epstein, but they’re referencing a post from just a few years ago, not ages back.

Personally, he’s never been on my radar, but Dersh has never been on my radar either. He turns up, I notice, he’s gone, only to turn up later.

No conclusions to draw from that as such; I just find myself paying more attention to the Appalachian Trail crowd, the self-righteous assholes who get caught in airport bathrooms, the opportunistic creeps who poison the body politic.

One observation did catch me: It’s not just Epstein, it’s the whole power structure that protects him. It’s that Stanford guy, it’s Kavanaugh, it’s the judge who let a creep off easy last week because he “comes from a good family”, and it’s rotten to the core.

1:49 am • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

@nojo: It could be that happened since Nick Denton was taken down and/or the Gawker diaspora (or the saved for posterity websites went down). Because I’m sure as fuck that I’ve had these discussions with some of the way-back-when crew about Epstein, and at the time, Billy Clinton. I would swear that there was a discussion around 2006-07 where one of us said that Epstein would be Hillary’s downfall in running against that magical Unicorn Barry Obama. (P.S. I still have my Barry riding a unicorn t-shirt, that I only wear on special occasions).

10:56 am • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

@SanFranLefty: I seem to recall learning about Epstein during that era, and it was a class scandal, not a partisan one, in which all of these obscenely wealthy, gross old New York men would take rides on Epstein’s private jet, charmingly nicknamed “the Lolita Express,” down to some private island in the Caribbean outside US law where they would have sex with girls as young as 14, which, ugh, just thinking about this is making me nauseated. I’m repeating this from memory because, so help me FSM, I will not google it for Fear of the Results, so forgive me if I inadvertently bonk the details.

Anyway, the scandal was that this somehow became public knowledge outside of these elite white trash circles, not that this organized sexual slavery was actually occurring, which was just a given and apparently brushed off with knowing nods by our depraved rulers. And basically every gross old pervert you’ve seen on teevee, including Tr666p, Bill Clinton, Alan Dipshitowitz, et al., and plenty that pull the strings behind the scenes have been implicated as well. Probably Ghouliani, too, but that’s just pure speculation on my part.

So by 2007-ish, Epstein had become so blatantly notorious that something had to be done and the FBI/whomever couldn’t just keep covering it up like business as usual, so Alex Acosta—a known Florida Man—cooked up some bullshit sweetheart deal to defraud the courts and the victims and help Epstein get away with it. NDAs and payoffs flew like skeeters at a Tennessee barbecue, and the rest is history, until now.

There was a legitimate fear that this would all come out during the 2016 campaign or afterwards in the early days of the hypothetical Hillary Clinton presidency, thus causing her support to implode and even to resign due to Bill’s disgrace. Rumor has it that Epstein kept the receipts as they say these days by secretly recording every one of these men’s encounters at his mansion, his jet, and his island, thus ensuring their complicity and silence. Apparently, he’s been supplying our rulers with underage girls his whole adult life, which is a major part of why he’s so wealthy and inexplicably well-connected. So when the Very Serious People scratch their heads and wonder aloud why the likes of Bill Barr, US Senators, CEOs, and the rest of the Who’s Who of our nation’s loathsome and powerful will shamelessly lie and humiliate themselves over and over again to protect each other, this is why.

‘Scuse me now while I sit down, place my head between my legs, and take many deep breaths as I try to recover from thinkin’ ‘bout this vile ordeal.

12:02 pm • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

Oh, and obviously $hitler’s Evilungelical ChrISIStian cult will be fully onboard with underage sex crimes now that the details are gonna come out.

Prezirapist AntiChrist will package the videos of him raping 14 year-old girls as a holiday special on Twitter, and they’ll swoon with ecstasy since he’s owned the libs and he’s their white Jayzus, the end.

1:08 pm • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

@Jack will fake his best hue-mahn impression and be oh-so-concerned and cry crocodile tears that $hitler’s rape videos violate Twitter’s terms of service, buuuuuut he’ll leave them up anyway out of “fairness” to conservatives. Christ, these soulless, greedy psychopaths have got to go.

2:30 pm • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

@SanFranLefty and @¡Andrew!: This is not how the world is supposed to work. :(

And baked? Yeah. She knew a lot about a lot.

2:55 pm • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

I found this while going down the rabbit hole: my xon you will dire

3:01 pm • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

And before anyone pulls up any crazy shit I wrote, please don’t. Shit. Better remove that plank from my eye.

3:24 pm • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

When I was a kid, I thought this guy was Alfred E Neumann. I was like eight, okay?

3:57 pm • Tuesday • July 9, 2019

@JNOV: Alfred was originally a kid on a fruit box, something like that — turn of century, thereabouts. Mad didn’t create him, they adopted him.

11:47 am • Wednesday • July 10, 2019

The Poopsidedown Adventure …

12:33 pm • Wednesday • July 10, 2019

@¡Andrew!: I probably wasn’t lurking around back then but I do recall from the news and the biggest thing that I remember was Prince Andy hanging out with these folks and his family snatched him out of harms way. My impression at the time was once the prince was out of the story there wasn’t enough prurient interest to keep the story in the news. I am not being sarcastic here, I just think this is how the press works. These other folks just were not glamorous enough to draw interest.

12:47 pm • Wednesday • July 10, 2019

@DElurker: The good news this time around is that it involves BEEL CLINTUN’S PAYNISS, otherwise known as The Dick that Destroyed America and the Key that Opened the Gates to Hayell, so the corporate media may revel in the salaciousness long enough to take down him, Prezirapist AntiChrist, and a whole gang of these parasitic monsters in DC and Wall $treet. They’re all in on it, not that our national political rape machine actually gives a shit about the victims.

12:47 pm • Wednesday • July 10, 2019

@nojo: Ahhhh. The boardwalk dude scared the bejesus out of me.

1:07 pm • Wednesday • July 10, 2019

/in much better news/

Cake decorator confuses Moana with marijuana on cake; birthday girl still loves it

SAN ANTONIO – It was supposed to be a Moana cake, but a young woman instead received a birthday cake featuring marijuana and a ‘My Little Pony’-themed character smoking marijuana.

“So my mama called and ordered me a cake telling them how much I loved Moana. (Because really I do) Well needless to say these people though she said marijuana.”

https://komonews.com/news/offbeat/cake-decorator-confuses-moana-with-marijuana-on-cake-birthday-girl-still-loves-it

1:40 pm • Wednesday • July 10, 2019

@¡Andrew!: YAS!

1:42 pm • Wednesday • July 10, 2019

@¡Andrew!: I’ll order a Puff the Magic Dragon cake for my next birthday

4:49 pm • Wednesday • July 10, 2019

@JNOV:
; )-~

10:18 am • Thursday • July 11, 2019

“Oh my god, I just wanted bagels!”

11:18 pm • Thursday • July 11, 2019

@nojo and @SanFranLefty: Hey! Look at what my local rag reported! And DLA Piper threatened to sue them!

My subscription dollars at work, although Crystal Geyser kinda screwed themselves.

11:45 pm • Thursday • July 11, 2019

@¡Andrew!: Hey – are you watching “Euphoria”? I’m so happeeeeee I love Rue.

11:58 pm • Thursday • July 11, 2019

@JNOV: Haven’t seen that one. I’m currently watching Big Little Lies, Community, and Popular. I need to dig into Season 3 of the Handmaid’s Tale, but OMFG, I just can’t make myself do it. Real life is almost as horrifying as reel life.

1:01 am • Friday • July 12, 2019

@JNOV: That’s more interesting than the landfill siting I covered for more than a year.

2:09 am • Friday • July 12, 2019

@nojo: Heheheh. Yeah. We have a Port. We are landlocked. I think it’s known as an “Industrial Park” in other parts of the country. Recently there was a bear and some deer chilling at the port.

@¡Andrew!: Watching Big Little Lies – Meryl Streep, dude. Skipping this season of Handmaid’s Tale.

Euphoria is a feast for the senses. I keep falling asleep on the Chasing the Moon series. This season of Legion seems like it won’t suck as much as the last one. I’ll be glad when Taboo returns. Tom Hardy…Tom Hardy.

OH! Lefty – you’re our futbol expert. So, I don’t know the rules. When I was growing up, dudes played soccer while we were smacking the shit out of each other with old school wooden lacrosse sticks.

ANYWAY, Megan Anna Rapinoe plays for a team in Tacoma. I might buy a ticket.

10:03 am • Friday • July 12, 2019

So long Jim Bouton.

10:11 am • Friday • July 12, 2019

Aaaaaaaand Secretary Molesta is out, and only for enabling and covering up an international sex trafficking ring—it’s so unfair! Gonna spend more time with his Flowers in the Attic no doubt. I was sure that Prezirapist AntiChrist was gonna keep him on a few more weeks just for his own joy in mocking sexual assault survivors, so the next shoe to drop must be reeeeaaaalllly bad.

10:46 am • Friday • July 12, 2019

But no worries, ‘cuz Pussolini has an inexhaustible supply of perverts and psychopaths to install in his cabinet, like Roy Moore, Bill Cosby, or Melanoma’s pimp, Sergey Kislyak.

1:28 pm • Friday • July 12, 2019

@ManchuCandidate: Oh dude! Thanks for sending me to Wikipedia. Have you read his book?

1:29 pm • Friday • July 12, 2019

@¡Andrew!: FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC! BWAH!

2:21 pm • Friday • July 12, 2019

@JNOV:
Yeah I have an autographed hardcover. It is the only sports memoir I have read and will probably ever read.

He was quite a character.

4:34 pm • Friday • July 12, 2019

@ManchuCandidate: niiiice

Meanwhile in the only red county in western Washington, looks like the whole county lost power. Finally got someone out to direct traffic. People honking at each other as if a horn blast can make the cars in front of you disappear.

My dog watches with disdain.

10:03 am • Sunday • July 14, 2019

/good advice/

Reclaim your life from the jaws of Dotard Tr666p

We’ve already seen everything there is to see. There will never be anything new, only more of the same. (Another wildly credible rape charge? Ho hum. More shady business dealings? Yawn.) No matter how hideous the next thing he does, no matter how furious it makes us, no matter how much more it makes us despise him, there will be nothing surprising about any of it.

It’s time, therefore, to reclaim our lives. We have OD’d on a radioactively toxic drug, and though going cold turkey will likely be impossible, withdrawal is essential.

When we think about him, he wins. When we talk about him, he wins. I’m tired of all his winning. I’m going to do my small part — as small as his wee hands — to keep my addiction to a minimum. And, because as Pete Buttigieg said, “It is the nature of grotesque things that you can’t look away,” I will probably relapse within days.

12:19 am • Tuesday • July 16, 2019

@¡Andrew!: I’ll drink to that!

10:34 pm • Tuesday • July 16, 2019

I was thinking about having my hair dyed the color of Queen Bey’s.

SHE HAS A WEAVE! Damn. I’m not getting a weave.

1:30 am • Wednesday • July 17, 2019

@¡Andrew!: In other news:

Train Sparks Brush Fires in South Thurston County

Centralia City Council Candidates Debate Ahead of August Primary Election at O’Blarney’s Irish Pub in Centralia

And some logs fell off a truck on I-5.

Here’s the really important news: Carolyn Long is running for congress again. If she wins, all western WA House districts will be blue (assuming all the blue seats remain the aforementioned color).

Long raised approximately $150,000 on the day she announced, and the DCCC has WA 3rd on their Red to Blue list. The NRCC has Herrara Buetler on the OH SNAP list (AKA The Patriot Program).

We have to just keep pushing. Lewis County is a tough nut to crack.

Oh! Apparently I’m not the only black person here. I saw three black people yesterday and three different black people today! About a week ago I saw a truck with a white and black version of the Confederate battle flag. I guess the new colors are to point out that the guy really is a white supremacist. So there’s that.

Hey – what’s the story behind Dees leaving the SPLC?

12:14 am • Thursday • July 18, 2019

Fuck you, Wirecutter! I don’t need an Instapot! I didn’t even want an Instapot. But you told me is was a great deal on Prime Day, so I bought a fucking Instapot. I’ll call it kitchen decor because I’m not going to use it. One human being living alone does not. need. a. six-quart. Instapot. Does ANYONE need an Instapot? I think not.

9:39 am • Thursday • July 18, 2019

@JNOV:
I use mine and I live alone. Not everyday but roughly 3 times a month for making certain foods. It cooks Indian food and chicken very well. Also makes decent chilli much faster than a slow cooker.

9:41 am • Thursday • July 18, 2019

Mike Lee is a cheap ass colossal asshole.

Him and Rand Paul for tiny cock blocking 9/11 Emergency Responder Aid Funds.

10:39 am • Thursday • July 18, 2019

Tim Kaine: “The EEOC cites ‘go back to where you came from’ as a classic form of discrimination that violates civil rights. The President’s bigoted words are so contrary to who we are as a country that we literally have laws against them.”

12:00 pm • Thursday • July 18, 2019

@ManchuCandidate: I wish Mike Lee were better known for being the asshole he is. I’m not getting my full pleasure out of it.

12:23 pm • Thursday • July 18, 2019

@ManchuCandidate: Yah! After I was complaining over here, I started a search for recipes for Indian food and stews. My only deal is that I go the old way w/r/t caramelizing onions, etc. Some spices need to be cooked in a little oil until fragrant before you get going on the rest of the dish. Stuff like that.

BUT I might start with making chicken stock, which I find a pain in the ass (skim skim skim), so I’ll see what happens in this thing (probably skim skim skim). I use a cupcake pan to freeze 1 cup portions of stock, so that might be good.

It was just delivered. I hope it doesn’t end up like that swing walker exercise thing I bought in the ’90s. Coatrack. Although the Insta Pot is too small and would look odd in the living room.

@ManchuCandidate: OMG! WUT?!

@¡Andrew!: YAS! So glad the president has a great EEOC leader!

@nojo: I know. Oh, yes. I know.

12:27 pm • Thursday • July 18, 2019

@JNOV:
You can do that before pressure cooking. The thing has a saute mode. That’s what I use when I need to brown meat or caramelize onions.

What I do is make stock then stick the pot portion of the Instapot in the fridge for a few hours. Makes the whole skimming out fat a breeze. Made a decent Sellogeontang (ox bone soup) in 2 hours. My mom was confused because she didn’t think I could.

8:55 pm • Thursday • July 18, 2019

@ManchuCandidate: Well, there you go! We shall soon turn Stinque into a recipe site with a pol chaser.

8:59 pm • Thursday • July 18, 2019

OMG – AARP needs to stop spamming me!

9:17 pm • Friday • July 19, 2019

(((RED ALERT)))

Veronica Mars is streaming NOW!!!

Welp, there goes my weekend : )

11:43 pm • Friday • July 19, 2019

@JNOV: The InstaPot is the greatest thing ever for making black bean soup from scratch in 20 minutes, and for making perfect hard boiled eggs. And what Manchu said about Indian and Korean recipes (and Texas chili) being made in less than 2 hours. Mr. SFL is totally obsessed with our InstaPot, and it’s been more than 2 years since we got ours.

If you’re OCD (like I am), your goal in life is to peel a hard-boiled egg with one connected slick shell. And that will happen if you boil them in an InstaPot.

3:28 am • Saturday • July 20, 2019

@SanFranLefty: <3

I have to dispatch seven of my drakelets before they become sexually mature and injure or kill my two ducks by over-mating. The odds were not in my favor with this run. I'll make stock out of the feet, neck, liver, heart, and gizzards. I really hope Benedick isn't lurking.

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