Wood Chips 33: Mad Strikes Back!
#17 (November 1954), Harvey Kurtzman decided to fight back at the many imitators of Mad
. In other words, a parody of parodies, cleverly incorporating the logos of the other comic books and employing Julius Caesar
as the springboard. The Joseph Mankiewicz film with Marlon Brando had been released 15 months earlier. Brando must have liked the way he was depicted by Kurtzman and Wood, as he actually did sometimes refer to himself as "Marlon Branflakes".
None of these imitations had a handle on what Kurtzman had created, although Flip, Get Lost
all had a certain appeal. Craig Yoe has a forthcoming book collecting Archie's Madhouse
as I mistakenly had it here before). Madhouse
were two of the worst. Also forthcoming (in December) is John Benson's The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s Mad Inspired Satirical Comics
, with an introduction by Jay Lynch. This selection of 30 stories from the Mad
imitators includes art by Jack Davis, Will Elder, Norman Maurer, Carl Hubbell, William Overgard, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, Bill Everett, Al Hartley, Ross Andru & Mike Esposito, Hy Fleischman, Jay Disbrow, Howard Nostrand and Bob Powell.
Labels: brando, harvey kurtzman, mad, wood chips, yoe