Rick Geary is a wonderful cartoonist known for a lot of things — he’s contributed to National Lampoon and MAD (he’s in the current issue even!), he’s worked with Harvey Pekar on stories for American Splendor, but the thing he’s probably most famous for (at least in comic nerd circles) is his wonderful Treasuries of Victorian Murder and Treasures of XXth Century Murder. These are true crime stories, meticulously researched and illustrated in Geary’s clear line-art style. He’s done Lizzy Borden, Jack the Ripper, and the most recent is Lover’s Lane: The Hall-Mills Mystery. Continue reading
For people of a certain age, it’s almost mind-blowing to think that Cracked is good now. Back when it was a magazine that was a knockoff of MAD, Dan Clowes‘ (a Cracked contributor in the ’80s) description was right: It was “comedy methadone“, for months when MAD wasn’t published. Never that great, but it seemed to fill the need. So, why of all things, would anyone read a book on the history of Cracked? Mark Arnold’s If You’re Cracked, You’re Happy is just that — and it’s surprisingly interesting.
I discovered Tim Johnson on Facebook as a fellow MAD collector… but as it turns out, his collection puts mine to shame. After paging through his photo albums of all the cool stuff he has and coveting some of the stuff I’d always wished to find, like the MAD Straitjacket from the late ‘50s, I decided to contact him and see if he’d be up for a Kittysneezes interview with a fellow MAD fan.
For most of its history, MAD magazine has been at the forefront of gleefully juvenile printed humor. Its pop culture spoofs are legendary, its cartoonists among the finest humorists of their generation. But along the way, MAD created some of the most fun (and suitably warped) musical creations of the 20th century.