MAD Magazine #1

MAD Magazine #1 • USA • 1st Edition - New York
1st Edition - New York
October 1st, 1952
Tales Calculated to Drive You MAD
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Mad #1 (Harvey Kurtzman) - First Kurtzman Satire Comic Issue - 1952

Kurtzman's cover illustration for (Tales Calculated to Drive You) Mad (Humor in a Jugular Vein) introduced the reader to "Melvin," the first running joke in his new satire/parody comic book. The cover and the first story, HooHah! were parodies of the most successful EC subject: horror/terror. The book contained four illustrated stories separated into departments (Terror, Science-Fiction, Crime, Western).

Stories one (HooHah!), two (Blobs!), and four (Varmint!) are rather tame compared to subsequent Mad offerings. The artists generally followed Kurtzman's story line without background embellishments. The exception is story three (Ganefs!) with Will Elder's drawings. He managed to get about 20 of his "chicken fat" jokes into the six-page article. Thus began the Elder touch which caused his fans to examine every frame for obvious and hidden non sequiturs. "Ganef" is the Yiddish word for "thief."

Some experts have claimed that the stories in the first Mad are actually parodies of radio programs. Apparently, the Kurtzman family did not own a television. [Potrzebie Statistical Abstract Volume 1]

Galusha is holding onto the divider between frames. ("HooHah!" - page 3)

Terror - Hoohah! (Jack Davis)
Science Fiction - Blobs! (Wally Wood)
Crime - Ganefs! (Will Elder)
Western - Varmint! (John Severin)


Thanks to


Table of Contents


Artist: Harvey Kurtzman Colorist: Marie Severin

MAD Mumblings

Department: MAD Mumblings

Writer: William Gaines Writer: Harvey Kurtzman


Department: Terror

Artist: Jack Davis Writer: Harvey Kurtzman Colorist: Marie Severin

Reprinted in: US MAD Magazine #22


Department: Science-Fiction

Writer: Harvey Kurtzman Colorist: Marie Severin Artist: Wally Wood

E.C. Fans!

Department: E.C. comics

Colorist: Marie Severin

Enter Cosmo McMoon!

Department: Cosmo McMoon

Writer: Harvey Kurtzman Colorist: Marie Severin

Crow Vadis?

Writer: Harvey Kurtzman Colorist: Marie Severin


Department: Crime

Artist: Bill Elder Writer: Harvey Kurtzman Colorist: Marie Severin


Department: Western

Writer: Harvey Kurtzman Colorist: Marie Severin Artist: John Severin

Super Powerful!

Department: Consumers Mart

I Gained 53 lbs. of Shapley Power-Packed Muscles!

Department: Jowett Institute of Physical Training

How To Fix Any Part of Any Car

Department: Motor's Auto Repair Manuals