The Bradford N. Smith Collection

The Bradford N. Smith Collection

My obsession with MAD began some time before I finished elementary school when I discovered a few of my dad ‘s childhood issues in our garage attic – including pristine copies of #186 and #193, with their brown paper mailing covers still attached! Although it took a couple years for me to fully appreciate all that is MAD, my fondness for Prohías ‘ “Spy vs Spy” was immediate and I soon amassed a full collection of the Spy-centered paperbacks.

In 2000, my dad bought me my first new issue (#400), then quickly realized he felt there was an increased amount of profanity from the MADs of his youth and purchased #401, which he sacrilegiously edited with a Sharpie. I would not receive another new issue until 2003 (#431), which I purchased with my grandma, without parental consent. Somehow I managed to acquire a subscription soon after.

As I neared high school, I accidentally combined my love for MAD with my affinity for collecting autographs when the only item I had on me at an event in Los Angeles was the latest issue (#458). As fate would have it, the cover was the perfect match for the celebrities in attendance, and thus began my autographed MAD magazine collection. At 225 magazines, and growing, this collection helped connect me with the vast network of MAD collectors through Doug Gilford ‘s gracious inclusion of it on his MAD Cover Site.

For many years following that fateful day, my collecting remained grounded to signed issues and MAD memorabilia. I eventually discovered the foreign MADs, which revealed a variety of new covers ripe for signatures. But it wasn ‘t until graduating from college that I learned owning original artwork from within the pages of MAD was an actual possibility. This new level of MAD collecting immediately sparked my interest and quickly ate away at my bank account.

More recently, my habit of daily online searches for new pieces had subsided, to the relief of my wife. That is, until last summer when I purchased the collection of Jerry, a MAD collector from my hometown, which supplied many of the issues and books I was missing. Needless to say, as a MAD fanatic, I don ‘t think I ‘ll stop collecting any time soon.


Contact Bradford N. Smith…



The following pictures show  Bob Clarke’s handwritten notes for a presentation on “The History of MAD” (7 pages)




The following 4 images are all original sketches of warriors for Righetti High School’s yearbook that I requested from the artists from 2005-2009






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