Things Are Not Always As They Appear
For Christmas I was given the MAD BATHROOM COMPANION – THE MOTHER LOAD. Which is just about the same style of Uncle John’s Readers are – just long enough for one sitting on the John.
Today what I read was first published in October 1987. Most people who read it probably read it and moved on. I didn’t. It made me pause. I didn’t pause over the contents about how VCRs are (did) change our style of living but I paused over the artist: Harvey Kurtzman. Harvey Kurtzman created MAD over 30 years before this article. In that issue he was just another free-lance artist drawing what the writer Tom Koch wrote. The first 23 issues of MAD were comic book format and every word in those issues (except letters to the editor and advertisements) was written by Harvey Kurtzman and every drawn figure had to go through Kurtzman’s suggestion and final approval.
Then, for the next several issue of MAD Magazine Kurtzman ran a tight ship until he butted heads with the publisher William Gaines on just who controlled MAD.
Now, seeing this article drawn by Kurtzman, who by then was on the other end of the food chain, is sort of sad.
However, he didn't starve, being on the low end of MAD's food chain. He was the creative thinker behind the Annie Fanny series in PLAYBOY and had several books out.
The below is the cover of the first issue of MAD. The cover was drawn by Harvey Kurtzman. And the next illustration is the first page of the story by Tom Koch I was talking about.