Thursday, May 27, 2010

Humor Magazines - BALLYHOO

BALLYHOO 1931 - 1939 Dell Publishing Co.
Of the early satire magazines Ballyhoo most resembles MAD in the parody ads scattered around the magazine as well as some of it's features. Originally started as a weekly magazine and showcased talent such as Dr. Suess. The publication ran until 1939 then two additional attempts to resuscitate in 1948 and then in 1952 were not successful with the magazine finally folding in 1954, ironically less than a year before MAD became a monthly slick magazine.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Humor Magazines - LOONY SPORTS

LOONY SPORTS #1 Spring '75 3 Strikes Publishing
Although most of the magazines that have been reviewed/listed here are non-genre specific, LOONY SPORTS is included here because a couple of very well known humor magazine artists contributed to its 66 page only issue, Al Scaduto and Tony Tallarico, who have both been contributors to CRAZY and CRACKED. A great Monster baseball team piece as well as a variety of sports related satires makes this a very enjoyable read.

Humor Magazines - BLAST

BLAST Feb '71 - #2 May '71 G&D Publishing
A terribly "Worried" Mr. Muggles Mohasky lasted a mere 2 issues as he and BLAST quietly disappeared into the depths of the humor mag history. This publication was the 1st magazine sized satire book of the 10 more titles to come out in the '70's.

Humor Magazines - THIMK

THIMK May '58 - May #6 '59 Counterpoint Inc.

With the tremendous success of MAD magazine as a comic book and then its move to a magazine in July 1955 the flood gates were opened again and a host of other publishers wished to capitalize on MAD's format. In the latter part of the '50's 16 other titles emerged that were similar in content. One such addition was THIMK magazine with it's mascott "Otis Dracenstein" a Frankenstein type character (probably capitalizing on the then in full bloom) Monster Craze. THIMK also devoted a number of interior pages to Monsters and also did a number of articles and a cover appearance by the king of rock n' roll Elvis Presley. Overall an OK addition to the long line of parody/satire magazines.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Frankenstein JACK DAVIS style

Whenever I think of great Frankenstein images I always think of Jack Davis's renderings over the years. I think back to that great life sized poster from the late 60's that you could order through most comic books, the wide variety of Monster record album covers, magazine covers (CREEPY #1 being a real stand out) and the tons of interior pages to the EC line. Above are a few examples not seen too often.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Humor Magazines - PLOP!

PLOP! Sept/Oct 1973 - #24 Nov/Dec 1976 National Periodicals Publications DC
Billed as "The magazine of weired humor" PLOP! had a variety of great talent from Sergio Aragones who incidentally came up with the name "PLOP!" (for more on PLOPs' origins check out "The THWAK Bonfore of Insanity Collection" 128 page trade paperback under "The Carmine Infantino - THWAK Chat" as well as the 3 main characters Cain, Abel and Eve who often introduced various features, Basil Wolverton who provided most of the cover artwork, Wally Wood who did both covers and interiors, Dave Manak, Bernie Wrightson and many more!
The concept was a humor/horror magazine/comic and although an anomaly, lasted 24 issues. Earlier issues did not contain any advertising but slow sales proved it a necessity. A very enjoyable magazine. I sure wish that a full blown trade paperback of the entire run would be issued. Now that would be a treat for those of us who remembered reading this back in the 70's as well as connecting with new readers.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Humor Magazines - NUTS

NUTS June 1997 - ? NUTS Magazine Inc.
Back in '97 it was a breath of fresh air to finally see a humor magazine on glossy pages in color (heck it only took 40 years to revive this concept from back in '57 when Harvy Kurtzman did it with TRUMP!!!). NUTS was a product of Canada and only a few issues were distributed stateside. The style and feel of the material is much more European in nature being more reminiscent of France's Fluide Glacial than MAD some of which being a little more riske than any US mag would have dared put out at that time. Each issue had a pull out poster in the center of the magazine which was a nice touch. It was a pity when all of a sudden it was unavailable. Again this could be related to its $2.95 cover price which was again above that of MAD & CRACKED even though it was in color!
An interesting side note is that during my stint as Co-editor at CRACKED owner Dick Kulpa contemplated using some material/artists from the NUTS although that never materialized.

One more little tidbit is that this was the second time that the name NUTS was used for a humor magazine. The first being in 1958 lasting 2 issues.

Humor Magazines - JAB

JAB Spring 1993 - ? Cummings Design Group
JAB was certainly an interesting magazine, published in Birmingham Alabama, I believe it may have only been available to that market. This publication was the brainchild of artist Frank Cummings (incidentally certainly one of my favorites!) who went on to work for CRACKED and later for the Richard Simmons Organization. It consisted of a variety of typical humor pieces sandwiched between plenty of advertising with artwork done by one of the 4 contributing artists to the magazine. This concept predates MAD magazine's eventual reliance on advertising by a number of years.
It is a quality magazine printed on 50 lb paper in the interior and seemed to be an interesting concept to that particular market. The issue pictured here is from Spring '94 and was the 5th published, I'm not sure if any more exist.

Humor Magazines - WACKO

WACKO - Sept 1980 #1 - Oct 1981 #3 Ideal Publishing Co.
After Paul Laikin moved on from his involvement with CRAZY he and a number of CRAZY artists started this magazine which is virtually indistinguishable from earlier CRAZY magazines. Artists such as my buddy Kent Gamble, Murad Gumen (who did this great cover), Al Scaduto, Charles Nicholas, Tony Tallarico, Arnoldo Franchioni, Bill Burke, Vic Martin and writer Andy Lamberti had all contributed to CRAZY and many of them would continue their working relationship with Laikin when he moved to CRACKED later in the mid 80's.
Wacko would be the only new addition to the humor magazine field in the 80's. I believe that all 3 issues were 80 pages at $1.25 and may have been more than folks were willing to pay for a humor magazine as MAD was still .75c at this time.