Aug 7, 2017
The first letter to the editor I ever wrote and saw published was to Crazy Magazine, a competitor to Mad, Cracked and Sick in the mid-1970s. Crazy was a Marvel Comics take on satire and, being a card-carrying Fan Of Old Marvel (F.O.O.M., for those in the know), I took my previous teen love of Mad and crossed over to Stan Lee’s new mag.
GER APELDOORN podcast excerpt: "One of my particular favorites creators is Russ Heath. His work is in 'Behaving Madly' a lot. Almost anything he did in the genre is such high quality!"
What I didn’t know until a few years later was that Crazy was not Lee’s first attempt at satire (outside of Not Brand Ecch! comics). Back in the 1950s, Lee created and edited Snafu for Red Circle Magazines, a.k.a., Atlas/Marvel. According to Ger Apeldoorn and Craig Yoe, co-authors of a new history of the genre, Behaving Madly: Zany, Loco, Cockeyed, Rip-off, Satire Magazines, Lee was planning the first issue of Snafu even as Bill Gaines, Harvey Kurtzman, and the Usual Gang of Idiots were in production of Mad’s second. Behaving Madly is an irresistible window into a forgotten era of occasionally first-rate (but mostly second- and third-rate) satire comics of the 1950s. Apeldoorn and Yoe – the latter of whom appeared on Mr. Media to talk about his book, Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-creator Joe Shuster – have crafted a must-read for humor fans of all generations. (You might also want to search the Mr. Media archives for my previous interviews with Mad contributors Al Jaffee, Arnold Roth and Sergio Aragones.)