Friday, August 29, 2014

Number 1624: The many rooms of Archie’s Mad House

I bought the first few issues of Archie’s Madhouse off the comic rack when they were published. I liked all satire magazines, Mad and its imitators. Humor is a subjective thing, though, and after a while I found the contents of the Archie publications starting to bore me, so I moved onto other things. But I still enjoyed those early issues in their own way, reporting on the ways of teenagers. After all, at the time I was just short of entering that teenage world.

Archie’s Madhouse (also called “Mad House” on the cover, even though the indicia has it as one word) has a publishing history that would give a genealogist gray hairs. It was Archie’s Madhouse for 66 issues, Mad House Ma-ad for 4, Mad House Ma-ad Freak-Out for 2, Mad House Glads for 22, and finally just Mad House (which included some horror-style anthology issues) until winding up its run after a final 36 issues. Luckily someone has done the hard work for us, and the whole family tree can be climbed at the Grand Comics Database. Archie’s Madhouse, which debuted in 1960, went on for over 20 years under various titles, but with a continuous numbering through issue #130 in 1982.

This is issue #4 (1960) in its entirety.


Unknown said...

The "Teenage Life in the Stone Ages" and the "Discovery of Time" are both scripted by George Gladir, pencilled by Bob White and inked and lettered by Marty Epp, while the "Archie's Aquarium" is pencilled by White.

Russ said...

I remember reading the first appearance of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch in this comic. I vaguely recall a roster of weird characters when the comic was divided into different "departments". Lester Cool and Chester Square, the Pink Martian, and Captain Sprocket. I have no idea why I read more than one issue of this, except that I was a big fan of Mad and Madhouse was trying to be like Mad.

I also remember Tales Calculated to Drive You BATS, which was virtually the only place to read monster comics in the shadow of the powerful Comics Code.

Pappy said...

Unknown, thanks for the information. Longtime Pappy's readers know I have posted the entire run of Bob White's Cosmo the Merry Martian. Go to Pappy's #1140, which is the last issue of Cosmo, but which has links you can follow back to all six issues of this fun and funny series.

Pappy said...

Russ, thanks for bring up Tales Calculated to Drive You Bats, which I also bought. For one thing the comic was rich with the work of cartoonist Orlando Busino, an artist whose work I admired at first sight.

Fran Xavier said...

Do you know anything about an Archie comic book strip about Archie dreaming that he's going to the chair for some crime?
Had to be in a mid 50's issue. I was about 12 or 13 when I read it. It was pretty dark for an Archie comic. Of course it couldn't compare to Mad comic's "Starchie" in the early 50's