During my major collecting days it was not enough for me to have original EC Comics, I had to have all the reprints, also. That included the series of annual Mad Specials published in the 1970s which included bound-in copies of The Nostalgic Mad, reprinting the best of the comic book Mad by Harvey Kurtzman and artists Wood, Elder, and Davis. Not only did I have to have the Specials, I would buy copies of The Nostalgic Mad if I found them in bargain bins. (Separating them from the larger Mad Special in which they came often caused damage, making them relatively valueless as collectibles.)
My obsessive-compulsive collecting is mostly over. I say “mostly” because I just found a copy of Nostalgic Mad #3 (1974) in a bargain bin for a dollar, and my old OCD came right back. I just had to have it. The collecting compulsion can still strike at any moment. At this stage in my life at least I know what compels me.
I especially liked this issue because it has one of my favorite Kurtzman Mad covers, pictured above, illustrating “Frank N. Stein!” illustrated by Will Elder. Scans of the story are from the reprint itself, the cover I swiped from Heritage rather than dig my copy of Mad Special #15 from its place in my (shudder) basement. My basement storage is my Frankenstein monster, built over the years from my collecting OCD, and like Frankenstein’s monster, will undoubtedly be my eventual undoing.