Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Number 2561: When Cracked went MAD!


This is not a usual Pappy posting. It's about Cracked #11 (1959), which your old Pappy once owned, and then found again on the internet. I had a subscription to Cracked, and remember that whomever mailed it to subscribers rolled it up and wrapped paper around it, then hand wrote the name and address. Ugh! I hated it!

But despite that I was smitten with the issues that featured Jack Davis. Davis is amply represented in this issue. He did work for more than one issue of Cracked, but I don't believe he had more of his artwork than is found here.

Looking at the contents page and the artist listing, it is like a listing of EC artists: Will Elder, John Severin, and Jack Davis. There may be another non-EC artist somewhere among those guys, but for all intents and purposes it's an all-MAD issue.

Davis and Elder had both done work for the upscale magazine MAD, after the comic book MAD fell prey to EC going out of the color comic book business. Davis, in an interview I read years ago but remember, said after Harvey Kurtzman's Humbug flopped he recalled going back to MAD publisher William Gaines and asking for work, but Gaines said his artist roster was full. What? You mean he gave Davis the bum's rush? What nerve! Eventually whatever was keeping Davis from MAD softened and he became a MADman again.

I mention again that I found this issue online. It is not what survived for a short time of my copy of Cracked #11 after being rolled and sent through the U.S. Mail. That disappeared decades ago.