MAD Artist’s Edition

Before MAD Magazine was read in nearly every household, there was MAD Comics. Written and edited by the brilliant Harvey Kurtzman, and drawn by the best and most creative cartoonists of the time, including Wally Wood, Bill Elder, Jack Davis, and Basil Wolverton, MAD was the most innovative satirical publication ever unleashed upon the youth of America.

This very special Artist’s Edition features nearly 20 incredible stories and a dozen classic covers-Every issue of MAD from #1 to #18 is represented by either a cover or story (and often both!) and is scanned from the actual original art and printed same-size as drawn-A massive 15 x 22 inches! If you are a fan of MAD, or just great cartooning, this is the Artist’s Edition for you!

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As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.

This is an almost overwhelming amount of classic material in a giant 15″ x 22″ format. Twenty-one complete stories, sixteen covers, five cover roughs, two house ads and one lonely page. Who knew Bill Elder could mimic George McManus so well? It’s one thing to have read these in their printed format, but to see original art pages from this group is magical. Closing it all out is a one page biography of Harvey Kurtzman.

Scan quality is excellent. Almost every page is clear and well presented; a few pages had text along the bottom and suffered from some blurriness. Blacks are consistently uniform. Lots of production notes and scribblings along the edges. Most pages have aged well and fall between off white to tan, with soiling throughout.

Dahlk’s design is incredibly simple and effective. Yellow boxes with white borders and black text with spot images. Clean and direct; I enjoyed the font choices for the introduction and table of contents, fitting right in with the book’s material. A seamless integration. One introductory divider page but no chapter pages or breaks other than the gallery index.

Production is the usual top notch that we come to expect from IDW. Sewn binding of thick matte paper stock. The binding on this book is ridiculously tight, with few pages able to lay flat. The book comes shrinkwrapped in a cardboard case with a small black and white sticker showing cover image and UPC.

Mad Artist Ed HC

from Things From Another World