Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mad 498

I am getting behind on my Mad entries. Since I already have number 499 I figured I had better get this one done. First there has been some news from Mad. They have cancelled Mad Kids, which I never bought, and Mad Classics, which I did. Classics reprinted old stories. Mad has let a lot of the staff go and will be publishing every quarter instead of monthly. The name Mad is worth too much to let it die so it will be around in this form. Mad's Editor claimed that since only every third issue was funny, they were eliminating the non-funny ones. I felt Mad had been improving, but a quick glance at 499 was not impressive. Anyway on with the review.

This issue has a great cover by Mark Fredrickson.

The Fundalini Pages are worse than usual. The only thing I liked was a "rejected comic strip" called Borrowsville. LOSE.

Lame Attempts By TV To Explain The 2008 Presidential Vote by Writer Barry Liebmann and Artist Ward Sutton. This is simply a lame article. LOSE.

A Mad Look At Snow. Written And drawn by Sergio Aragones. Sergio rarely disappoints and here is no exception. WIN.

Mad's 12 Surefire Tips For Stand-Up Comics by Writer Jeff Kruse and artist Rick Tulka. Howard's one surefire tip for Mad writers: Make it funny. LOSE.

Mad's Sucky Twilight Outtakes. No writer listed, pictures from the movie Twilight. I can understand why no writer wanted to take credit for this. LOSE.

The 2009 Al Jaffee Calendar. Of course all months were pictured folded. It is a two page spraed covered with the months plus a lot of Al's drawings. WIN.

Mad Exposes Who's Thinking What At The Obama Inauguration by writers Desmond Devlin, Jeff Kruse, Jacob Lambert, Frank Santopadre, and Dennis Snee, art by Tom Richmond. In some cases where you have this many writers it helps because you get the best lines, instead of a few good ones and too many lame ones. Another plus for this is the art by Tom Richmond, whose caricatures are the best I have seen since Mort Drucker. Tom has a blog and you can visit it here. The best line is Oprah thinking "Look at him--the second most powerful African-American in the country." WIN.

Spy Vs Spy, writer and artist Peter Kuper. I think they should retire this feature. It is no way as good as when Antonio Prohias did it. LOSE.

When Adults Say...Remind Them... by writer Jacob Lambert and art by Peter Bagge. Out of the 8 featured I only thought 2 were funny. LOSE.

The Mad World Of Pets by writer Stan Sinberg and artist Marc Hempel. I liked 9 out of the 10 gags. WIN.

Monroe And The Plane Trip by writer Anthony Barbieri and artist Tom Fowler. Have I mentioned before I totally dislike this. Add another one to the pile. LOSE.

What The Heck Is The Difference? They print 2 old Mad covers side by side and make 9 changes to the second one. I like these. WIN.

Mad's All-Inclusive Do-It Yourself Celebrity Scandal Blog Posting by writers Frank Jacobs and Bill Fibbers and art by Mort Drucker. Mort turns 80 next month. His skills have not diminished at all. Mort is not the oldest artist featured in this issue. Al Jaffee will be 88 next month. WIN.

Tell-Tale Signs That You've Got A Really Bad Psychic by writer and artist Teresa Burns Parkhurst. I liked it, especially the line you know the psychic is bad if she uses baseball cards instead of Tarot cards. WIN

The First 100 Minutes Of The Obama Presidency by writers Bill Fibbers and Frank Santopadre and artist Drew Friedman. As with most long articles like this there are a few clinkers, but overall it hits. WIN.

Fold-In by Al Jaffee. WIN.
Totals are 9 wins, 7 losses, plus one extra win for having both Mort Drucker and Tom Richmond in the issue. Final score:59.
Not great but not bad either.
Al was right. Ivan the Terrible was the Czar of Russia. Actually, I think Russia is the only country to call their leader a Czar. One of my favorite lines from Fiddler On The Roof is when the Rabbi is asked if there is a proper blessing for the Czar. He responded "There is a blessing for everything. May God bless and keep the Czar.....far away from us."

Today's question is Grade 3/Science. True or False? A spider is an invertebrate.
Even though that was a science question, I actually knew it. 38-10.


Al Penwasser said...

I loved MAD back in the day! I especially liked Don Martin.
I think you're right about czar, which draws its origin to "Caesar." (as also was "kaiser").
OK, in keeping with my non-cheating policy and just barging in with an answer, I'm going to say, TRUE, a spider is an invertebrate (meaning it does not have a backbone-vertebrate).

Travis said...

I will say true as well.

I still like the Mad reviews, Howard even if I haven't read one in years and years