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Ebook The Mad Archives, Vol. 1 by Wallace Wood read! Book Title: The Mad Archives, Vol. 1
The author of the book: Wallace Wood
Edition: MAD
Date of issue: August 1st 2002
ISBN: 1563898160
ISBN 13: 9781563898167
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 686 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.9

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Years before Alfred E. Neuman reared his head, Mad (not yet a "Magazine") made its debut in 1952 as the first humorous title in the EC line. The brainchild of editor Harvey Kurtzman, Mad quickly found its voice and became a sensation, surviving the persecution of the comic industry in the mid-50s to become EC's sole publication.

This must have been over-the-top, groundbreaking work in the 50s, a breath of relief from the slow, steady, subtle humor of the New Yorker or the staid comic strips of the day. But, unlike Kurtzman's serious work, it's tough to enjoy today outside of an admiration at the craft involved. It's not just a matter of old targets of parody; the spoofs include cultural mainstays like Superman and Tarzan. And it can still manage to evoke a chuckle at its sharper moments, like when "The Lone Stranger" miraculously disarms an attacking gang by precisely grazing their shoulders and trigger fingers. Overall, though, this hasn't aged particularly well.

The book takes a few issues to find its footing, the first two issues containing stories not far off from the usual EC twist stories, only with goofier looking characters. But by the third issue, the incredibly skilled artists begin cramming in as many gags as they could manage. Any possible pun or background detail was fair game. Nevertheless, like so much of the book, the effort is easier to admire than enjoy.

Time and again, the age of the material pulls you out of the story. EC was relatively progressive in their more serious books, but here they go for the cheap laugh whenever possible, and that includes the use of some lazy ethnic stereotypes. Flat-out racism isn't the basis for stories, but when African-savage and Eskimo stereotypes pop up on facing pages in a Dragnet spoof, it poisons your reading experience a bit. To his credit, in some cases Kurtzman is mocking others' horrible stereotyping, as in the character of Chop Chop Chop in the Blackhawk parody. But I had to know about the long-forgotten Blackhawk comic to get the joke. It's extremely difficult to properly mock others' usage of stereotyping without doing it yourself (most recently seen in 30 Rock's careful, but still somewhat flat, sendup of blackface), and Kurtzman doesn't quite pull it off.

That said, the anything-goes attitude can be exhilarating, and the pages crackle with a manic energy. The running gags of men ogling over women, the calls of "Hoo-Hah", and the name Melvin wear pretty thin, but the pervading spirit is contagious. Mad would go on in the following few years to break a lot of ground, with innovative and eye-catching covers unlike anything else on the stands, but in the beginning, it was a real mixed bag.

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Read information about the author

Ebook The Mad Archives, Vol. 1 read Online! Wallace Allan Wood was an American comic book writer, artist and independent publisher, best known for his work in EC Comics and Mad. Although much of his early professional artwork is signed Wallace Wood, he became known as Wally Wood, a name he claimed to dislike. Within the comics community, he was also known as Woody, a name he sometimes used as a signature.

He was the first inductee into the comic book's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame, in 1989, and was inducted into the subequent Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame three years later.

In addition to Wood's hundreds of comic book pages, he illustrated for books and magazines while also working in a variety of other areas — advertising; packaging and product illustrations; gag cartoons; record album covers; posters; syndicated comic strips; and trading cards, including work on Topps' landmark Mars Attacks set.

For much of his adult life, Wood suffered from chronic, unexplainable headaches. In the 1970s, following bouts with alcoholism, Wood suffered from kidney failure. A stroke in 1978 caused a loss of vision in one eye. Faced with declining health and career prospects, he committed suicide by gunshot three years later.

Wood was married three times. His first marriage was to artist Tatjana Wood, who later did extensive work as a comic-book colorist.

EC editor Harvey Kurtzman, who had worked closely with Wood during the 1950s, once commented, "Wally had a tension in him, an intensity that he locked away in an internal steam boiler. I think it ate away his insides, and the work really used him up. I think he delivered some of the finest work that was ever drawn, and I think it's to his credit that he put so much intensity into his work at great sacrifice to himself".

EC publisher William Gaines once stated, "Wally may have been our most troubled artist... I'm not suggesting any connection, but he may have been our most brilliant".

Reviews of the The Mad Archives, Vol. 1


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The only book I read in 1 day


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A hard book, obviously not for everyone.


The most favorite book of all books

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