The 60th anniversary MAD Magazine exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco will be coming to a close on September 16, 2012. Put your SPY VS. SPY gear on and see what the fuss is all about before it’s too late.
MAD Magazine was notable for defying the Comics Code Authority that restricted the content that could appear in comic books by switching over to the larger magazine format. Although that was a risky move in itself, MAD survived and paved the way for the underground comics to flourish in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The only censor for controversial comic material today is your own taste—or, lack thereof.
My favorite MAD cover was the March 1984 cover, where Alfred E. Newman pissed “1984” into the snow. My friends and I had a running First Amendment battle with the vice principal at John Steinbeck Middle School in San Jose over this magazine cover. We made sure that he caught us reading the magazine in the school library before classes, he would come over to confiscate the magazine without explaining why it was inappropriate (of course, we all knew why but wanted him to tell us), and the librarian would put the magazine back out the following week. The magazine got worn out from this constant tug of war.