This issue of Giant Cracked from 1986 featured what they thought to be the best of Cracked up to that time, or mostly their inventory of articles about Cracked
Cover by Bill Wray
The inside front and back covers have a sampling of what they considered the best covers, including the one from their first issue I reprinted a few months ago.
Rather than my own annotations, I'll use the ones that were printed in the magazine itself:
“Cover of Cracked #1 (March 1958) illustrated by Bill Everett. This cover, featuring SYLVESTER P. SMYTHE's first appearance, was designed and layed out by JOHN SEVERIN. When John brought the layout in and found out how little the publisher was willing to pay for the finished painting, he declined to do it and the layout was passed on to Bill, who did this interpretation. Bill created the SUB-MARINER for Marvel Comics in the 1930's and was a constant contributor in the 50's.
"By CRACKED #2 [below], the publisher wised up and got SEVERIN to do the cover. John has been doing CRACKED covers nearly non-stop for close to 30 years, totalling over 200 separate covers! This issue is also notable for the first appearance of BILL WARD, the first SHUT-UPS, and the first CRACKED movie parody. TV had already been lampooned in issue #1.
"Just about the only Thing older than CRACKED is AMERICAN BANDSTAND! This satire was drawn by genius-at-large JOHN SEVERIN and also appeared in #2. CRACKED's first TV parody appeared in #1. It was GUNSMOKE by RUSS HEATH[...]
"From CRACKED #6, this article was illustrated by WILL ELDER, who also collaborated with JOHN SEVERIN on those great EC war comics of the '50's. After he left the original MAD, he drew many articles for CRACKED and then went on to do the LITTLE ANNIE FANNY strip for PLAYBOY along with HARVEY KURTZMAN.
“You get a behind-the-scenes look at the early CRACKED in this one. As usual, SEVERIN crams the panels with a million gags! Also from #6, December 1958.
“A regular contributor to the early CRACKED was illustratorGRAY MORROW, who went on to draw many comic books and strips.
“Another artist who left the original MAD was JACK DAVIS, who did a whole load of work for CRACKED. He is known by millions for his ad illos and magazine covers for TIME and TV GUIDE. This article was in CRACKED #12, January 1960. Before there were punks or hippies, there were beatniks!”
Some of these pages have dotted lines, which are used to determine the margins for the printer.
”This excellent piece was written by the prolific GEORGE GLADIR and was his second article for CRACKED. The first was CRACKED SPACE HELMETS. Recently run in the GIANT CRACKED SCI-FI SPECIAL. Both stories were originally in CRACKED #25, July 1962. GLADIR still writes for CRACKED and is also a senior writer at ARCHIE comics.
Even their vision of how the Cracked office really is is an exaggeration, as I've been told the office was more of a cubicle.
Here's some “highlights” from the 46th issue of Crazy January 1979.
The myth of the 50s perpetuated by this board game on the inside front and back covers.
There was all sorts of talk of cloning as if the result would be someone the exact age all articulate already.
Imitation of Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions in Mad which itself is taken from Rube Goldberg's Foolish Questions.
Clockwise from top left: Herve Villechaise, Jimmy Stewart, Richard Pryor, Woody Allen, Milton Berle, ?, Tiny Tim, Don Rickles, Dick Van Dyke, some of whom were already has-beens by 1979.
They didn't know at that time the “slutty” Halloween costume would be the norm.
Some of the “punk” songs in here are actually “hippie” songs, which makes me think either the writers were recycling an older article (editor Paul Laikin worked at other humor magazines before this) or just had no idea about the youth culture they were cashing in on.
Here are some pages I did for anthology called Cringe, edited by Peter Conrad. It should have lots of prominent comic artists inside.
It's been a year since I last had one (knock wood). I barely scratched the surface. I could do a whole comic book of this and my experiences of an adulthood of dealing with this, the inability to have a day job, getting medical benefits (sorry libertarians), but I'd rather use cartooning time to do the silly nonsense I'm known for. It's enough for two pages for now.
Here's another strip I did for it. The theme is things that make you cringe. I feel audiences are too desensitized lately (myself included) except for one thing, so I drew this.
Some people don't realize you can make images bigger by clicking on them or that there are earlier postings beyond this page. Well, now you know. You're welcome.
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SAM HENDERSON has been doing comics, illustration and writing popular among people aware of their existence since his birth, though he wasn't paid for it until 1991. In addition to his own book,The Magic Whistle, clients have included Nickelodeon, New York Press, DC Comics, Heavy Metal,and ...um... Screw. He was a storyboard director for SpongeBob Squarepants in 2001.
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