Thursday, December 17, 2009

Crazy #53, 1 of 4

There were several different magazines called CRAZY. It was one of Atlas' imitations of MAD the comic in the 50s. It was also the name of a b/w magazine from Charlton in the later 50s. (alt. Title:THIS MAGAZINE IS CRAZY- to be used a couple months from now). The name was later used by Marvel (Atlas' new name) in the 70s for their series of NOT BRAND ECCH reprints (also to come). Later that year Marvel published it as a full humor magazine, where it had its longest version from 1973-1983.

CRAZY was passed around from editor to editor like a biker mama. The first few issues were edited by Marv Wolfman and Roy Thomas, using some of the articles they tried to submit to NATIONAL LAMPOON when it was in the same building. It was later edited by Steve Gerber, who made the magazine more text-heavy. Most of its run was under the editorship of Paul Lamont a/k/a Laikin, who as mentioned before, had a hand in almost every kids' humor magazine at one time or another. He was the only person to run it that wasn't a staffer for other Marvel books, and I think often he was writing whole issues under different names. The issues of his are collectors' items today, not because of the interior work he commissioned (which was meant to be confused with MAD, in some cases even downright swiped), but because of the covers with their photo-realistic portrayals of celebrities, which often weren't even featured inside. Like this one, they may have even been done before the accompanying article was executed. Parodying something that turned out to be a flop is nothing new, though.

Not every article was featured on the contents page. In some issues, the contents feature articles that were in different issues.

What makes me think these letters are fake is because I doubt they got that many.

Here John Reiner draws like Mort Drucker (as all their movie and TV parodists did) even though he later took over as an assistant to Bill Hoest.


  1. Murad Guman (was that a psuedonym? Or was that his actual name) drew a majority of the TV and movie parodies during Laikin's tenure and he wasn't a Drucker wannabe. In fact, Guman had his own distinctive style even if that style was kind of bland.

    Also, whatever happened to Vance Rodewalt? He was really good. I'm surprised he never got work at Mad.

  2. Murad Gumen was the brother or son of Sururi Gumen, who did a lot of work for Charlton, as did a lot of the contributors to also-ran humor magazines. I think the name is Turkish or Southeast Asian. True, he didn't look like Drucker, though I know of at least one contributor who wasn't allowed to do parodies because he didn't draw enough like Mort Drucker.

    I don't know what happened to Rodewalt. My guess is that a lot of these cartoonists I never saw anywhere else were either pseudonyms or regional editorial cartoonists.

  3. I always thought that Gumen's name was a bad anagram and he was actually a relative of Laikin's. I'm glad I know the real story now.

    Regarding the artist that was banned from parodies: Are you talking about Sam Viviano?