Add Crazy to the list of things I remember being better then they actually were. The first few seasons of Saturday Night Live, what's now Vertigo comics, Naked Gun sequels, the list goes on of things I remember being really great, not seeing for years, and then upon getting the chance to see them again finding they weren't so great after all. Everybody has a few examples like that. I remember as a kid my father always saying how funny and original Laugh-In was and then when reruns came back in syndication realizing it was just a bunch of Vegas comedians doing Vaudeville.
I remember the first few issues of Crazy being a cut above the rest of the magazines out there and having a more mature frame of reference, then realized they were just the same-old same-old when revisiting them in adulthood. There's still a nostalgic soft-spot I have for them anyway. I just noticed I have almost a complete run of Crazy magazines. Let's look at the second issue from February 1974, shall we?
First we have this cover by Kelly Freas.
The inside front cover has a parody of the Dewar's scotch ads by Gerry Conway and Marie Severin about then-attorney general John Mitchell. Crazy did more about Watergate than other juvenile humor magazines of the time.
The magazine opens with a parody of McCloud from Marv Wolfman and Neal Adams. As the Who's Who editorial says of him at the beginning:
[...]NEAL ADAMS[...] contributed the art to editor MARV WOLFMAN's story. Neal is an outspoken artist who usually has a view on any and everything, but since Neal also has a terrible lisp and stutters, no one takes anything he says too seriously.
Next is Correspondence School Ads You'll Never See by Steve Gerber and Robert Graysmith. Yes, this is the same person who figured out the mystery of the Zodiac Killer, making him the only Crazy contributor to be the subject of a movie.
Like last issue, the first few issues rely on big names, either reprinting material or using inventory, such as this and other pieces from Art Buchwald, making articles by him into a fumetti with them and the Marvel staff. In the biographies of the contributors at the beginning of the book, they say:
Art, as many of you know, writes a thrice-weekly column that appears in almost every newspaper in the Free World. Occasionally, they appear in the Expensive World, but we'd rather not talk about that. If your newspaper happens to be one of the few holdouts write a threatening letter to the Editor (the newspaper's Editor, not our Editor) and demand it. If you still don't get the column, either buy a different newspaper or move to a different town.
And while we're hyping Mr. B., here's a chance to hop, skip, and jump down to your neighborhood bookstore and ask for one of his latest hard-cover or paperback books. If the bookstore doesn't carry them, follow the instructions in the paragraph above.
This issue's Fumetti was filmed by CRAZY photographer MICHELE WOLFMAN on the campus of Queens College in Flushing, New York
Another installment of Features We'd Be CRAZY To Print by Roy and Jean Thomas parodying features from magazines it purports to be more mature than.
Here we see artist Vic Martin channeling Paul Coker, Jr.
Here's a parody of Monster Mad-Ness which was actually written by Stan Lee, featured later in this magazine.
I don't know what kids would care about the politics of Mad but here you go.
Here Vic Martin is doing Jack Davis.
Captions written by Stan Lee
He's touted at the beginning:
Our final *BIG NAME* contributor is STAN LEE. Stan is publisher of the entire line of Marvel Comics and Magazines, created the now world-famous SPIDER-MAN, FANTASTIC FOUR, and the ever-popular PATSY AND HEDY, has five secret Swiss bank accounts in New Jersey—recently invented a cure for Post-Nasal Drip, and is the only man alive who knows the secret of how to put eight great tomatoes in that itty-bitty can. Stan is also the writer of the upcoming sex-opus novel, “The Sensuous Comic Book Publisher” by 'L'.
I know he wasn't the sole creator of those characters, but don't blame the messenger.
In the early issues, they had the recurring feature Kelly's Kockeyed Kanvas where it showed the other side of famous paintings as envisioned by Kelly Freas. Here is The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali.
Another installment of Bob Foster's History of Moosekind. I promise to show an excerpt eventually.
It's funny how some humor is about what was then the present time written about as nostalgia, like this catalog by Steve Skeates,Larry Hama, and Ralph Reese.
LARRY HAMA and RALPH REESE provided the art to STEVE SKEATES' “Nostalgia Catalogue”. Actually, Ralph and Larry are one person pretending to be separate individuals. In fact, neither Ralph nor Larry's girlfriends know of this despite the fact that they have double-dated quite often. As for Steve Skeates, contrary to all rumors, Steve has not beaten the world Head-Banging record. He stopped two minutes short of breaking the record when his remaining brains oozed out through his eyeballs.
The second part of the Art Buchwald Fumetti is here.
Marvel published some of the first works of Harvey Kurtzman so they still had the rights to publish his Hey Look! strips like this one. In their “Special Nostalgia” section, they write of him:
Way back in 1946, a young, sheepish lad waddled his way up into the Marvel Comics offices and convinced Stan Lee to purchase his wild, wacky cartoons. This young talent was sure that since his bizarre humor saw print, he would become an instant success and have immediate fame and fortune. Well, Stan bought the cartoons, printed them, and when they saw print, absolutely NOTHING happened at all to this young cartoonist. You see, that same afternoon he was run over by a truck. However, another cartoonist came up to Marvel Comics and the fame and fortune that was supposed to strike the first artist (instead of the truck), struck the second cartoonist. Soon this young man went on to crate MAD comics, TRUMP, HUMBUG, and HELP! And finally Little Annie Fanny for PLAYBOY. Anyway, we at CRAZY thought since some of his FIRST cartoons were printed up at Marvel, that it would be a neat thing to show those drawings here, to an entire new audience. The name of the guy is Harvey Kurtzman, and his cartoon is...
The final part of the Art Buchwald story is here.
Celebrities' Gravestones. It's pretty self-explanatory so I have nothing to say about it.
Parody of Live and Let Die from Stu Schwartzberg with John Buscema and the Crusty Bunkers, who were a team of inkers that worked as assistants to Neal Adams.
Our first little name is JOHN BUSCEMA, who, with the aid of THE CRUSTY BUNKERS (a secret spy network based somewhere in Gary, Indiana) produced our cover-featured “Live and Let Spy” take-off. John, besides drawing for CRAZY and the rest of the Marvel line of comics, also does incredible imersonations. His James Cagney is so good it keeps the entire CRAZY CREW rolling on the floor. In fact, we like it so much, we want all of you to hear it as well. Take the floor, John. “Okay, you miserable dwarf. How's this? Huh?” See, didn't we tell you he's great? By the way, L.A.L.S. Was written by STU SCHWARTZBERG and ROY THOMAS, both of whom we publicly embarrassed last issue.
They used to make fun of Gary, IN all the time, before it was always on lists of worst cities in America.
The final article in the issue is College Bulletins of the Future by Steve Gerber and Tim Kirk
The inside back cover, like last issue, is another house ad for FOOM, written by and starring TONY ISABELLA.
The back cover was an ad for MacRonalds restaurants, with the slogan, “You deserve a break today, so get up and pass away.”
I featured the third issue in its entirety already starting here. Check the archives of that month for the rest of it. Next week I'll do a summary of Crazy #4.
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