Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Giant History of Cracked, part 1

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  photo 6-19-1_zps1c5bca7e.jpg 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.  photo 6-19-2_zps9df38bcb.jpg "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[...]  photo 6-19-3_zpsc1781f32.jpg "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.  photo 6-19-4_zps9b967d4f.jpg  photo 6-19-5_zps4e4da719.jpg  photo 6-19-6_zps1da4a2ba.jpg “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.  photo 6-19-7_zps2c2289f3.jpg  photo 6-19-8_zpsa719b4cb.jpg “A regular contributor to the early CRACKED was illustratorGRAY MORROW, who went on to draw many comic books and strips.  photo 6-19-9_zpsf38ea91d.jpg “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.  photo 6-19-10_zps0a9e9eb7.jpg  photo 6-19-11_zpse118ba5d.jpg ”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.  photo 6-19-12_zps05973815.jpg 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.  photo 6-19-13_zps0304eec3.jpg

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