Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy 50th Anniversary

In another context entirely, I happened across a fact worth celebrating. This January marks the fiftieth anniversary of a cartoon feature in Mad Magazine, Spy vs. Spy. The cartoon appeared for the first time in issue number 60 of the magazine in January of 1961. The cartoon is still there, still making us chuckle wryly. I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom this cartoon, second only to the Alfred E. Neuman image (“What, me worry?”), became emblematic of that great magazine. The creator of the cartoon was Antonio Prohías, a Cuban. Prohías fled Cuba as Castro there rose to power. He left the country, Wikipedia here tells me, just three days before Fidel took firm hold of the free press on that blessed isle. Cuba’s loss was a gain for collective madness. History might well view Mad Magazine as the defining publication of the twentieth century. And Prohías, in my mind, belongs to that most venerable of lineages, the jesters of their time who, always with a wink, tell it like it really is.

1 comment:

  1. You know, the older I get, the more seriously I take comedians and humorists... A sign of our age or a simple truth about the human experience?

    And, cheers to Mad Magazine!


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