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Tag: Magazines (1-3 of 3)

Inside 'Inside MAD': Get a glimpse at new book's intricate 'fold-out' poster -- EXCLUSIVE

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For its latest hardcover, MAD magazine decided to go beyond the usual gang of idiots.

Within Inside MAD — an “ill-conceived collection of the magazine’s high-quality stupidity,” according to a typically self-deprecating press release — you’ll find a series of the irreverent humor rag’s best spoofs ever, as chosen by the magazine’s own staffers. The book also contains essays by famous MAD fans including Roseanne Barr, Paul Feig, Whoopi Goldberg, John Stamos, and Matthew Weiner, as well as an introduction by Judd Apatow, who thanks MAD for making him who he is today — i.e. “a man who desperately seeks attention by shocking people with graphic representations of other people’s private parts.”

But wait, there’s more! After 430 patented MAD fold-ins, the magazine’s editors decided to try something different — a fold-out, in the form of an incredibly detailed poster that gives readers a guided tour through MAD‘s history. READ FULL STORY

Tell us your six-word memoirs!

By now, you’ve probably heard of Smith Magazine‘s six-word memoirs. After all, last year, the magazine released a best-selling compilation – Not Quite What I Was Planning — that included pieces from readers and famous folks alike.

But if you aren’t familiar with the concept, here’s a little debrief: The six-word memoir is said to be rooted in a bet between Ernest Hemingway and a friend — supposedly, the author claimed he could write a short story in just six words. (He won with “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”)

After drafting folks like Amy Sedaris and Chuck Klosterman for its first book, Smith Magazine has recruited a new crop of celebs and unknowns for a new collection of six-word memoirs, It All Changed in an Instant (on stands now). Which celebrities? The book includes pensive memoirs by the likes of Molly Ringwald (“Acting is not all I am”) and clever pieces by the likes of James Frey (“So would you believe me anyway?”). (The L.A. Times books blog even asks of those latter six words: “James Frey’s best work?”) Sarah Silverman, Art Spiegelman, Margaret Cho, and others also penned pieces for the books.

Now, what we want to know is, what would your six-word memoir be? I feel like mine would go something like this: “What is life without the DVR?”

Your turn, ShelfLifers!

Hugh Hefner... cartoonist?

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If you only know him as the old duffer in his pyjamas on The Girls Next Door, get a copy of the pop-culture journal Royal Flush, which contains a fascinating, surprising interview with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner about his love of comics and cartoonists.

I always knew that from the start of Playboy, Hefner personally chose the cartoons the magazine ran, and developed a stable of great artists such as Harvey Kurtzman (one of the key instigators of MAD Magazine) and Jack Cole (the creator of Plastic Man), paying top fees that could compete with publications like The New Yorker and Esquire. I also knew that, flush with the success of Playboy in the late 1950s, he bankrolled a gloriously doomed project, Trump, the first full-color comics magazine. (It lasted only two issues.)

But the Royal Flush interview is a small treasure-trove of information. Hefner tells interviewer (and Flush publisher) Josh Bernstein that by the time he was 16, he was drawing himself in autobiographical comics (reproduced here), using the character-name “Goo Heffer.” (It was also at this age, he says, that he started calling himself “Hef.” I’d daresay no one before the advent of hiphop had the wit and cajones to give himself a cool nickname that would be picked up and used by everyone who wrote about him.)

The Royal Flush interview glows with Hefner’s enthusiasm for comic art, and, clearly recognizing that Bernstein is a sympathetic interviewer, Hefner allowed him to reprint the suicide note that Jack Cole wrote him shortly before killing himself in 1958. (For a portrait of the great, tortured Cole, try finding a copy of Art Spiegelman and Chip Kidd’s Jack Cole and Plastic Man: Forms Stressed To Their Limits.)

These days, if anyone thinks about Playboy cartoons, they might recall the slinky, gauzy drawings of Vargas or the madcap adventures of Kurtzman and Will Elder’s wiggly Little Annie Fanny (right).

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But as Royal Flush makes clear, Hefner was both an important patron of comic artists and a fan with an expert eye. I wish that, instead of wasting more videotape on The Girls Next Door, someone would make a documentary about Hefner’s place in the history of cartooning.

In the meantime, this Royal Flush interview will have to do, and does so handsomely.

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