Saturday, 13 June 2015

HIGHBROW? YOU'RE CRACKED!



The American version of CRACKED was launched in 1958 and lasted
(with a few stops and starts near the end of its run) until 2007.  Unasham-
edly a MAD knock-off, it featured art by JOHN SEVERIN, BILL WARD,
and even DON MARTIN, when he left Mad in 1987 after 32 years.  STEVE
DITKO, GENE COLAN and JACK KIRBY also contributed to the mag,
'though in Kirby's case, it was only once - in 1960.  Cracked ended with its
365th ish in 2007, and now exists online at www.cracked.com 

The British version was launched in the mid-1970s, but I've no idea
how many issues there were or how long it lasted.  However, I've heroical-
ly managed to feign interest by going to the bother of digging out my copy of
the 'First British Edition' to show you the cover, as you likewise pretend
you're interested in this third-rate imitation of ALFRED E. NEUMAN's
humour mag.  The interiors?  Trust me - you're not missing anything.

Any memories of reading this publication?  How did it measure up to
Mad, in your view?  Go on, express yourself - you'll feel better for it!
  
1st British edition.  Cover by JOHN SEVERIN 

1st American edition.  Cover by BILL EVERETT

6 comments:

TC said...

Even when I was ten, Cracked seemed to be only mildly amusing, at its best. I don't know how it lasted as long as it did. Everything they did had already been done by Mad. And usually better.

Colin Jones said...

I'd never heard of Cracked before today - and recently I had to google Alfred E. Neuman to find out who he was too. Obviously these magazines completely passed me by !

baab said...

The holes in my memory are vast.
I had number one of the British version.
I know this because I drew the little guy in the egg on my bedroom wall.

Completely forgot about that.
No idea about the contents.

Kid said...

I think it was kept going by the advertisers (who paid for their ads to appear in a package of periodicals, of which Cracked was one) and the fact that Cracked paid very low page rates to most of of their contributors, Chris. Mad was, of course, the superior publication.

******

See? Just goes to show that this blog is good for something, CJ. Why would you ever want to visit anywhere else? (Don't answer - you know how sensitive I can be.)

******

Trust me, Baab - you're not missing much in not seeing the contents. Besides, I have to keep something back for future posts.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Cracked ended with its
365th ish in 2007, and now exists online at www.cracked.com


Which is nothing like it's former mag self. I never go there (unless they credit Sylvester P. Smythe as their webmaster, it's dead to me).

As a kid, I never really noticed much difference between either mag, though America has had a few other imitators along the way like "Sick" and "Crazy" (the latter published by Marvel). CRACKED at least managed to last as long as it did in periodical form, I would have to give it credit there.

I think it was kept going by the advertisers (who paid for their ads to appear in a package of periodicals, of which Cracked was one) and the fact that Cracked paid very low page rates to most of of their contributors, Chris. Mad was, of course, the superior publication.

Though I'm not sure if they followed this in the UK version, MAD never had advertising over here until after Bill Gaines' death and Time Warner decided they had enough of those silly fake ones which complimented the mag all on its own. Now it's just like any other magazine (color pages and ads). Still, they manage to keep that around at all.

Kid said...

I was only referring to the U.S. edition, Chris, as being kept going by the paid advertising. Even at its best, the mag's circulation was about a third of Mad's.

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