Book Presentation: Behaving Madly with Ger Apeldoorn

Friday, October 20th 18:00-19:30
ABC Amsterdam, Spui 12 1012XA

Actor, writer and editor Ger Apeldoorn presents Behaving Madly!*

When Mad magazine was reaching a million plus print runs every publisher and his uncle (sometimes even literally) came up with his own version. Most were done by former smut peddlers, but even respected companies like Fawcett and Hillman got into the game. Using some of the biggest names of the comic book industry, many of which had or would later work for Mad itself.

In Behaving Madly you will find rarely seen material by such industry greats as Bill Elder, Jack Davis, John Severin, Al Jaffee, Joe Maneely, Ross Andru, Joe Kubert, Russ Heath, Bob Powell, Howard Nostrand, Basil Wolverton, Joe Sinnott, Don Heck, Ric Estrada and Lee Elias. Rare complete stories by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko are included at the same price.

Compiled and introduced by Ger Apeldoorn and Craig Yoe, Behaving Madly covers every Mad magazine imitation between 1955 and 1959, from Snafu, Lunatickle, Cockeyed and Crazy, Man, Crazy to Think, Frantic, Frenzy, Loco, Panic and Zany. It includes a thoroughly researched introduction on the whole field, which can be seen as the final word on the subject.

But Behaving Madly is more than a must-have collection for the comic book crowd. It is also a fresh and funny look into the culture of yesterday, littered with big names and even bigger yucks. You’ll see Edward E. Murrow interviewing Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley as an alien, Walt Disney pestering wild life and spoofs, imitations and parodies of everyone from Elvis Presley to Ernest Hemingway. Although some of these books have gotten a bad name due to the juvenile tone of many of the later imitations, in this first period some of the material was often more clever and better drawn that in Mad. A special section at the and of the book is devoted to the way Mad reacted to these imitations and the many ways the magazines took on their main competitor themselves. Closing the book is a six page spoof of Mad from Charlton’s Crazy #8.

About the editors:
Ger Apeldoorn is a comic book historian who wrote about Mad comic book imitations and Mad founder Harvey Kurtzman for Alter Ego and has been running the The Fabulous Fifties blog for more than eight years. It is visited daily by many artists and collectors and often referred to in the Comic Journal’s weblog. In December Alter Ego will use his study on the efforts of Stan Lee to get out of comics between 1956 and 1962 as its cover article.

Craig Yoe is the legendary editor and packager of the Yoe Books line of reprints at IDW. His books have covered subjects reaching from horror and romance comics to newspaper greats such as Krazy Kat, Popeye, Barney Google and Walt Kelly. They first met when Ger shared soem rare scans of George Gross’s silent movie reviews from his blog and it was love at first sight. Behaving Madly is their joint love letter to the art of graphic satire and took them both more than five years to concieve.

In Holland Ger Apeldoorn is best known as a television writer. Together with Harm Edens he developed and wrote some of the most watchable Dutch sitcoms: ‘t Zonnetje in Huis (RTL4), Hij & Julia (TV 10) and Samen (Talpa). With Job Gosschalk and Wim Bax he developed the tv-version of the comic strip series S1ingle for Net 5. He also had a secret live as a comic book colelctor and historian. He translated American comics for Junior Press and wrote articles and did interviews for Striprofiel, Stripschrift and StripGlossy. He also was the head of the jury of the Stripschapprijs and wrote a book about the history of the magazine Pep. Currently he is working on the history of Pep’s follow-up, Eppo. In the meantime, he had started up a blog called The Fabulous Fifties, where he showcases American cartoons, comics and newspaper strips from that forgotten decade with daily posts from his own collection. This lead him to writing articles for American publications such as Alter Ego, The Jack Kirby Collector and Hogan’s Alley. He also contributed to books and publications from Fantagraphics, IDW and Craig Yoe. It’s with the last one he compiled and wrote Behaving Madly.

The graphic design of the book was done here in Holland as well, by talented designer Cok Jouvenaar. He will be at the presentation as well, ready to answer all your questions. Ger himself will give a short presentation about the five year process of making the book and the importance of some of the artists represented in it. He will also spend some time looking at one of the more surprising finds in researching the book – a cover to one of the Mad imitations which was used lock, stock and barrel for a 1962 print by Roy Lichtenstein (which he even turned into a Time cover six years later).

Behaving Madly has been received very well in the US, with terrific sales and even better reviews. American Book Center even had to make do with a limited amount of copies, because the New York distributor was already out of his stock at the time of ordering.

*Ger Apeldoorn dedicated Behaving Madly to our (former) colleague Rick Lightstone who passed away unexpectedly last year September.