Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Selling a soul
What's the price of a soul nowadays? Even one sold at auction? Anyone put their soul up for sale to see what it'd fetch in today's market?
The folks at MAD are selling their souls...cover paintings they have referred to over the years as "The Soul of MAD" are going up for sale by Heritage Auctions on November 13.
When I was young, looking at these covers over and over, studying every detail of Norman Mingo's fine work, and especially the one Kelly Freas example of the Alfred E. Neuman scarecrow, which I could look at until Mom yelled to turn out the light and go to bed, they were certainly the soul of MAD to me. Even nowadays, looking at all of the great MAD covers, both in the comic books and magazine, these few would be some of my all-time favorites.
The Norman Mingo cover to MAD #30, above, is the original painted image of Alfred, done in 1956. Over the years it's become a symbol, a cultural icon. This is the the one that defined the line drawings of the "idiot," taken from old advertisements and jokes; by Mingo's artistry turned into the portrait of a living, breathing person.
According to MAD editor John Ficarra, when these paintings are gone that's it, the vault will be empty. The soul will be sold, and we'll find out what a soul is worth.
Copyright © 2008 E. C. Publications, Inc.