Crazy Magazine

Crazy Magazine is an illustrated satire and humor magazine that was published by Marvel Comics from 1973 to 1983 for a total of 94 regular issues (and two Super Specials (Summer 1975, 1980)).[1] It was preceded by two standard-format comic books titled Crazy. The magazine's format followed in the tradition of Mad, Sick, Cracked and National Lampoon.

Many comic book artists and writers contributed to the effort in the early years. These included Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Vaughn Bodé, Frank Kelly Freas, Harvey Kurtzman, Mike Ploog, Basil Wolverton, Marie Severin, Mike Carlin, editor Marv Wolfman and executive editor Roy Thomas. Mainstream writers like Harlan Ellison and Art Buchwald also contributed. Lee Marrs supplied a few pictures. In addition to drawn art, Crazy experimented with fumetti.[2]

Crazy Magazine
Crazy Magazine, first issue
Cover of Crazy Magazine #1 (October 1973)
EditorsMarv Wolfman (1973–1975)
Steve Gerber (1975)
Paul Laikin (1976 – 1980)
Larry Hama (1980)
CategoriesSatirical magazine
PublisherMarvel Comics
First issueOctober 1973
Final issue
April 1983
94, plus two Super Specials
CountryUnited States


Marvel Comics (then known as Atlas Comics) first published a Crazy comic book in 1953. It ran for seven issues, through mid-1954, and was focused on popular culture parodies and humor.[3] The second comic title, as Crazy!, ran for three issues in 1973, and reprinted comics parodies from Marvel's late-1960s Not Brand Echh.[4] Later that year, Marvel repurposed the title for a black-and-white comics magazine. Marv Wolfman edited the first ten issues from 1973–1975 and the first Super Special, and created the magazine's first mascot, a short, bug-eyed man in a large black hat and draped in a black cape. Initially unnamed, the mascot was dubbed "The Nebbish" in issue #9 (Feb. 1975) and later "Irving Nebbish".[5] Wolfman recalled, "Stan Lee wanted it to be more Mad/Cracked, where I wanted it more Lampoon. We sort of split the difference."[5]

Steve Gerber, who served as Crazy's editor from issues #11-14, and wanted it to be distinctive from the archetypal Mad, said that the goal was to present work that implied the creators were themselves insane.[6] Gerber's own contributions were often prose stories with a handful of illustrations, such as the "Just Plain Folks" series of bizarre biographies. The last issue of his run as editor included a darkly comic short story he wrote in college, "...And the Birds Hummed Dirges!", about high-school kids who make a suicide pact.

Paul Lamont edited issue #15 (Jan. 1976) and Paul Laikin edited #16-60 and #62 (May 1980).

By 1979, Crazy was struggling in sales.[5] In 1980, the Irving Nebbish mascot was replaced with the belligerent Obnoxio the Clown, who made his first appearance in issue #63 (June 1980),[5] the first regular issue edited by Larry Hama, who had also edited issue #61 (April 1980).

In 1982 a Dutch version of Crazy was published by Juniorpress. The only editor, translator and contributor of the four issues was Ger Apeldoorn.

Crazy Magazine's last issue was #94 (April 1983).

Recurring features

  • The Kinetic Kids—two pages flipped back and forth to create an illusion of motion
  • The Teen Hulk—teenager who becomes a Hulk-like character played for laughs
  • Retread Funnies—classic Marvel Comics stories presented with new dialogue

Cultural references

The publication was referenced in The Simpsons episode "Separate Vocations". Principal Skinner shows Bart Simpson some of the confiscated contraband in a storeroom at Springfield Elementary School: "Complete collections of Mad, Cracked, and even the occasional issue of Crazy!"

See also


  1. ^ Crazy Magazine comics Archived 2013-01-20 at from The Big Comic Book Database Retrieved August 2008.
  2. ^ Burns, James (Dec 8, 2011). "Fan and musician Susan Palermo-Piscitello dies". SFScope. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  3. ^ 1953 Crazy listing at the GCD
  4. ^ 1973 Crazy listing at the GCD
  5. ^ a b c d Arnold, Mark (September 2016). "What The--?!: Obnoxio the Clown". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (91): 68–71.
  6. ^ Scott Edelman interviews Steve Gerber (1975), YouTube. Accessed Dec. 12, 2011.

External links

1973 in comics

Notable events of 1973 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

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Individual issues contained a collection of parodies of popular culture - movies, TV series and printed adverts. These were mostly self-contained items that appeared in a single issue, though an ongoing strip featured the adventures of Howard The Duck. Many of these features were reprints from the magazine's US counterpart, Crazy Magazine. Thus, the humour often relied on American slang, phrasing and cultural references - not well known to comics readers in the UK in that era - as well as more than passing familiarity with characters from Marvel Comics.

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