HELP! #6, January 1961: Original sketch by Harvey Kurtzman & Final Photo Cover by Ron Harris 

First Issue of MAD Magazine, 1952


First Issue of “Mad Magazine”, 10/1952

Happy birthday, Harvey Kurtzman and Mad Magazine! In October 1952, the very first issue of a new comic called “Mad” was issued, written almost entirely by Kurtzman. It soon came under Senate investigation (thus entering the records of the National Archives), which led to the comic book being transformed into the magazine still going strong today.

One of these early issues of Mad is on display in the Archives’ permanent exhibit, The Public Vaults, in Washington, DC.

(via National Archives Foundation on Facebook)

Al Avison Cover: ‘The Man Who Wouldn’t Quit’, Harvey Comics, 1952

Original and final cover art by Al Avison for The Man Who Wouldn’t Quit, a give-away comic to encourage people to vote, published by Harvey Comics, 1952.


R. Crumb: Harlem Sketchbook 1965

crumb-harlem1 crumb-harlem2 crumb-harlem3 crumb-harlem4

Four original illustrations by Robert Crumb from his “Harlem Sketchbook,” one of the artist’s first professionally published pieces, from Harvey Kurtzman’s humor magazine, Help! #22, Warren Publishing, January 1965.


Original Illustration by Bob Clarke from “Modern Architecture” in Mad Magazine #46


Original illustration by Bob Clarke from “Modern Architecture” in Mad magazine #46, published by EC Comics, April 1959.

The Bristol Board