What, me worry? or Growing up Teen with Mad Magazine.

In 1972 I was twelve years old. I had moved to a new neighborhood and made new friends but still in the same district so I was going to the same schools as if we hadn’t moved.

I look back now to ’72 and think, ‘That’s when Dark Side of the Moon came out or the best cars were made!’

But being a 12 year old boy in the early Seventies, I hadn’t started Rockin yet  but we pre-teen; mid-tweens or post tweens had a Bible for Entertainment, Parody and Art. A Magazine filled to the margins with fun reading. And the face of a kid that screamed ‘Im fun’

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Alfred E. Newman was the ‘What me Worry?’ Kid and Mad Magazines Face for every cover. That same smile, those Brenda 90210 Walsh uneven eyes, big ears and toothless grin.

Mad is a monthly magazine and you could get a subscription for it, but I always liked being surprised at seeing the new issues on the rack.

First thing I scoped was the legend, you knew from the cover which movie or TV show they were cutting up, but the legend held the page numbers of the Don Martin comics.

Don Martin has his own unique style of character drawing. A style I would try to mimic and got pretty good at copying too.

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Characters like, Fester Bestertester and Karbunckle, even Kaptain Klutz Don’s own Superhero would appear in the monthly pages or sometime in paperback.

Also, when I say this magazine was packed to the margins with entertainment, I’m referring to Sergio Aragones. He would pencil these tiny little drawn out drama’s on the edges of various pages.

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Also great were the segments on Snappy answers to Stupid Questions or You know you’re (blank) when (blank) or spy vs spy.

Even the back cover was to be folded to reveal an answer to the pages question, before being folded.

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So how could a tween not be influenced by this fun and exciting magazine?

Some kids read Car or Motor Cycle magazines or Field & Stream, Hot Rod or Archie comics.

Maybe those kids grew up to be Mario Andretti or Bob Izumi? Or Andy Sandberg or a Ritchie Cunningham wannabe?

Me? I grew up knowing how to answer stupid questions quickly and just be a smartass in general.

Funny the things that shape you. Let’s throw it at the wall and see what sticks!

Take it easy, s

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