Sunday, October 19, 2008

Alfred's ancestors

The origins of the archetypal image of Alfred E. Neuman have been obscured by mortality, foggy memory and the dust of junk shop photo bins. You might be surprised to know that variations of this unforgettable visage peppered American pictography for well over half a century before being adopted by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman in 1954.

"This card came from an old print shop. I believe this image predated his use by Mad Magazine." (source) (via)

A postcard with the "me worry?" face. (c.1920s) (source)

Antikamnia Tablet Calendar (1908) (source)

Belle Archer's new comedy drama, Jess of the Bar Z (c.1900) (source)

"Comics in America started with The Yellow Kid." (1895) (source)

The Origin of the Alfred E. Neuman Image (scroll down)


First magazine cover appearance, Mad 21 (1955) (he's in there) (source)

The first color cover with Alfred (1956). The original drawing is now up for auction.

I love Alfred to death, but this was always my favorite. From Mad #166, April 1974. (source)

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