MAD has a long history of running a wide variety of material on our back covers: fake ads, magazine parodies, comics, and more. To wrap up 2012, each member of the MAD staff selected a favorite back cover and explained why this one stands out above hundreds of others. Come back tomorrow to see another pick, and to read them all, click here!
MAD #153, September 1972
Selected by Production Artist Doug Thomson
Doug says: "I both love and cringe at MAD's history of anti-drug and anti-smoking posters. It fascinates me that such a subversive magazine was so quaintly prudish about any sort of drug use, especially in the late 60s and early 70s. Of all of the posters — and there were many — this one is the best. It's so intense and insane. From the ammunition belt filled with syringes to Joe Pusher's raggedy haircut, the whole thing is awesome. As a designer, I love the simplicity of the poster, and its collection of eye-catching details: that crazy hot orange background, the mustard shirt with weird cuff straps, the lone pill that draws your eye to those brown pants with outside fly buttons. The more I look, the dumber and more amazing the whole thing becomes."
Idea: Max Brandel
Photo: Irving Schild