Commercial artist Norman Mingo’s original cover for Mad magazine #121 (1968) is the star lot of Hake’s Americana's 50th anniversary auction.
The lot shows the magazine’s perennial mascot Alfred E Neuman being hoisted on the shoulders of the Beatles, Mia Farrow and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Mad magazine covers are famous for spoofing current events
The Maharishi was the inventor of Transcendental Meditation, which the Beatles helped popularise during the 1960s.
They famously travelled to India together to learn to meditate in 1968, after meeting the Maharishi in London the previous year. There they met Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence (the subject of John Lennon’s Dear Prudence).
It’s valued at $35,000-50,000 ahead of the March 16 sale.
A copy of DC’s More Fun Comics #72 (October 1941) is also on offer, with an estimate of $10,000-20,000.
The issue features Doctor Fate, who is shown on the cover attacking a Nazi U-boat.
The Nazis regularly featured as villains in US comic books during world war two
While the issue dates to slightly before the Americans officially entered the second world war (following the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941), the Nazis were already appearing as villains in US comic books.
This fixation with Nazi bashing was in part due to the existential threat an expansionist Germany posed at the time.
It’s also worth noting that many of the industry’s main writers, artists and publishers were Jewish. They used the format to strike back against US inaction during the war.
As comic book legend Stan Lee explained in an interview with the History Channel: “We were fighting Hitler before our government was fighting Hitler.”
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