MAD Mumblings MAD Mumblings
Extending MAD Magazine's presence on the World Wide Web.
 
Home :: Forum :: Gallery :: FAQ :: Search :: Memberlist :: Usergroups :: Register

Alfred E. Neuman History Show at EMU in Ypsilanti, Michigan

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    MAD Mumblings Forum Index -> MAD Collectables
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
john e. hett
MAD Subscriber


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject: Alfred E. Neuman History Show at EMU in Ypsilanti, Michigan Reply with quote

"Alfred, We Hardly Knew Thee"
is the definitive Alfred E. Neuman history exhibit. This exhibit and gallery tour is brought to you by Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan and John E. Hett of The Journal of MADness.

The exhibit is located in the Ford Art Gallery and will be on display free to the public from January 9th through February 7th 2008.

On Wednesday January 23rd there will be a reception, lecture, and gallery tour with MAD and EC Comics legend
Al Feldstein

and The Journal of MADness' John E. Hett. This program will be at Eastern Michigan University at the Halle Library Auditorium 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. This one night only presentation will feature lectures on the evolution of the Alfred image with John E. Hett followed by Al Feldstein's discussion of his use of the Alfred image.
The entire event is CHEAP! Actually, its free!

If MAD collectors or fans can't make it for the lecture on the 23rd please contact John E. Hett for a private walk and talk at the gallery. There are over 300 Alfred items in the show ranging from 1835 to 2007. This show is the premise for the upcoming rumored Journal of MADness Alfred History book. Come see it for free before you have to pay for it!

MAD-ly
John E. Hett

for more information:
http://www.emich.edu/fordgallery
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
BloodBird
UGOI Stalker


Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 601
Location: Canada, Ontatrio, Thornhill

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1835? I didn't know Mad had history that long ago, or that Bill Gains was over 200 years old when he died?
_________________
A fool opens his mouth without knowing.
A smart man opens his mouth when he knows.
A wise man closes his mouth when he doesn't know.

Confucius
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Neumaniac
UGOI Stalker


Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 814
Location: Outer Sanctum

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BloodBird wrote:
1835? I didn't know Mad had history that long ago, or that Bill Gains was over 200 years old when he died?

I'm not sure who Bill Gains is (unless you mean Bill Gaines), but it's a well known fact that images upon which the Alfred E. Neuman mascot were eventually based existed long before being adapted by MAD. For example see, Chapter 8 (Alfred E. Neuman: The Untold Story) in Completely MAD by Maria Reidelbach. The exhibit will show images that gradually evolved into Alfred E. Neuman that are even older than those pictured in Completely MAD.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
john e. hett
MAD Subscriber


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:18 am    Post subject: The History of the Alfred Image. Reply with quote

Dear MAD Eggheads,
The origin of Alfred E. Neuman has been debated for years and it was Gaines himself who ordered the search for the first Alfred image. He never found it. But he did dig back to the late 1890's for a direct ancestor. This show seeks to explain the origins of the image that came to be known as Alfred E. Neuman and it's history prior to the 1890's.
This show will also explain the origin of the phrase "What - Me Worry" and how it came to be associated with the Alfred image. This linguistic element goes back to the 1840's! Yes, I know that statement is going to piss off many people but it is true and I will explain it for the first time on January 23rd at Eastern Michigan University. No Joke! Remember folks, MAD Magazine didn't invent the image or the phrase "What - Me Worry?" Those were both public domain. What MAD did was name the image Alfred E. Neuman and copyright the 1956 Norman Mingo image. On January 23rd Albert Feldstein will discuss this at Eastern Michigan University.
Below is an article from the upcoming The Journal of MADness #16 that should give a nice overview of the show. (JoM #16 will mail to subscribers next week and be available at Eastern Michigan University at the show. It only has a print run of 500.) Please read below!

Yours in MADness,
John E. Hett
Publisher and Editor
The Journal of MADness

The Origin of the Alfred E. Neuman Image

America loves an idiot. So it’s no wonder America has loved Alfred E. Neuman for nearly 200 years! Since 1954 Alfred has been the irreverent trademark for MAD Magazine and its satirical approach to viewing the world. One needs only to look at that impish, worry free face to imagine what the contents of MAD might contain; subversion and humor! Under the editorial leadership of Albert Feldstein (1925-), the Alfred E. Neuman image was redesigned from a public domain image that was first used by MAD creator Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993) on the cover of paperback anthology The MAD Reader in 1954. Kurtzman continued to use the image as a clever throw-away gag throughout the MAD comic book and magazine until 1956 when he left MAD to edit Hugh Hefner’s new humor magazine, TRUMP. Once Kurtzman left, Bill Gaines (1922-1992) hired Feldstein, who was displaced by the collapse of E.C. Comics, to replace Kurtzman as editor and chief architect of MAD.

Al Feldstein had taken over a successful humor magazine that had struck a chord in a skeptical post-War America. Like many successful products, he wanted MAD Magazine to have a trademark of its own to create immediate brand recognition. The Alfred image would become that trademark. (Al Feldstein had first experimented with an impish childlike image on the covers of his first humor comic E.C.’s Panic #1 and Panic #2 from early 1954.) After searching for the artist who would create the definitive modern Alfred E. Neuman, Feldstein hired famed illustrator Norman Mingo (1898-1980) to complete the job. Norman Mingo’s Alfred E. Neuman was first unveiled on the cover of MAD #30 in December 1956. After floating around the public domain for nearly 150 years, Albert Feldstein gave the Alfred image a home and relaunched the most influential magazine in the second half of the 20th Century. But where was Alfred those previous 150 years and is there a definitive early Alfred E. Neuman image?

The earliest Alfred E. Neuman look-a-like appeared in PUCK #73, March 1877, by editor and artist, Joseph Keppler (1838-1894). This political cartoon, “Kearney is Coming” featured a descendent of the modern Mingo version of Alfred E. Neuman that has some eerie similarities. Superimposed, these two images line up almost perfectly. But this image of the Irish-American Anarchist Denis Kearney of San Francisco is just one of many in a long line of images that would eventually evolve into Alfred E. Neuman.

Alfred evolved over time from derogatory Irish caricatures found in English and American dailies beginning in the late 1790s. Unfortunately, many early images are lost to time because these dailies did not survive. But we can piece together how they developed. During the 18th and 19th centuries there were many pseudo-scientific studies that sought to classify race into categories of intelligence and temperament. In the 18th Century physiognomy, the study of facial angles and their impact on intelligence, came to define how cultures were classified and understood. In England the work of men such as Pieter Camper (1722-1789) determined that Celts, or “white Negroes,” had a facial angle of 70 degrees. The Irish, or “white negroes,” were thus categorized only one classification above the orangutan and it’s facial angle of 58 degrees. Based on these angles, illustrators naturally began to draw caricatures of the Irishman containing simian features. These caricatures revealed the racism of the times and chronicled the largely anti-Catholic bigotry that plagued the Irish abroad and in America. These images depicted the Irish as ape-like, bomb-throwing anarchists hell bent on sovereignty for Ireland. This menacing and uneducated creature or “The Irish Frankenstein”ť made a dramatic appearance in PUNCH, November 4, 1843, and quickly replaced the country bumpkin “Paddy” Irish caricature that had previously been the standard for cartoonists. Over time, the Irish Frankenstein would begin to give way to another interpretation of the image, the worry-free Irishman.

By the 1860s the evolution of Alfred was entering the worry free phase. This caricature can best be described as the lethargic Alfred. Matt Morgan’s “The Irish Frankenstein” first appeared in The Tomahawk in 1869, and is a great example of the simian Irish Frankenstein nursing a barrel of malt while in a drunken stupor, oblivious to the problems that confront him. Perhaps this message wasn’t the artist’s intent, but it was what readers often took away from the caricature. The worry-free Irish immigrant would soon be co-opted by advertisers as well as political cartoonists.

An 1882 PUCK illustration by Frederick Opper, “The King of A-Shantee”, shows the simian Paddy and female character, Bridget oblivious to their less than glamorous lifestyle. PUCK illustrators, Frederick Opper (1857-1937) and Thomas Keppler often chided the newly arrived Irish for their blind allegiance to the Papacy, the Nationalist Movement back home, political bosses, and their utter lack of concern for their large families and rampant alcoholism. The subtext for the Irish caricature was, “Me Worry?” By 1880, advertisers were using the apelike Paddy and Bridget to promote a vast array of products in the form of Victorian trade cards. Bridget, often seen as a domestic, was a spokes-woman for cleaning supplies, coffee and tea. Paddy was used to promote coffee, cigars, meat products, alcohol, grocery stores, and dangerous life threatening patent medicines. Advertisers believed that the worry free Irishman was a safe and identifiable image that was understood by American consumers. This slothful and disarmingly humorous image began yet another transition in the pages of PUCK. Frederick Opper began to streamline the image and made him a boy. The Small Boy, as Opper called him, was a direct descendant of his Irish parents with his disheveled hair, gapped teeth, jug ears, and worry free disposition. This image began to slowly filter through print sources to become an industry-wide public domain image used by cartoonists like R.F. Outcault as early as 1893. Rudolph Dirks, creator of The Katzenjammer Kids, created the first Sunday Funny using the Alfred image on April 1, 1900 entitled, “The Medal For Goodness.”

For generations, cartoonists and the public had internalized these images and made subtle changes that are very easy to track through time if you look in the right places. The slow evolution brought about a new definition with every successive generation. The image had changed over time. By 1894 the Alfred image had changed again. He had transcended worry and had become the face of humor in early American cartoons. Fifty-four years later Harvey Kurtzman and Albert Feldstein elevated and canonized Alfred E. Neuman as the face of MAD Magazine and humor in America.

“Alfred, We Hardly Knew Thee”, is just a small sample of the images and artifacts that tell the story of a face that has been with us from George Washington to George W. Bush. With luck, he will be with us for another 200 years. What - Me Worry?

John E. Hett
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
BloodBird
UGOI Stalker


Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 601
Location: Canada, Ontatrio, Thornhill

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neumaniac wrote:
BloodBird wrote:
1835? I didn't know Mad had history that long ago, or that Bill Gains was over 200 years old when he died?

I'm not sure who Bill Gains is (unless you mean Bill Gaines), but it's a well known fact that images upon which the Alfred E. Neuman mascot were eventually based existed long before being adapted by MAD. For example see, Chapter 8 (Alfred E. Neuman: The Untold Story) in Completely MAD by Maria Reidelbach. The exhibit will show images that gradually evolved into Alfred E. Neuman that are even older than those pictured in Completely MAD.


Again I type too fast lol.

_________________
A fool opens his mouth without knowing.
A smart man opens his mouth when he knows.
A wise man closes his mouth when he doesn't know.

Confucius
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Kejoriv
UGOI Stalker


Joined: 06 Dec 2003
Posts: 811
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John- Sounds like a really good show. I wish I was just closer to it. God luck with the show!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
goetzkluge
Clod


Joined: 22 Jun 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Butcher's face depicted in an illustration by Henry Holiday to Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark) could be an allusion to Benjamin Jowett's face. Jowett was an Oxford contemporary of Lewis Carroll.

After my Butcher/Jowett comparison I run into a page published by . He discovered a resemblance between Henry Holiday's depiction of The Butcher and Alfred E. Neuman. Neuendorffer wrote: "When Mad Magazine was sued for copyright infringement, one defense it used was that it had copied the picture from materials dating back to 1911." Incidentilly, my first copy of the The Hunting of the Snark was an American edition published in 1911.

_________________
Goetz
http://snrk.de
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    MAD Mumblings Forum Index -> MAD Collectables All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum



Admin Contact: Webcrawler | phpBB 2.0.11
All forum comments are owned by whoever posted them. All images hotlinked or uploaded to this site are property of their respective owners.