How MAD Magazine Covered The '60s: What, Me Hippie?

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MAD covers from April 1968 and June 1970 by Norman Mingo and Jack Davis. Source: hipcomic.com

In the ‘60s, MAD magazine covers grappled with issues of the day as much as any newspaper's editorial page. The images frequently played to both sides of an issue, whether it was drugs, mysticism, or politics. MAD was hip, in its way, but its mascot Alfred E. Neuman was, as ever, an idiot. The easy joke, especially when you're trying to sell magazines to younger people, would be to make fun of the out-of-touch older Americans. MAD, though, took the contrarian position, poking fun at the goofiness and even hypocrisy of the flower children. Neuman was often chasing trends, jumping on whatever ridiculous bandwagon was getting press. The writers and artists (namely Jack Davis and Norman Mingo) behind this unsuitable periodical delivered fierce indictments of anything they saw as important, hypocritical, or just plain stupid - anything and everything was in the crosshairs of MAD.

In the drugged out, love obsessed '60s, MAD lambasted the hippies and took politicians to task. The magazine wasn’t subtle, and it played devil's advocate whether its readers wanted it to or not -- but it was funny as hell.