Al Feldstein, the man who took over MAD in 1956 and turned a cult magazine into a cultural phenom, passed away on April 30. Prior to MAD, he was an editor, artist, and writer for many of E.C. Comics’ most popular horror and science fiction titles. His work on that alone is enough to make him an important figure in the shaping of popular culture in post WWII America. It turns out, that was just an opening act for Al as MAD was soon to come along for him and he once again had a profound effect on American culture.
When I first decided to actually move forward with this project, Al was my first interview. Who better to learn about the history of MAD than from a man who was there from the very beginning. I had the pleasure of interviewing Al twice for this movie – he was such a wealth of information and had wonderful stories to tell. Two interviews later, I still had a million questions for him that I never had the chance to ask.
My sole intent for this movie was and still is meant to honor those who were involved in the creation of MAD. I am saddened that he won’t be able to see the final outcome.