Mark down this Wednesday, January 23rd if you’re in Ypsilante, MI: it’s the site of a discussion with Al Feldstein in conjunction with an art show devoted to Mad’s iconic mascot, Alfred E. Newman.
An instantly recognizable popular icon, Alfred E. Newman had his origin in the nineteenth century and was used extensively before debuting as the symbol of MAD magazine in 1954. This character’s long and varied history is the focus of “Alfred, We Hardly Knew You,” an exhibition of original art and artifacts drawn from the collection of John Hett and elsewhere, that will run from January 9th through February 9th, 2008, at the Ford Gallery on the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Used extensively as social commentary on immigrants and working class minorities in England and the United States as well as in advertising, Alfred’s face and the words “What Me Worry?” were familiar to American audiences long before being appropriated by MAD magazine. The exhibition includes examples of the character’s earlier appearances in various media as well as those in MAD that are more familiar to contemporary audiences.
In conjunction with the exhibition, John Hett, who is the editor and publisher of THE JOURNAL OF MADNESS , will give a presentation on his collection and the origins of Alfred E. Newman. In addition to Hett’s lecture, a special guest will be appearing that evening–Al Feldstein, the legendary EC Comics artist and writer who also served as the editor of MAD for almost thirty years, will discuss why the character was chosen for the magazine’s mascot and comment on his many uses there. These presentations will be held in Halle Library Auditorium on the evening of Wednesday, January 23, 2008, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Both the “Alfred, We Hardly Knew You” exhibition and the Hett/Feldstein panels are free and open to the public.
For additional information on the “Alfred, We Hardly Knew You” show or presentations, contact Larry Newhouse at 734-487-0465 or via [email protected] . Directions to Eastern Michigan University and Ford Gallery can be found at http://www.emich.edu/fordgaller y/map.html.
To learn more about THE JOURNAL OF MADNESS or the life and work of Al Feldstein, go to http://www.madmack.com/jom.html and http://www.alfeldstein.com/ , respectively.