My brother continued to influence my reading tastes by introducing me to Mad. Not the magazine at this point, rather the paperback reprints that were appearing. These compendiums were printed in black and white on cheap (!) paper, for only 35 cents (cheap!) each. I was really young, and yet this stuff really reverberated with me. I 'got' the jokes and really 'dug' the art. I really liked Will Elder's stuff, Jack Davis was alright, but it was Wally Wood's material that grabbed my eyeballs.
Our little neighborhood in Akron was in the middle of a hop-scotch craze, kids of all ages playing, at all hours of the day and night, so it seemed. We had just had a beautiful spring rain wash away our colored chalk hopscotch lines, leaving multi-colored puddles. A rainbow glowed above the charcoal gray horizon, and all the kids were re-emerging from their houses to redraw the hopscotches. And they were all talking about Mad magazine, which of course was a magazine by then (the late 50's) and not the earlier comic. But the reprint books introduced us younger readers to what the older kids were still talking about, and I fell in love with the art form all over again. And all I heard was Wood, Wood, Wood. Oh, the Wood women!
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