Monday, January 26, 2009

An email to top all emails, from MAD Magazine

Jan. 26, 2009
Posted by Noah

One of the aspects of doing the job I do at Heritage that I like the best is that I get around, eventually, to all the categories in the company. One of the first I had a chance to work in when I started last fall was the comics category auction of the very best of the MAD Magazine cover art, including Norman Mingo’s cover art for MAD #30 – which went for an astounding $203,000+, btw. It was quite an introduction to the company, and I can assure that I wasted no time in asking our Comics Director, Barry Sandoval, if I could come downstairs to take a look at the art, as it would “help me write better.” Ha ha… Needless to say, I got a little bit weak in the knees looking at all that great cover art. Who wouldn’t?

I grew up on MAD Magazine, and I know I am not alone in this. MAD defined humor and satire, and gave me a million sarcastic comments to use on the playground or in gym class. I jumped at the chance to write an article for the April edition of Heritage’s in-house magazine about the MAD covers, and the MAD-Heritage relationship in general. Part of this story required me emailing MAD editor John Ficarra, an awesome comic talent, with a couple questions.

The funny thing is that I actually expected, for about a whole 30 seconds, to get a straightforward answer to my questions. Then I remembered it was MAD Magazine I was writing to, and I braced myself for the humor. Let’s just say that I wasn’t disappointed, that getting Ficarra’s response was one of the great moments of my professional life, and that I have printed the exchange, framed it and will make sure it hangs in every office I ever work in again.

You’ll have to wait until the magazine comes out in April to see that whole exchange and to read the story, in whatever form it eventually takes, but for now, here’s a single exchange, one small teaser, just because you been so good to me…:

Heritage: After having MAD auctions at all the major houses, including Heritage, what made you decide to come back to Heritage for the MAD Cover Art auction?

Ficarra: It was a combination of things. First, no one at Sotheby’s returned our calls. (You don’t have any contacts over there, do you?) As for Christies, they expressed a tremendous interest and enthusiasm in a MAD auction, before referring us to Sotheby’s. So, in reviewing all the facts, Heritage seemed like the right fit for us.

Awesome. I will never wash this hand, or my keyboard, again…

Picture with link: Norman Mingo’s iconic first Alfred E. Neuman Cover, for MAD #30, which brought more than $200,000 at auction last November.