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What W. Worry?

   Reading the history of Mad Magazine's cover boy Alfred E. Newman, I found it uncanny how much he resembled W. not only in looks but temperament, as well. 

   From Wikipedia: Editor of Mad Magazine Al Fielstein claims Alfred E. Neuman was his idea. "Ian Ballantine of Ballantine Books came to Bill [Gaines] and said, “I want to do a paperback version of the original Mad.” It was called The Mad Reader, and Ballantine’s editor stuck this face on the cover, the face of this grinning idiot kid with a gap tooth and freckles and big ears. He'd been around for years; there had been many, many versions of this kid around. I decided that I wanted to have this visual logo as the image of Mad, the same way that corporations had The Jolly Green Giant and the dog barking at the gramophone for RCA. This kid was the perfect example of what I wanted. So I put an ad in the New York Times that said, "National magazine wants portrait artist for special project." In walked this little old guy in his 60s named Norman Mingo, and he said, “What national magazine is this?” I said, “Mad,” and he said, “Goodbye.” I told him to wait, and I dragged out all these examples and postcards of this idiot kid, and I said, “I want a definitive portrait of this kid. I don't want him to look like an idiot—I want him to be loveable and have an intelligence behind his eyes. But I want him to have this devil-may-care attitude, someone who can maintain a sense of humor while the world is collapsing around him.” I adapted and used that portrait, and that was the beginning.”

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