Did MAD magazine publish the cartoon “Super Patriot” in the 1960s?

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A cartoon with text that begins “See the super patriot” was published in MAD magazine in the 1960s.

The context

While some social media posts claim the cartoon appeared in the magazine in 1968, it actually happened the following year.

Fact check

A image supposedly showing a cartoon from a 1968 issue of MAD magazine is frequently circulated online, often attached to messages expressing dismay that the problems of the past are still the problems of today. The subject of the cartoon is a so-called “super patriot” who loves his country “while hating 93% of the people who live there”.

The cartoon “Super Patriot” really appeared in MAD magazine. While this image is frequently shared online as if it’s from 1968, the cartoon was actually released the following year, in 1969.

According to MAD magazine collector Doug Gilford’s website, Madcoversite.com, the “Super Patriot” cartoon appeared in MAD magazine issue 129, published in September 1969, and in a section titled “The Mad Primer of Bigots, Extremists, and Other Free Endings This section was written by Frank Jacobs and Stan Hart and featured illustrations by Jack Davis.

The magazine section had 10 chapters (or cartoons) over three pages that featured various extremists. The “Super Patriot” was the first chapter of the section. In 2018, comic book artist Bruce McCorkindale posted an image on Twitter that showed the entire front page of this MAD magazine entry:

While many cartoons in MAD magazine’s “Primer of Bigots” section criticized right-wing politics, such as the “Super Patriot” and the “Right-Wing Extremist”, several others targeted the left wing of the political spectrum with characters such as “Yippies” and the “false liberal”.

A blog founded by a retired librarian and self-proclaimed “comic geek,” 50yearoldcomics.com, stated in 2019:

Mad’s introductory “page” on the Super Patriot has been widely shared online over the past few years – usually in a “more things change…” context. And it’s not hard to see why. Opinions attributed to this figure do indeed seem to align with those of many in the current American electorate (although I would add a caveat that current Super Patriot equivalents seem to have mostly overcome their contempt for the “very rich”).

The fourth chapter of the introduction, about the right-wing extremist, also remains relevant – although one of its most striking visual details may require historical explanation. Ax handles?

[…]

Anyway, based on those two examples, those iconoclastic, skeptical Mad folks had to be diehard liberals, right? Well, not so fast. As the line in Chapter Four about the right-wing extremist sounding “like a left-wing extremist” implies, the authors of “The Mad Primer of Bigots, Extremists, and Other Loose Ends” criticized extremism on both ends of the political spectrum. .

Here’s a look at the 10 illustrations that appeared in the 1969 issue, as part of “The Mad Primer of Bigots, Extremists, and Other Loose Ends”:

Old cartoons are often recirculated after social media users recognize the apparent prescience (or enduring relevance) of the original work. For example, after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, people circulated a 1992 issue of MAD magazine that mocked him for bragging about his financial success despite several bankruptcies.

Sources:

Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site – Mad #129. https://www.madcoversite.com/mad129.html. Accessed July 14, 2022.

Stewart, Alain. “Mad #129 (September 1969).” Attack of the 50 Year Old Comics, September 14, 2019, https://50yearoldcomics.com/2019/09/14/mad-129-september-1969/.

Chappell, Bill. “Jack Davis, Cartoonist Who Helped Found ‘Mad’ Magazine, Dies at 91.” NPR, July 28, 2016. NPR, https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/07/28/487804779/jack-davis-cartoonist-who-helped-found-mad-magazine-dies.

MAD remembers Jack Davis, artist. July 27, 2016, https://www.madmagazine.com/blog/2016/07/27/mad-remembers-jack-davis-artist.

RIP Stan Hart, mad writer. July 28, 2017, https://www.madmagazine.com/blog/2017/07/28/rip-stan-hart-mad-writer.

Sandomir, Richard. “Frank Jacobs, crazy magazine writer with a lyrical twist, dies at 91.” The New York Times, April 14, 2021. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/14/arts/frank-jacobs-dead.html.

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