Although CRACKED Magazine was never as popular as MAD Magazine, it still managed some awesome covers and incredible artwork, sometimes scoring major coups when MAD artists like Don Martin joined CRACKED. The parody and satire magazine survived from 1958 on until an anthrax scare in their office building in the wake of the 9/11 aftermath caused the magazine to miss an important publishing deadline, and was unsuccessfully revived again in 2007.
While MAD’s art styles continued to modernize, CRACKED thankfully was able to stay with nearly the same sort of nostalgic artwork styles as originally appeared in 1950’s versions of the magazine. This made CRACKED really something special, cool and familiar. And the writing was often crisp and clever as well, and certainly better than SICK or some other competitors. SICK would sometimes waste can entire page to showcase a single joke that wasn’t even hardly funny.
Working with low overhead and low pay schedules, the crew at CRACKED managed to offer monthly issues of the magazine during the long years when MAD only published eight times a year before Time Warner purchased MAD and moved it to 12 issues. MAD has now been cut back to a quarterly publication and will probably disappear sometime in the future.
Despite a far smaller circulation than MAD, CRACKED was an underrated gem of a magazine and one of the greatest American artwork magazines ever published. This classic cover parody of the Campbell’s Soup can is sheer genius. Some wealthy magazine publisher needs to step forward and bring this great magazine back again. Life is tough without it. But, humor magazines are a dying breed, with even MAD MAGAZINE seriously on the extinct species list.