By Stephen Herring

If you were to mention the names Kurtzman, Elder, Davis, or Wood in the presence of the makers of ODD magazine, we would most likely drop to our knees in reverent respect to a bygone age. Also, if you associated the name MAD with any number between one and twenty-three we would probably break out with nostalgic tears because you would be reminding us of the MAD comic (not to be confused with Mad magazine, yeach!)

Alas, the few short years when this sacred publication flourished, are past, and all we have is the tattered remnants of old MADs saved and cherished over the years, this and our memories (which doesn't add up to much more than a few tattered remnants of old MADs saved over the years). To make up for our shoddy memories, we have turned to our own creative talents and have ended up with a first class desecration of the grave of MAD comic, this is ODD comic.

ODD? Like any other slimy creeping social parasite, did not just pop on the national scene, it evolved, growing from the swamp of the degenerated minds and twisted ideas of its creators. The first traces of this amebic disease can be tracked back to 1957 when ODD #1, Vol.1 was scribbled out in full crayon color. We ran off a sum total of 3 copies (one original and two carbon copies). As for number two, well let's forget it. -But number three was something else!! We called it "The NEW ODD" because we planned to mimeograph it, a new and exciting dimension in comic publication. What we planned to be a 25 copy literary donation to society was a generous donation of inky paper, and ruined stencils to the Sanitation Department. We managed to salvage a few issues, however, but as we look back at them we wish the whole mess had blown up. This brings me to the high points of my otherwise empty life. We had made several pilgrimages to MAD offices to worship the gods of humor and satire under the excuse of buying back issues. When the high priest of humor and satire, Harvey Kurtzman, moved to another temple (HUMBUG magazine) we followed suit. It was here that we had the gall and crust to sell to Harvey Kurtzman one of our cruddy ODD number threes. We did compensate, however by buying up every Humbug product (including Frankenstein tie-clasps) that was offered. It was our humble honor to have Kurtzman autograph some Issues of Humbug we had;

"Hello David- Thank you for visiting us."
"Stephen! Don't get the other guys autographs. They are ugly."

It was also our honor to pick up the autographs of Bill Elder and Wally Wood, (despite what Harvey said).

Some time later we pulled ourselves together and tried again. This time, however, we cut out the printing jazz and stuck to one copy per issue. We needed a fresh Image, so we called our new series Volume two. We turned out six issues plus two pocket-book type readers, "Real ODD " and "The Return of ODD." It was in this series that our "ODD Bomber" flourished. He was invented back when we started ODD; this was the time of the bomb scares by the notorious "Mad Bomber" who was finally brought to justice. Our character was therefore a take off on this. He is our little man with a white doctors smock, horn rim glasses and a shiny bald head sporting various signs from a hole in it. In the present ODD, we have played him down to only a few appearances per issue. This series was done mostly in 1959 after which there was another long period of darkness.

One might say that Vol. two of the old ODD was a creation of quality rather than quantity. Well, the ODD of today is a magazine of quantity and we hope our readers will think- quality. Anyhow, we have seen this vile thing fester and grow to alarming proportions. Now it is threatening the whole world. Nevertheless, ODD is a recognized publication in the fanzine world, and as long as our feeble minds will hold out we shall continue to poison the channels of communication until the whole mess goes down the drain.

This is the cover of the very first issue of ODD, made in the summer of 1957. The cover of ODD #1 Vol. 2 made in the summer of 1959 looked like this. The first issue of our present series, made in the spring of 1964, had this cover.


Return to ODD home page