The optimal collection of Harvey Kurtzman's Mad, featuring artists Jack Davis, Will Elder, and Wally Wood. Reprints the comic-book issues of Mad, no. 1 (Oct./Nov. 1952) - no. 23 (May 1955) from the original art, in full color, in an oversize 9.5 x 12.5 format.
Each complete issue is reprinted, including house ads, letters pages, text stories, and editorial content. Included are annotations and commentary by comics historians John Benson, Bill Mason, and Bhob Stewart.
The publisher Russ Cochran, sensitive to the impatience of subscribers and others who pre-ordered the set, printed and issued Volume 1 in advance of Volumes 2-4 and the slipcase. For some reason, many copies of Volume 1 have a similarly pale red spine compared to the rest of the volumes.