Friday, 5 August 2016


From March 1980: the first issue of the ongoing run of FRANTIC, the obvious MAD-alike magazine concocted by Dez Skinn (who just happened to be the former editor of the British edition of MAD) during his tenure as the Big Chief at MARVEL UK.

Dez, before committing too much effort to the title, tested the concept with two specials, summer and winter, published the previous year. With these deemed a success, the Annex of Ideas jumped in and launched its first regular humour title. It was all part of Dez's plan to break out of the superhero ghetto which was deemed to have a very finite audience amongst UK buyers.

The bulk of the material was swipped from Marvel's US Mad clone CRAZY, bulked out with pages from HOWARD THE DUCK and other humour fare. It also included a limited amount of original UK material.

It eventually ran for eighteen regular issues (and no further specials) before folding into the title obviously devised to replace it: MARVEL MADHOUSE.

Madhouse launched in June 1981 and the two titles merged with the fourth issue. Despite being heavily dependent on tired sixties reprints from NOT BRAND ECCH! (as well as new material by Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett - their autobiography is out now and well worth a read for their adventures in comics and TV), MM mustered a commendable seventeen months before the Bullpen pulled the plug in October 1982.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I'm a humor magazine collector and was wondering if you know where I could find a listing of the contents of each issue of Frantic and Marvel Madhouse. I know they consist mostly of Crazy, Not Brand Ecch and Howard the Duck reprints but I'd love to know the titles of all the reprinted articles in each issue. Using contents page scans I found on other sites, I have been able to index the Summer Special, Winter Special, Frantic #1, Frantic #3, Frantic #5 and Frantic #17, but the other issues remain a mystery. A scan of the contents page for the remaining issues would be fantastic, if possible. If you can help out with any information, please e-mail me at


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