GAINES, WILLIAM M.

GAINES, WILLIAM M. (1922–1992), U.S. magazine publisher. Gaines, the publisher of the wildly satirical Mad magazine, was the son of Max Gaines, publisher of the All-American Comics division of DC Comics and also an influential figure in the history of comics, having tested the idea of selling comics on newsstands, inspiring the creation of the character Wonder Woman. A veteran of the U.S. Army, William attended New York University. Upon his father's death, he inherited a faltering comic-book empire in the late 1940s and turned it into a huge success with science fiction, fantasy, and realistic war comics. His horror comics were subtle satiric approaches to horror with genuine dilemmas and startling outcomes, often drawn from classic authors like Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. His fantasy titles dealt with adult issues such as racism and the meaning of progress and had stories adapted from the work of Ray Bradbury and others. The books featured artists who came to be among the most prominent commercial illustrators of the 20th century, including will elder . The first issue of Mad reached the newsstands in 1952 and had sharp sendups of movies, advertising celebrities, and comic strips: Mickey Mouse became Mickey Rodent and Superman was Superduperman. To the delight of its largely teenage audience, it brought satire into the mainstream, along with up-to-the minute New York humor sprinkled with Yiddish, nonsense, and non sequiturs. The cover featured a goofy-faced, gap-toothed boy named Alfred E. Neuman with the caption "What? Me worry?" It was an image and slogan that proved iconic, and the character appeared on the cover of virtually every issue of Mad and was picked up and satirized in other national publications. Gaines's comics may have appealed to adults, but the general public considered comic books to be aimed at children. With the publication of Dr. Fredric Wertham's The Seduction of the Innocent, which found damaging material in the comics, comic books in the Gaines style drew the attention of the U.S. Congress and other moralists. Under questioning by a Congressional committee, Gaines defended his magazine. "The truth is that delinquency is the product of the real environment in which the child lives," Gaines told the committee in voluntary testimony, "and not of the fiction he reads." But the Comics Code Authority, modeled on motion-picture production rules, banned bloodthirsty material and Gaines suspended publication of his horror comics. He reissued Mad as a magazine in 1955 to skirt the code. (Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Gaines, William Maxwell — ▪ American publisher born March 1, 1922, New York, New York, U.S. died June 3, 1992, New York City       American publisher who launched Mad magazine (1952), an irreverent monthly with humorous illustrations and writing that satirized mass media …   Universalium

  • William Gaines (professor) — William C. Gaines is an American journalist and professor of journalism. Gaines was a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune . He retired from the paper in 2001 and taught in the Department of Journalism at the… …   Wikipedia

  • William Gaines — William Maxwell Gaines (* 1. März 1922; † 3. Juni 1992), genannt Bill Gaines, war der Gründer des MAD Magazins und Herausgeber mehrerer Comic Serien, die künstlerisch überzeugen sollten und sich eher an Erwachsene denn an Kinder richteten.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William M. Gaines — William Maxwell Gaines (* 1. März 1922; † 3. Juni 1992), genannt Bill Gaines, war der Gründer des MAD Magazins und Herausgeber mehrerer Comic Serien, die künstlerisch überzeugen sollten und sich eher an Erwachsene denn an Kinder richteten.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gaines — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Ambrose Gaines (* 1959), US amerikanischer Schwimmer Boyd Gaines (* 1953), US amerikanischer Theater , Film und Fernsehschauspieler Charlie Gaines (* 1900), US amerikanischer Jazz Trompeter Chryste Gaines… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gaines — is the name of two towns in the United States: * Gaines, New York * Gaines, Michigan, Village ofAnd two townships: * Gaines Township, Genesee County, Michigan, a civil township in which the above village is located * Gaines Township, Kent County …   Wikipedia

  • William Maxwell Gaines — (* 1. März 1922; † 3. Juni 1992), genannt Bill Gaines, war der Gründer des MAD Magazins und Herausgeber mehrerer Comic Serien, die künstlerisch überzeugen sollten und sich eher an Erwachsene denn an Kinder richteten. Biografie Bill Gaines wurde… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Moulton Marston — (l to r) William Moulton Marston, H. G. Peter, Sheldon Mayer, Max Gaines (1942) Born May 9, 1893(1893 05 09) Cliftond …   Wikipedia

  • William Gaines (disambiguation) — William Gaines (1922 1992) was an American publisher, notably of Mad magazine.William Gaines may also refer to: *William E. Gaines (1814 1912), U.S. Representative from Virginia *William Gaines (professor) (bachelor s degree 1956), American… …   Wikipedia

  • William Gaines — Nom de naissance William Maxwell Gaines Naissance 1er mars 1922 Brooklyn, New York Décès 3 juin 1992 (à 70 ans) Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

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