Odd (David and Stephen Herring) - 1957 to 1966

The rarest of all publications is the first edition, first printing, one and only copy of the 1957 ODD comic book/fanzine written, edited, drawn, colorized, marketed and sold by the fabulous Herring Boys to their parents for ten cents.  Kaching!  Fourteen-year old Steve Herring and his eleven-year-old brother, Dave Herring were inspired by the 23 issues of the Harvey Kurtzman MAD comic book that burst upon the comic book scene in 1952 and ruled the newsstands until the Comics Code spoiled the fun for everyone in 1954.

The first issue has a cover that looks like a ticking postal package possibly meant to trick non-readers as the composition cover of MAD #20.  The ODD mascot (The ODD Bomber) makes his first appearance on the inside of the front cover.  The first MAD-like article is the (T.V. Dept.) "Continuel' [sic] drawn in the style of the first MAD television parody ("The Countynental") showing the channel-changer switching from the Continuel show to Elvis Presley singing "Don't Be Cruuel" [sic].  Next is the poster, "The Incretable [sic] Stinking Man" followed by "Mugs Bunney Theater" drawn by guest artist, Steve Leventhal with help from co-founder, Dave Herring (ad for "8 Down" - not 7-Up).  Mugs gets eaten by a monster.  The end.  The last two articles are in full crayon color - the tour of  "House" (outhouse), and "Split Personality", featuring Liberace, Jack Webb, Elvis, Winshield & Mahony and Rin Tin Tin.  The final article is bookended by extremely clever advertisement parodies for "Ipani" toothpaste by Mike Cooper ("Brut your teet with Ipani or else") and "Mufferin" bullets ("Mufferin 'comernes (?) gun powder an medicine to speed it to dese here pipes").  These wonderful, original ad parodies are jokes that will be the signature aspect of ODD appearing in most of the 21 known issues of this most authenic of all MAD-loving fanzines.  Two more comics were created in 1957 but they have been lost to the ages, now languishing deep within a New York State landfill.  Thus was born the most amazing of all fanzines created by enthusiastic fans in the middle of their fandom years.

[see book scans at www.oddzine.com.]

Volume One Number One (comic) - July 1957
Front Cover - Ticking Package (Dave Herring)
Inside Front Cover - The Odd Bomber with Mushroom Cloud (Dave Herring)
1 Subscription ad
2 Odd Letters
3 Rare Old T.V. Dept. - The Continuel (Dave Herring)
6 Odd Poster Dept. - The Incretable [sic] Stinking Man (Stephen Herring)
7 T.V. Dept. - Mugs Bunney Theater (Steven Leventhal and Dave Herring)
12 Odd Touring Dept. - House (Dave Herring)
14 Ipani (Mike Cooper ad parody)
15 Two Faced Dept. - Split Personality (Dave Herring)
Inside Back Cover - Mufferin (Dave Herring ad parody)
Back Cover - What's Wrong With This Picture? and Smelly cigarette ad parody of Salem (Dave Herring)

The Herring brothers went back to work on ODD in 1959 producing six more issues (Volume 2).  Hence, the world would eventually receive 18 more examples of the most clever and most respectful parody of a parody (MAD comics 1-23).  Vol.2 Number One starts with a newspaper cover (similar to MAD #16) with the headline: "NO MORE SCHOOL for people over twenty-one".  The first article is "Mad Doctor" which is a parody of "Frank N. Stein" (MAD #8) which is a parody of Mary Schelly's 1818 novel, Frankenstein and all of the movies that followed.  The doctor decides to create life but needs a new brain.  He steals a brain from the local butcher to complete his creation.  However, the creation runs away and eventually drowns in a lake.  The doctor's mistake is that he stole a fish brain from the butcher.  Within the five pages and 30 panels of the parody, artist Herring added numerous MAD-like "chicken fat" jokes that would have made Will Elder proud. 

The MAD Doctor was followed by parodies "Joint" (see MAD #5's "Outer Sanctum!"), "Batty Man & Rodent" (spoiler alert: Batty Man was actually Batty Woman) and "Subways".  The final multi-page article ("Subways") is a tour of the New York City subway system including a helpful route map.  Subways is an original idea from the mind of brother Stephen. Both Herrings also contributed pages ("What Da Ya Know?") in the style of Harvey Kurtzman's "Hey Look!"  The back cover shows another excellent original cigarette advertisement ("Marlbredo").  With 32 pages of pencil-and-crayon art, the Herring brothers established a comic book with as much content as any of the MAD comics. 

The cover of Vol. 2 #2 is Mount Rushmore with The ODD Bomber added (possibly inspired by the cover of MAD #31).  Note the successful and unsuccessful mountain climbers. The full-color, six-page, main feature of Vol. 2 #2 is "Peep Eye" wherein our favorite sailor is trying to determine who is attacking him.  He eliminates Wumpy and Pluto but the attacks continue until his own girl friend (Diesel Oil) is revealed as the attacker.  Diesel is actually Alley Urp in disguise.  She/he was attacking Peep Eye because he "... stole my arms and legs ..."  The article includes the appropriate sound effects: "SOCK, BAM, CRUNCH, SPLAT, CRASH, RAT-TATRAT, SOCK, HIT, BASH, POW, BASH, BASH" etc.  Stephen and Dave Herring added two more original stories: "Escape" with author Stephen and The ODD Bomber (why not?) running away from "the nut house" through an elaborate route that follows a fake trash can, toilet bowls, staircases, tunnels and fields of barbed wire and broken glass until finally reaching the doorway of the ODD office.  Throughout the adventure, T.O.B. does not complain but the sign on his head-sign is continually changing; and "ODD-Office" by Dave that gives the reader an inside tour of that same office.  Both articles were probably influenced by the amazing journeys of Will Elder's "Mole" in MAD #2.  The last article is "Mobsters", the first of a returning theme in ODD that parodies "Ganefs!" also from MAD #2.  Bank robbers, Stumble and partner leave their "HIDE OUT" (large building with HIDE OUT in big letters on the front) and pass the labeled ("GET AWAY CAR") to rob the bank and get back to the secret hideout where Stumble's partner reveals that he is actually the ODD Bomber who steals to support the publication of more ODD comics.  This issue also includes the first ODD Letters page that mainly answers the question: "What the heck is 'mincober' (or 'mincuber')? Letters are from "unknown", "H. Kurtzman" (MAD editor), "Andy Smith", "John Corona" and "Melvin" (a running MAD joke).  The back cover is an excellent ad parody for "House of Commons" cigarettes (not Parliament).

Volume 2 #3 continues many of the stories developed in #2.  The "Grave Diggers" (Stumble and Not-The-ODD-Bomber) go to great lengths during a rain & lightning storm to dig up a casket full of money buried during the Prohibition.  Stephen, T.O.B. and others join them in the final panel for the opening of the booze casket ("Eat drank and be sick").  In "Secret Passage", the guys escape through the outhouse into the toilet through the tunnel and into the river, barbed wire, broken glass and through thorn bushes and then ... "Wasn't that fun? Let's do it again."  The final, six-page article ("Perfect Crime") finds our protagonist running from the bank with his swag that he hides before getting into the getaway car.  He is nabbed by the law but he uses a pick, jackhammer and his hard head to escape through the cesspool and the toilet through the tunnel to a small island where he is nabbed by Fearless Fosdick (?).  But he escapes again from solitary confinement through the fire hydrant and the barbed wire and the broken glass to get to his loot (swag).  But, he sadly discovers that swag is confederate money.  The other articles are: a visit to the "Movies" where Dad sits on a chair spring; and "Public Schools" including the ODD double-splash page of a rather dysfunctional school yard where a teacher hangs by her thumbs.  The back cover is another in a series of cigarette ad parodies ("Tarton ... Dual Filter Does It! ... It filters as no single filter can to bring you the crummy thing in tobacco taste.")

Volume 2 #4 (trash can filled with ODD issues on front cover) features two comic parodies: "Alley Urp" at the beginning and "Melvin Mouse" (parody of Bill Elder's "Mickey Rodent!" in MAD #19) at the end.  Both are presented with all of the nostalgic colors found in the 1959 Crayola box.  The caveman takes his friend, King Guoz (who only wants to see the bar) on a tour of his home but then traps him in a 20th century museum so Urp can become king of Muu.  Melvin Mouse and his goofy-looking friend are trying to make a living by solving mysteries.  Although our heroes are surrounded by crimes-in-progress, they decide to follow a cigar-lipstick clue that takes them to a place with an unwelcome mat (understatement), a crime scene, lots of guns and bad guys who capture them.  But Melvin and pal escape through alleys and a dumb waiter to find the evil doers playing poker.  Melvin pulls out a gun (where did he get that?) but then the mobster garbs their gun and is going to let them have it before a policeman arrives to save the day.  Phew! That was a close one.  The Mad Doctor returns in this issue to throw a "Party" for all of his ODD friends.  As expected, there is much talking, eating, drinking and fighting, eventually leading to a trip downtown with the cops.  "It's nice to know ya got real friends ..."  The most interesting article in #4 is "T.V! .. Novel! ....... Detective!"  Artist/writer, Dave Herring views a detective story as shown on t.v. (black-and-white) and the same story in color from a novel on adjacent panels.  Using two different drawing styles, Herring compares the two media somewhat like Harvey Kurtzman does in "Book! Movie!" in MAD #13 and "Bringing Back Father!" in MAD #17 where the editor used artists Elder and Bernard Krigstein to show two very different versions of the same story.  Young readers like 13-year-old Dave received an education from Kurtzman that was not available in schools.  The back cover ad parody in #4 is for "Ipaina" - "Do you scrub every day .. and still get da drill?"

The cover of Volume 2 #5 shows a persistent ODD collector facing an impressive circular firing squad.  Will the T.N.T. explode before the cannon fires?  There are only two full articles in #5 but they are long ones of eight and six pages, respectively.  The Mobsters are back with a plan to break into Fort Knox.  Stumble/Bumble and his German Boss execute their plan without a flaw but Stumble had dug into the "chocolate money storing building" by mistake.  The second story ("Bringing Down Father") finds Jaggs & Miggy (not Jiggs & Maggie) performing the same joke and scene that George McManus and others wrote for 87 years.  Jaggs wants to sneak out and have fun.  Miggy (who was singing) spies his attempted escape and stops him with a barrage of flying dishes.  They really do have a lot of dishes in that household.  But finally, in this episode, Jaggs turns the table on Miggy and lives happily ever after.  Between stories is another letters page filled with words from disappointed (and possibly fictional) readers and the obligatory "Typical ODD Reader" (wearing a "think hear smell aid") drawn in a style popularized by the great Basil Wolverton.  The ad at the end is for a "New Format!" for ODD ("buy a couple 100 copies").

Volume 2 #6 illustrates the process that the Herring brothers used to create their unique comics.  The cover ("Advanced Algebra") is similar to MAD's "Composition" cover (MAD #20) which was a sneaky way of getting your MAD comic into the classroom.  Readers will note that the cover words come back in the shading for the "Buffera" ad parody.  The page was probably drawn on the piece of paper directly beneath the one used for the cover.  This last complete ODD "comic" (except for two or three blanks) shows how the Herring boys passed the original back and forth as each one added his latest article.  The artwork is excellent (for teenage boys) featuring dueling "Visiting" departments, "Al Cologne" in the "Crime Dept.", and several one-pagers as usual.  Note the ads for "Real ODD" and the non-existent "back issues!" of an unpublished comic book series.

The teenage Herring boys were just too busy to complete Vol. 2 #7, but they did leave behind an excellent eight-page episode of "Mobsters!" and the beginning of a very promising Pogo parody ("Poogoo!").  The ODD editors (aka Stumble & Boss) rob a bank and hide the money in a fish net.  But, they are foiled by Jack Webb and are sent to prison.  They escape by making a hacksaw out of a cuspidor and a hammer out of a prison bar.  The boys plan another caper but Stumble blows up the wrong white house.  Poogoo, to the horror of his friends, is planning to change the comic strip.  "We is doomed!"  The drawings in #7 show the positive growth of the Herring style after two years of practice.  Stayed tuned for the triumphant return of ODD in 1964.

Volume Two Number One (comic) - 1959
Front Cover - No More School/Odd Bomber (Dave Herring)
Inside Front Cover - Subscription ad (Dave Herring)
1 Index/Odd Letters/Editorial (Stephen Herring)
2 Movie Dept. - Atomeny [sic] of a Murder (poster)
3 Horror Dept. - Mad Doctor (Dave Herring)
9 Odd Dept. - Joint (Stephen Herring)
15 Comic Dept. - Batty Man & Rodent (Dave Herring)
18 Clectors [sic] Item Dept. - What Da Ya Know? (Stephen and Dave Herring)
21 Travel Dept. - Subways (Stephen Herring)
27 Movie Dept. - Odd Scenes
28 Typical Reader Dept. - Tipical [sic] Odd Reader (Mike Cooper)
Inside Back Cover - Don't Miss Our Next Issue (Stephen Herring)
Back Cover - Marlbedo (Dave Herring ad parody)

Volume Two Number Two
Front Cover - Mount Rushmore with ODD Bomber added
Inside Front Cover - Subscription ad (Dave Herring)
1 Comic Dept. - Peep Eye (Dave Herring)
7 War Dept. - Escape (Dave Herring)
13 Movie Dept. - Herculi (Dave Herring poster)
14 Odd Letters
15 (Collector's Item Dept.) - What Da Ya Know? (Stephen and Dave Herring)
19 Odd Dept. - Odd Office (Dave Herring)
22 Typical Odd Reader (Dave Herring)
23 Crime Dept. - Mobsters (Stephen Herring)
Inside Back Cover - The Odd Quality Tests (Stephen Herring)
Back Cover - House of Commons (cigarette ad parody)

Volume Two Number Three
Front Cover - Outhouse (Stephen Herring)
Inside Front Cover - Subscription ad (Dave Herring)
1 Horror Dept. - Grave Diggers (Stephen Herring)
7 Visiting Dept. - Movies (Dave Herring)
13 Academy Award Chump - iGigi (Stephen Herring)
14 Tipical [sic] Odd Reader (Mike Cooper)
15 Collector's Dept. - What Da Ya Know? (Dave and Stephen Herring)
17 Tax Payers Dept. - Public Schools (Stephen Herring)
20 Odd Letters
21 War Dept. - Secret Passage (Dave Herring)
23 Crime Dept. Perfect Crime (Dave Herring)
Inside Back Cover - Odd Smoking Test (Dave Herring)
Back Cover - Tarton (Dave Herring cigarette ad parody)

Volume Two Number Four
Front Cover - Trashcan full of ODD comic books (Herring)
Inside Front Cover - Subscription ad
1 Newspaper Comics Dept. - Alley Urp (D.L. Herring)
7 Odd Dept. - Party (Stephen Herring)
13 What Da Ya Know (Dave and Stephen Herring)
16 Movie Dept. - Ben-Her (Dave Herring poster)
17 Odd Letters
18 A Typical ODD Reader (Dave Herring)
19 T.V. Dept./Book Dept. -  T.V! ... Novel! ... Detective! (Dave Herring)
23 Comic Dept. - Melvin Mouse (Dave Herring)
Inside Back Cover - Driup (Dave Herring hay fever medicine ad parody)
Back Cover - Ipaina (toothpaste ad parody)

Volume Two Number Five
Front Cover - ODD Collector is facing an unusual firing squad (Dave Herring)
Inside Front Cover - Subscription ad (Dave Herring)
1 Crime Dept. - The Mobsters! And the Fort Knox Robbery (Dave Herring)
9 Odd Letters
10 Typical ODD Reader (Dave Herring)
11 Newspaper Cartoon Dept. - Bringing Down Father (Dave Herring)
Inside Back Cover - New Format!

Volume Two Number Six (unfinished)
Front Cover - Advanced Algebra Book
Inside Front Cover - Editor's Note (explaining the cover)
1 Crime Dept. - Al Cologne (Dave Herring)
6 (blank)
7 Visiting Dept. - Apartment! (Stevie Herring)
13 Visiting Dept. - Castle! (Dave Herring)
16 Ad for Real ODD
17 (blank)
18 Ad for Back Issues
Inside Back Cover - Buffera (Dave Herring)
Back Cover (blank)

Volume Two Number Seven (unfinished)
Front Cover - This Magazine Is ... ODD
1 Underworld Dept. - Mobsters! (Dave Herring)
9 Newspaper Cartoon Dept. - Poogoo! (Dave Herring)

 

In 1964 ODD was reborn as a fanzine but still heavily involved with MAD-related material.  Stephen Herring was now in college and David Herring was just out of high school.  The first fanzine version of ODD (May, 1964) is presented with upgraded lettering and art.  The front cover shows the stars of "Mobsters!" robbing a bubble-gum machine.  The first page is one of their signature ad parodies ("Terrytoon" cigarettes).  "Us Terrytoon smokers would rather get lung cancer than stop! ... Not only do you risk getting cancer, you get beat up every time you smoke."  The first article is a new adventure of "Souperman" - five pages and 23 panels of parody humor.  Souperman meets his arch enemy ("Lax Loafer") to learn of his plan to unleash a 30 ft. tall Venusian monster with a wind-up key on its back.  Souperman destroys the monster.  Lax then introduces a monster made completely of electricity.  Souperman pulls down a telephone wire and sucks the monster into it.  Lax then brings out his 50 ft. robot made of "Creeptonite".  Souperman goes back in time to defeat the robot.  Several weeks later, Lax brings out a giant magnet to trap the man of steel.  The end.  Next follows an odd, one-page story ("Mercury Jones") by Frank Herbert.  Newcomer Joe Fabio received the assignment to redraw one of the Kurtzman-like "What Do You Know" pages from a previous ODD issue ("cereal with premiums").  Next, "The Mobsters!" (Fort Knox Robbery) from the ODD comic (Vol. 2 #5) is redrawn and relettered.  The final two pages of the 20-page book are the obligatory "Typical ODD Reader" by Frank Herbert and the subscription ad with man in toilet, hand in sink, MAD and HUMBUG on the floor, a periscope in the bathtub, etc.

The Herring brothers used a hectograph machine (invented in 1869) to produce subscriber copies of their fanzine in 1964.  The process, also known as jellygraph, transfers purple gelatin onto blank paper after the master copy has soaked into the goo.  It was a tedious process.  Existing copies of ODD #2 show the bleed-through of jelly from one page to the other that occurs over time.  After the scary cover, "Crumbell's Soup" ad parody, and an editorial page, the ODD editors presented their first newspaper "Comic Strips" - "Pee Wee Nuts" (Peanuts parody); "XY" (B.C. parody); "Fern Dan" (Ferd'nand parody); "Darnis The Menace" (Dennis The Menace parody).  The best one is Fern Dan who finally dislodges that peach pit from his throat so he can talk.  The first full article is "Doctors! On T.V. ..... In Real Life".  The t.v. doctor ("Kilcasey") is just too busy for surgery but finally decides to remove a patient's tonsils through his stomach.  The patient survives but "is paralized [sic] from the scalp down ..."  But things are much different in real life.  The doctor reads Playboy, drinks booze and does not shave regularly.  His nurse advises him that he has a patient who has "been run over by a steamroller, and caught in a threshing machine ..." (and apparently also has some active knife wounds).  The doctor proposes to use Band-Aids and his "special cure" (more booze for him).  The operation is a success but the patient dies - "Oh well, back to work" (chasing the nurse).  This scientific evaluation covered 34 panels with many detailed medical instruments in the background.  College student, Stephen Herring took time from his studies to write and draw two articles for #2: "College" ("A college education makes a man out of you." etc.) and "The Commercial" (There was a lot of pain on television in 1964).  Obviously, Steve forgot to bring his crayons to college with him.  The anchor issue of the article is "Frank and Stein!", a familiar scene for ODD readers (see "Mad Doctor" in Vol. 2 #2).  In this episode, the scientists are again trying to create life.  There is a great deal of body part switching and unmasking of disguises.  The highlight of the procedure is the first use of their giant Westinghouse toaster to bring the monster to life.  The final page of the issue is the ad parody for "Old Grand-Paw Kentucky Straight Booze Whiskey/Rumatiz Medicine".

ODD took a big leap forward with the contents of its fanzine #3.  The front cover and five pages take readers on a grand tour of the ODD office.  A sign is posted outside of the office from a Mr. "A. Lagosi" advertising for "slow running secretary with Type O blood".  Numerous chicken-fat jokes fill every panel.  The tour goes through a long tunnel to the office of the editor (Dave) who is sleeping on the job and daydreaming while his laundry hangs on a clothesline outside of his office window.  The artists are in cages.  They get their ideas from copies of MAD, Cracked and Humbug in their garbage cans.  They have a few unsold copies of ODD in stock.  They print their own money.  And, they have many alternate uses for the unsold copies.  The editorial/letters page warns readers that "The Toolong Show" (parody of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson) is for adults only, the material is tame by 2016 standards.  However, this parody was exactly what Boomer teenage boys wanted to read in 1964.  Drawings of the "Johnny Mop" talk show host are the first great celebrity caricatures by artist Dave Herring.  Johnny likes his booze and wild women.  His guests are "Jane Girlsfield" and "George Vessal".  But, he has little time for guests and sidekick "Ed McDowns" has refrigerators to sell.  After midnight, the show is just an unscripted orgy.  Still-at-college Stephen contributed a history of "Coins" in the "ODD Hobby Dept."  One very rare coin is stamped "20 B.C."  How did they know?  After a superhero tutorial and a smoking test ("The next time you buy ODD make sure you don't buy an imitation"), ODD #3 ends with another terrific ad parody ("Buggy Hair Brick") possibly inspired Frank Frazetta's "Blecch" in MAD #90 or Will Elder's "Beck" in Trump #1.

ODD fanzine #4 is the aquatic issue of the Herring series.  While "Castle" takes place in a driving rain storm, both "See Hunt" and "Bounty on the Mutiny" are stories of ocean adventures.  The firing squad cover is borrowed from the Volume 2 #5 comic.  The biggest improvement in the issue is the uniform lettering for most of the articles.  Assistant Editor Steve also reveals some of the production details in the expanded letters page.  "ODD #1 was all hectograph.  We moved up in the world and got a ditto machine in the process of making #2.  Therefore #2 has both.  ODD #3 and on are all ditto."  And, in response to a question about copying the MAD style: "The reason ODD may resemble MAD is that we are trying to continue the format and type of humor found in the now defunct MAD comic, Trump and Humbug mags.  It's not that we are stealing ... but that we are perpetuating a lost humor not found in the MAD we know today."  It seems that somebody added clothing to the mermaid in "See Hunt" but not to the same mermaid on the editorial page.  The ad parody in #4 is for "Captain Guts Infantry Kit" - "If you send for 10 kits we will include, at no extra cost, a genuine mortar with shells."

ODD #5 (another trash can on front cover) looks more like a fanzine with the seven-page "The Golden Age of MAD".  Albert Feldstein would not have liked the Herring analysis of MAD magazine but then he had the difficult task of keeping MAD alive without the talents of Kurtzman, Elder and Davis.  The better parts of #5 are the television parody, "The Fidgitive"; "Fandome and Comicdom in the U.S.S.R."; and "How To Be a Monster".  ODD always distinguished itself from other fanzines by printing original fan material.  "Dr. Richard Bimball" exposes "Lt. Buzzarde" to be a "cloddy looking guy with one arm" causing Buzzarde to become the new fidgitive.  "The most popular hero in the U.S.S.R. today is ... Captain Russia" who is "drawn by Simonsky and Kirbivitch."  And, Assistant Editor Steve outlines the steps to take to become a monster including type (Disney animal?), legend ("I Bled 3 Lives"), ketchup, and hideout (tree house?).  The anticipated ad parody is missing but the last page provides the reader with the helpful "ODD Quality Tests" ("If it doesn't taste green molded, and rotten it isn't an ODD ...").

Subscribers/Fans/Writers Mark Wolfman ("Batmaniac") and Jay Kinney ("Oscar Z. Freem for President") joined the fun for fanzine #6.  With drawings by Dave Herring, the 5-page, 22-panel parody of Batman (not to be confused with "Batty Man" from ODD Vol. 2 #1) is the main treat of #6.  Our hero with Bobin is flying about the city in his patched bat-bi-plane looking for action in the splash page.  Finding none, they go back to the batty-cave where they get a call from Commish Goombaa who has an important coded letter from the Jokester who is on the loose again.  Batmaniac quickly breaks the code and they jump into the bat-jalopy.  The Jokester battles Batmaniac with a barrage of sound effects.  Bobin jumps to the rescue but gets choked and then both are thrown into the Jokester's cage.  Bobin is wearing 3-D glasses.  But, Jokester forgot to lock the cell; so the duo escaped.  However, Batty is really Principal Mernkle is disguise who stabs Bobin because he has been playing hookey for 25 years.  Now Bobin is in "that big school house in the sky" with Superman, Flash and Aquaman.  Dave also borrowed brother Steve's idea from ODD Vol. 2 #1 ("Joint!") and expanded it to six pages plus the front cover.  Kinney's first effort is a full-page campaign ad for a really bad presidential candidate.  However, they got Lyndon Johnson instead.

The star of ODD #7 is "Blunder Woman" written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by Dave Herring.  The superheroine's civilian persona changes into her super outfit so quickly that sometimes she gets it on backwards.  There are two Blunder Woman stories in this comic book parody with a BW letters page between them.  Thus, the reader gets a parody letters page within a comic book parody within a fanzine that parodies the MAD comic style and has its own letters page.  It does not get better than this for parody fans.  There is also a Dare-Devil parody of sorts ("Dum-Devil") in this issue created by Steve Sabo.  Dum-Devil mostly just patrols the town amongst all of the other super folks.  Completing one of the best issues of ODD are two excellent ad parodies drawn by Dave Herring.  The "Hind's" ketchup comparison test proves that the water runs out of it much more slowly than the regular tomato catsup.  And, "Pepto-Dismal" tablets eat "away your whole insides."  Did ODD reader, Jerry Hasson draw the MAD "poiuyt" for ODD before it appeared on the March 1965 issue of MAD Magazine #93?

The editors used ODD #8 to make a statement about the plethora of superheroes on the newsstands in 1965.  Their first photo-offset cover shows 30 would-be heroes all claiming to be the best one.  This expensive process caused the editors to raise the price of the publication by five cents.  The anchor article of the issue is the ten-page "Justice Society of the United States" written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by Dave Herring.  Artist Herring draws all of the current heroes that ends only when "Mr Ley" gets fired from "Nationality Comics" and moves on to his next job (Marvel?).  There were several attempts to steer ODD into a different direction here ("Mr. Blister & CK", "Dr. ODD", etc.), but the best of ODD has always been its MAD-like comic parodies. 

In response to fan comments, the ODD crew came back with more superhero parodies in issue #9.  The front cover ("4 Fantastic Freaks") and the back page ("ODD Comics") were again photo-offset as the publication was reduced to the traditional comic book size and the price was raised to twenty cents.  Dave Herring wrote and drew "Fearsome Four", a ten-page parody of  The Fantastic Four.  This adventure finds the foursome complaining about the rigors of herodom.  "It" is gluing orange rocks on his body while "The Sticky Kid" drinks lighter fluid.  "Weed" takes numerous vinegar baths while "Invisible Sally" watches.  It, reading the "Daily Nudes" discovers that "Dr. Boom is on the loose again."  Dr. Boom (who looks a lot like the ODD Bomber without the hole in head) has planted bombs in Rhode Island to lure the Fearsome Foursome into his trap.  Before they go after Doom, Sticky checks his fluid level and Weed checks his elasticity.  The Human Bon Fire (Sticky) turns on his flames while Sally and It roast wieners and marshmallows.  Sticky gets hit with a giant asbestos mallot but It saves him.  Sally has to release her force field to protect herself from fire while Weed is trapped by the "Iron Curtain".  Dr. Boom explodes a nuclear bomb forcing Sally and Sticky to save Weed and It, respectively.  Although 5 million people are killed, the Fearsome Foursome survive and jump into Dr. Boom's shaft.  Doom removes the key piece from It; he snaps Weed Fearsome; he uses a fire extinguisher on Sticky; and he sprays Sally with paint.  "Egor" finishes the job and then he and Doc start after their next victim - "Peter Porker, The Amusing Spineless-Man".  Other excellent parodies in #9 are "The Man From C.O.U.S.I.N.S." ("Napolean Silly" defeats bullies by hitting them with a dialog box but is undone by "James Bombed") by the team of Wolfman & Herring; "Defective Comics" ("Batmaniac" cover); "The Amusing Spine-less Man" (cover); and "Captain Marvel" by Steve Sabo.  This giant, 40-page issue of ODD ends with the return of "ODD Comics". 

ODD Fanzine #10 is another 40-pager but not quite up to the standard set by superhero parodies in #9.  "The Fandom" (parody of The Phantom) and "The Fate of Iorn Man" are the best of the issue.  There are signs that the fanzine is coming to an end.  The Herring optimism is missing from the letters pages as some of the promised material did not arrive for the issue.  The longest article ("Mr. Nozak") meanders in several directions until finally finding a twist ending involving robots and "The Twiblight Zone".  Many pages of filler (?) are devoted to "The Golden Age of Panic" by Jay Kinney, and "The Golden Age of MAD Number 2" by Dave Herring.   The front cover about astronauts is very good but readers were probably expecting a space story to follow.  At this point, I suppose that the Herring Brothers were wondering where to go with ODD.

With the third consecutive 40-page volume, ODD #11 seemed to be taking off in a different direction again and it was mostly good stuff.  This issue included the highest number of subscriber contributions, an enthusiastic group of fan letters, and two excellent comic parodies by the team of Wolfman & Herring.  In "The Head That Wouldn't Die", Wolfman spins a tale of horror about a mad doctor who tries to keep alive the head of his girlfriend, Sylvia that was severed during an auto accident.  While the doctor is away, Sylvia and "the monster behind the door" plot against him.  In "Stupid Adventures Rides Again!", The giant "Cy C. Clops" battles "The Cosmic Blah", "Mr. Eerio", "Radiator" and "The Cerebellum" and defeats them all to "destroy fanzines".  Cy removes his mask to reveal that he is actually "Mr. Genie", a friend of "Blunder Woman" and her family who are setting their sights on "Fantasy Illustrated" and "Yancy Street Journal".  As they walk into the sunset, the narrator comments: "So now we leave you, dear readers, to find out for yourselves, if fanzines can face the worst menace ever created since the creation of the Blunder Woman family."

ODD #12 arrived with 32 photo-offset pages plus nine ditto pages of editorials, letters and ads (all for 35 cents).  The front cover from the Herring Brothers is their cleverest yet depicting a young time traveler arriving back in 1939 at a newsstand to buy ten copies of Superman #1 for a dollar.  However, the back cover of the photo-offset tells the sad story that ODD fans hated to read: "Future publication of ODD magazine has been suspended indefinitely.  Please do not order any future issues.  Thank you."  Alas, ODD fans could not expect to receive 32 pages of photo-offset comics from a low-volume publisher for such a low price.  It was a great run of 12 fanzines in 1964-1966 but as all fanzine editors and publishers know, the fanzine biz is a hobby at best.  Most of us must work at a boring job to make a living.  [JAM 1/21/2016]

#1 (fanzine) - May 1964
Front Cover - Mobsters (Dave Herring)
1 Terrytoon (Dave Herring cigarette ad parody)
2 Editorial
3 Comic Book Dept. - Souperman (Dave Herring)
8 Mercury Jones (Frank Herbert)
9 Odd Dept. - What Do You Know? (Joe Fabio)
10 Crime Dept. - The Mobsters! (Dave Herring)
18 Odd Dept. - Typical Odd Reader (Frank Herbert)
19 - Subscription ad (Dave Herring)

#2 - July 1964
Front Cover - Four People Horrified by Man Reading Odd (Dave Herring)
1 Crumbell's (Dave Herring ad parody)
2 Editorial
3 Newspaper Dept. - Comic Strips (Dave Herring)
4 T.V. Dept. - Doctors! (Dave Herring)
10 Special Report Dept. - College (Stephen Herring)
12 Horror Dept. - Frank And Stein! (Dave Herring)
17 The Commercial (Stephen Herring)
18 Subscription ad (Dave Herring)

#3 - September 1964
Front Cover - ODD Magazine Office Door (Dave Herring)
1 Old Grand-Paw (Dave Herring)
2 Subscription ad (Dave Herring)
3 Odd Letters
4 Marvin Wolfman ad
5 Visiting Dept. - Odd Offices (Dave Herring)
9 Odd Money Dept. - Coins (Steve Herring)
11 T.V. Dept. - The Toolong Show (Dave Herring)
17 Do It Yourself Dept. - How To Be a Super Hero (Dave Herring)
18 Odd Smoking Test
19 Brick (Dave Herring ad parody)

#4 - November 1964
Front Cover - Firing Squad (Dave Herring)
1 Subscription ad (Steve Herring)
2 Editorial
3 Letters (Steve Herring)
4 Horror Dept. - Castle (Steve Herring/Dave Herring)
9 The Model
10 T.V. Dept. - See Hunt (Steve Herring)
14 Movie Dept. - Bounty on the Mutiny (Dave Herring)
18 Captain Guts Infantry Kit (ad parody)
19 Super Adventures ad

#5 - 1964
Front Cover - Trash Can (Dave Herring)
1 Subscription ad (Dave Herring)
2 Editorial
3 Tracing of MAD #1 Front Cover
4 The Golden Age of MAD (Dave Herring)
10 Do It Yourself Dept. - How To Be A Monster (Steve Herring)
12 T.V. Dept. - The Fidgitive (Steve Herring/Dave Herring)
17 Letters
18 Fandom & Comicdom in the U.S.S.R. (Dave Herring)
19 The ODD Quality Tests (Dave Herring)

#6 - 1964
Front Cover - Outhouse in Junkyard (Dave Herring)
1 Subscription ad (Dave Herring)
2 Letters
3 Editorial
4 Visiting Dept. - Joint! (Steve Herring/Dave Herring)
10 Frankeee! Don't Get Too Close To The Page (Dave Herring)
11 Batmaniac (Marv Wolfman/Dave Herring)
16 Public Relations Dept. - ODD Fan Club Report (Steve Herring)
19 Oscar Z. Freem for President (Jay Kinney)

#7 - 1965
Front Cover - Blunder Woman (Dave Herring)
1 Mister Blister and The Callous Kid (Jay Kinney)
2 Editorial
3 Letters (Dave Herring)
5 The ODD Bomber Recommends Fanzines
6 The ODD Story or The Golden Age of Nothing (Stephen Herring)
8 Blunder Woman (Marv Wolfman/Dave Herring)
14 Dum-Devil (Steve Sabo)
18 Mental Illness (Jay Kinney)
19 Super Adventures/ODD Back Issues ad (Dave Herring)
20 The Foob ad/ODD Subscription ad
21 The ODD T.V. Commercial of the Month (Jay Kinney)
22 Pepto-Dismal (ad parody)

#8 - 1965
Front Cover - Superheroes (Dave Herring)
1 Editorial
2 The Night Visitor (Jay Kinney)
3 Dr. ODD (Steve Sabo)
9 Mister Blister and The Callous Kid (Dave Herring/Jay Kinney)
15 Justice League of the United States (Marv Wolfman/Dave Herring)
25 ODD Letters
27 Bruce Cordoza ad

#9 - 1965
Front Cover - 4 Fantastic Freaks (Dave Herring)
1 Super Adventures ad
2 Editorial
3 ODD Letters
6 Mister Blister and The Callous Kid (Dave Herring/Jay Kinney)
12 The Man From C.O.U.S.I.N.S.
18 The Flesh Tone Secret
19 Defective Comics - Batmaniac (Dave Herring)
20 The Amusing Spineless-Man (Dave Herring)
21 Captain Marvel (Steve Sabo)
24 Fearsome Foursome (Dave Herring)
34 Monster (Bill Cavalier)
35 Tracing of Front Cover of MAD #8
36 The Golden Age of MAD Number 8 (Dave Herring)
38 Advertisements
Back Cover - ODD Comics (Steve Herring, Dave Herring, Steve Sabo, Jay Kinney and Jerry Hasson)

#10 - June-July 1965
Front Cover - Astronauts (Dave Herring)
1 Herodom ad
2 Editorial (Dave Herring)
3 ODD Letters
7 T.V. Dept. - Mr. Nozak (Steve Herring/Dave Herring)
16 The Golden Age of PANIC (Jay Kinney)
19 Goofy and the Indigestible Hunk (Mike Garrett/Dave Herring)
20 Mingus Human Fighter (Dick Mosso)
21 The Fandom (Dave Herring/Jay Kinney)
27 The Foob ad
28 Apology & Stories of Suspense ad
29 The Fate of Iorn Man (Steve Herring/Dave Herring)
33 The ODD Bomber (Dave Herring Pin-Up)
34 Tracing of the Front Cover of MAD #2
35 The Golden Age of MAD Number 2 (Dave Herring)
37 Subscription ads (Dave Herring)
38 NOPE ad (Jay Kinney)
Back Cover - ODD Comics (Dick Mosso, Bill Dubay, Dave Herring, Steve Herring)

#11 - 1965
Front Cover - Stupid Adventures Rides Again! & The Head That Wouldn't Die
1 Jim Gardner Valor ad
2 Editorial (Dave Herring)
3 ODD Letters
6 The Head That Wouldn't Die (Marv Wolfman/Dave Herring)
11 Flyin' License (Jay Kinney)
12 The Only But Golden Age of Panic (Dave Herring)
14 Sport Shorts (Jay Kinney)
15 Souperman Coloring Book (Larry Herndon/Dick Mosso)
18 The Poor Mouses (Steve Herring)
19 Journey into Misery with the Mighty Thorn in Your Side (Marshall Lanz/Bill Diettinger/Dave Herring)
20 Hakman (Jim Gardner)
21 Pornography in Fandom (Stephen Herring)
22 Odds and Ends (Marvin Wolfman/Jay Kinney)
24 Stupid Adventures (Marv Wolfman/Dave Herring)
34 Tracing of Front Cover of MAD #7
35 Golden Age of MAD #7 (Howard Brenner/Dave Herring)
38 Subscription ad
Back Cover - ODD Comics (Jim Gardner/Dick Mosso/Ted Mancuso/Steve Herring/Paul Rybarczyk/Bob Cardozo)

#12 - 1966
Front Cover - Time Traveler Purchasing Copies of Superman #1 (Steve Herring/Dave Herring)
Inside Front Cover - Super-Guts ad (Calvin Castine/Dave Herring)
1 Ratman with Rodent (Calvin Castine/Dave Herring/Jim Gardner)
7 Doc Ravage! (Jim Jones)
8 Happiness is a Pair of Long Johns (Marv Wolfman/Jay Kinney/Dave Herring)
12 To Get Lost in Space Without Really Trying (Marv Wolfman/Dave Herring)
18 Horrible, Ghastly, Gruesome, Macabre and Otherwise Scary Stories Dept. - The Count (Steve Herring/Dave Herring)
25 ODD Comics (Dick Mosso/Jay Kinney/Dave Herring/Steve Herring)
Inside Back Cover - B.L.U.N.D.E.R.I.N.G. Agents (Dave Herring)
Back Cover - Suspension of ODD Magazine (Dave Herring)

#12 (ditto section)
33 Editorial (Dave Herring)
34 ODD Letters & Credits
40 Ad for Stories of Suspense!!
41 Ad for Action Illustrated #1

 

The 20+ issues of ODD may be the earliest and most complete examples of fan publications that parody the style of the MAD comic book.  ODD is a slice of Americana from  a decade (1957-1966) that cannot be duplicated.  The seven (plus one unfinished) remaining, original comic books are the rarest of all books since only one of each remains from Herring Brothers Publications.