Alfred E. Neuman Caricature


Alfred E. Neuman Caricature, illustrated here in 1955, age 10.

Alfred E. Neuman is the fictitious mascot and cover boy of the American humor magazine Mad, which began as a comic book. The boy’s distinct face, with his parted red hair, gap-tooth smile, freckles, protruding nose, and scrawny body, had actually first emerged in U.S. iconography decades prior to his association with the magazine, first appearing in an advertisement for Atmore’s Mince Meat, Genuine English Plum Pudding in 1894, called “The New Boy”.

The name Alfred E. Neuman (The “E” stands for Enigma) was picked up from Alfred Newman, a film music composer from back in the 1940s and 1950s; he came to be regarded as a respected figure in the history of film music. He won nine Academy Awards and was nominated 43 times. Newman composed the scores for over 200 motion pictures.

Mad Magazine’s editor Harvey Kurtzman claimed the character in 1954; rarely seen in profile, Neuman has almost always been portrayed in front view, silhouette, or directly from behind. “It was a face that didn’t have a care in the world, except mischief”, recalled Kurtzman.
The character’s first appearance in the comic book was on the cover of Mad #21 (March 1955), in a tiny image as part of a mock advertisement. A rubber mask bearing his likeness with “idiot” written underneath was offered for $1.29.
In 1955, with issue 24, the comic book converted to a magazine format, and as a result, avoided the strictures of the Comics Code Authority, which was imposed in 1955 following U.S. Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency.

Since his initial unsuccessful run in 1956, Neuman has periodically been re-offered as a candidate for President with the slogan, “You could do worse… and always have!”
Three artist contributors to have appeared in more than 400 issues of Mad are Sergio Aragonés, Dick DeBartolo, and Mort Drucker; Dave Berg, Paul Coker, and Frank Jacobs have each topped the 300 mark.

Since his debut in Mad, Neuman’s likeness has appeared on the cover of all but a handful of the magazine’s over 550 issues.
After a 67-year run, Mad Magazine ceased publishing in August, 2019 with the final issue #9.

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All prints are produced using Giclee printing process which is used for archival art reproduction. This process uses fade-resistant archival pigment-based ink which lasts over 100 years. All prints are printed on 310GSM, Luxurious mould-made, 100% cotton rag Archival Certified watercolor paper.

Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.

32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 20 × .25 in
Print Size

32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185