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If you were a preteenager in the 1950s and had precocious friends or a with-it dad, itís a good bet you knew the cartoons of Basil Wolverton, the Michelangelo of Mad magazine, even if you didnít know his name.

Like rock íní roll and beatniks, Mad was a freakish spawn of the A-bomb era. It was like an emanation from some dark, Dada side of Disney; a stink bomb planted in the suburban Eden; and a preview of the underground-comics era to come. Wolverton, who is the subject of a career survey at Barbara Gladstone Gallery in Chelsea this summer, was Madís early signature artist, the one who embodied its sick-and-proud humor.
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