What you are seeing is supposed to be there. It's not a misprint or ink from
another issue. Look at the covers side by side and you'll see that Alfred is
standing outside his girlfriend's window. So why would the word "Mad" and
"25 cents" be printed backwards? If you look at the
visual tricks Mad has employed over the years with its covers, you'll see a
pattern emerging that makes sense, at least in the Mad world. The cover writing is
printed on the window
shade inside the girlfriend's house. Notice the wreath hanging from the window
shade? If you're standing on the inside with her looking out at Alfred,
notice the word "MAD" is complete. But turn it over and look at the
through Alfred's eyes and you'll see the window frame blocking the backwards
"MAD" barely perceptible through the shade. Now why she would have all that
writing on her shade, only Mad can say... I'd like to know where I could buy a shade like that.
It would also be nice to know if Alfred is being a Peeping Tom or if she just kicked him out of the house?
Note that the cover artist Kelly Freas signed both covers the "right" way.
Front Cover of #44
Back Cover of #44