When Only One Mad Cover Won't Do?

Mad has had cover variations when it experimented with borders, when it shipped free issues to Gulf War soldiers, and when it was just playing around. In more recent years Mad's shamelessly hyped the practice in order to sell more issues to nerdy collectors:
Mad #359 Mad #371 Mad #383 Mad #395 Mad #407 Mad #419 Mad #431 Mad #443 Mad #449 Mad #455 Mad #481
Four
Batmans
Two
South
Parks
Two
Phantom
Menaces
Two
Bush
Gores
Two
Jackasses
Two
Clone
Attacks
Two
Hulks
Two
Harry
Potters
Two
Twenty
Dumbest
Two
Batman
Begins
Two
Simpsons
Movies

The origins of this deviousness can be traced back to issue #123 which appeared to have millions of variations but in reality only had four. Thanks Zach.
Mad #123


Mad #28 Hi Doug,
Your answer to this month's question is not entirely correct. MAD No. 28 had three different cover variations way before MAD No. 123 (which you state is the origin of the multi-cover issues). Similar to MAD No. 123 which had the same basic design, but different numbers, MAD No. 28 had same design, but the wording in red letters in the diagonal yellow banner differed across the three versions: one said "Guided Missiles", one said "Income Taxes" or "Income Tax Evasion", and I can't recall the wording on the third variation off the top of my head!
Keep up the great work on your site!
Mike

Mad experimented with a border on fifteen issues (#356 through #370). Three issues within that batch (#363, #364, and #365) also ran without the border, evidently to test sales appeal.
Compulsive collectors were forced to find both cover variations.
Mad #363, #364, #365

Hey Doug,
Good job on the site as always! In addition to your multiple cover question of the month, I believe you are forgetting about Mad # 323 (Jurass-Has-Had-It-Park) which had both a red background cover and a yellow background cover to match the movie posters. Sorry to nit-pick, but you know how collector - convention dorks are.
Thanks
Ben
Mad #323 Mad #323

Mad #401George W. sworn inAl Gore sworn in
Issue #401 almost slipped by some collectors because the two options took place inside the issues and not on the covers: One with George W. Bush being sworn in as the president and the other with Al Gore being sworn in as the president.
Thanks to Jeremy for pointing this out.

Another trend happened with issues at the start of 2004. It seems one cover was made available to regular stores (like grocery stores) and a second cover came to specialty comic stores and subscribers. The typical promotion of two collector's covers being available was curiously absent in these cases, but die-hard collectors sought them out anyway (often with some difficulty).
Mad #437 Mad #437 Mad #438 Mad #438
#437
Cover #1
#437
Cover #2
#438
Cover #1
#438
Cover #2

Todd G. couldn't be satisfied with the parameters of the question, so asks
"How many single issues had a double front cover?"

There were three issues with Mad covers on the front and back:

#60 with Nixon and JFK
#225 with Popeye and Altered States
#235 with Rocky III and Conan the Barbarian

But the answer he had in mind encompassed more.
He wanted to know all the issues with parody magazine covers stuck on the back.
Those were:

#69 Saturday Evening Post
#83 Newsweak
#121 Sik-Teen
#189 The New Yorker
#272 WWWF - Witless Windbag Wrestler's Federation Magazine
#278 Sports Titillated
#288 Metal Sludge
#305 Stupid Teen
#309 GQ - Geek Quarterly
#316 Sasssy
#357 Martha Stewart Dying
#370 Cigar Addictionado
#395 Maximum


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