Do you remember being 12 years old and thinking that Mad Magazine was the height of comedy? I had a cherished collection that I just knew was going to bring me a million dollars when I grew up because I had just seen an episode of Amazing Stories in which the protagonist cashed in on all his childhood junk. That was going to be me.
Then my sister shattered my Mad riches scheme when she lent my collection (without my permission!) to the next-door neighbor, whose two-year-old brother proceeded to rip off all of the covers. That was a tragic afternoon.
Anyhow, I’ve gotten over it. Sort of.
Mom brought over what remains of my collection, which apparently had been sitting in a closet in her house for the last 23 years. Among the issues was December 1986, which spoofed Top Gun. I read through and discovered three separate panels in the spoof joking about how “old” Kelly McGillis was. So I looked her up on IMBD.
She was 29.
Seriously? I guess 29 is “old” when your audience is 12.
The reason I bring up middle-school humor is that I recently discovered a hilarious series of books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. These graphic novels follow the life of Greg, a 7th-grader who agrees to keep a journal in exchange for getting out of scrubbing the toilets at home.
Jeff Kinney (who now has multiple #1 books on the New York Times bestseller list and still keeps a day job) wrote the Diary for adults and has been surprised at the books’ popularity among children. Speaking from the adult perspective, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a delight. It is really, really funny.
You can check it out for free here. Be prepared to kill a few hours.