The Mad World of William M. Gaines

I received a press release today from the Hero Initiative about the release of this book in digital format.  If you are interested in learning about the early days of Mad and the life and times of the eccentric Mr. Gaines (1922-1992), download this great (and historical) book.  It has been out of print for many, many years, so this release presents a great opportunity to read this book without breaking the bank.  How you can you go wrong for $7.99?  Cheap.  Your purchase will be for the benefit of author Frank Jacobs, who is recovering from recent surgery.  I downloaded this book today directly into the Kindle app on my iPad and it worked flawlessly and the print is easy to read in this format.  It can also be read with any PDF reader on most popular pads and smart phones and directly from the WOWIO site with your browser.

The Mad World of William M. Gaines

The Mad World of William M. Gaines

Here’s the full press release from The Hero Initiative, including a link to the download at WOWIO:



Frank Jacobs’ masterpiece The Mad World of William M. Gaines available digitally from


LOS ANGELES, CA (May 21, 2012) – After decades out of print, one of the most popular books chronicling a classic era of American satire is finally back.

WOWIO is proud to release The Mad World of William M. Gaines by Frank Jacobs as an eBook, priced at $7.99, and available for PC, MAC, iPad, Kindle, and eBook readers at

The Mad World of William M. Gaines is a hilarious and definitive history of Mad magazine and its founder, Bill Gaines. The book has been out of print for decades, and original copies often sell for hundreds of dollars. “Part of our philosophy is to make hard-to-find, out of print books available to new audiences,” said WOWIO CEO and President, Brian Altounian.  “By offering a low-cost digital eBook, we’re offering an affordable way to introduce Frank Jacobs’ masterpiece to a new readership.”

Praise for The Mad World of William M. Gaines includes:

The Mad World of William M. Gaines is one of the classic biographies of comic book history, and helped set the standard for those to follow.  Frank Jacobs’ book richly deserves to be kept in print.”

—Roy Thomas, co-founder and editor, Alter Ego magazine

“I learned more about writing from Mad magazine than would be seemly to admit, and Frank Jacobs was my favorite writer in its stable, so it’s no surprise his bio of the Great and Powerful Gaines was an instant classic to me.  But it’s the world beyond—and before—Mad magazine, the dark world of E.C., of pulp, horror, and censorship that made it indelible, and a book not just for Mad fans but for everyone.”

—Joss Whedon, Avengers director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator

“I read The Mad World of William M. Gaines when I was a kid. It’s a book I treasured and read over and over again until it literally fell apart and was thrown away. I’m thrilled to be able to read it again…and to my kids.”

—Scott Dunbier, special projects editor, IDW Publishing

“This amazing book helped rekindle my childhood love for Mad magazine…and turned me into a major Bill Gaines fan.”

—Jim Halperin, co-chairman, Heritage Auctions

“Bill was somethin’ else! And Frank was, and still is, a GREAT writer!”
—Jack Davis, E.C. Comics and Mad artist

The Mad World of William M. Gaines has been released through WOWIO via special arrangement with the Hero Initiative, the charitable organization dedicated to helping veteran comic creators in medical or financial need. Now is a perfect time to download a copy of the book, as Frank is recovering from arterial surgery.

The Mad World of William M. Gaines is available directly at:

About The Hero Initiative

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book artists and craftsmen in need. Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $500,000 to the comics veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. For more information, visit or call 626-676-6354.

About WOWIO, Inc. is one of the first and the longest-standing eBook distribution sites on the web, and is part of the Studio W family of digital entertainment sites. Studio W specializes in the creation and monetization of rich media content developed from books, comics and original published material. WOWIO, Inc. is an Alliance Acquisitions, Inc. portfolio company headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.


About Bill Jourdain

Bill is the host of the Golden Age of Comic Books Podcast. Learn more about Bill in the "About Bill" page to this site.
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