I did not realize that the first five MAD paperbacks were as distinctive as they are. These are the five tomes organized by original MAD man Harvey Kurtzman for Ballantine Books. Later after Kurtzman parted ways with MAD, the publisher William Gaines made a new arrangement with Signet to continue the line. That left Ballantine out in the cold, but later Kurtzman and the publisher made new attempts to create rivals to the successful MAD volumes. More on those efforts later.