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The 1956 cover art from Mad Magazine issue #30, featuring the iconic figure Alfred E. Neuman in an illustration by artist Norman Mingo, is one of three dozen original artworks from Mad's archives to be auctioned. ((AP/Heritage Auction Galleries))

Original cover illustrations from Mad Magazine, including many depicting the iconic humour title's grinning mascot Alfred E. Neuman, is set to cross the block next month.

The zany, satirical magazine is set to auction a batch of 36 original cover drawings live and online at the Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas on Nov. 14.

Before the sale, a preview exhibition of the three dozen covers will be held in New York at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art on Oct. 29.

Much of the collection features Alfred E. Neuman, including the very first full-cover appearance of the freckle-faced, gap-toothed icon. The late Mad illustrator Norman Mingo came up with the presidential race-themed illustration for the December 1956 issue.

Other pieces from the collection show Alfred E. Neuman in parodies of Uncle Sam, George Washington, Superman, King Kong and the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" monkeys.

"We wanted to hold on to them for as long as possible," current Mad editor John Ficarra said of the 36 original artworks.

"Not as much as a tribute to the early history of Mad … but because these paintings were covering up quite a few holes in the walls. This auction leaves us no choice. Now we have to patch and paint," he quipped.

Founded in 1952 by William Gaines and Harvey Kurzman, Mad magazine rose to fame for its irreverent humour and send-ups of U.S. politics and celebrity culture.

The reach of the magazine also extended abroad, with a nine-year-old Charles, Prince of Wales, penning a letter in 1958 denying his resemblance to Alfred E. Neuman. Editors published the missive — which arrived on Buckingham Palace stationery — in its letters column.

Mad magazine is now owned by DC Comics.

With files from the Associated Press