Anyone familiar with MAD during the seventies will well remember Dave Berg's regular feature "The Lighter Side" It wasn't a particular favorite as a kid, but as an adult I appreciate it much more. The gags are a tad on the lame side, but what made these strips special was the timeliness. Unlike the Don Martin and Spy v. Spy segments which stood independent of any time period, the Dave Berg strips had more in common with Doonesbury which definitely was "of the day", featuring current issues and characters who wore the latest fashions.
And this is where Retrospace comes in. You can tell Berg put a lot of effort and attention into the fashions in each strip. Indeed, it was every bit as important as the gag itself. I would be remiss to not have a post highlighting Berg's great illustrations of fashions past within his "Lighter Side" strips - perhaps, second only to the Archie comics in their depth and detail in bringing to life the styles of the seventies in comic form.
Just take note of this one panel. Berg pays attention to the style of boots, the pockets on the purse, the type and fit of the coats..... he didn't have to be so detailed, but he must've known that was part of the appeal to his strips.
This strip is particularly telling. My understanding is that Berg was a conflicted dude - on one side a very liberal open minded guy with a great sense of humor - on the other, a veteran with an honorary doctorate in theology who wore his Christianity on his sleeve. Not that the traits are mutually exclusive, but it did cause issues in the MAD office.
One day we'll look at Berg's strips with a more sociological eye. So, stay tuned.
this one as late as 1984