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Spy vs. SpySpy vs. Spy is a wordless black and white comic strip that has been published in Mad magazine since 1961. It was created by Cuban Antonio Prohías, who fled to the United States in 1960, just days before Fidel Castro took over the Cuban free press.
The "Spy vs. Spy" cartoon was symbolic of the Cold War, and was Prohías's comment on the futility of armed escalation and détente. Under the Spy vs. Spy title panel, the words "BY PROHIAS" are spelled out in Morse code.
Prohías's strip represents a unique achievement for MAD as an institution to take on a life of its own and continue after the death of its original artist.
The comic features two spies, Black and White, who are constantly warring against each other. The typical plot is always the same: one spy is planning a scheme to kill the other spy, and then the other either turns the plan against him or comes up with a brilliant counterplan of his own.
The title panel of the comic almost always features a one-panel gag presenting one spy besting the other; the main comic then uses the rest of the panels to tell a different short story with the other spy winning.
During 1962-65, the comic was sometimes called Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy and featured a female spy, Lady in Grey, with whom both White and Black Spy were in love. The Lady in Grey ended up always winning against both spies.
After Prohías's Death, many artists have tried to keep the strip going. But on April 1997 Peter Kuper became the New Spy vs Spy artist and still is doing it today.
All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.
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