DALLAS (AP) – The last batch of original art from MAD magazine’s New York archives sold Friday for a combined total of nearly $750,000.

The combined $746,516 was more than double pre-sale estimates, said Greg Rohan, president of Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries.

The collection was mostly made up of covers featuring the grinning Alfred E. Neuman, including the first one drawn by the late Norman Mingo for MAD’s issue No. 30 of December 1956, which sold for $203,150.

Chicago collector Michael Gidwitz was the winning bidder for the cover, which shows the gap-toothed icon as a “write-in candidate for president,” saying “What – me worry?” as an elephant and donkey glare angrily at each other in the background.

A Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter who requested anonymity was the winning bidder of three other MAD art covers, Rohan said.

The paintings were consigned by DC Comics, publisher of MAD.

MAD, founded by William Gaines and Harvey Kurzman, became widely popular for its mix of zany, absurdist and irreverent humor – especially its devastating parodies of Hollywood films and satirical commentaries on pompous politicians and self-important celebrities.

AP-ES-11-14-08 2143EST

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