In 1952, a big name in American humor publication took off with the inaugural issue of “MAD.” From its original comic book format, it evolved into its more famous magazine edition, and left readers in the US and around the world in stitches with their pointed satires and parodies of all things real and fictional, everything that had been relevant in the time an issue was released being lampooned like there was no tomorrow. Unfortunately that last bit may no longer hold true, following a surprise announcement this week that could see a saga in humor closing after 67 years.
According to CNet, “MAD” magazine will be undergoing such a significant change in its longtime format that in a way, it could be said to be ending. Evan Dorkin and David DeGrand, two major contributors of the humor publication in this day and age, explained on social media that “MAD” will stop stocking new issues on newsstands beginning in August. From that point on followers of the mag will have to subscribe or check on direct marketers to get their fix of outrageous laughs. In addition, no new “MAD” content will be forthcoming after August, with only reprints of past gag comics inside the covers.
Dorkin was informed by the publisher via email of the new arrangements, and made his Twitter goodbye to “MAD” for which he had been contributing artwork for over a decade past. “Seeing Mad close down hurts, especially during a morbidly depressing year for cartoonists and the comics industry in general,” he wrote on a later tweet. The only new contributions to the magazine will be new issue covers (containing old comic reprints). For the end of the year and other notable occasions, “MAD” would release special editions containing new gags, but only at those times.
While a significant pillar of satire and parody for pop culture and politics on the US publishing scene, recent decades have seen “MAD” magazine work to keep itself afloat, which accounts for its constantly-changing release schedule. By 1997 it achieved monthly publication, only to revert to six a year from 2010 until now. Significant events in the publication’s history, such as the introduction of advertising in between humor stories, and the move of location from New York City, are cited for the perceived decline in quality for “MAD” that is thought to have led to the decision made this July.
Needless to say, fans of the magazine have trooped to social media to mourn “MAD” or rail against the circumstances that have led to this end. They all agree however, that despite the lack of new stuff in future issues “MAD” Magazine would be remembered.
Image courtesy of Washington Times