Mad magazine to leave newsstands — no, really
What, me worry? Buy the humour mag in comic shops, or subscribe
Mad, the long-running satirical magazine that influenced everyone from "Weird Al" Yankovic to the writers of The Simpsons, will be leaving newsstands after its August issue. Really.
The illustrated humour magazine — instantly recognizable by the gap-toothed smiling face of mascot Alfred E. Neuman — will still be available in comic shops and through mail to subscribers. But after its fall issue it will just reprint previously published material.
The only new material will come in special editions at the end of the year.
DC, the division of Warner Brothers that publishes the magazine, said Mad will pull from nostalgic cartoons and parodies published over the magazine's 67-year run.
As Neuman would say, "What, me worry?" Worry not, for Mad has more than 550 issues packed full of political parodies and edgy humour to pull from.
The magazine set itself apart as a cultural beacon for decades with its unabashed tendency to make fun of anything and push conventional boundaries. One of MAD's best known comic series, Spy vs. Spy, featured two spies with beak-like faces and big eyes — costumes that are still regularly worn on Halloween.
It even seemingly parodied fellow popular magazine Playboy, with its Fold-In feature that appeared in nearly every issue. But instead of featuring scantily clad models, the Fold-In printed — what else? — another joke.
DC will keep publishing Mad special collections and books.
Illustrators and comedians, including one-time guest editor Yankovic, mourned the magazine's effective closure.
"It's pretty much the reason I turned out weird," he wrote on Twitter.
I am profoundly sad to hear that after 67 years, MAD Magazine is ceasing publication. I can’t begin to describe the impact it had on me as a young kid – it’s pretty much the reason I turned out weird. Goodbye to one of the all-time greatest American institutions. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThanksMAD?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThanksMAD</a> <a href="https://t.co/01Ya4htdSR">pic.twitter.com/01Ya4htdSR</a>—@alyankovic
Josh Weinstein, a writer and producer of The Simpsons — which has referenced Mad many times — thanked the magazine on Twitter for its inspiring effect on eras of comedy.
"There was a moment in so many of our childhoods where you were the greatest thing ever," he wrote.
Comedian Harry Shearer, the voice of several characters on The Simpsons, cracked on Twitter: "An American institution has closed. And who wants to live in an institution?"
When U.S. President Donald Trump referred to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as Neuman, while insisting he wouldn't be fit to serve as president, the 37-year-old candidate said he had to Google the reference.
"I guess it's just a generational thing," Buttigieg told Politico. "I didn't get the reference."
Cartoonist Evan Dorkin, who worked for Mad, wrote on Twitter that the magazine was long a source of happiness and inspiration for him.
"I hope we provided some smiles to some readers of the past 12 yrs," he wrote.
MAD gave me a lot of happiness as a reader in my childhood and as an obsessive cartoonist poring over the work of Elder, Wood, Kurtzman, Aragones, Prohias, Jaffee, etc etc et al. I hope we provided some smiles to some readers of the past 12 yrs. Thanks to those who told us "yes".—@evandorkin
Shaped conversation, artists' lives
The magazine changed as its circumstances did, he wrote, including when the magazine began printing advertisements in 2001 and when it moved from New York City to Burbank, Calif., at the end of 2017. That move warped Mad's identity, Dorkin said.
Mad was long a venue for comic artists and cartoonists to grow artistically and shape national conversation. Well-known names such as Al Jaffee, Harvey Kurtzman and Mort Drucker were associated with the magazine for decades.
Canadian tributes came in as well, including one from the creators of the TV character Ed the Sock.
Sad day for intelligent satire. Like the deceased National Lampoon magazine, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MADMagazine?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MADMagazine</a> was a voice using sharp comedy to zero in on the stupidities around us in politics, pop culture. Was a strong force for decoding BS & for cultural change. RIP Alfred. <a href="https://t.co/I9V8nE6Hgn">https://t.co/I9V8nE6Hgn</a>—@EdtheSock
Sad about <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MADMagazine?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MADMagazine</a>. I was raised on it in the 70s, and if I have any sense of humour and subversion then it is due, in part, to ‘the usual gang of idiots’.<br><br>I also love the issues from the 60s. Here is one my favourite covers (I actually own it): <a href="https://t.co/jG3IwgGrdz">pic.twitter.com/jG3IwgGrdz</a>—@SettleWithMitch
With files from CBC News