Iconic satire publication MAD Magazine is preparing to stop publishing new material. The August issue will be the final installment sold at newsstands. With that being said, the shop isn't closing up completely and the magazine will continue to publish previously released material with new covers for the foreseeable future. MAD introduced the world to Alfred E. Neuman 67 years ago and has been an influence on many entertainers over the years who are now mourning the loss of the magazine.
Rumors of the demise of MAD Magazine started to spread yesterday after an alleged Facebook group chat with an editor of the publication became public news. After the news started to spread, cartoonists David DeGrand and Evan Dorkin confirmed the news on social media, but also revealed they weren't completely done yet. DeGrand had this to say about the situation.
"MAD Magazine isn't shutting down but is only leaving the newsstand and will be sold to the direct market. The best thing to do is buy MAD and support it as much as possible, it's not going away!"
After the August issue MAD Magazine will only be available through mail order and comic book shops. DC Comics will release bi-monthly specials focusing on the previously published material for now and they plan on still doing an all-new year-end special, though it isn't clear how long this will last after senior editor Dan Telfer announced he had been laid off earlier this week. Cartoonist Evan Dorkin shared his thoughts on the new business model and you can read them below.
"Today won't end. Goodbye, MAD Magazine. As a youngster I was a huge fan of the 70's era, as a young adult I rediscovered the 50's comics, as an old nerd I somehow became a contributor (often working w/Sarah Dyer) for the last decade +. Getting the e-mail today was crushing... for all intents and purposes, MAD is folding."
MAD Magazine officially launched in 1952 with EC Comics, who were at the time, more known for their horror titles. It would later go to bi-monthly in 1955. As for a reasoning behind the new issue release status, urban legend reveals that MAD's publisher, William Gaines, did so to evade the Comics Code Authority in an effort to avoid self-censorship. While that's a great story, the truth was a little boring. In actuality, EC Comics editor Harvey Kurtzman, wanted to get away from the comics and more into magazines.
Being a magazine allowed MAD to get into grittier satire and brought it to the mainstream. In 2019, it's a bit harder to handle satire with a country that is so divided and that has proven to be a problem for MAD over the last handful of years. So, they will go back to where they started, which is the comic book store. With many coming out to mourn the loss of the publication, there may be some hope after all. But for now, it's going to be coming to a close this summer, so enjoy it while you can. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to reveal the MAD Magazine news.
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. #ThanksMADpic.twitter.com/01Ya4htdSR— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) July 4, 2019
MAD was a huge influence on my work I was able to use when I worked for MAD.#Kurtzman#Elder#Wood#Martin#Aragones#Jaffee#Drucker#Prohias#Woodbridge#Coker#Davis#Clarke#Rickard#Porges#Berg#Torres#Kogen#Hart#DeBartolo#Koch#Meglin#Silverstone#Feldstein#Gainespic.twitter.com/1AX1OkMs8M— Evan Dorkin (@evandorkin) July 4, 2019
MAD MAGAZINE is one of the biggest reasons why I became a cartoonist. It was a staple. A constant. It was funny. Brilliant. Stupid. And was almost exclusively loaded with great art.— (((Judd Winick))) (@JuddWinick) July 4, 2019
It’s ending, and this is the end of an era.@MADmagazinepic.twitter.com/nxVtV7ittV
I was an intern at MAD Magazine in 1994. I had no apt in NY so I kept my belongings in the archives & took a daypack & crashed on couches for 3 months.— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) July 4, 2019
In the writers room they had a drum kit to do rim shots on bad jokes. Great memories. I’ll miss it https://t.co/xGjrTeefXI
I was an avid MAD Magazine reader as a kid. It informed my sense of parody, satire, and caricature. And it was just great subversive fun.— Steven Boyer (@SteveBoyer5000) July 4, 2019
I’ll miss it, and nothing will take its place. https://t.co/J7WeEaK9Zq
Well it’s the end of the line for Mad Magazine. One of the great Institutions, not only in comics history, but in the history of American humor. pic.twitter.com/sLesAOlOKX— Tom the Dancing Bug (@RubenBolling) July 4, 2019
I need to clarify the MAD rumors: MAD isn't shutting down but is only leaving the newsstand and will be sold to the direct market. The best thing to do is buy MAD and support it as much as possible, it's not going away!— David DeGrand (@daviddegrand) July 4, 2019