RIP Mad Magazine? Satirical Publication to Cease Original Content, Focus on Reprints

After 67 years and hundreds of issues, a spinoff sketch comedy series and countless imitators, Mad Magazine as it has been known since 1952 is coming to an end, according to the magazine’s former editor, Allie Goertz.

“There’s been an outpour of kindness surrounding the rumor that @MADmagazine is ceasing publication, but MAD is not quite done,” Goertz tweeted late Wednesday night. “After the next TWO great new issues are released, MAD will begin publishing bi-monthly issues with vintage pieces and new covers.”

“While there will be no new material after issue #10, @MADmagazine is not gone,” Goertz continued. “I find it deeply sad to learn that there will be no new content, but knowing history repeats itself, I have no doubt that the vintage pieces will be highly (if not tragically) relevant.”

Mad artist and writer David DeGrand elaborated on Twitter that the 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!”

Neither DC Entertainment, which owns Mad, nor the magazine itself have commented publicly, and they did not immediately respond to requests for comment from TheWrap.

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News of Mad’s turn of fortune was first reported by The blog Jedland.

Launched in 1952, Mad began life as a monthly comic book, but converted to a (roughly) bi-monthly magazine in 1955 with issue #24. Urban legend has it that Mad’s publisher, the legendary William Gaines, changed it to a magazine to evade the content restrictions of the Comics Code Authority, the body established to self-censor comics in the wake of a moral panic in the early 1950s. But the truth is slightly more mundane: Mad’s original editor, Harvey Kurtzman, was exhausted by the demands of monthly publication, and the switch was made to keep him from quitting.

But becoming a magazine did free Mad from those content restrictions, enabling it to publish more risque content than regular comic books.

As news of the magazine’s demise spread over the holiday week, comics artists, comedians and just plain fans mourned a publication that was consistently cited as a huge influence on both American satire and the comics medium.

 

 

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