What me worry? MAD Magazine is NOT closing down, but its future still looks grim

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There used to be a time where if you needed a monthly lampooning of popular culture, MAD Magazine was the de facto destination for a quick giggle and analysis of how mental life really was. With each cover featuring company mascot Alfred E. Neuman and a vacant stare devoid of any worries, you could always rely on MAD Magazine to deliver some cutting edge parody and satire with a roster of artists who delivered trademark humour in a signature style.

Around the turn of the century, things started to change. MAD’s most talented artists began getting older and very dead, cutting-edge humour found its place in other mediums and the magazine failed to attract a new audience to the newsstands. While MAD has always taken a stab at politics, in 2018, MAD re-focused its efforts on lampooning America’s right-wing politics in addition to its usual lampooning of the latest movies and TV series.

It kind of worked for a while, but the truth here is that MAD Magazine was always too late with its humour when compared to the breakneck pace that nightly talk shows and personalities on the web could provide at a moment’s notice. MAD Magazine’s days were clearly numbered, with reports circulating earlier today that publication would soon wrap up.

MAD Magazine (1)

That’s not what’s happening, but the future of MAD doesn’t exactly look rosy as new content from the brand is about dry up drastically. According to ComicBook.com’s sources, MAD Magazine will #9 will be the final newsstand issue, whereas the tenth issue will contain new content and will only be available via the direct comic book market and through subscriptions.

After that, MAD will then focus on reprinting classic content that’ll be bundled together with new cover art. There’ll still be new end of year specials and collections so that the brand doesn’t completely die out, but at this point, it feels like the equivalent of putting highway roadkill on a life support machine.

It’s a pity, but I’m amazed that MAD Magazine held on this long. In an age where people demand their chuckles right now, having a two month gap between issues for political jokes that were older than comments about Batman’s rubber nipples was never going to result in a sound business strategy, especially when the internet could deliver that humour quicker, better and more regularly.

Last Updated: July 4, 2019

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