MAD mag­a­zine leav­ing news­stands

The Prince George Citizen - - Money - Rachel LERMAN

SAN FRAN­CISCO — MAD, the lon­grun­ning 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 beaklike 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.

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 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.

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, Cal­i­for­nia, 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.

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