Don't get Mad, as magazine vanishes from newsstands

NEW YORK • The news may just make some avid fans go mad.

Mad magazine, the once-subversive humour publication that helped redefine American satire, will - after October - cease being the fresh creative force that it was across seven decades.

"Age hits everybody: It hits magazines, it hits the movies, it hits technology," said Mad cartoonist Sergio Aragones.

The magazine hit a peak of more than two million subscribers in the early 1970s. But commercial pressures have changed since the 1990s.

As circulation dwindled, the magazine owned by Warner shifted to a quarterly publishing schedule.

Now, the Mad brand will mostly endure by simply recirculating its vintage material, living on through the appeal of what it once was.

"We've influenced or entertained a great many people who are now grown and introducing it to their children," Mad cartoonist Al Jaffee said. "It's mostly nostalgia now."

Mad will begin disappearing from newsstands though it will remain available to subscribers and through comic shops. After this autumn, it will produce no new content, except for year-end specials.

All issues after that will be republished content culled from 67 years of publication and Mad will continue to publish books and special collections, sources said.

Veterans of the magazine said Mad was a victim of its own success. "Its smart satire, and irreverent and self-deprecating humour spawned generations of humorists who brought those sensibilities to books, film, TV and the Internet," said Mad artist Tom Richmond. "New generations then received their satirical influences from these new media stars, not knowing where the source came from. Even up until the end, Mad was doing sharp satirical work but, ultimately, audiences were elsewhere."

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2019, with the headline 'Don't get Mad, as magazine vanishes from newsstands'. Print Edition | Subscribe