Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

July 3, 2019

Sources Including Contributors Indicate MAD Is Shutting Down; Recent Senior Editor Let Go


Tweets from staff and contributors, at least one e-mailed letter that went out last week to related personnel and one that went out today to contributors, and the departure of the current Senior Editor all seem to indicate that MAD is done. This story has come together in strange fashion, so in this age of spin I wonder after any subsequent permutations. The core seems solid at this hour, though. The version that came with my pair of original sources last week indicate a full shutdown and a working through of inventory to help satisfy subscription obligations.

This is a huge story in terms of cultural impact, the direction of modern media, the history of comics and the history of satire. MAD is the modern trunk from which all the branches of modern humorous satire reach towards the sky. It is a top five all-time comic. Its staff and contributor pool -- skilled enough it had its own nickname -- has included a half-dozen of the top 25 all-time American cartoonists, including a few competitors for #1: Kurtzman, Davis and perhaps as dark horses a pair of uniquely exquisite craftsmen: Aragones and Wood.

It can be argued that MAD, by challenging the advertising age and its constant lying to people for profit, was the most important comic ever published. That it may owe any future iteration to its value as a money-making brand in other set of strategies is little consolation. I'm also sorry for the gigs lost and jobs departed. It's been a hell of a summer.
posted 11:00 am PST | Permalink

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