Word came out within the last day that DC Comics is ending Mad magazine. There’s a lot to discuss about the business side of this. One, many people didn’t realize Mad was under the DC umbrella. Also, between this cancellation and ending the Vertigo imprint last week something odd is happening over there. Then there’s the DC streaming service with multiple cancellations and money problems despite putting out quality exclusive television shows. Maybe Rob Liefeld was right, there’s a sinking ship barely kept afloat by Batman. But that’s a post for those with more information and more sources within comics.
I’m here to miss Mad magazine. No, I wasn’t buying it every month either. I’m not buying anything every month. I have a family, bills, low paying job, side hustles and none of that leaves enough time or money for buying comics and magazines every month. Or all of the great movies and TV that come out near daily. Or to keep up with all the insanity of the current world. And that is why Mad is necessary.
Mad is perfect for to discover around 10 or 11 years old and then continue through college. First love are the comics. The Lighter Side Of…, Don Martin, Sergio Aragnoes. And I did all of those by memory. The more movies you watch, the more Mad’s parody of them matters. Then Mad opens your eyes to the world. Politics, celebrity, advertising. All of it fodder and all of it opening your eyes as adulthood approaches. This forms opinions and creativity. A desire to take your own humor in similar directions and with wide reaching results. Without blinking I would bet money that all of the late night comedy hosts from the last 40 years will cite Mad magazine as an influence.
I wish my collections were more in order and in one place. Just to show how much of the ‘usual gang of idiots’ I’ve accumulated along the way. Not only the magazines, everyone gets those at some point. My frequent book sale and thrift shop trips have led to dozens maybe even hundreds of the paperback collections.
The magazines were such a big part of my childhood. When I was sent to the grocery store and told by my mom I could “keep the change” it miraculously was enough for the latest Mad. During a family trip to camp I brought my entire collection to read out in the sun all day. They got soaked during the drive by an errant bottle of water. Somewhere in a photo album is an image of 10 Mad magazines hanging on a clothesline to dry. Right next to my bathing suit and a Batman towel. Here I am at 41. I swam today, had a comic book towel, and I thought Mad would be there forever too.