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11

The Return of MAD Magazine and Its All New Gang of Idiots

I used to read MAD Magazine, beginning in 1961 and ending in 1976. By that time I was working a real job, bought a house, and had no time for such things, although even today I can fondly recall the names - Gaines, Feldstein, Jaffee, Woodbridge, Martin, Davis, DeBartolo, Drucker, Berg, Aragones, Rickard, and many others.

The artists and writers, all but the first two names above, were referred to as 'The Usual Gang of Idiots' and today they are with few exceptions just about all gone, as was almost the magazine itself. In the Internet Age, MAD lost its mojo, even losing out to longtime second-rate competitor, Cracked, in the website races. And since today's millennials expect everything online to be free and fast, and contemporaneously funny, MAD was nearing extinction.

But all that was then and this is now. Beginning June of 2018, MAD rebooted itself, as seen in the illustration above. Wired.com has an article that gives the details, as we see here in an excerpt:

The new MAD—which will be published bimonthly, and goes for $5.99 an issue (kinda cheap!)—will never be able to compete with online comedic first-responders (though the magazine does have plans to launch a Twitch channel, as well as a new podcast). But to succeed in 2018, maybe it doesn’t have to. There’s so much pop culture now, and so much commentary about that culture, that a six-times-a-year spoof-filled digest almost feels like a relief: a safer, saner vantage point from which to view the world.

The new MAD takes a similar approach. The magazine’s redesigned logo is a nod to the one it launched with in 1952, and the issue features such writer-artists as Sergio Aragonés and Al Jaffee—both original members of MAD’s “usual gang of idiots,” and both as scampish and clever as ever (it’s a genuine delight to be reminded that Jaffee, now 97, can still stump you with one of his fold-ins).

Wow. And I remember paying $0.25 an issue. I just hope that I'm not working when I'm 97. For those who care about such things, MAD made its debut in 1952, the same year as did WTM. Sadly, I'm not rebootable, but you can still enjoy the newly rebooted MAD if you will.


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