Quarterly?! They’re turning MAD Magazine into a Quarterly? I confess that I didn’t see this coming myself — but I should have; it’s exactly the sort of middle-of-the-road “weasel out” that executives in soulless media behemoth corporations specialize in! It’s like declaring a “trial separation” instead of a divorce. It’s like saying “Let’s date other people” when you really just want to break it off.
They’re also ceasing publication entirely of MAD Kids and MAD Classics; and permanently laying off “several” MAD staff. (And probably losing the interest of many of the remaining Usual Gang of Idiots; with 66.6 percent fewer Art or Script pages to sell?!! Hey, everybody’s got to make a living!)
Quarterly publication is going to be a disaster for a humor magazine like MAD! Just when they’ve been getting pretty good at shrinking their “topicality lead-time” (did you see how much Pres. Obama material was in the current issue, #498; that went to press a little over a month after the election!). From now on, with 3 months between issues, even the biggest and most satire-worthy news events are likely to get ignored. (“Will readers even remember this 3 months from now?” “Will it be totally irrelevant by then?”). I’m guessing that this will lead to even more “old, familiar MAD-style” pieces than ever. (“You KNOW you’re HAMSTRUNG as Humor-Magazine Editors WHEN…”) And, thus, making MAD even more of a “museum piece,” appealing mainly to those who LIKE it “1965-style!” But, new & younger readers they need to survive? Eh…not so much.
(BTW: Does anyone even know of a Quarterly magazine that’s successful? Are there ANY Quarterly magazines on the newsstands?)
Here’s my prediction: a year or two from now, after having done everything in its power NOT to give it a chance to survive, DC COMICS will announce that, “having given it every chance to survive,” we are ceasing publication of MAD Magazine.