If you’ve been following along at home today with our news stream, the announcement that MAD Magazine is going quarterly will not be such a shocker. Matt Brady has the news.

The venerable humor magazine today announced that starting with issue #500 in April, it will move to a quarterly publication schedule from its current monthly. The magazine’s version for younger readers, MAD Kids will cease publication with the issue on sale February 17th, while the final issue of MAD Classics will go on sale March 17th. Both of the spinoff magazines launched in 2005. Circulation numbers for the magazines were not readily available.

Handling the news with style typical of MAD, Editor John Ficarra said, “The feedback we’ve gotten from readers is that only every third issue of MAD is funny, so we’ve decided to just publish those.”

The move will come as no surprise, given the downturn in magazine publishing and problems with distribution, but is still a saddening reminder of the changing media landscape. In years when superhero comics were squeaking along, MAD was DC’s highest selling periodical, and has become an American institution with its satirical images becoming iconic reminders of the power of humor.

At any rate, the cut does explain why several MAD staffers were let go yesterday. 


  1. I’m surprised that they didn’t hype the fact that they had the first Obama/Spidey meeting in their magazine this recent issue. I somehow got a subscription recently, and I’ve enjoyed it. Sad to hear of the schedule change.

  2. Circulation is at an all-time low (174,567).

    Given their proclivity to reprint/repackage/exploit almost any subject, I’m surprised there isn’t an Obama special collection.

    “How MAD Magazine is Coping With the Current Economy”

    * Fold reduction (from two to one) on MAD Fold-In
    * 20% cost savings from the elimination of black ink.
    * New “Do-It-Yourself MAD Magazine Story” featuring artwork with empty word balloons
    * Fundalini Pages outsourced to Tibet
    * Old MAD Marginals reused for new ” A MAD Look at…” articles
    * Returns from newsagents are warehoused for five years, then restickered as “MAD re-Issues” and sold once again at a higher price

  3. “The feedback we’ve gotten from readers is that only every third issue of MAD is funny, so we’ve decided to just publish those.”

    Well, that is a pretty good line.

  4. My subscription is paid up until 2015, wonder how they will make up for the issues I now won’t be getting. Have you seen how many Vice Presidents are credited in the magazine? It takes that many veeps to run the thing? Seems too heavy at the top. Why aren’t we seeing movie spoofs anymore, they were often more fun to read than the movies were to watch. Many of the newer artists are not as talented as those from decades past, if the art is poor I don’t like looking at it and skip those articles. Had a telemarketing call two months ago for Mad Classics, told them to forget it, only reason I took it in the first place was to get the free 1974 “finger” issue as a spiff when I signed up, never opened a single issue. Wanted to buy some original cover art recently but the bidding was insane, most of the good covers sold for over thirty grand each.

  5. John Knighten actually lists a major issue with many corporations these days. Sure it’s nice to have 1 person for each task, but that’s a lot of expense. There’s a certain toy store going out that blames the ecconomy, but it’s far from that. Too many things that’s been a problem for some time now is starting to catch up with these various companies. It’s nice to blame the ecconomy I guess, but that’s not all together true.

    Add that to the fact that there are a lot of the people on the consumer end having to take lower paying jobs and are unable to pay the escalated for stacks of magazines and comics, and you have the real answer. Too many higher paying jobs to run 1 magazines and not enough consumers to pay their salary. Rather than cut some of those exec jobs, they’re cutting production.

  6. I’m also a contributor (proudly one of the “usual gang of idiots”) and it’s strange to have something like this hit you on a cultural and personal level at the same time.

  7. I am surprised that the first post which is a quote from a article says that DC comics announced the change as it is EC comics which publishes MAD and always has.