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Mad Magazine is reportedly shutting down publication of new material

Photo: Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

Sad news for the Usual Gang Of Idiots—of all ages—today, as murmurs have begun circulating on Twitter suggesting that venerable satire institution Mad Magazine is reportedly ceasing publication of new material, and will instead simply reprint old material until its subscription obligations have been fulfilled.

We’ve reached out to Warner Media and DC Comics—which publishes the long-running comedy magazine—for comment; meanwhile, the most-cited piece of information about the change comes from a blog post citing an unnamed friend talking to one of the magazine’s editors in a Facebook group, which is…not great, as far as confirmed sources go. However, there are strong indications that all is not right in the kingdom of Alfred E. Neuman: The magazine’s senior editor, Dan Telfer (also a former contributor here at The A.V. Club), reported on Twitter earlier this week that he’d been laid off, and a number of contributors, including cartoonist Evan Dorkin and artist and writer David DeGrande, have talked on social media today about receiving news that the magazine was being shut down.

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Spurred by the reports, social media has already begun to fill with reminiscences and favorite moments from the magazine’s nearly-70-year tenure, thinking back fondly on fold-ins, doodles, and the better part of a century’s worth of pop culture and political mockery.

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Not that Mad wasn’t still publishing dopey-in-a-smart-way satire in its more recent past, too; just last year, we highlighted a piece that the magazine ran, poking vicious fun at American attitudes toward gun control by way of a painfully apt Edward Gorey parody. Mad didn’t necessarily command the same cultural cachet in 2019 that it once did—decisions like the addition of advertising in 2001 and a recent reboot that slowed down its publishing schedule probably weren’t great for reader confidence— but it was still one of the best places to go in print for someone looking to see the world incessantly, inspirationally mocked.

Update: We’ve now received word from a source at DC Entertainment, confirming that the basic gist of the rumor is true: The upcoming ninth issue of the current volume of Mad will be its last issue on newsstands, and the following 10th issue (available only via subscription and the direct market) will be the last to feature original material. After that, the magazine will feature reprinted material with new covers; the source also said that the magazine will be publishing its regular end of year special.

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