Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman is famous for saying, “What? Me worry?” But the iconic character now has real cause for concern as it’s the end of a comedy magazine with a legacy spanning almost 70 years.
As reported by CNET’s sister site Comicbook.com on Wednesday, the popular satirical magazine now published by DC Comics will cease to exist in its current format by the end of the year. Mad Magazine, which launched in 1952 at EC Comics, is best known for its celebrity and political satire, adult humor and whimsical comics.
“I need to clarify the MAD rumors: MAD isn’t shutting down but is only leaving the newsstand and will be sold to the direct market,” DeGrand tweeted on Wednesday evening. “The best thing to do is buy MAD and support it as much as possible, it’s not going away!”
“Today won’t end. Goodbye, Mad Magazine,” contributor Dorkin tweeted. “As a youngster I was a huge fan of the 70’s era, as a young adult I rediscovered the 50’s comics, as an old nerd I somehow became a contributor for the last decade +. Getting the e-mail today was crushing.”
“Seeing Mad close down hurts, especially during a morbidly depressing year for cartoonists and the comics industry in general. And my heart goes out to the Usual Gang freelancers,” Dorkin added.
“As institutions go, Mad had an amazing run. It helped breed smart-ass cynical stupid-smart humor, pop-culture drenched, dealing, using, shrugging. When it accepted advertising part of it died. When it left NYC, it’s identity warped. These things happen, like death & cancellations,” Dorkin concluded.
DC Comics confirmed to CNET that Mad Magazine will stop being available for sale on newsstands after issue #9 in August. Starting with issue #10, Mad Magazine will only be available via subscription and direct markets.
In addition, issues after #10 will only feature reprints of classic Mad articles and comics, but with brand-new covers. Mad Magazine will still publish its annual year-end issue, as well as the occasional books and special editions.
Fans have already started paying tribute to Mad Magazine on social media. “This hits right in the childhood,” one wrote. Wrote another, “Jeez. Whenever you think it can’t get worse, it does.”
Originally published June 3, 9:02 p.m. PT.
Update, 10:16 p.m. PT: Adds comment from DC Comics.