MAD magazine will not be completely closing down, as previously reported -- although most of its new content will cease, and availability for the iconic humor magazine will be reduced. Earlier tonight, the news broke that MAD was set to cease publication after two more issues of new content, with the magazine using archival content to fulfill its obligation to existing subscribers. This is a little true, and a little not, and ComicBook.com has heard from a source with knowledge of the situation who clarified what is going on.
MAD will be leaving the newsstand after issue #9, which will land on newsstands in early August with all-new content. MAD #10 will also contain new content, but will be available only via direct market comic book retailers and subscriptions. Rather than closing up shop, the plan at present is to continue publishing issues that will feature reprinted classic MAD pieces, wrapped with new covers art. Further, MAD will continue to publish its end of year specials, as well as books and special collections, capitalizing on the value of the MAD brand in spite of the loss of new content in the magazine.
The venerable humor magazine, which launched in 1952 at EC Comics, relaunched in 2018, going bimonthly in a move that many fans suspected spelled a short lifespan for the magazine. Like DC's 2018 Vertigo relaunch, it seemingly did not bring in enough interest or revenue to revitalize the flagging brand. Two years ago today, to the day, MAD hired Bongo Comics co-founder Bill Morrison as its new editor-in-chief following the departure of veteran editor John Ficarra and other key members of his staff, who declined to make the cross-country trip from New York to Los Angeles with the rest of DC's editorial team.
The 2017 reorganization and subsequent 2018 reboot both struggled with finding an identity for MAD in an increasingly satire-saturated world. Between websites that can deliver topical comedy in real time and a fiercely divided American populace who cannot agree on what comedy is because their preferences break down along party lines, MAD struggled to find an elusive niche. When political humor seemed to work, MAD doubled down on lampooning the Trump administration, which earned some critical praise but likely alienated conservative readers as well as putting the magazine in direct competitions with late night shows that were delivering content nightly rather than once every two months.
Recent years have seen MAD increasingly focused on high-profile special projects, such as the recent compilation of Donald Trump parodies for MAD About the Trump Error and special projects like parody Batman- and Superman-themed children's picture books.