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Mad Goes Quarterly!
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john e. hett
MAD Subscriber


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Dave,
Thanks for the feedback. As for trades, Diamond would actually prefer trades to single issues of most comics. With the advent of trades most readers tend to wait and buy trades. MAD is in essence a comicbook in magazine format. MAD would probably do well to take every four issues and consolidate them into a trade paperback and then offer it through Diamond and book stores twice a year. That is simply how the young people today prefer to buy. That's the reality of the marketplace. It would help the bottom line.
Timeless covers: Well, I have a great story about an artist who refused a MAD cover job because he was worried about the prospect of having to do something STUPID like that retarded Dane Cook cover. "nuff said.
By timeless I mean, early Mingo and Freas covers with cool gags or situations. Ricards and Williams with cool gags or situations. Fredrickson's with cool gags or situations. Very few of the tie in gags have ever been good. Look at the Bob , Ted, Carol, and Alice cover from the early 1970's. SUCKED! But Alfred and the Rosemary's Baby cover? Cool and Timeless. In the last 8 years my two favorites have been Alfred watering the garden and the water was looping in the same manner that the hose was kinked; I forget the issue#. Or the Peter Kuper written Alfred head swirling down the toilet. Very simple very cool timeless. These are quality covers that catch the eye.
If you want to see the best MAD covers never produced, you should see about 12 covers written by collector Mike Gidwitz and painted by former Brazillian MAD artist Carlos Chagas. Some of these vanity pieces transcend commercial art and should be in a museum. Plus they are funny. But they will never see the light of day sadly.
As for overhead, MAD does not need an office. Cracked and THWAK! were produced by Marten Jallad and Scott Gosar from the privacy of their own homes. These humor magazine had no overhead in terms of bloated staff, wasteful corporate accounts, and a million useless people on the bottom of the mast head.
I say, cut MAD loose DC COMICS. Let Ficarra work from home. Communicate by phone and email with staff that's how all of the independents do it. Farm out the layout to a hungry young graphic designer. (I have one right hear in Royal Oak, MI who would do it CHEAP and it would look crisper and hipper - Doug Shimmin and Don Button at Elevator Graphic design. Shameless PLUG!) MAD can be saved and be profitable in its current state. It simply has to break free of the bloated corporate tic that is TimeWarner.
Print is dead. But it can survive if we adapt!

Yours in MADness,
John E. Hett
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melvin_m_melvin
British UGOI


Joined: 07 Oct 2004
Posts: 1265
Location: Peterborough, England, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

john e. hett wrote:
Timeless covers... In the last 8 years my two favorites have been Alfred watering the garden and the water was looping in the same manner that the hose was kinked; I forget the issue# ...


This was actually 1996, #346, also by Joe DeVito. I agree that this one came to mind with me, too...

:0) Dave
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john e. hett
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Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:54 pm    Post subject: Mad Masthead 1971 - Now look at 2009 Reply with quote

How many Idiots does it take to make MAD other than the contributors?

Let's take a look at a random MAD pulled from my world class collection! MAD #146 October 1971. Essential staff include:

Publisher: Bill Gaines
Editor: Al Feldstein
Art Department: John Putnam and Lenny Brenner
Associate Editors: Jerry De Fuccio and Nick Meglin

Subscriptions could be farmed out - oh yeah, they are!
Hire a Lawyer as needed.
Secretary? That's what email and voice mail are for.

Boy, drop one associate editor and MAD could run pretty lean. Hey, with all of the savings, the contributors could even get a raise!

Bill Gaines had the right idea. A small staff and autonomy.
MAD #498 has 30 people on the masthead not including Bill Gaines-Founder and the awesome Nadina Simon who was fired last year.
Are you still convinced that MAD is in trouble? It's the parent company, not MAD.

MAD-ly,
John E. Hett
Bomb Thrower
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john e. hett
MAD Subscriber


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey MAD Freaks,

Follow the link to read a great article about TimeWarner and their 4th quarter losses. Hmmm, could MAD be had for a song? Cash is at a premium for evey corporation. TimeWarner is no different. MAD, sadly, has indirectly paid for some pretty stupid decisions, like the AOL merger-purchase-mega losses. Someone hit 'em while they're down. Wrestle MAD away now! If Gaines were still alive he'd be able to get control back for a song and pennies on the dollar!

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090204/D964O9KG0.html

John E. Hett
Viva la Revolution!
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canucklehead
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Joined: 23 May 2004
Posts: 1992
Location: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

john e. hett wrote:
Timeless covers: Well, I have a great story about an artist who refused a MAD cover job because he was worried about the prospect of having to do something STUPID like that retarded Dane Cook cover. "nuff said.


To each their own, John. I actually liked that cover. If your artist friend is financially and/or professionally secure enough to be able to turn down MAD, more power to him. I wouldn't have followed the same course, but as I said, to each their own.

By the way: "Retarded"? Very classy.

john e. hett wrote:
By timeless I mean, early Mingo and Freas covers with cool gags or situations. Rickard and Williams with cool gags or situations. Fredrickson with cool gags or situations.


MAD has had far more of those types of covers since the introduction of the dreaded pop-culture tie-ins than you might expect. They're not all gems, of course, but some beauties stand out for me: “Bring Back Arbor Day” (Jones, #184, July ’76), “Flashers Against Nudity” (Williams, #257, Sept. ’85), “Easter Bunny at Christmas” (Williams, #276, January ’88), “Alfred Skating” (Aragones, #293, March ’90), “Body Piercing” (O’Brien, #341, Nov. ’95), “Watering the Garden” (Devito, #346, June ’96), “Proofreader Wanted” (Williams, #355, April ’97), “Super Bowl Issue” (Fredrickson, #450, Feb. ’05), “Dogs Playing Poker” (Stutzman, #452, April ’05), and “We Salute Global Warming” (Fredrickson, #477, May ’07).

Even the in-house “Alfred Che Neuman” cover (#487, March ’08) has a timeless quality to it because of the iconic nature of the original "Viva La Revolution" Che Guevera image. It's like doing an Elvis cover - it transcends socio-political trends to touch just about everybody.

Melvin made the point earlier that a lot of the Mingo-Freas covers from the '50s and '60s were rooted in a certain style of illustration. That's true - they harken back to the so-called Golden Age of Advertising Illustration, tweaking the Norman Rockwell/Saturday Evening Post era without totally demolishing it. That style still has a place in the modern MAD and its covers, but it need not be the only format for a MAD cover.

john e. hett wrote:
Very few of the tie in gags have ever been good. Look at the Bob and Ted and Carol and Alice cover from the early 1970's. SUCKED! But Alfred and the Rosemary's Baby cover? Cool and timeless.


Really? Well, here's more proof that it's all subjective: I've always found the "Rosemia's Boo-boo" cover (Mingo, #124, Jan. '69) to be derivative and flat. Conversely, I found the "Boob and Tad and Carnal and Alas and Alfred" cover (Rickard, #137, Sept. '70) to be a playful spin on the overrated spouse-swapping comedy, more in line with what I expect from a Hollywood-themed MAD cover - an actual attempt at a joke, rather than Alfred's face simply replacing that of a hot celeb.

To be fair, there have been a fair number of lame or flat-out lazy pop-culture cover tie-ins in MAD's history (Shrek, anyone?) but many of the others have consistenly brought a smile to my face. Maybe it's because I grew up in the '70s and '80s, after the TV/movie covers became commonplace, so I always expected a MAD cover to slam somebody famous. And oh, what a delight when the victim was a celeb or product I genuinely disliked (Beverly Hills 90210, Davis, #309, March '92; Harry Potter, Williams, #391, March '00; Adam Sandler, Drucker, #432, August '03; American Idol, Drucker, #462, Feb. ’06; Barry Bonds, Fredrickson, #469, Sept. ’06).

Of course, we all prefer a cover gag with some creativity behind it, and this is a hallmark of some of my favourite pop-culture covers (The Godfather, Mingo, #155, Dec. '72; The Sting, Mingo, #171, Dec. '74; E.T., Rickard, #236, Jan. '83; Back To The Future, Davis, #260, Jan. '86; Gremlins II, Williams, #298, Oct. '90; Love Connection, Drucker, #328, May '94; Spider-Man 2, Fredrickson, #444, August '04; 50 Worst Things About Comedy: Chris Rock, Fredrickson, #445, Sept. '04; Rosie and Trump: Gone With The Windbags, Fredrickson, #476, April '07; Spend The Holidays With Paris, Nicole, Britney and Lindsay, Williams, #484, Dec. '07, itself a nod to Norman Rockwell).

At other times, a mild satirical reworking is really all that's needed to make a MAD cover effective. Examples include: Jaws (Kuntzler, #180, Jan. '76), Space Invaders (Clarke, #230, April '82), the Pets.com Dog (Williams, #394, June '00), Britney Spears with Alfred as her snake (Syracuse, #417, May '02), Michael Jackson Speaks Out (Friedman, #438 cover variant, Feb. '04), the in-house Family Guy/Simpsons morph that trumpeted the former show as "TV's Most Original Animated Series!" (#458, Oct. '05), the spoof of Vanity Fair's TomKat/Suri cover (Fredrickson, #472, Dec. '06), and Alfred spoiling the Britney-leaving-the-limo-with-no-undies-shot (Fredrickson, #474, Feb. '07).

In the right hands, even a celebrity mob-shot can be effective and show the true all-hands-on-deck MAD feel (Academy Awards, North, #231, June '82; Hot TV Issue, Drucker, #266, October '86; 50 Worst Things About Music, Bricher, #420, August '02).

And, let's face it, sometimes it just works when "Celebrity Alfred" shows up. See: Barbara Streisand (Mingo, #143, June ’71), A Clockwork Orange (Mingo, #159, June ’73), Saturday Night Fever (Rickard, #201, Sept. ’78), Alfred E. Headroom (Williams, #269, March ’87), Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Williams, #288, January ’89), The Addams Family (Williams, #311, June ’92), Jurassic Park (Williams, #323, Dec. ’93), Malcolm In The Middle (Parada, #403, March ’01), Pirates of the Caribbean (especially the stuff hanging from Pirate Alfred's hair! - Fredrickson, #479, July ’07), Lil Wayne: The Rise and Fall of a Rap Star (MAD bling and tattoos! - Fredrickson, #496, Dec. ’08), MAD 20: Alfred E. Joker (Fredrickson, #497, Jan. ’09).

Grouse about AOL Time Warner and DC's lousy management decisions, if you please. But I'm not buying into the notion that MAD covers should ignore the entertainment scene (or politics) if it's to survive. Quite frankly, I see the opposite happening if MAD exclusively runs generic cover gags to please a few so-called purists.

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DD
MAD Addict


Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

john e. hett wrote:
By timeless I mean, early Mingo and Freas covers with cool gags or situations... Look at the Bob , Ted, Carol, and Alice cover from the early 1970's. SUCKED!

canucklehead wrote:
I found the "Boob and Tad and Carnal and Alas and Alfred" cover (Rickard, #137, Sept. '70) to be a playful spin on the overrated spouse-swapping comedy, more in line with what I expect from a Hollywood-themed MAD cover - an actual attempt at a joke, rather than Alfred's face simply replacing that of a hot celeb.


Beyond its playfulness or suckitude, one element of the B&T&C&A&A cover that's inaccessible now is that Jack Rickard had also designed the promotional poster for that hit movie. Having the same guy do the MAD cover provided a certain surprise and frisson in 1970 that can't possibly be felt today.
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john e. hett
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Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject: Cover Stuff Reply with quote

Hey Cover Creatures,

I love most all MAD covers. Not too many clinkers in the bunch, maybe less than 5%.
But Dane Cook! He's about as funny as Adam Sandler, who also sucks! Oops, I'm talking about subjective things again - sorry!
But you guys are right, I'll stick to grousing about MAD's financial troubles and we can discuss covers over coffee sometime. I'm in the Detroit area and I'm listed! Come see the MAD museum before I auction it off at Heritage, like the Soul of MAD!

John E. Hett

PS Four issues a year! That sucks worse than Dane Cook and Adam Sandler combined! But it will still be funnier than either "comedian".
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djkhaled23
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 263

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heres my thoughts
puke.gif D.C.

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Potrzebie
Clod


Joined: 28 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

Wanted to share my views on the quarterly cutback:

First some background: Unlike a lot of you here, I am not a frequent poster and would probably consider myself only a "casual" MAD fan these days - though there are times when I obsess and treat the pursuit of MAD as a hobby. I first discovered the magazine with the Top-Gun issue in 1986 at age 9. Since then I have both subscribed and bought at the newsstand off and on, and also amassed a modest collection of the regular issues that goes back to the late 1950's.

Sadly, I've been afraid of the recent announcement for some time.

Like a lot of you, I consider MAD to be an American institution and a vital underpinning of my wasted youth. Like many have observed, the magazine taught me to think for myself, to understand the hypocrisy of our culture, and to be distrustful of many adult figures and adult things at a young age. It also left me somewhat sarcastic at that same age, and I am of course appreciative of this as a sarcastic 31 year old. I will TRULY be sad if MAD dies in print form entirely anytime soon. That being said, with due respect - I will also say that I WOULD RATHER see MAD die if that is what is in the cards, than have it hang on and survive only at the extreme expense of doing ridiculous things like going back to black & white, changing it's name to PANIC, using something other than the version of Alfred that began with Norman Mingo, being supported and possibly run (like Cracked was?) only by a small percentage of it's fan base - and some of the other furshlugginer suggestions that I have read under this topic posting lately.

I know this is not lost on all of you - but I think we need to remember that maybe part of the reason that MAD is in trouble now is due to the fact that it WAS so influential in it's heyday - and that since that time, our culture at large has really adopted a MAD outlook on life.

Think about it. MAD was born and came of age in the Norman Rockwell era when everything was sold as being peachy-keen and on the level, when that wasn't necessarily the case. The world was Leave It To Beaver and black-and-white in more ways than one, and MAD showed all of us why what we were being sold by the world was suspect. From Madison Avenue to politics, TV and the movies, and everything in between. Think about how boringly serious some aspects of pop-culture remained even up through the 1980's...and how today, a good commercial will not even be allowed on TV unless it's some kind of witticism, sarcasm, or humor. That's MAD magazine's direct influence in every one of those commercials, whether we realize it or not as we are watching.

My point is that because society has gone more of the way of adapting to MAD, this has made MAD less effective for the current generation. That of course and the explosion of 24-hour cable news, the internet, and the fact that well...there are just not that many people that read magazines anymore. Others have rightly pointed out that it is all of print media in general, and not just MAD alone that currently has this problem. Look at the nation's newspapers, just for one example. So, can we blame today's kids for getting their humor fix with Jon Stewart (he who credits MAD often for helping him to become what he has...) and Stephen Colbert? I don't think so. I think MAD is still relevant, and that there are certainly still things out there to deflate and poke fun at - but just not nearly to the extent and in the same way as it was for MAD say, in 1960, - when what the UGOI was doing was truly unprecedented and really was providing wonderful culture shock for all that were fortunate enough to read.

In my opinion, the fact that this is all now commonplace is something that MAD should be proud of, even if they are in trouble because of it.

I guess this all is my way of saying it's a sign of the times we live in, and if all good things must come to an end, then so be it. I hope not, but I also don't want to see MAD on life support in the vegetable ward for years on end. If that's the case, pull the plug. I feel that even if print publication ceases entirely, MAD will surely live on in intellectual property and in some form on the web for a good time to come. True it won't be the same, and I'm sure that most of you would consider this to be a tragedy - but I'm also among those who feel that just as we shouldn't be overly critical of MAD or the UGOI for changing format every now and then to keep up with the times - maybe we also shouldn't blame society for changing with the times either?

Please, please, please don't misconstrue this as me wishing the end on the good UGOI folks or MAD in general. I truly hope the economy turns around, that America comes to it's senses, and goes back to the newsstands and buys back-to-12-month format MAD insanely for the next 50 years after this one. I'm just saying if it really turns into an effort that is more of a labor of love for a select few to keep the print MAD on it's feet in the future instead of the magazine surviving on it's own circulation and own merits, then maybe it will be time to let it go. I really hope we never get to that point...... but just fodder for thought.

Please feel free to blast me in healthy debate like the clod I am....

-John in NC

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john e. hett
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Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:58 pm    Post subject: Beautifully Stated Reply with quote

Dear John from NC,

That was beautifully stated. I agree with you in principle and that's what The Journal of MADness hoped to do with it's message: bring attention to MAD and its relevancy today. If it must go it must go. But, I still believe it has a place in the 21st Century. You can start by purchasing two of each issue! Seriously. One to read on the can and one to file away in your collection. I do. If everyone does it then we double MAD's sales.

Keep the posts coming people.

MAD-ly,
John E. Hett
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Potrzebie
Clod


Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks John,

I agree with you and will continue to assault the newsstand. But would you believe I had to go to five different places earlier this week just to find MAD? And the Obama issue at that! I went to 2 grocery stores, a Barnes & Noble, and then 2 drugstores. They finally had some copies at the last drugstore, a rather yeechy Rite-Aid in Greensboro, NC. Made me really regret letting that subscription lapse last year.

Fah, so hard to find!

-John in NC

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john e. hett
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Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject: The End of MAD Reply with quote

URGENT ! URGENT !

Sorry to break the news gang but a MAD artist who will remain nameless has confirmed that the MAD quarterly release is the first step of the eventual phase out of MAD magazine. I wouldn't print it if it wasn't true.
All of you need to mobilize if you want to keep MAD alive! You can begin by doing the following:
1. Buy multiple copies.
2. Write the companies that advertise in MAD and tell them to keep advertising! Tell them that you learned of their product in MAD and to keep advertising.
3. Write to DC/Time Warner and stress your anger over the move to quarterly. Tell them it can't survive as a quarterly and that they should return to an 8 issue release - minimum!
4. Write to MAD ! Plead with the publisher to find someone else to keep it afloat. MAD can survive if it is free of Time Warner.
5. Be creative - try something - anythng.

Sorry to be such a bummer everyone. But reality hurts. WRITE!!!

MAD-ly,
John E. Hett
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melvin_m_melvin
British UGOI


Joined: 07 Oct 2004
Posts: 1265
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's "bummer" about that? 01.gif 01.gif
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opsman666
Alpha Clod


Joined: 17 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: The End of MAD Reply with quote

john e. hett wrote:
URGENT ! URGENT !

Sorry to break the news gang but a MAD artist who will remain nameless has confirmed that the MAD quarterly release is the first step of the eventual phase out of MAD magazine. I wouldn't print it if it wasn't true.
All of you need to mobilize if you want to keep MAD alive! You can begin by doing the following:
1. Buy multiple copies.
2. Write the companies that advertise in MAD and tell them to keep advertising! Tell them that you learned of their product in MAD and to keep advertising.
3. Write to DC/Time Warner and stress your anger over the move to quarterly. Tell them it can't survive as a quarterly and that they should return to an 8 issue release - minimum!
4. Write to MAD ! Plead with the publisher to find someone else to keep it afloat. MAD can survive if it is free of Time Warner.
5. Be creative - try something - anythng.

Sorry to be such a bummer everyone. But reality hurts. WRITE!!!

MAD-ly,
John E. Hett


John,

A source is needed for these types of things. Could you provide one?

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DD
MAD Addict


Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:47 pm    Post subject: Re: The End of MAD Reply with quote

john e. hett wrote:
All of you need to mobilize if you want to keep MAD alive! You can begin by doing the following:
1. Buy multiple copies.


There's no need to change. Just keep buying MAD every single month!
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