Not quite, but…
It was Friday afternoon and I had just gotten home from the artist’ talk at the Gettysburg College Faculty Art Show. Among the original cartoon art I’m exhibiting are a couple of pieces I did for MAD (Me, Myself and my Puppet, to be exact). I talked about how it’d always been a dream of mine to be in MAD and how thrilled I was to get in for the first time a couple of years ago.
Then I got home and found out that, as of issue 501, MAD would be changing from a monthly publication to a quarterly one. And that the very new MAD Kids would be canceled. And that three of the MAD staff are being let go. (This is part of the cutbacks being made by their parent company Time Warner.)
This hits hard on so many levels:
• If you are of a certain age, you read MAD. MAD taught me not only what was funny, but also how to think critically, not to trust everything that’s out there. I also learned about the world. At a time of only three channels (and very little in the way of internet*), I learned about things from Judaism Woodstock in a backhanded way. (Much like getting your news from The Daily Show today.) Going quarterly probably means MAD will become less influencial in our society. Its been monthly since the 50s, and with the economy and newer media hitting publishing hard, getting back there seems unlikely.
• As a very recent member of the UGOI (“usual gangs of idiots” – what the artists and writers have been called in the masthead for years – and, in all seriousness, it’s an honor to be called that), the diminished publication schedule means less chances to get my work in. But I’m a “every-once-in-a-while” contributor. I really feel for the folks who are in almost very issue and rely on that income.
• And, lastly, I feel for those getting laid off. I know some of them and, man, what a crappy thing to have happen.
(* None. There was none internet.)