NEW YORK — MAD Magazine is folding – but not for fun this time.
The influential humor magazine – famous for its gap-toothed mascot Alfred E. Neuman, social satire and fold-in back covers – is due to stop publishing newsstand issues after its upcoming October edition, multiple people close to the title claim.
After that it’s expected to become a reprint title only, ending its illustrious 67-year run publishing original content.
Contributors got the bad news via email late Wednesday and shared their sorrow online.
“I find it deeply sad to learn that there will be no new content, but knowing history repeats itself, I have no doubt that the vintage pieces will be highly, if not tragically, relevant,” former editor Allie Goertz tweeted.
“I think it’s a huge mistake,” freelancer Mark Evanier said in a post that faulted new owner Time Warner for not investing more in the beloved brand.
“I have to think that someone there is pondering what MAD 2.0 might be like. At least, I hope someone is,” he wrote.
Attempts to reach a spokesperson for Time Warner’s DC Comics were not successful.
MAD illustrator Tom Richmond said “we all knew this was coming” after DC laid off three of the four remaining editors last week.
“Not too many magazines can keep publishing without any staff,” he wrote on his website Thursday, tipping his hat to the magazine’s list of famed former cartoonists including Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, Wally Wood, Will Elder, Al Jaffee, Sergio Aragones, Don Martin and Paul Coker.
“I am profoundly sad to hear that after 67 years, Mad Magazine is ceasing publication. I can’t begin to describe the impact it had on me as a young kid – it’s pretty much the reason I turned out weird. Goodbye to one of the all-time greatest American institutions,” musician Weird Al Yankovic tweeted.
“It’s very sad. It’s the end of an era,” jazz guitarist Grant Geissman, who wrote a biography of former MAD editor Al Feinstein, told the Daily News.
“It appears to be the end. Now that it’s part of a corporation, it’s all about the bottom line. They have 67 years of material to regurgitate. Why pay for anything new?” he said.
“For many generations of adolescents, MAD pointed the direction toward a counter culture. It held a fun house mirror up to pop culture,” he said. “It was a fascinating look at an adult world you didn’t necessarily understand.”
“Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill tweeted it’s “hard to imagine a world without MAD magazine.”
“My older brother’s collection helped me learn to read. It taught a generation how to question & mock the status-quo. An honor & a career highlight to be ridiculed mercilessly by that ‘usual gang of idiots,” he wrote, signing off as “Lube Skystalker.”
Comedy writer Tony Barbieri said he’ll never forget working for MAD in the 1990s, penning a serial comic called Monroe for former editor John Ficarra.
“They were all geniuses. It was really edgy for a while, so much fun,” he told The News.