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A personal tour of MAD magazine, in the crucible of a young life (polygon.com)
67 points by erickhill on June 27, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments



MAD even had an impact on Donald Knuth; his first publication was in fact "The potrzebie system of weights and measures" in 1957, defining the basic unit, the potrzebie, to be exactly the thickness of MAD 26 (2.263348517438173216473 mm) published in MAD 33. [1] [2]

[1] http://cs.nyu.edu/shasha/outofmind/knuth.html [2] https://blog.codinghorror.com/the-enduring-art-of-computer-p...


I dread the fact that I don't have my old meter-high stack of MAD magazines to pass on to my kids, nor the Heavy Metal or Metal Hurlant stack either. (Three continent moves later, these items are now just faint memories in the wind..)

The "Few Gigs of PDF's" Archive is just not the same.

Until I get their iPads' wired up to the sun, there just won't be the same degree of reliability and functionality.

When reminded of MAD's demise, I can't help but feel we're really losing something by turning off the paper-publishing switch.

Does anyone have a stack of old comic books they want to get rid of? I'll pay shipping, wherever you are.


> I dread the fact that I don't have my old meter-high stack of MAD magazines to pass on to my kids, nor the Heavy Metal or Metal Hurlant stack either. (Three continent moves later, these items are now just faint memories in the wind..)

Same. Sometimes I buy modern issues of magazines I used to read when I was younger, but it's not the same. MAD seems quirkier and I don't recognize many of the authors (although the movie parodies are still good). Heavy Metal/2099 AD seems very focused in the art of it and the writing is often mediocre.

Either they changed, or I have, or both. There's this intangible feeling of wanting to revive an old pleasure. It is hard to let go.


Found a few of my old stack just last week. Left it out for the kids. They are enjoying them. :)


Try 'mad magazine lot' on the eBay--prices seem okay.


I still remember touring their NYC offices as a kid (I'm 27 now) and meeting some of the writers and editors, getting my name in the Letters to the Editor section with a stupid cheese pun, submitting articles that were swiftly and hilariously rejected, and amassing a collection of vintage and foreign MAD magazines off eBay and trading sites. Fun times.

Who would have thought it would be my dad keeping the subscription to this day!


For me, Mad = "The Poop-Side Down Adventure". Still makes me chuckle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEs8TclS5CE


I thoroughly enjoy the Totally MAD collection as a tool for looking back at recent history. To me it's always a shockingly funny reminder of how little things change despite how different things seem.

Another magazine with the same truth at its core is The Realist, which happens to be archived online. It makes me uncomfortable how issues from 5 decades ago remain as relevant today as when written.

http://www.ep.tc/realist/


I read that RoTJ parody in MAD magazine probably 30 times. Nice to see somebody else obsessed over MAD in that era.

I still occasionally remember one of my favorite little side comics (the ones in the margins) where a person was holding a sign that said "LAWN ORDER" (a pun on LAW AND ORDER).


The Sergio Aragon├ęs doodles were one of my absolute favorite bits. In case the parodies ever fell flat, there was this weird interstitial world that reminded you that, not only should you not take the thing being parodied seriously, you shouldn't take the parody seriously either.


> I learned a lot from this tour, and it wasn't just about MAD, or the people who worked there, or how they coped with an absurd world. It was about how to go to places you shouldn't be. That is, if you act like you belong somewhere, people will usually let you in and possibly even do things for you.

A Social Engineering classic, iirc...


In the same vein, MAD #64 famously had a cover that was made to look like the cover of a composition book, so that you could read it in school.




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