Today’s economy is tough enough to even make MAD Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman worry, apparently.The venerable humor magazine today announced that starting with issue #500 in April, it will move to a quarterly publication schedule from its current monthly. The magazine’s version for younger readers, MAD Kids will cease publication with the issue on sale February 17th, while the final issue of MAD Classics will go on sale March 17th. Both of the spinoff magazines launched in 2005. Circulation numbers for the magazines were not readily available. Handling the news with style typical of MAD, Editor John Ficarra said, “The feedback we've gotten from readers is that only every third issue of MAD is funny, so we've decided to just publish those." MAD is a part of DC Comics, which is owned by Warner Bros. Earlier this week, news broke that the media giant would be cutting costs across it companies, and laying off up to 10% of its workforce, worldwide. MAD Magazine launched in 1952, founded by legendary EC Comics Publisher William Gaines and Editor Harvey Kurtzman, and has satirized, parodied and just made fun of American life, culture and public figures ever since. Many comedians and writers - from Joyce Carol Oates to Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam and thousands in between - cite it as a seminal influence in their earlier years. While it was the home to legendary comedians and cartoonists such as Kurtzman, Mort Drucker, Don Martin, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, and John Sevrin in its early years, it has seen a new generation embrace its pages in recent years and has featured work from Peter Kuper, Hermann Mejia, Drew Friedman and Ted Rall. The cover price of the quarterly issues will be $5.99. Issue #501 will go on sale in August, with #502 in November. Issues of the magazine will now be 56 pages, expanding from 48. “Remember, MAD started out as eight times a year, before going to 12 and now four.” said Ficarra, “Just as Nostradamus had predicted.
This is the second line of publications at DC Comics to see a significant reduction recently - in September, the publisher axed its MINX line of titles that were aimed at teenage girls.Related: Circuit City Rethinks MAD Magazine Ban, Apologizes Exclusive Look: MAD Magazine's MAD 20 for 2008 - Number 18 MAD Magazine Launches MAD Kids, MAD Classics