This month, Library Director Alex Potemkin is sharing his Mad Magazine collection with us:
For most of my life, I have read Mad Magazine. I read it as a young kid, through my tween years, as a teenager and continue to read it today. At least I will continue to read it as long as it is published – which may not be much longer.
Mad has been corrupting the youth since it was first published as a comic book in 1952.
In 1955, it took the magazine form it would have until today.
1974 would set the high-water mark for subscriptions with over 2 million readers receiving Mad at their doorstep.
In 2001, the magazine would begin to run actual, paid advertisements. Many people don’t know this, but from 1957 through 2001, the only advertisements printed in Mad were either parody ads or ads to subscribe to Mad Magazine. That made Mad one of the ONLY magazines to not bombard readers with page after page of advertisements.
Issue 550, in April 2018, marked the end of the original era of Mad and would set the stage for a relaunch in June of that same year. As with the first issue of Mad from the past, the newest launch raised a middle finger to the pop-culture establishment. Unfortunately, the new run would only last 10 issues.
It would seem that society is no longer willing to support non-establishment pop-culture players. There is no room for satirical self-reflection in a status-symbol obsessed consumer culture.
To say that Mad Magazine played a pivotal role in shaping my world view and my sense of humor would be to grossly understate the impact this magazine had my life. Every snappy answer to stupid questions I have, I got from Mad. Every margin in my mind is filled with Sergio Aragones’ scribblings.
When everyone else turned to sports icons as heroes, my heroes were the usual gang of idiots from Mad.
Gone but never forgotten.
In Displays, NW Library