PopCult Magazine Rack

Last year when it was announced that DC Comics was going to move MAD Magazine from New York City, where it’s been headquartered since it was founded as a comic book in 1952, some folks got worried that the very soul of the magazine, and its New York attitude, would not survive the cross-country journey.

When it was learned that the editorial staff would not be making the move to Burbank, more folks got worried. Then, when it was announced that Bill Morrison would take over as the Editor I stopped worrying.

What, me worry?

I’ve been a fan of Morrison’s work since his days as the creative director of The Simpsons Comics, and knew that the magazine was in good hands. There have been changes: A new (old) logo; renumbering the book at #1; adding some new blood to the mix of talent and making a few cosmetic changes to the layout, but happily, if it wan’t broke, Morrison didn’t try to fix it.

This first new issue of MAD is ad-free (save for a subscription page), and Al Jaffee is still on board with his classic fold-in, as are Sergio Aragones, Peter Kuper, Tom Richmond, Dick DeBartolo and a good number of “the usual gang of idiots. There’s also some new blood, and it’s all top-notch. The cover (seen at the head of this post) is by Jason Edmiston, whom I interviewed for Non Sport Update a few years ago, which led to use becoming Facebook friends. His career has taken off and it’s huge that he was chosen to contribute the first cover to the relaunched MAD.

The comics section is expanded, with new work by Bob Fingerman (Minimum Wage), Luke McGarry and Kerry Callen. There’s a two-page spread written by comedian Brian Posehn with art by Peter Bagge. As always, Advertising is in MAD‘s crosshairs, and the movie and TV parodies are still here, and funnier than ever.

In fact, there is a brilliant parody of Riverdale by Ian Boothby and Tom Richmond that starts out with several pages drawn perfectly in the style of Will Elder’s 1950’s “Starchie” parody. When you add that to the fact that the “new” logo is pretty much identical to the one MAD had on it’s very first issue in 1952, you realize that MAD Magazine is in good hands indeed.

That’s bad news for celebrities, ad men, parents, and certain orange-hued politicos, but good news for anybody with a healthy sense of humor.

MAD Magazine #1 should be available nationwide today, with a cover price of $5.99, where ever magazines are sold.