In case it's escaped someone here ~ MAD magazine has announced its , essentially, discontinuation after 67 years :'( . To be absolutely precise, briefly, the magazine will switch over entirely to reprints inside and greatly curtail its distribution ~ Comicbook.com has the full story ~ This is almost certainly a by-stages pulling of the plug ~ Though DC is claiming now that new annuals will continue. Anyway, seems to me like a would-be corporate " keep the trademark alive " strategem.
An era has ended :-X !!!!!!!!!!!
Reprints of classic MAD material means an improvement in quality, so from my POV, that's good news. Any reprint I haven't yet read is "new" to me. I haven't been buying the new issues of MAD because it ceased to be funny some time ago, but with this news, I'll have to start checking out each forthcoming issue. So it's no longer going to be culturally topical... what, me worry? Reprints of good material are GOOD. Without them, there would barely be any Archie Comics that I'm reading. Not being current culturally hasn't hurt the Archie reprints, and the old MAD paperback series were all-reprint, and those went on for a long, long, time. So now they'll just be in the regular magazine format -- big deal. If kids can't relate to those older reprints, then it is what it is -- it'll just be older fans of the classic MAD buying it. What, me worry?
...Well, yeah - but do you think they'll reprint spoofs of Eisenhower's foreign policy, or low-priced Life magazine subscription offers?
I think it would tend to be reprints of the star cartoonists - Martin, Sergio, etc. - and vintage moivie-TV spoofs of shows that are recognized by today's younger audience/have reboots-remakes coming up - frequently if not always colorized - like these newsstand market-only giant reprint issues of Mad Looks At Star Wars, Super-Heroes, etc. that they:be been issuing over the last few years.
No, they'll leave out of the magazine reprints whatever stuff isn't referencing something that the average reader would know about. Political parodies or celebrities of the past are out. Product ad-parodies are pretty nearly all out, since most of those reflected current ad campaigns or product packaging that would no longer be recognizable. Movies and well-known book or comic strip parodies can probably stay, since those things tend to have a long shelf-life, but they'll need to be somewhat selective. Old TV series... not so much, unless it's one of the few that lasted in syndication seemingly forever, and has trans-generational memorability -- they can't count on an audience of MeTV fans. We'll probably see an increase in the percentage of material by Aragones, Don Martin, and stuff like Spy vs. Spy or Dave Berg's The Lighter Side, since those were never about topical stuff. BUT they do have over 60 years worth of material to choose from, so they shouldn't have any problems filling issues for years to come, even if only 25% is still usable. That's just an average guess, since I'd assume the actual percentage of material in any given past issue that's usable would be less for a 60 year-old issue, and more for a 10 year-old issue. On the other hand, the older material is funnier, so that'll be a factor in selecting stuff, too. I would hope not to see alterations in the original text or artwork like ACP sometimes does in reprints, but I guess it's a distinct possibility we'll have to accept.
I wouldn't doubt that at some point we'll see magazine-sized hardcover collections reprinting complete issues of the magazine-format MAD from the beginning. They've already done complete reprints of the comicbook-format issues in hardcover.
...Well, some Dave Berg's were kind of topical ~ " Hippie "/long hair-era strips had jokes relating to that era and I remember an earlier-Sixties strip where a typical Berg adult asks a bunch of the teenagers what the distinction is between " going steady ", " going steadily " (which I had never heard of) and others.