Monday SADness: R.I.P. MAD Coversite

February 16th, 2015 | Posted in MAD Magazine


MAD Magazine fandom lost a really fantastic source of joy and MAD scholars lost a really fantastic resource this past weekend when the MAD Cover Site shut its digital doors forever. All that’s left of its seemingly endless MAD data is a placeholder.

The MAD Cover Site was the individual effort of one person, MAD Superfan Doug Gilford. Doug started it on Aug 17th, 1997 as part of the late Dick Hanchette‘s website. It began as a collection of scans of the all the covers of MAD through the years, along with a list of each issues highlights (or lowlights depending on your perspective). Doug began adding lists of all the movie and TV parodies that had appeared, in alphabetical order with the real movie or show title and the issue in which it appeared. Over the years it expanded, including the full contents of each issue and higher resolution scans of covers, special issue covers and contents, MAD book lists and a lot more. In the last couple of years he started a MAD contributor database, where you could look up any major writer or artist and find a list of the features they worked on , which issue it appeared in and which collaborator (if any) they worked with. I’m especially going to miss that feature, because I would often use it to check and see the title of something I worked on or who was the writer on that particular piece. I have my own personal list of such info, but visiting Doug’s site was always a joy and I found myself clicking links to see the credits of writers I’d worked with and remembering pieces I’d read in MAD years ago.

Doug just suddenly announced he was shutting it down, and within a couple of weeks all those countless hours of work collecting, researching and listing was gone. Well, you can use the Web resource to see “snapshots” of it over the years… Here’s what it looked like in 1998, and here is the last snapshot when everything was still active (although not all links work). While those archives last you can still appreciate the enormous amount of work Doug put in for nothing but his love of the magazine.

So, why did it end? Doug really doesn’t elaborate, but perhaps it became too much work for not enough return. Lack of appreciation, both tangible and intangible, eventually wears one down when doing a truly thankless task. Or perhaps Doug’s life priorities just demanded he stop, and if he could he would have kept going. Maybe it’s a little of both. No one knows but Doug.

At least we still have Mike Slaubaugh‘s MAD Lists!

All I know is I visited Doug’s site often, and marveled at his attention to detail, his seemingly tireless effort to be accurate and thorough with his data, and his quest to be as complete as possible. He did more to preserve the history of MAD than just about anyone I know. Thank you, Doug, for seventeen years of informative fun and invaluable resource. Stay MAD.


  1. Jack Myhervold says:

    Thanks to Doug Gilford. It was a great site, and as mentioned, I also enjoyed the listing of the real names of TV shows and movies that Mad twisted for their parodies. Maybe he can put it on a disc to sell, or arrange to do it with Mad’s involvement?. I would like to see Mad do an update of their issues disc, but they are selling individual issue downloads now so I guess that won’t happen.

  2. inkslingerz says:

    Maybe he could transfer the site files to you and you could add it to your site, Tom? As is. You wouldn’t have to keep it up. Still, someone out there could take the reins, so to speech…

  3. Mike Slaubaugh says:

    Great tribute, Tom, hope you don’t mind that I added a link to it at my site!

    Although my lists preceded Doug’s (I first started the lists in the mid-1980s and finally sent it to the MAD staff in 1991), those lists always been a bare bones tabulation of number of issues appeared in. Doug’s site added meat to those bones in so many ways (scans of covers, specific article listings and credits, etc.). Although the site might be gone, his work remains greatly admired and appreciated!

    • Tom says:

      Agreed, although your lists are of as great a value IMHO. PLEASE don’t quit doing yours until I at least crack the Furshlugginer top 30!!!

  4. Totally agree that Doug’s and Mike’s sites are/were the twin peaks of MAD fandom and scholarship. Funny, but – so seemingly early on the “atomic clock” of the internet – I already seem to be lamenting times when there was stuff that I appreciated but is no longer attainable… Great blog, Tom – Dave

  5. anon says:

    He should start a pateron account to get money for his site.

  6. Doug says:

    Well, this is embarrassing. Can’t even go a week and it’s alive again. Fantastic words from Tom accurately knowing my thoughts (mind-reader that guy). Too many positive correspondences to count. I’m going to give it yet another go because the site is bigger than me and it’s been around too long to scrap. I’m going to work on being less social. Thanks to Adam for taking over my Facebook group with the Mad Mumblings group. I’m also going to work on not making this such an all-consuming part of my life. I’ve got things to work through. Shutting down the site is not the way.
    I appreciate everyone’s support.

  7. Kuhnster says:

    It’s Back: and Tom read his statement on the website, you get a mention.


Sketch o'the Week- Natalia Dyer! @strangerthingstv #strangerthings #nataliadyer @mad.magazine

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