A week or so back I posted about the uncertainty of MAD‘s future since basically none of the current longtime staff of editors and art directors were moving out west with the closing of MAD‘s NYC based offices. My post was mostly about the fact that DC Entertainment has given no one any idea of their plans or who might be taking the helm of the magazine. I got a number of responses on my Facebook page basically sounding the death knell of MAD, to which I replied:
“I think it’s a little too early to be writing MAD‘s epitaph. There are bound to be changes but maybe the folks in Burbank put together a great staff that both embrace the signature features most identified with MAD and bring in some new ideas and features that are both funny and different, all while maintaining the MAD zeitgeist we all know and love.”
Lo and behold, today DC announced officially that co-founder and longtime editor of Bongo Comics Bill Morrison will be the new editor of MAD Magazine. Bill has a long list of credits in both comics and animation, not only helming Bongo for many years but also writing and drawing his own comic Roswell, as well as working as a director on Futurama and as an illustrator for Disney, The Simpsons and many other clients.
Bill is a brilliant choice. He understands what MAD is all about, knows humor and satire, and has run an entire comics publishing company. He’s also current president of the National Cartoonists Society, so he is capable of herding cats and, presumably, Idiots. Bill and current MAD VP John Ficarra called me last week Tuesday to tell me the news and made me promise to keep it under my hat until the official announcement. I know Bill well from the NCS, and I am really looking forward to working with him.
I went from cautious concern to being excited about the future of MAD. Bill is sure to both serve the tradition of classic MAD features like “A MAD Look at”, the movie and TV parodies and the like while bringing in many new ideas and new directions. Most importantly, I think he’ll preserve the MAD voice and attitude.
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