I have now been working for MAD for over 12 years—which, incidentally, still makes me the “new guy”. Since my earliest days with the magazine I have been looking forward to a certain milestone . . . having appeared in my 100th issue. That is rarefied air. Less that 40 writers and/or artists have had credits in 100 or more issues of MAD in its 60 year history. My progress at hitting that milestone was greatly slowed down when the magazine went to four times a year in 2009, and only slightly improved when it went up to bi-monthly in 2010. However, I am only a few issues away from there now, and barring missing an issue in the near future I should appear in my 100th issue of MAD sometime this summer.
I was aware of this because of the efforts of one terrific MAD fan. Since before I started in MAD in 2000, a gentleman named Mike Slaubaugh had been diligently keeping track of MAD related statistics like consecutive issue streaks, number of contributor credits, number of cover credits, and the rank of each on a website called, appropriately, Mike Slaubaugh’s MAD Lists. He also tracked circulation figures (the most depressing of his lists ). It was great fun to see how many issues each of the Usual Gang of Idiots had been in, where they ranked, etc. Thanks to Mike I was aware that I was on the cusp of having been in more issues of MAD than Wally Wood! Thankfully Mike didn’t consider quality in his ranking!
I’m using the past tense here because recently Mike decided to end his list website. Not just end it, but delete it, so the rankings and stats are gone forever. That is a real shame. I don’t blame Mike for not wanting to continue . . . it’s a thankless (and non-paying) job that doubtless took a lot of time and effort on his part. It’s worth noting that Mike used the previous work of Fred von Bernewitz when he started his MAD lists site, and built it up with painstaking research and tracking. Mike’s site served a different purpose than Doug Gilford‘s site does, which (among many other things) lists all the actual contributions of each MAD artist and writer, but does not total the individual issues, rank the contributors, track consecutive issue streaks, etc. BTW, with issue #520 I would have officially made Mike’s list of “consecutive issue streaks” with 25 (#495-520), as that is the minimum he would add to the ranking.
I’m sad Mike decided to abandon the lists, but I understand. Mike told me he hasn’t decided what to do with his data . . . I hope he hands it off to another person to continue the work. That is a lot of effort and time that should not be lost to the four winds.
I’d like to thank Mike for his longtime efforts, and for being a world-class MAD fan and supporter. It was great fun watching your lists grow. Sorry I won’t see that magical “100″ next to my name, but it was fun to see it crawl up the charts!