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Death of the MAD Lists

MikeMadLists

 

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!

11 Responses to “Death of the MAD Lists”

  1. Steve Kuhn says:

    You can use a way back machine to see what his site used to look like here: http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://users.ipfw.edu/slaubau/mad.htm

    • Tom says:

      Thought of that, but it would be 2 years out of date as 2010 was the last WayBack “snapshot”. Still, one could reconstruct the lists from there.

      However that would be disrespectful of Mike and all his work.

  2. Rich Powell says:

    That’s a bummer. I was always amazed that one guy compiled all that info. Although I only appeared in a few issues, it was a nice feeling to see proof that it wasn’t all just a dream! Bravo on your milestone Tom! More that Wood? Amazing!

  3. nurple says:

    By the last line on the website “MAD Magazine and related images are the property of E.C. Publications © 2012″ I would guess perhaps he was given a notice of copyright infringement.

  4. Mike Slaubaugh says:

    Tom, you already have 25 consecutive issues with MAD 519 (yes, 519-495 = 24, but that then excludes 495 itself). Congrats on your milestone!

    • Tom says:

      Good thing I’m a cartoonist and not an accountant. Thanks again for all that hard work for so long, Mike. Enjoy list retirement! :(

  5. Annie Gaines Ashton says:

    Mike, I want to add my name to the list of people who are massively disappointed that you’ve withdrawn your wonderful list from the internet. It was so fun to look at your various listings, and the whole thing shows such true love and dedication! MAD Fandom is such a better place with people like you, and Fred von Bernewitz and Doug Gilford.

  6. Desmond Devlin says:

    Projects like Mr. Slaubaugh’s MAD Lists, or the MAD Cover Site, or the Don Martin Sound Effect Glossary… these are things I never knew I needed, until some demented genius was divinely inspired to compile them. Thank you, demented geniuses!

    Now somebody get cracking on the comprehensive Sergio Aragones Marginal Directory, fully cross-referenced by date, issue number, page, subject matter, and configuration: horizontal, vertical, or L-shaped.

 

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