Q: What’s the deal with “Mad Kids“? I’m curious what the target market is for Mad vs. Mad Kids or why they started Mad Kids.
A: MAD Kids is a recent addition to the MAD family. It’s a quarterly publication from the folks that bring you MAD that is geared towards a younger audience.
Why, you say? Isn’t MAD already geared towards kids? No, not really. The regular magazine contains some kid humor, mostly in the form of gross out jokes, but when you really get down to it, MAD contains pretty adult humor. There is no outright swearing in MAD, nor is there any overt nudity or x-rated content but there are plenty of adult jokes and themes, and MAD does a lot of political humor as well as satires of some racy subject matter. The parody I drew of “Gray’s Anatomy” had racy jokes that matched the show’s themes. It’s meant for teenagers or older readers, I think.
MAD Kids is definitely geared for pre-teen kids. The humor is kid-friendly, with booger and fart jokes as the worst offenders of one’s sensibilities. Think Nickelodeon Magazine but with MAD’s unique brand of humor and outlook infused. Alfred E. Neuman is present but in MAD Kids he’s a cartoon Alfred. The content is unique and while are some regular MAD artists and writers that also appear in MAD Kids, there are also some who work exclusively on that magazine. I’ve only done one job for MAD Kids since it’s inception… some spot illustrations that accompanied a “Sing to the tune of…” type article about the kind of people you run into as a school kid:
My ten year old son Tommy loves MAD Kids, although he is allowed to read the regular MAD as well with the rare exception of some articles that are just a little too adult. Mostly those jokes go over his head anyway, but not all. With MAD Kids there’s no problem and that’s nice for parents. I’m sure the folks and MAD started MAD Kids because they recognized MAD is not geared for that age group and they wanted to create something that was. I think it’s been pretty successful and maybe it will help warp a new generation of MAD readers.
Thanks to Shane Johnson for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!
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