Sunday Mailbag

September 30th, 2012 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: Do you think the printed version of MAD will eventually stop, and it will become digital only?

A: That’s a question with two answers.

Will the printed version of MAD ever stop? Yes, of course it will. Nothing lasts forever, and eventually MAD will cease publication. Hopefully not for a long time.

Will it stop because the “digital revolution” will eventually kill all traditional printing? No, I don’t think so. I think magazines and especially books will continue to exist in printed form for a long time. The death of radio has been predicted since TV really got going in the 1950’s, but radio is still around. It’s changed, it’s not the force it once was, but it has an certain audience and sustains itself. Bookshelves are not going away, and people still like to keep books on them.

I do think that eventually the major audience of any magazine or newspaper will be reached through digital publication. That day is already here for many publications, and as the generations that grew up reading on the printed page are replaced by those who grew up reading on the computer screen, the older publications will either adapt to a new audience or fold altogether. MAD‘s been adapting with their digital subscription app and official blog.

Thanks to Grant Jonen for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar,¬¨‚Će-mail me¬¨‚Ćand I’ll try and answer it here!


  1. Lee Fortuna says:

    I have one thing to say, DIGITAL PUBLICATION SUCKS!!! There is nothing like magazines, books & newspapers! It’s Sunday morning here in NY and I just finished reading the Sunday NEWSPAPER at my kitchen counter sipping my espresso & eating a biscotti! Just like the ole days damn it,lol! I think we’re all just a little too”plugged in” these days! Just sayin.

  2. David Lubin says:

    I agree with Lee. I get my morning news from the paper and want to keep getting my MAD in print. How else can I add to my collection??? And then enjoy reading it in the “office.”

  3. Tom says:

    And you two are both over 50, yes? Ask someone under 30 this question. I’m 46 and I would rather still have print publications as well, but publishers need to keep relevant to newer generations, or see their publications fade as the generations used to print fade. That doesn’t mean there won’t be some demand for print media, but it will become a niche like those who still prefer vinyl records to CDs.

  4. Ed Meisinger says:

    Nothing beats the print edition of MAD. MAD is a magazine that just has to be on paper and held in your hands! Yes, I’m 51 years young. I have to admit that Tom’s probably right about the under 30 crowd – I had to get the grandkid MAD for her ipad. Anyway, I guess the chances are slim to none that MAD will ever increase their publishing schedule? What do you think Tom, monthly is not gonna happen again, but any chance they might up it to 8 issues a year like the older days?


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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