MAD Movie Parody Lag Times

June 14th, 2016 | Posted in MAD Magazine


Over on one of the several MAD Magazine Facebook fan groups someone shared a link to my sneak peek of the parody of “Batman v Superman” in the current issue. Someone then posted the following comment:

Were parodies always months late? They seemed to be more current.

I hear that now and again, and I’ve blogged before about how the distribution of films these days is very different from the 60’s-90’s, when films opened in bigger cities and trickled down to smaller ones over the course of several months. It might seem like MAD got their movie parodies into the magazine faster because the films they parodied were still in theaters when they hit news stands, but in reality it took several months.

In fact, today MAD gets its film parodies on the stands at a record pace compared to past years. MAD writer extraordinaire Desmond Devlin shared these stats with me yesterday:

10 Oscar-winning Best Pictures that MAD satirized during the 1960s and 1970s, followed by  the amount of time between the films’ release dates and when the MAD issue containing the parody went on sale:

  • “Flawrence of Arabia”– 14 months after
  • “The $ound of Money”– 17 months
  • “Midnight Wowboy”– 9 months after
  • “Put*On”– 7 months after
  • “What’s the Connection?”– 7 months after
  • “The Oddfather”– 7 months after
  • “The Zing”– 10 months after
  • “The Oddfather Part, Too”– 8 months after
  • “Rockhead”– 9 months after
  • “Krymore vs Krymore”– 7 months after

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was released on March 20th. The parody “Battyman v Stuporman: Dumb and Joyless” officially hit news stands today (actually the digital/subscription copies were out over a week ago), which was just shy of 3 months after release. The issue went to press around May 14th, so in reality that eight page parody was written, edited, laid out, drawn, inked, colored, and put through production in less than 2 months. I can’t imagine doing it any faster than that.

The world at large now takes 24 hour news cycles and instant internet reaction and commentary on anything and everything as a given. They forget that memes are created in seconds and take zero artistic skill (and 99% of the time zero comedy writing skill). MAD movie parodies are detailed comics that take time to create, and then you have the time needed to produce, print and distribute a magazine on top of that. That’s just harsh reality. If anything MAD is actually much more timely than it used to be… even if in today’s instant-gratification-orientated society it doesn’t seem like it.


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