MAD’s Move Out West…

March 21st, 2017 | Posted in MAD Magazine

A week or so ago Bleeding Cool broke the news that MAD was apparently following the rest of DC Comics out to Burbank “soon”.

Back in 2013 when DC announced they were moving out of NYC and to Burbank, I wrote this post speculating on what would happen with MAD. The short version is I saw four possible scenarios:

  1. Enough current MAD editors and art staff make the move that MAD remains the MAD we know and love.
  2. DC bankrolls a small, separate MAD office in NYC, and MAD remains the MAD we know and love.
  3. DC forms a new editorial and art staff to continue MAD out west, and we have no idea if MAD remains the MAD we know and love.
  4. DC cancels MAD Magazine.

Turned out that #2 was what happened. Now it seems we will see one of the other options take place. Several people have written to ask me if I will still continue to draw for MAD, if the editorial staff will make the move, or what in general will happen.

I have no answers.

My general sense is that, of the three remaining possibilities above, #3 is the most likely. I do not foresee many or any of the current staff pulling up stakes from the city most have lived in their whole lives and moving to the world of bean sprouts, infused water, and suntans… but as far as I know no one on the current staff has made any official decisions. MAD is a valuable brand for DC Entertainment and that brand is much more viable with a magazine in production, so I do not think #4 is likely.

As for what kind of changes will take place if scenario #3 is indeed what takes place, your guess is as good as mine. I think we will see some big changes, though. MAD has always had a distinct New York flavor to its voice, from the Yiddish slag it’s always incorporated to just a general NYC sensibility, I do not see that flavor continuing on. A new staff will bring new voices and new directions. My work may or may not have a place there. Lots of unknowns. Time will tell.

Comments

  1. Jerry M says:

    Thanks for the report. Time will tell.

  2. DanTCman says:

    @Tom Richmond. With the passage of time, change is inevitable; the level and character of that change is what remains to be unveiled.

  3. Al says:

    Thank you for the warning and really enjoy your postings. In our electronic age, how much of the magazine can be put together remotely?
    This way the New Yorkers can work from home in their underwear, instead of wearing it around the office.

  4. Greg L says:

    This is sad. MAD has always been a NYC institution. It’s in its DNA.

  5. Tom, I can’t imagine your great work NOT having a continuing place in Mad. I think most contributors will continue to work from anywhere using email or Dropbox. It may come down to how many of the editors and staff are willing to get away from cold slushy New York winters.

  6. Adam Cooke says:

    I’m still digesting the news and trying to imagine MAD without its New York sensibility (and possibly without some or all of its New York editorial staff). I have no idea what “MAD, live from Burbank” will look like; all I know is that they have a lot of amazingly-talented writers and artists still at their disposal, with you leading the way, Tom. Hoping to see you and the rest of The Usual Gang of Idiots in the relocated MAD for years to come.

    • Rob Usdin says:

      Considering that a good portion of MAD is created by people who do the work per diem and not as full time employees – I would think that it would stay relatively intact. Also considering how much work can be done virtually these days – I can’t see where DC wouldn’t be considering giving current staff some leeway by allowing them to remain on staff as long as they spend X number of days in Burbank perhaps.

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