Friday, February 19, 2010

MAD Magazine

Magazine Description
MAD Magazine is America's longest running humor magazine, published quarterly. It can be found online at MAD offers satirical takes on current news items in politics, sports, and entertainment. Each physical issue contains only a few ads. The January 2010 issue contained columns on the 20 dumbest people, events and things 2008, as well as other jokes and gags based around news stories.

Critical Evaluation
MAD magazine is a staple source of satire about current events. Readers who read this magazine may actually go to other, more reputable news sources to find out more about the sources of the jokes that are included. For example, the January 2010 issue poked fun at many 2009 new events, including the Henry Gates arrest, Sarah Palin's resignation as the governor of Alaska, angry town hall meetings, and the Blagojevich scandal in Illinois. While not all gags are based around politics--MAD makes jabs at Jon and Kate Gosselin and Kanye West as well--the magazine uses a surprisingly wide variety of news items in its comics and features.

Reader’s Annotation
Do you like jokes? How about smart jokes about current events?

Publishing Information
Mad Magazine is copyrighted by E.C. Publications in New York. This company also publishes DC comic books. Critic Roger Ebert wrote: "I learned to be a movie critic by reading Mad magazine... Mad's parodies made me aware of the machine inside the skin—of the way a movie might look original on the outside, while inside it was just recycling the same old dumb formulas. I did not read the magazine, I plundered it for clues to the universe. Pauline Kael lost it at the movies; I lost it at Mad magazine" (Foreword to Mad About the Movies, Mad Books.; quoted at Wikipedia).


Curriculum Ties

Booktalking Ideas

Reading Level/Interest Age
Grades 6-12. Teens who are aware of news and current events may find it more enjoyable than those who aren't.

Challenge Issues
Drugs, language, and sexual innuendo.

I included this magazine because it was recommended as a good online 'zine for teens by the St. Charles Public Library in Illinois.


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