Yesterday at the DC Publishers panel, Dan DiDio talked about the future of MAD Magazine, stating that it was a tough choice for DC to move it off newsstands, before stating that there still would be new material, though probably not as much. And that he hoped DC could rebuild it as a brand someday.
It was previously stated, after creators were informed by e-mail, that MAD Magazine #10, would be the last issue to have new material, though this may not entirely be the case anymore.
Since that announcement, Bleeding Cool has been looking into the circumstances of the change at MAD. We were the first to report on the firing of then-EIC of MAD, Bill Morrison.
We understand that Bill Morrison was fired on the spot, though tensions had been building between him, members of staff and DC Management for a while. It was not, it seems, part of the “cost-cutting” firings that had happened at DC weeks earlier, with John Cunningham and Mark Chiarello. Those departures were accompanied by a company press release praising those now departing DC.
Morrison did not get that. Something happened, possibly in a MAD staff meeting that was a final straw – Bill was out the door that same day – no two weeks notice. The staff was ordered to be completely silent about it, though I understand that there wasn’t any harassment issue or similar, it was a conflict between DC/Warner management, who were not pleased with Morrison’s editorship of MAD. And something happened that was the final straw.
Also, the memo sent to MAD contributors that was the source of all the news coverage about the end of MAD was not accompanied by any official DC press release or statement.
As Bleeding Cool knows of old, DC likes to be in control of all its press. When Bleeding Cool breaks a DC Comics story, there is a rush on DC’s part to get a press release out, often known as a ‘Rich Twitch’. A couple of weeks earlier, DiDio and Lee announced the restructuring of DC, including the end of Vertigo. They did not mention MAD there, and did not do so until yesterday.
There has still been no press release saluting MAD, explaining what will happen going forward, or the reasons/justification for ending such an iconic US publication. DC’s website still has no update. Maybe that will change after the show? It does seem another weird omission…