Mad #499 (John Ficarra) - Watchmen Issue - 2009

This is probably the last of the monthly Mads.  It appears that Mad will become a quarterly publication starting with the much-anticipated issue number 500.  Traditionally, Mad was not a monthly magazine (or comic).  It was generally published eight times per year.  In its 57 years of existence, Mad has averaged 8.75 issues per year.

Mad #499 is a mere shadow of its former self.  While reading the issue, I was looking for some hint of the glorious Mad of my youth.  What I found was eleven pages of ads, 15 pages of unfunny miscellaneous comic strips and nine pages of a parody of a movie that will not be released for two weeks (Watchmen).  The humor was generally weak but reached an all-time low with the two-page "Deathbed Donkey" thing.

The only remnants of classic Mad I found were the Mad zeppelin (p. 15), Sergio Aragones's marginal drawings here and there, an editorial comment by Dick DeBartolo (p. 31), the current incarnation of "Spy vs. Spy" by Peter Kuper, and Al Jaffee's "Fold-In" combining it with his "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions."  The best panel in the issue is the lower-left drawing by Tom Richmond showing Starbucks and Tinker-Toys on Mars in conjunction with an obscure Alan Colmes/FOX News joke.

I am hoping that Mad #500 will be the start of Mad's return to greatness instead of the beginning of the end.  We need some good humor in these uncertain times. [JAM 2/25/2009]

Random Acts of Mindless - The Fundalini Pages
Observation Dreck - What the Heck is the Difference?
Less is Moore - Botchmen
Serge-In General - A Mad Look at Trade Schools
A Small-Box Epidemic - Digital TV FAQs
Modem Cum Laude - The Decided Disadvantage of an Online Education
Berg's-Eye Askew - The Darker Side of ... The Lighter Side of ...
An Embarrassment of Richard's - An Open Letter from JP CitiChaseWaCapitalMu Bank, Inc.
Please Sir, Can I Have Some Moore? - Mad's Unheroic Watchmen Outtakes
A Touch of Ass - The Story of Deathbed Donkey ... and the Rage of Sorrow
Humor in a Jocular Vein - Unabridged Sports Cliches
Pen And Stink - The Strip Club
Horton Hears a Ho - What If Dr. Seuss Wrote Porn?  [fake department]
Joke And Dagger - Spy vs. Spy
Going Barack on His Word - President Obama: The Promise vs. The Reality

Fold-In - Wall