Artists and writers working for Mad Magazine were informed on Wednesday that the publication would no longer produce original content. The news has sparked an outpouring of tributes on social media from artists and writers, among them many animators, who were inspired by the American humor magazine.

“Getting the e-mail today was crushing,” cartoonist and writer Evan Dorkin wrote on Twitter. “Seeing MAD close down hurts, especially during a morbidly depressing year for cartoonists and the comics industry in general. And my heart goes out to the Usual Gang freelancers.”

Following its August issue, the iconic humor publication will also no longer be available for sale on newsstands. New issues comprised of reprint material will be mailed to existing subscribers and available via direct market sales (i.e. comic shops). While the end of Mad is not imminent, it’s unclear how the magazine will survive without the type of new content that it has produced continuously throughout its nearly 70-year history. Mad, started by publisher William Gaines and editor Harvey Kurtzman in 1952, is owned by AT&T-Time Warner, through its DC Comics subsidiary.

Like many print publications, the magazine has been in decline for some time. Its circulation hit a low of 123,000 copies per issue in 2015, down from over 2 million monthly copies in the mid-1970s. The magazine’s editorial operations shifted from Manhattan to Burbank, California, last year, a move that had been resisted by the staff for a few years before it happened.

The magazine also inspired the Warner Bros. Animation cartoon sketch comedy Mad, which ran for 103 episodes on Cartoon Network between 2010 and 2013.

For further reading, here’s an analysis of the current situation by Mark Evanier and here’s a Smithsonian.com piece from last year about Mad’s cultural legacy. To read old issues of the magazine, go to this website.

Here’s a look at what people have been saying about the demise of original Mad content:

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.

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