Mad (stylized as MAD) is an American humor magazine founded in 1952 by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines, launched as a comic book before it became a magazine.
It was widely imitated and influential, affecting satirical media, as well as the cultural landscape of the 20th century, with editor Al Feldstein increasing readership to more than two million during its 1974 circulation peak.
As of January 2018, Mad has published 549 regular issues, as well as hundreds of reprint “Specials”, original-material paperbacks, reprint compilation books and other print projects.
The magazine is the last surviving title from the EC Comics line, offering satire on all aspects of life and popular culture, politics, entertainment, and public figures. Its format is divided into a number of recurring segments such as TV and movie parodies, as well as freeform articles.
Mad’s mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, is typically the focal point of the magazine’s cover, with his face often replacing that of a celebrity or character who is lampooned within the issue.
Mad began as a comic book published by EC, debuting in August 1952 (cover date October–November), and located in lower Manhattan at 225 Lafayette Street. In the early 1960s, the Mad office moved to 485 Madison Avenue, a location given in the magazine as “485 MADison Avenue”. The title is trademarked in capitals as MAD.
The first issue was written almost entirely by Harvey Kurtzman, and featured illustrations by Kurtzman, along with Wally Wood, Will Elder, Jack Davis, and John Severin. Wood, Elder, and Davis were the three main illustrators throughout the 23-issue run of the comic book.