History of the British MAD Magazine
The first issue of the UK MAD magazine was published October 1959 and the magazine ran 35 years until it was ceased by its last publisher Egmont / Fleetway. In these 35 years the UK MAD had just 3 editors: David Climie, Dez Skinn and Ron Letchford.
The first publisher Thorpe & Porter was known as an importer for American comic titles. They produced UK versions of US material at this time, which were noted as being published by ‘Top Sellers’. David Climie was the editor and known for adopting the US material in the UK world. He introduced the Anglicisations in MAD articles and changed US terms like Baseball into Cricket or US football into Rugby.
UK MAD was published 7-8 times a year in the first years, until it was published 12 times a year starting in 1966.
Only in 1979 the date of publication was known to be printed on the cover. In the 60s and 70s many European MAD publishers worked together to save production costs. This is the reason why you can find some covers in different countries.
In the mid 70’s the well known comic artist Dez Skinn took over the chief position at UK MAD magazine. A short time later in 1978, Thorpe & Porter stopped publishing comics in the UK. Ron Letchford, with his company Suron Enterprises, seized the opportunity and bought the rights to UK MAD magazine. He took over all editorial duties and managed the magazine until sales figures dropped dramatically. Later he sold the rights back to London Editions (LE). He retained his position as editor.
LE (London Editions) was later taken over by the European publisher Fleetway, who did not care enough about MAD Magazine. As a result, sales figures dropped even more and MAD was discontinued with the last number 381.
More interesting facts about the UK MAD can be found on Dez Skinn’s Website.
List of all know UK MAD publications:
- MAD Magazine: 381 issues
- MAD Artists Special: 10 issues
- MAD Special: 12 issues (#7 – 18)
- MAD Super Special: 31 issues (#42 – 74)
- MAD Extra: 5 issues
- Super MAD: 7 issues
- Collector’s MAD: 5 issues
- The Worst from MAD: 5 issues (#5 – 9)
- MAD Follies: 3 issues
- More Trash from MAD: 6 issues (#4 – 9)
- Miscellaneous Special issues: 17 issues