All Ages

Friday, August 19, 2005

MAD Kids

For some weird reason it totally slipped my mind to comment on MAD's recent magazine expansion to include a new MAD magazine for 8 to 12-year olds.

I think it's a great idea but one issue that has been brought up is whether or not there's a need for a MAD book specifically geared to kids. Popular opinion suggests that the regular MAD book already appeals to this demographic even though its original audience was likely older teens or even adults. Licensed properties that have been around for decades tend to have a trickle-down effect in their target audience. The best example of this trend is Barbie who at one time appealed to 12-year old girls but as the toy market demands shifted, Barbie's main audience has slowly moved to 6-year olds.

MAD occupies a weird demographic space where there is a great deal in the magazine that is clearly for an adult audience but the demand from a younger audience is definitely there. Scholastic in conjunction with MAD created a book called The MAD Student Survival Guide and it did very well on book clubs. Hoping to follow-up on its success, I worked with MAD on two other books, The MAD Summer Survival Guide and The MAD Holiday Survival Guide and both performed well in the school market.

But this weird disjoint between audience and content made it a bit of a challenge to find suitable content to fill these mini-anthologies. Political satire goes over a 10-year old's head and sexual innuendo isn't something a teacher or parent wants their kids to read.

MAD KIDS will consist of old material, as well as new original comics. It will be interesting to see, with the new material, to what degree of irreverence the magazine will aim for in today's more extreme market. I'm expecting a lot of bodily function humor since it seems to be a popular topic for kids these days but I'm curious as to what other areas MAD will explore.


  • Of course, it was the innuendo and the things over our heads that made us want to read MAD over our parents' objections...

    By Anonymous Dave Carter, at 3:03 PM  

  • I agree with Dave!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:38 AM  

  • I am eight years old and am going
    to be 9 in a month.
    I read the original mad! so do my friends!
    Why don't kids just read the original mad like me and my friends?
    I do not think that mad magazine is
    more innapropriate than Nickeloden Magazine!
    That talks about nude and stuff!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:51 PM  

  • I'm a grown up, 29, no kids. I just read an issue of Mad Kids, and I really like it better than the original. All of the old kid-geared parts are still in it, plus some new stuff but without some of the stuff from the original that has, quite frankly just stale anyway.
    There's just as much gross-out stuff, but with less sex and smut. I honestly think it is a stronger product contentwise, and I dont think that the sophistication of the jokes has gone down at all. It still contains humor on all the same levels.
    I recommend it both for kids, for parents who have kids (and therefore get all the references) and even for people who just want to read somethink like what they remember MAD magazine being but with all-around less junk.

    By Anonymous Spit, at 12:39 AM  

  • You can check out some of the MAD Kids Magazine content at

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:48 AM  

  • I never read MAD Kids which is better MAD Kids or MAD?

    Is MAD Kids the one on Cartoon Network?

    Does MAD Kid Make Parody on movie

    How many pages does MAD kids have?

    Is it Random?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:02 AM  

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