Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, April 6, 2011

About this Magazine:
In this particular article, about Justin Beiber, Devlin  basically rips apart Justin Beiber for having the audacity of releasing an autobiography at the old age of sixteen years old. Like most articles in MAD, this article is one of many social and political articles that not only exploits the ridiculousness of the issues discussed, but provides arguments and opinions that are quite out of the box. April's issue of MAD, besides the Justin Beiber article, contains articles that comment on President Obama, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump as well as critiques on the XBOX Kinect and the hit television show, Mad Men. Irreverent as ever, the writers at MAD take their arguments to a whole new level by not only poking fun at the public figures, but providing commentary that not only makes readers think, but force some kind of laugh no matter their political stance, religion, or ethnicity.

Critical Evaluation:
MAD magazine is a perfect match for teens.  Not only is filled with sarcasm, shenanigans, and personal jabs, teens will not only get caught up on world issues, they will learn a thing or two about the media, news, and humanity. Just like Jon Stewart's 'The Daily Show," teenagers will get a healthy dose of reality, especially when it comes to the American obsession with celebrities and politicians. The writers at MAD do not hold back whatsoever, which makes this magazine a "fresh air" for those who are tired of Linsey Lohan, Snookie, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh. Whatever the issue, MAD magazine always supplies a different point of view that not only strips the issue of its intensity, but, in many ways, makes it trivial and unnecessary. If readers are looking for a serious, dry, and mature magazine than MAD is not one of these, which makes it perfect for Teens. 

Information about the Author:
According to Desmond Devlin:
"Yes, America's longest-running humor magazine, besides Time, has not been content to merely notice the snags in society's fabric after the fact. No, no no. The sociological dynamo that is MAD has always been at the forefront of change and innovation and even more change. MAD has affected our culture and history in such an all-encompassing and fundamental way that it is sometimes easy to overlook our awesome influence. This special section will correct that unfortunate oversight" (para. 3).  
MAD magazine originated in 1952 when Bill Gaines, the original editor, decided that this magazine should have something different and unique: humor. According to MAD, Gaines was tired of the "phoniness" of popular culture and decided that he should write about; however, he didn't and he hired someone named Harvey Kurtzman" (para. 1). Just like the magazine, Gaines is all over the place and, unfortunately, found himself in legal trouble when several articles sparked a lot of controversy and congressional hearings were conducted to expose the dangers of comic books. However, all of this goes away since many people actually enjoyed reading the magazine, which spawned a new wave of imitators. Over the next thirty years, MAD has become an important part of American culture since it not only has recruited all kinds of talent, it has provided political figures and celebrities with ammo to support their issues or turn them into the biggest laughing stock ever. MAD's history is quite long and colorful that has not always been good, but it continues to remain strong and it has accomplished a lot. Not to mention, with all of its legal troubles, it has managed to stay alive and quite relevant to readers today.

Teen Magazines

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 10 & up

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Awards & Recognition:

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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