(2015, June 1). Mad Magazine.
Magazine Description: This is a comedy magazine that features comics and other humorous artwork in articles based on topical humor and social cometary. The magazine features regular sections like letters to the editor and regular comic strips like Spy vs. Spy which the magazine is famous for featuring.
Critical Evaluation: I specifically looked at the June 2015 issue that was a special issue with Weird Al serving as guest editor. The magazine still included its regular features but also had special articles like a look into Weird Al’s notebook of song ideas. Some of the regular features also had a special Weird Al spin for example the letters readers write to the magazine where written to Weird Al for this issue. The magazine has a reputation for low brow humor but the magazine does feature some pretty clever social and political commentary. For example this issue featured a comic that made fun of the political polarization between liberal and conservatives by showing Micheal Moore and Sarah Palin critiquing the film American Sniper together. This was done in a very blunt manner but it did make some good points about the current state of American politics. The teens that read Mad are not looking for subtle humor the jokes lean toward crude pretty often but that is what the magazine is trying to do. It is hard to fault the magazine for delivering what it promises.
Reader’s Annotation: This is a weird, fun, and over the top magazine that is perfect for unwinding and having a laugh.
Booktalk Ideas: 1) Do you think the American Sniping article is a fair assessment of current politics?
2) Do you read buzzfeed and if so how accurate did you find Mad’s AccurateBuzzFeed?
Reading Level & Interest Level: This magazine is clearly written with teens in mind. There are still adults who began reading the magazine in their youth that still subscribe but much of the humor is more aimed at teens. One obvious example of this was the comic strip that suggested questions to ask your sex education teacher.
Challenge Issues: The magazine features a lot of crude humor. It is however very popular and does feature some more clever humor. It also has a lot of social commentary that is really appealing to teens. This magazine will never win any literary prizes but it a harmless fun for teens and a great way to unwind.
Why is it included?: I included this because I know it is somewhat controversial but I really do not think it should be. It may not have much if any educational merit but I think it is also important to include materials that are meant purely for fun and entertainment.