MAD Magazine alums reunite for a new venture in 'MADvertising'

MADvertising (Image credit: Tom Richmond (The Idea Integration Co.))

The glory days of MAD Magazine are behind us, but some of the 'usual gang of idiots' behind it are carrying that funny flame alight with a new venture.

MAD Magazine alums Dick DeBartolo, Tom Richmond, Ian Boothby, Theresa Burns Parkhurst, and more have reunited to bring their MAD-style antics to advertising. 

That's right, advertising.

The group is now the in-house creative team for the Toronto-based marketing and advertising firm, the Idea Integration Company. Founder Saul Colt aims to blend the aesthetics of MAD Magazine with advertising for - wait for it - 'MADvertising'.

Saul Colt and Bill Morrison by Ed Steckley

Saul Colt and Bill Morrison by Ed Steckley (Image credit: Ed Steckley (The Idea Integration Co))

"Advertising has gotten boring. The bar has been dropped so low that any brand that takes a little chance stands out. When MAD stopped producing new material it was a moment in time for many people because the role of MAD was to hold up a mirror to society and say what everyone was thinking," Colt says in the announcement. 

"Advertising is supposed to do the same thing but it isn't delivering on that promise anymore. It has become too safe or the agency is more interested in winning awards than creating real impactful advertising that speaks to the buyer. Brands are afraid of using humor for fear of offending people, but the truth is that people remember humor and share humor more than anything else."

Heading up this new mod squad of MAD alums is Bill Morrison, former executive editor of MAD and also the co-creator/lead artist for The Simpson's Bongo Comics company.

"From co-founding Bongo Comics to my time working on The Simpsons, Futurama and as the editor-in-chief at MAD Magazine, I've been fortunate and thankful for well-oiled creative teams," Morrison says. "During the years this team worked together at MAD, we brought the best we had every day to create the satirical humor the magazine was known for – humor our readers connected with and relied on. 

"To be able to break new ground for brands, to help them outside of their comfort zone to a place where they can connect with their audience through satire and comedy, is something that we’re not only ready for, it's a charge we feel best equipped to lead as part of Saul's agency," Morrison concludes.

Check out this three-page comic promoting the launch of the partnership:

According to the Idea Integration Company, this 'MADvertising' has already resulted in collaboration with the Neat Company, Clearco, and two upcoming ventures, XPat-Pal and ServiceEcho.

"We are not relaunching the magazine but will definitely be keeping the spirit of MAD alive by injecting humor and satire into brands who deserve our attention and combined imaginations," Colt tells Newsarama.

Back in 2020, the producers of CBS's Blue Bloods hired some of these MAD Magazine alums to create a satire of the hit show.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)