Absolutely MAD Magazine - 50+ Years Hot off the DVD-Rom presses in 2006 was Mad's comprehensive offering called Absolutely MAD Magazine - 50+ Years. Forcing us all to upgrade our computers to play DVDs, this update packed a lot into less space. From Amazon: "Over 600 issues of Mad Magazines, (1952-2006) every regular issue (1-460), XL's, Super Special and Color Classics. Interviews with the many of the writers, Spy VS Spy animation video, Spy VS Spy, Mountain Dew commercials and much more." If you bought this, let me know what you think.

Well, Doug.....just got the "Absolutely MAD" DVD-rom the other day, and I have to say, in comparison with "Totally MAD", its good points are AWESOME, but its weak points are definitely in the "minus" column. I'll list the good points first (that I can remember), and don't forget: I just got it---there are probably still some features that I'm not aware of yet. First of all, there are a LOT more options for what size you want the page to be, plus when you are looking thru the specials and go to the contents page, and click one of the articles that have been reprinted, it takes you IMMEDIATELY to whichever issue and article you're looking for, no matter what year! Another cool thing is that EVERY single issue is on just ONE DISC!!!Also, the Mountain Dew/Spy vs. Spy commercials are really cool--wish I'd seen them when they were on TV. There are several other good points that I just can't think of right now, so here are some of the minuses about it that kind of bummed me out:
1. You can't view from panel-to-panel with the "space" bar as with TM; you just have to kind of make the hand grabbie thing move the panels for you;
2. When you get to the end of an issue, there's no hitting an arrow to take you to the first page of the next issue;
3. All the interview movies are exactly the same as T.M.---however, they're all on the one disc, so that's the plus side of that...
4. There's no music or cartoons like the jukebox in TM has.
5. I really enjoyed the Veeblefetzer of TM, with all its little sounds and buttons and gizmos---Absolutely MAD, by contrast is much more stripped down to just a PDF Adobe Reader-type format.
6. This is being kind of picky, I know but: the packaging itself was OK, but it didn't have TOILET PAPER or anything like TM did.
That's about it. I like "Absolutely Mad".....but I'd have to say that the only thing about the old "Totally MAD" that was kind of a pain was that you had to go from disc 1 to 7 to see all the issues; and at least the new A.M. is all on one disc. It rocks, but it just takes a bit getting used to.
Mike H., in CT.

Way back in 1999, the Broderbund company put out on CD-Rom:
Totally MAD: Every Issue of MAD Magazine 1952-1998.
Every issue of Mad was available on seven discs.
Remarkably, you can still get it! Email me with your thoughts on the product.

Totally Mad CD-Rom Totally Mad CD-Rom

I got my set about 4 years ago and found many memories flooding back to me. My dad and uncles would have them around when I was young and it was just the thing to look at on rainy days and as I grew up in Washington state and it rains a lot I had an issue in my hands a lot. The scanning that was done on these pages of gold is fantastic. I have the National Geographic(NG) set on cd and it pales in comparison to the Totally Mad cd set. For a group such as NG that prides itself on photographic images, their scaning was very poor. The Mad fold-ins, videos and music are great too, something that NG never released and they had many recordings that were sent out in ther issues as will as the maps. Dang, the Mad set even has the stamp-sets scanned. If you have the set hold on to it. If you don't then get it.
rt k
You mean these fantastic CD-Roms aren't available now? What a bummer for all my fellow Mad magazine lovers. I grew up on Mad as a kid, and when I was browsing through the local Best Buy a few years ago and saw this CD-Rom set displayed on the shelf I grabbed it quick before somebody else got it. Broderbund did a fantastic job of putting the collection together. It is very easy to use, even for a "computer challenged" guy like me. Talk about a trip down memory lane. You gotta love those early ads in Mad with the Charles Atlas bodybuilding books and the cheap binoculars.

I regularly see them on Amazon.

I got the darned thing and was disappointed with it. It said every issue was on the CD. I have been here at my desk for weeks looking at ALL the CDs and have not seen even 1 issue. I have even used my magnifying glass. All I see are little swirls that go around the round disk. I thought something was funny when they said ALL issues would be on the CD. Someone said if I set them on my built in drink holder on my computer I might be able to see them. Oh well.
Well, I've been reading MAD since I was a 6-year-old girl (my first exposure occurring at my new neighbor's house in 1978, who had a paperback Spy vs Spy) and I've been hooked. I tend to prefer the earlier years, like the 60's, and maybe some 70's, while finding the more recent faire a little less to my liking. I've especially enjoyed the paperback books, and love most of everything I've seen of Al Jaffee. But on to the CD: I love it. I just wish I had more time to sit down and read more than 1 issue a week (computing time being at a premium with 4 roommates and one computer...) I find the interface easy to use, and I swear, this is the ONLY program I have that doesn't cause WIN98 to screw up and crash! It rocks! It was a birthday gift (partially) that I will treasure and adore forever, passing them on to my little girl years from now... although by then they'll have it all re-released on one small sized uber-disc with all new-fangled updated technology, so I'll just have to buy it all over again... just like the White Album...
Well, I purchased the Mad magazine collection on CD ROM and was bracing myself for the possibility of a poorly designed product. There is a lot of care needed when putting a detailed graphical medium like 'Mad' onto the confining spaces of a computer monitor. They must make the user interface easy to use and allow the user to pull up information from a huge collection of material so the reader doesn't have to wade through a mass of screens and CDs to find what they are looking for. If the interface is clumsy or tedious, the user (or reader in this case) will find it more work than pleasure to read the material and give up after a short time. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. Broderbund Software did an excellent job making the interface easy (and funny) to use. Viewing the magazine couldn't be easier since the view feature is much like Adobe Acrobat where you can zoom in/out and even turn the pages 90 degrees in either direction. They have bookmarks so you can return to where you left off and a way to mark your favorite articles for quick access. You can even fold in the back page to see the 'Mad fold-in'! Cool. There are a lot of extras on the CDs I haven't mentioned. If you are a 'Mad' fan don't hesitate to get this CD collection. Even if you have the entire magazine collection at home (which is not likely).
Thought the CD's were great, easy to use, but the only thing that kind of made me mad was in about four of the early issues, 30, 32, 33, 36 and 40 had pages missing. Was wondering if I was missing anything on those pages because I sure hate to try to find hard copies for sale. Thanks!
link will show you what you're missing. -- Doug
I just received the Totally Mad CD-ROM for my Birthday and I think it is great. While I wish some of the pages had been a little clearer when in the full screen mode, some of the stuff has to be zoomed in very close to read the text, this collection is essential if you have an interest in past issues of mad. In my opinion, they give so much, every issue complete, all the super specials covers, plus the movies and little extras that pop up, the $60.00 price would have been a bargain, if I had not received it as a gift. At $5.00 each (the average for fairly new back issues of mad, at least where I live), just collecting 1 year would cost $40.00, that's not including the Super Specials. In my opinion, this is an incredible deal for anyone interested in Mad Magazine!
Stephan Fukasawa
I keep having the same thoughts about the CDROM over and over and over again. Mainly, "I wish they had formated it for Macintosh, too!"
As a MAD collector, I have most of the regular issues, and it's nice to use the cd-rom if I want to read one of the older ones, rather than taking one out of its nice bag w/backer ever sooooo gingerly!! I got Totally Mad almost the day it came out, and there hasn't been too many days since when I haven't referred to one or another of the issues; it's pretty cool to see pictures of all the bonuses that came with the special issues as well.
What the heck would I know about it! I bought the set (IBM Compatible platform) at the railroad salvage store. Knowing it wouldn't work on a MAC I didn't want to pay full price for the darned thing! I can tell you this....they certainly look like CD Rom discs...I mean they're all round and flat and shiny. They get funny marks on them when you drag your thumbnail across them. Do you think you could arrange to wreck a trainload of them that are compatable for MACs to sell at the salvage store? I also happen to be a cheap bastard and wouldn't pay full price anyway......
I hate it when CD or video collections are sold only in expensive box sets, and the same thing with the new box set of Mad CD-ROMs. Besides I don't care much for the dated satire of the comic book years of Mad or some of the recent last decade.
Better if each CD-ROM in this collection were sold per decade in the collection giving Mad fans the option of choosing their favorite years at a price that would be as the magazine still likes to say in these times of escalating costs - CHEAP! There really should be just a CD-ROM collection devoted to only the movie and TV satires, as well. Plus with Don Martin's death, a CD-ROM collection of just his work seems in order. Although that would probably have him rolling in his grave, since he left the magazine when he couldn't get any money from his past work.
I'll bet I'm only the 12-gazillionth guy to write and tell you about the errant fold-in, illustrating the Beatles and thier new hair styles. This was the only fold-in, I think, where you folded from the corner rather than from the side. The program that allows one to actually "fold in" the fold-in does not allow for this annomality, therefore one cannot see the gag of the fab four being skin-headed thanks to the clever placement of some spotlights. I wonder if newer versions of the product have corrected this little problem? I really love Totally Mad. I pretty much learned how to read from Mad magazine, and it affected my life more than any bible or school book. I'm very glad to have the complete collection so conveniently available.
I think that Totally Mad is one of the best things for Mad Collectors that has ever come out. I started reading Mad in 1964, when I was 8 years old. I was always frustrated that it was so difficult to get back issues from more than a few years back (at a price that one could afford). Now at one fairly cheap price one has the entire run of Mad for the first 46 years in one small package.
The design of the program could not be better. It is so easy to view magazines, search-out particular articles, and one can easily clip portions of pages or entire articles and print them out for whatever deranged purpose one has in mind This is far superior to cutting up an actual magazine with scissors like we used to do when much younger.
One can only hope that updated CD's will be available in the future.
I didn't even know the MAD CD set existed, but I had to go to BEST BUY to buy some printer ink cartridge, and the moment I laid eyes on it, I knew I hadda have it! I've been reading MAD all my life, and vaguely remember the early issues, and some of the little bit later issues of the 50's, and I remember their excellence. I've through the years bought the paperbacks (B & W), and once in 1968, some guy at a comic store almost sold me the first 8 or so issues for $80, but then he backed down. I've followed the reprints that MAD recently put out, and hoped that they would continue them indefinitely thru the years, then all of sudden they quit after the early MADs. The CD cost me about $50, and additional $20 rebate if they ever get around to it, but this is the best thing that ever hit town, since they started letting you see movies on VCR. I'm still interested in owning a collection of MAD, but nowadays that can run into a lot of dough. I believe that MAD has originated yet another innovative breakthrough in magazine and comic history. I hope this will lead the way to CD anthologies of Superman, Fantastic 4, and what the heck, Time and Sports Illustrated. There has never been anything funnier written than "42-man Squamish", and I think everyone should get a chance to read & look at it.
'52-'62: Brilliant.
'62-'72: steady progression from excellence to mediocrity.
'72-'82: Sharp decline. Getting redundant.
'82-'92: Atrocious hackwork.
'92-present: are you serious?
Was cruising the web looking where to purchase more copies of Totally Mad when I came across your site. My husband and I are the designers who came up with the art, interface, animations, and quite a bit of the loonyness of Totally MAD CD-rom.
Our favorite memory of the project was getting to work with Sergio to create all the little "cartoons" that play on the jukebox. He is an amazing person as well as being the fastest illustrator I have ever seen. He whipped out the images we needed as we talked.
I had not realized there was a fold in that should have been done on a angle! I will look it up. Perhaps I can get Ben to create a flash version of it! (we have a flash folding version of the totally MAD fold in at (www.hopping.com/mad4/interactives/foldin.html) (link died awhile back)
There was a website companion to this product that was NOT launched because the major companies involved could not agree on ownership. We designed it too. There is a sample up at (www.hopping.com/mad4/) (this link died too)
In looking through your comments posted here, I can answer a few questions: The project was never designed to run on a mac. It is built in a program that only works on a PC that had been developed to showcase National Geographic. They used the same program to create the skeleton of Totally MAD.
There are pages missing because some artists MAD used through the years would not give permission to show the pages. Blame them, not MAD or Broderbund.
Deb Lehman
of HOPPING - digital graphics -
Dear Doug:
I hope you can help with this problem. As a recent purchaser of the Totally Mad CD-ROM, I find that it is no longer possible to register the software, either electronically or by mail--which means it's also impossible to unlock the free fonts that came with it. I found no mention of the fonts anywhere on your site. Do you have any idea how to gain access to those 36 designer fonts?

Unfortunately, I never took advantage of downloading the fonts. I'm not sure where to get them now.

Actually, you didn't have to download the fonts. They're already on your computer... Inside the 'Msreg' folder (which is inside the 'Totally Mad' folder, which is inside the 'Broderbund' folder) are (I think) the font set. But they're 'locked.' When you registered the CD-ROM, you were supposed to have been mailed a code that 'unlocked' the fonts. So they're on your computer, but are unusable without the code. I realize they're just a bunch of furshlugginer fonts, but the fact that they're so near and yet so far slightly frustrates me. If you could bring up this "font problem" somewhere on your terrific site, that would be great!

Have you tried contacting Broderbund directly at: http://www.broderbund.com/welcome.asp ? Obviously you'll see no link to Totally Mad but there are email links to somebody connected to the company. An email with enough groveling might get their attention. Let me know.

Well, I tried the Broderbund route to no avail. I sent two separate e-mails and got two responses (that appear to have been automatically sent) that tell me to go through the registration process. I told them both times the channels to registration were no longer open, but they're not listening. I don't think a human is even looking at the e-mails. I know you made an offer to ask fans about the fonts over your site, but if this proves to be too much of a problem for you, I'll completely understand.
MAD-ly yours,


A couple weeks later...

Doug :
Hi. It's me again. The MAD font mystery is over. Someone named MB on alt.humor.mad-magazine posted the answer to getting the set. Here's his post :
Look for the file MSREGUSR.INI in C:\Windows (if you don't find a file with that name, create it).
Double-click on the file to edit it. Add the following 3 lines to it:
[Totally MAD]
If there is already a [Totally Mad] entry in the file, replace it with the above lines.
Save the changes. Your copy of Totally Mad is now registered.
To get the free fonts:
Click on the Start button, select Programs, Broderbund, Totally MAD, Free Fonts!
All the best,

A few years later...

I did register my copy of Totally Mad several years ago, and the font access code I was given was 3DAM. This code is a little easier to use than the MSREGUSR.INI changes you note on your site.