AppWatch: A look at what publishers are launching in mobile apps.
The Lighter Side of …. Apps
Application: MAD Magazine (Cheap!)
Produced by: 1K Studios
Price: Free, with in-app purchase options.
Description & Features: The app world received a major transfusion of humor in the jugular vein on April 1 when Mad, the legendary satirical magazine, released an app for the iPad. Free to download, the app offers a preview of each issue, videos promoting Mad’s Cartoon Network TV show, animated covers and interactive features including a version of the magazine’s famous “fold in.” New issues can be purchased from within the app for $4.99, and back issues for $1.99. (Cheap!)
Publishing Executive asked Mad editor John Ficarra a few questions about the app, which he answered in an appropriately sober, straightforward style befitting a business-to-business concern such as ours.
What are the coolest features of the new app?
There are many, starting with the cover! Every issue will now feature a specially animated version of the gag on the cover. I especially liked what we did with the current issue (Mad 515). I won’t go into too much detail, but it involves our idiot cover mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, and massive breasts on the Statue of Liberty. Let’s just leave it there.
Also, the artwork looks amazing. Mad has never been printed on thick, glossy paper, so no matter how good a print job, the artwork wasn’t displayed in all its glory. Now it is. (Unfortunately, the hi-res digital display has not improved the quality of the jokes.)
There’s also some great interactive features. For example, in our first digital edition, we had a “write your own Twilight movie script.” In the print edition, it’s a fairly static piece. On the iPad edition, you physically scroll down and pick your choices. They’re highlighted and then you can go back and read the script you’ve created.