MAD may be well past its 1960s heyday, but every once in a while the magazine shows that it’s still capable of surprising us with political satire and social commentary.
The most recent reminder is MAD‘s timely take of Norman Rockwell’s famous 1958 painting “The Runaway,” which memorably depicts a kindly state trooper talking to a little boy at a diner counter. In the magazine’s update, influenced by events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent debate about the militarization of local police forces, the officer isn’t the reassuring presence he might have once been.
“Rockwell died in 1978, and we bet that somewhere ol’ Norman is looking down on America, happy he checked out when he did,” the MAD blog states. “The America he would be depicting today bears little resemblance to the wholesome country he knew.”
The cartoon, called “The Militarization of Officer Joe,” is based on an idea by writer Desmond Devlin. When asked about the artist credit, a DC Entertainment spokesperson told ROBOT 6 that it was “produced in house.”