Vintage Stuff: MAD Magazine Editorial Internship Submission

Submission date: March 17, 2010

Back in 2010, I submitted the following application packet to become an Editorial Intern at MAD Magazine. It had always been my dream to be an “Idiot” at MAD. Sure, I was 35 at the time (possibly a bit old to be an intern), yet this had always been my dream and, at that time in my life, I felt that it was time to pursue it. Why, well, that’s a story for another time. For now, I wanted to share the packet I sent in.

I did, in fact, get the internship, and in 2010, I worked for six weeks in the MAD Magazine headquarters in the Warner Bros. tower in New York City, NY. I couldn’t believe it. Me? I was chosen?

Below are the things I sent in for my submission packet. I’ve formatted everything for a blog post to make it easier to read for you. In essence, they asked for a few ideas and a letter.

MAD Magazine Editorial Internship Article Ideas By Jason Salas

Article Idea 1: “Alien Reality Shows”

This is just like it sounds: reality shows with an alien twist. The attached rough sketch reflects a series of singe-panels (which may be rendered on different types of TV sets in various alien home environments). This idea could also be drawn out into a series of multi-panel strips.

The rough sketch shows a few possible shows. These, of course, could be expounded upon.

Article Idea 2: “Impulse Items vs. Repulse Items”

This article mocks impulse items at the check-out line in grocery stores. Basically, this is a questionnaire directed to the public to see how they feel about the various “fringe” items. It might be funny to see these items with the type of person who might actually purchase the item impulsively. If not, just showing the item in detail with attention to the packaging print could work.

Possible lead-in: Who has not spent an extra $79.00 on impulse items at the grocery store check-out line? How do they pick such wonderful items that you never thought you needed until you were buying toilet paper at 11:45 pm on a random Tuesday night at the 24-hour superstore? Questionnaires such as this let manufacturers know if their items are desirable or undesirable. You choose!

Article Idea 3: “The Tipping Point… of FASHION”

Here is a what-to-wear-what-not-to-wear parody of sorts. But this article pinpoints the exact level (The Tipping Point of No Return) at which it is no longer socially acceptable to don the featured look. An article like this would do well with lots of detail, especially on the last “No Return” panel (e.g., the nerd with 30 pens in his pocket). I think it would be fun to draw this out over two or three pages – think “The Leather Look,”“Inked Up,” or “Modest Apparel.”

Letter of Interest

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dave Croatto
MAD Magazine, Internship Program 1700 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

Dear Mr. Croatto,

Thank you for taking the time to review my submissions for the editorial internship. I appreciate your consideration.

MAD Magazine holds a special place in my heart. While the comment “I used to read MAD when I was a kid” is commonplace (and I am included in that commonplace), I would like to add that I have and still do admire your writers and artists. My current work reflects a combination of all the contributors that inspired me. Feel free to take a look at my work:

  • Perk at Work – This is a webcomic I write and illustrate and distribute even cheaper than MAD… FREE!
  • Attack Mimes – This is an online graphic novel that is written by my good friend Trevor Hodgkins and illustrated by me. My main contribution is goofy-looking character development.

I publish a local zine named “BURRITO.” This zine contains my comic strips, pages from the graphic novel, a humor column, poetry if I feel so inclined, and other stuff that I may just want to toss in. In the spirit of disclosure, I must admit that, if I do not get the internship, I will submit material to MAD and freely publish all that you reject in my own zine. Everybody wins! (Except for the reader, of course.)

Since you’ve gotten this far without chucking the letter in the trash, I will now tell you more about myself. I am currently employed at a property management company where I work closely with real estate investors and their investment capital (I hound people for rent). Believe it or not, many of my professional interactions are in the same vein as this letter. After many varied positions in diverse fields, I came to the realization that I’m not built for the strictly business world and decided to get back to what makes me happy: writing and drawing silly stuff that makes people laugh and possibly think. I believe I have the talent and skill. I allow my work to back up my claims and let the readers be the judge.

I’m running out of room so I’ll stop.

Thank you,

Jason Salas

When I submitted this packet, I thought to myself, “Just try.” It worked out for me.

Is there anything you have always wanted to do yet didn’t think was possible? It may be within your reach. Give it a shot! What do you have to lose?