Stuporman Sneak Peek

June 28th, 2006 | Posted in MAD Magazine

The July issue of MAD will have a parody of the new Superman movie, written by Dick DeBartolo with art by me. Here are some images from the job to give you a little advance peek:



Doing parodies in advance of the film’s release is not my favorite thing to do. I much prefer seeing the film first, as there is so much more to have fun with that way. Just working from a script and a few advance scenes, photos and trailers doesn’t give either myself or the writer the chance to lampoon the acting, pacing or so many of the elements that make or break a movie. Even choices in color make themselves apparent after seeing a film. Regardless, when the job requires doing the art before seeing the film, I jump in and do the best I can.

Thanks to the Internet, that isn’t an impossible task. I end up spending a lot more time scouring the ‘net for images or clips than a normal job, but it pays off. Since I am a self-admitted stickler for detail, I have been known to make last minute changes to the artwork just to get something right. A few years ago, when working on “X-2” for MAD (in advance of the film’s release), I stumbled upon some technical drawings of the movie’s X-Jet, which was radically different from the first film’s jet. The art was due to MAD the next day, but I redid three panels to get the jet right. Unfortunately that went to waste somewhat when we found out that Singer re-shot the original ending and we got it WRONG in the parody. D’OH! Oh, well, at least the jet was right!

Back to Superman Returns… this was a tough project because the trailer was very late in being released, and not many images were available. Oh, there were plenty of Brandon Routh and his speedo, but not much in the way of scenes from the film. Plus there were several scenes that seemed to be the same as those from the first film that involved Jor-el and Lara (Superman’s parents, played by Marlon Brando and Susannah York). Brando’s image was definately being used from old footage as the hologram at the Fortress of Solitude, but nobody knew how the Krypton scenes would be handled… old footage? Repeated from the 1978 original? Repeated but CGI’d up ala the Star Wars updates? We finally settled on doing the scenes from the old movie, one panel of which you see here. What? Mort Drucker did the original parody in MAD, circa 1978? His Brando caricature is a classic?? No pressure….

I’m planning to see the movie this week if I can, and will post a review. I am not sold on Brandon Routh, but I hope he surprises me.


  1. Trevour says:

    I can see how that can be problem – working on everything PRIOR to the movie’s release. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I plan to. And I also plan to pick up July’s copy of MAD! When I’m not as poor I’ll just subscribe… but I’m looking forward to your Superman parody. I LOVED the “Barebutt Mountain” parody a few months ago too!

    P.S. I’ve been working with Jim Hungaski over the past year (even though we just closed up our stand in Fargo), and I’m still new to caricature but hope that I can be as good as you bigshot professionals someday! 🙂

  2. pagmatic says:

    Why isn’t the title “Superduperman Returns”?

  3. Tom says:

    I don’t know… I only draw the funny pictures.

  4. cvanoni says:

    I’m so glad DeBartolo’s still writing for MAD.
    I remember as a kid, I could always pick Dick’s stuff out from the other writers – and that hasn’t changed!

    ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Corbett


I am close to adding a second caricature workshop in January in Orlando. Details here:

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