Sneak Peek: Obama’s Inauguration- MAD #498

January 13th, 2009 | Posted in MAD Magazine

As promised, here is a sneak peek of the artwork for my piece in MAD #498, “MAD Exposes Who’s Thinking What at the Obama Inauguration” written by Desmond Devlin, Jeff Kruse, Jacob Lambert, Frank Santopadre and Dennis Snee.

From MAD #498
Click image for a Closer Look…

From MAD #498
Click image for a Closer Look…

MAD called me up for this one with a short deadline and just as I was leaving for a long weekend with The Lovely Anna. I got back and banged it out in about a week. Frequent readers of The MAD Blog might recognize a few drawings from the “Sketch o’the Week” in there… I used some sketchbook drawings as cameos where appropriate. Between the three pages there are 51 caricatures plus two pals of mine.

There are a lot of unique elements and issues that need attention when doing a crowd scene. As I mentioned yesterday, on Thursday I will post a fairly comprehensive tutorial on the composition, layout and execution of a crowd scene. Check back after our usual Wednesday sketch tomorrow.


  1. hutch says:


    Fantastic work Tom.

  2. Shiva Souza says:

    Tom, great stuff right here. You really were able to capture the “essence” in most of the caricatures, their expressions really got subtle details that make “these people be who they are”. Real good stuff, more than just “instantly recognizable” they look really good at the long run too…

    Really incredible man, I consider this one of your best ones. Waiting for the tutorial! (didn’t thought it would come so soon, nice! 🙂 )

  3. Vin Altamore says:

    I love this Tom…great fun going through the faces of the crowd…kudos!!!

  4. pmcmicheal says:

    My GOD Tom, This is nothing short of INCREDIBLE! That crowd scene blew me away! So many things to look at plus a few gags!
    ‚Äö√Ѭ¢ Spiderman? I’m surprised there is NO batman.
    ‚Äö√Ѭ¢ That Sarah Palin is Dead-On…and she is looking directly at Obama ( hard to do)
    I see Tina Fey also…nice touch.
    • That Michelle Obama is pretty DAMN good too. She has both a sad & angry look all at the
    same time!
    • Where are your friends in the crowd?

    Can you believe it….our first Bi-Racial president!

    • Tom says:

      Actually I had envisioned a few more “out there” cameos and gags but MAD rejected them as they wanted to keep a more real and less surreal feel to the crowd. Spider-Man was a written in gag, and that’s as outside of reality as they wanted and just for the sake of the gag that time. No Batman. 🙁

      My friends are in the lower right corner above the fighting Elizabeth Hasslebeck and Joy Behr. That is cartoonist Mark Tatulli and his son Dean. It’s decent of Dean, but I missed badly with Mark and did not have time to get it fixed up.

  5. Michael Garisek says:

    Holy Cow

  6. carlpeterson says:

    I love the spread Tom. I’m always impressed by your ability to organize a visual composition but maintain a feeling of organic randomness. I’m guessing you didn’t have to draw a McCain version?

    • Tom says:

      I didn’t do the piece until well after the election, so no need for that. Not that there was a lot of doubt in the first place…

  7. pmcmicheal says:

    Tom, In the top drawing, will there be thought bubbles? and if so, Do you know ahead of time what the will be so you can get the faces right?

    • Tom says:

      Yes, there are thought bubbles int he final. I get a full script and know who is saying (or thinking) what before had so I can draw them to match.

  8. Trevour says:

    Wow – all I can say is that’s epic, Tom!

  9. awesomeair says:

    Fantastic work, and really funny. What about Colin Powell I don’t see him anywhere.

  10. That crowd scene is amazing. The two I went straight looking for were Stephen Colbert and John Stewart. And there they were. 😀

  11. jimbodraw says:

    Yeah Tom – this was amazing – brilliant work!


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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