My First MAD Cover!

April 6th, 2016 | Posted in MAD Magazine


Newsarama posted a sneak peek of the cover feature and cover art from MAD #539 recently. As you can see, MAD spoofs the “adult coloring book” craze with a 4 pager with art by Timothy Shamey and cover by… me!

Yes, my first official issue cover. I did two covers for the now defunct MAD Kids, one for a “Superman” special issue and two of the most recent “Bookazines”, but this is first time I got to do the cover of the actual magazine.

Covers are rare birds for several reasons. First, there are only six a year. Second, they are usually of the hyper-realistic style of art and as Mark Fredrickson is a master of the type of look MAD wants he (rightfully) gets 99% of the cover assignments. But, every once and awhile some unique cover concept is in need of a different style of art, so in those rare instances other artists get the nod.

I have been gently reminding the MAD guys for about 15 years now that I’d really love to do a cover someday, so I was really pumped about getting the call. MAD Senior VP and Executive Editor John Ficarra told me that they had a cover concept that “was a perfect fit for my coloring skills”… I’m pretty sure that was an insult but I was so excited to get a cover I didn’t mind. Besides, I’d know something was really wrong if John didn’t insult me at every opportunity.

Anyway the above is the result. The coloring took forever, but I met the deadline!

Oh, and I also did the art on “The Force Awakens” spoof, a nine page behemoth penned by David Richards. I’ll post sneak peeks of that when the issue is officially released.


  1. Adam says:

    FINALLY!!! The moment many of us MAD fans have been awaiting for YEARS! Congratulations on joining the exclusive MAD Cover Club, Tom! (And it’s a great cover, to boot – hopefully the first of many!)

  2. congrats…it’s about time!

  3. Clay Taylor says:

    (With the voice of Christopher Walken), wow… Fascinating.

  4. Jack Myhervold says:

    Looks great!, and so good to see some variety from MAD on the their cover artist selection. Looking forward to “The Force Awakens”. Let me guess…., “The Farce Recycled”?.

  5. Kyle says:

    That is awesome, Tom! Congrats! And nice job by John & Co. to keep putting out (even though it feels like once a year) a cover not by Mark. His work is amazing, but I always enjoyed the variety of the covers from years past. Great job!

  6. Andy S. says:

    Congrats, you deserve it. I am going to go out by this one just for that reason. You are a constant influence and idol to all us artist.

  7. Billy says:

    I can’t believe this is your first cover! Awesome. By th eway, I can’t see you signature anywhere on the cover. Is that MAD policy, or did it get covered up by the red circle?

  8. Congrats, Tom. It’s about time. Now, do you get a key to the Executive Washroom????


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