Back in MAD #503 (May 2010) I did the art on a Desmond Devlin authored parody of the TV Show “The Big Bang Theory”… finished splash page above. As you can see, the splash was somewhat atypical of your usual MAD parody opening. Des had the article narrated by Albert Einstein, and the opening spread called for the traditional introductory caricatures of the cast to look like they’d been drawn on a blackboard by Einstein. I was not a fan of that idea because I knew that there was no way I’d be able to do make the caricatures look good by drawing them in white chalk lines. They would look like photo negatives… unless I used the white as the light not the linework and did more of a chalk “painting of them. That is how I pitched it initially:
Here’s a closer look at this style of “chalk” drawing:
Sadly it was decided by the powers that be that Einstein wouldn’t be able to do something like that (nor, I think, did they think it looked like it was done in chalk), and they should be simple chalk line drawings. The fact that Einstein, who had been dead for 55 years, coming back from the afterlife to narrate this story was a far less plausible skill that being able to do a decent chalk caricature was somehow lost on the editors. Thus, we went with this instead:
…with the final results at the top of this post. C’est la vie.
Incidentally, as show creator Chuck Lorre is a huge fan of MAD, he owns the original art of this splash, while I own an oversized print of the art with signatures from the entire cast. It hangs in my studio.
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