I wrote the following on the NCS Website yesterday, but I thought it should be shared here also:
October is National Bullying Prevention Month in the United States. Founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, October is the month when communities nationwide focus efforts to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. Over 30 cartoonists lend their voices to the fight against bullying in this “Flip Comic” book Bullying is No Laughing Matter that helps educate readers about this problem that is being called a “national epidemic”.
The book has two halves, printed so you “flip” the book over to read each half as the front story. In “Bullying is No Laughing Matter”, cartoons ranging from comic books to comic strips and panels that relate to bullying are collected, with background on the “scene” depicted and comments from the creators. The cartoons are designed to spark conversation about bullying and get readers understanding that is is not just a normal part of growing up, but something that needs to be addressed and dealt with. Among the many cartoonists who contributed work to the book are NCS Reuben winners Brian Crane, Greg Evans, Lynn Johnston, and Mort Walker. This half of the book ends with a moving story by 15 year old bullying “survivor” (as she likes to refer to her experience, as opposed to using the term “victim”) Camille Paddock, followed by information on what constitutes bullying and what you can do about it.
The other half of the book starts with a comic book style story by cartoonist Kurt J. Kolka called “Wrath of the Warthog: A Bullying Story”, starring Kolka’s superhero character “The Cardinal”. The story is a lesson about taking responsibility for how we treat other people, and rising above the kind of life circumstances that can create bullies. Following the adventures of The Cardinal is another comic book story, this one originally published in 1945 featuring “Daredevil and the Little Wise Guys” by Charles Biro, which tells a related tale of bullying and finally taking a stand when things go too far.
It’s a positive message, and one that needs spreading” bullying is not acceptable behavior. You can get more information by visiting this website.
Uproxx.com’s Gamma Squad published an interview with MAD editor John Ficarra on Friday which included an exclusive look some of Desmond Devlin and my parody of “Orange is the New Black”, so after a few days of waiting I can show you a sneak peek of the art myself.
This was a BIG eight pager… the longest MAD parody I’ve done since the nine page “Harry Plodder and the Lamest of Sequels” back in 2002’s MAD #424. It was unique in it had what was essentially a three page splash. The first page was a left side page, followed by this two page spread:
I binge-watched the show and then tried to add as many of the less prominent characters as I could squeeze in, since one of the strengths of this show is a very rich list of secondary characters who are all very interesting and engaging. If you are a fan of the show, you’ll recognize some of these characters in the background or in some aspect of the scene in many panels… and the chicken will make sense to you as well. Here’s a few panels from the rest of the parody:
Q: How many persons do you caricature within a year? Now and in your theme-park time? What is your estimation: How many persons did you caricature since you started drawing? Are there persons you caricature over and over again, maybe over many years?
A: I don’t think I can even begin to answer any of those questions with any degree of accuracy, except the one about my theme park time. The first few summers that I drew live caricatures we used a system where we had paper receipts that we collected for each day and that’s how we got paid. At the end of the week we’d turn in our receipts with an invoice. That made it fairly easy to keep track of how many faces we drew. I remember I did 3,100 faces my first summer, and 3,800 my second. I got better and faster as each year progressed, and I estimated I averaged about 4,200 faces per summer throughout my years of drawing full time at theme parks. I did that for 17 seasons, which would mean I did a little over 70,000 live caricatures. Throw in the occasional live drawing I’ve done over the last dozen years or so since basically retiring from the theme park thing, I think 80,000 faces would be a conservative estimate. I think I started getting warmed up at about 45,000 faces, stopped completely sucking at 55,000, and started getting the hang of it around 68,000.
That sounds like a lot but it is nothing compared to many live caricaturists I know who do it for a living year around at parks, fairs, gigs, etc. I am sure many live caricature artists have done hundreds of thousands of faces. I’m a poseur compared to that.
I haven’t a clue how many people I caricature a year these days between MAD, other publication projects and such. In fact, just last week I was sitting on the MAD Panel at New York Comic Con and MAD editor John Ficarra turned to me and asked how many caricatures I had done in just the splash page from the parody of “Orange is the New Black” in the latest MAD. I had no answer for him. No idea. Turns out it was 25, and if you count the three on the intro page 28, but I didn’t know and don’t really have any interest in knowing. It might be better not to think about it. So, I have no answer for how many I’ve done over my career. A lot. I guess.
For your last question: “Is there anyone you’ve caricatured over and over again?” I would suspect the actors from “Married… with Children” are still the people I have caricatured the most overall simply because I drew two dozen issues of that comic book back in the early 90’s and it was nothing but caricatures of Ed O’Neil and company. I’m not sure I’d count that though, since those “caricatures” were compromised by certain limitations put on me by Colombia Television who approved the art, and my own lack of skills at the time.
Thanks to Dominick Zeillinger for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!
NCS video guru John Lotshaw just posted a full length film of the 2014 NCS Reuben Awards on the NCS YouTube channel. It weighs in at a whopping 1:57 but is chock full of fun thanks to the antics of emcee Tom Gammill and assorted cartoonists who played along with said antics, the show direction of Bill Morrison and the video work of the afore mentioned Mr Lotshaw. I believe this is the first time a Reubens has ever been released in its entirety on video to the general public.
There are many highlights, but in particular you will see:
- Tom G’s spectaular opening number
- Renee Faundo recieving the Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship
- “Weird Al” Yankovic receiving the A.C.E. Award
- Bunny Hoest Carpenter and John Reiner being honored with NCS Gold Key Awards
- Russ Heath get the Miltion Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award
- More Tom Gammill video fun
- Lots of cartoonists getting awards
- Wiley Miller receiving the Reuben for Cartoonist of the Year
Unfortunately we couldn’t include the original video intro featuring a montage of clips from “The Simpsons” that revolve around comics, comic strips and MAD Magazine because YouTube refused to accept “Matt Groening said we could use these!” as actual copyright use permission. I’m going to try and get something more official, and if I do we’ll have a new version to post.
In the meantime, enjoy the show!
Found out today that my book The Mad Art of Caricature! is totally out of stock on Amazon here in the US. I can’t quite figure out how Amazon works with its ordering copies from the publisher (i.e. me) in order to keep items in stock. It is obviously automated, as I will sometimes get two or three POs right on top of each other asking for copies to be sent in, but they are weird quantities like 2, 7 or 11 at a time, sometimes on consecutive days. The distributor (i.e. me) can have a standing request for “case quantity”, but Amazon will totally ignore that anytime they feel like it. I just cancel any POs that are not a full case (24) copies, and two cases on currently on the way to Amazon right now, but they ordered them too late to prevent running out.
Sales of the book have slowed down a bit since the middle of the summer, but they are still selling at an amazingly steady rate. Amazon and bookstore sales continue to chug along, and my wholesale distributor tells me I have a very low return rate on the book. This is really quite surprising to me. I honestly had no idea there would be such a continuous demand for a book on drawing caricatures. I expected to sell a lot of copies right away to caricaturists and then perhaps a trickle to those who might have an interest in the artform, but that trickle has been a pretty steady flow. In fact, the 6th printing of the book in on the horizon already.
I have been asked quite frequently when my next book is coming out. I don’t think I have another one in me, or if I do I don’t know what it would be about. I had a lot to say about how to draw caricatures, and with a few exceptions (material that I didn’t include in the original book in the interest of production time) I basically said it all in The Mad Art of Caricature! I have thought about doing a book on freelance illustration, but that business is evolving so fast I don’t know if what I know would be obsolete in short order, or how many people would be interested in such a book. Certainly a much smaller audience.
What is more likely in the near future would be an updated edition of The Mad Art of Caricature! with much of the previously mentioned deleted material added in. I had a whole chapter on caricaturing expressions, a section on drawing kids, some stuff about exaggerating bodies and action, and a number of other examples of caricature observations from photos with the accompanying caricature. Probably about 24 to 32 more pages.
My question: would anyone be interested in an updated version of the book? If so, what would you like to see added or more of? Just curious. I do not have this on my radar right now, but I have been thinking about it more lately.
This piece was done in 1996 for San Diego magazine for a story on, you guessed it, the increasing popularity of karaoke and piano bars. It was done in traditional media including watercolor, inks and airbrush. The above was a full page and the one below a spot illustration used later in the article.
I thought I’d do a few Halloween themed sketches for the rest of the month, starting with the legendary Boris Karloff as “The Monster” from “Frankenstien”, done using various pens and markers. I did this one of Bela Lugosi some time ago, but will do a new one for next week:
The Lovely Anna and I are back from New York Comic Con. It was a crazy, busy convention. I think it was actually more manic than San Diego… maybe that’s just because it’s approaching the same attendance levels but squeezed into a smaller area. Not having my own booth at SDCC I am not sure how I’d do under the same circumstances. All I know is I was swamped from open to close doing caricatures and commissions. Here’s some pictures from the show, including a couple of drawings I did:
We had a great time. See you next year, NYCC!
In comic book shops, on the iPad and in subscribers mailboxes now, on news stands everywhere tomorrow:
- Cover (Mark Fredrickson)
- The Fundalini Pages (Mike Morse, John Kerschbaum, Jeff Kruse, Hermann Mejia, Scott Bricher, Dick DeBartolo, Anton Emdin, Kenny Keil, Tom Cheney, Evan Waite, Paul Coker, Kit Lively, Teresa Burns Parkhurst, Sam Viviano (uncredited))
- Orange is the New Blecch (Desmond Devlin, Tom Richmond)
- Prohibitive Cost of Bathing (Scott Maiko, Scott Bricher)
- Fun Facebook Facts (Frank Santopadre & Evan Waite, John Martz)
- Planet Tad!!!!! (Tim Carvell)
- Phrases That Left the English Language in 2014 (Matt Lassen, Kevin Pope)
- MAD’s 2015 Middle Earth Calendar (Art: Hermann Mejia and Tom Richmond (uncredited))
- A MAD Look at Puberty (Sergio Aragonès, colorist: Tom Luthl)
- The Mad Vault- From MAD #251, Dec 1984 (Artist: Harry North, Writer: Tom Koch)
- The Strip Club (Dakota McFadzean, David DeGrand, Kenny Keil, Christopher Baldwin, Box Brown, Kit Livley & Scott Nickel, Nathan Cooper)
- Spy vs. Spy (Peter Kuper)
- AAUGH Reverse Mortgages (Writer: Scott Maiko, Photogragher: Irving Schild)
- MAD Deconstructs TV Talk Shows: TMZ Live and TMZ on TV (Desmond Devlin, Tom Bunk)
- The Best of the Idiotical (Uncredited)
- Questions We’d Like to Ask the Turkey Hotline (Scott Maiko, Josh Mecouch)
- Drawn Out Dramas- Various places throughout the magazine (Sergio Aragonès)
- The MAD Fold-In (Al Jaffee)
- The iPad Air- A MAD Ad Parody (Uncredited)
This issue I do the art for Desmond Devlin’s whooping eight page parody of the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black”. I’d post a sneak peek of that, but the marketing guys at WB are busy trying to convince some putz to pay for a web exclusive of it, so until they give up on that hopeless idea I can’t post anything.
Now, What are you waiting for… a fershlugginer invitation?!? Go out and buy a copy, clod!