Q: With your recent “Bo Confidential” project, and in light of the new MAD Magazine business model, have you considered personal pet projects for development under the MAD umbrella?
A: Yes I have. While things have changed (and are still changing) at MAD there is an unspoken rule that any regular contributor to the magazine can approach the powers-that-be and pitch ideas for things like books and they would be given due consideration. Likewise the publishers that have handled publication of other MAD books like Watson-Guphill will give a good look at any book project from a MAD artist or writer. Of course, that doesn’t mean they will agree to publish it, but they will definitely give it some attention.
I had considered pitching my upcoming “how to draw caricatures” book to them and have it published under the MAD trademark, or try to publish it via one of the established publishing house, but I am now leaning towards self publishing it mainly because I want it out by the summer and that would not happen taking the traditional route.
I also have a few ideas for books exploring some of MAD‘s history.
Every once and awhile I get people asking me when I’m going to publish a “The Art of Tom Richmond” book. I have to tell you I think self publishing a book like that is incredibly narcissistic unless you have a body of work that is lengthy and established enough to really warrant such a collection, and if you have such a body of work an established publisher should jump at the chance to publish a retrospective of your career so there is no need to self publish. I feel I am still many years away from being at that point with my work. In the event I ever get there, I would probably try to have it published under the MAD trademark if for no other reason than to avoid the legal entanglements of including work from MAD in the book.
Thanks to Kevin Richlin 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!