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MAD About Sergio’s MAD Masterpiece!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Madness!

One of the gems in the Inside MAD book is the mind-blowing, pull-out poster illustration by Sergio Aragonés depicting virtually everyone ever associated with the magazine in its sixty-plus year history. Not only is it chock full of “The Usual Gang of Idiots”, it contains dozens and dozens of references to famous MAD moments, items and other goodies. In true MAD fashion, this is an image you can spend an hour staring at and still miss some of the gags and little touches.

Fear not! The good folks over at Doug Gilford’s MAD Cover Site (ok, Doug… but with a little help from his friends) has put together an interactive version of Sergio’s masterpiece, complete with flags for pop ups identifying each person, place and thing of significance in the image. Go there, zoom in, and get edjumahcated about all things MAD, and marvel at the talents of the Great Sergio!

Monday MADness: The Dork Knight Reprises!

Monday, March 31st, 2014

This week’s Monday MADness is a peek behind the scenes at the complete rough pencils of the parody of “The Dark Knight Rises”, written by Arnie Kogen and appearing in MAD #519. Clicky any image to embiggen:

TDKR 3-4TDKR 5-6

TDKR 7

NCS Divisional Nominees…and New Website!!

Friday, March 28th, 2014

The 2013 Divisional Awards Nominees just got announced… and on a brand new NCS website! Gon on over and check out the new site and the list of nominees complete with sample of their work. Here’s the complete list:

Editorial Cartoons

  • Clay Bennett
  • Adam Zyglis
  • Mike Ramirez

Newspaper Illustration

  • Bob Eckstein
  • Miel Prudencio Ma
  • Dave Whammond

Feature Animation

  • Mike Giamo: Production Design “Frozen”- Disney
  • Hayao Miyazaki: Director, “The Wind Rises”- Disney
  • Jonathan del Val: Animator of Lucy character, “Despicable Me 2”- Illumination

TV Animation

  • Craig McCracken for “Wander Over Yonder” – Disney
  • Paul Rudish for Disney Channel’s “Mickey Mouse” shorts – Disney
  • Douglas Sloan & Art Edler Brown for “Dragons: Riders of Berk” – Dreamworks

Newspaper Panels

  • Dave Coverly
  • Scott Hilburn
  • Mark Parisi

Magazine Gag Cartoons

  • Matt Diffee
  • Bob Eckstein
  • Mike Twohy

Advertising/Product Illustration

  • Cedric Hohnstadt
  • Sean Parkes
  • Rich Powell

Greeting Cards

  • Glenn McCoy
  • Mark Parisi
  • George Schill

Comic Books

  • Sergio Aragonés -Sergio Aragonés Funnies
  • Jay Fosgitt- Bodie Troll
  • Chris Samnee – Daredevil

Graphic Novels

  • Dan E Burr- On The Ropes
  • Rick Geary – Madison Square Tragedy
  • Andrew C Robinson- The 5th Beatle

Magazine Illustration/Magazine Illustration

  • Daryll Collins
  • Anton Emdin
  • Dave Whamond

Online- Long Form

  • Jenn Manley Lee- Dicebox
  • Dylan Meconis, Family Man
  • Eddie Pittman- Red’s Planet
  • Jeff Smith- Tuki- Save The Humans

Online- Short Form

  • Jim Horwitz- Watson
  • Ryan Pagelow- Buni
  • Mike Twohy- New Yorker Online

Book Illustration

  • Matt Davies
  • William Joyce
  • CF Payne

Newspaper Comic Strips

  • Isabella Bannerman- Six Chix
  • Terri Libenson – Pajama Diaries
  • Mark Tatulli – Lio

Congratulations to the nominees! The winners will be announce at the Reuben Awards Banquet on May 24th in San Diego!

Even More MAD DC Covers… Including Mine!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

MAD-BatmanSuperman-Joker-RICHMOND
Batman/Superman #10 by me!

More sneak peeks at the April series of MAD variant covers for 21 of DC’s New 52 titles. They must be getting to the bottom of the barrel to include mine (see above, courtesy of Herofix.com. Click on any of the images to be magically transported to the source of the exclusive for a look at the larger artwork.

More from Herofix:

MAD-BatmanRobin-TwoFace-FREDRICKSONBatman and Robin #30 by Mark Fredrickson

MAD-Aquaman-BlackManta-CALDWELLAquaman #30 by John Caldwell

MAD-Batwoman-Bane-POPEBatwoman #30 by Kevin Pope

From Uproxx.com:

MAD-GLCorps-Larfleeze-SUTTONGreen Lantern Crops #30 by Ward Sutton

MAD-JLA-Despero-STUTZMANJustice league of America #14 by Mark Stutzman

Via The Nerdist:

MAD-JLDark-Black-Adam-SISCOJustice League Dark #30 by Sam Sisco

MAD-Superman-Brainiac-COKER-665x1024Superman #30 by Paul Coker

MAD-TeenTitans-Trigon-PARADAtTeen Titans #30 by Roberto Parada

MAD-WonderWoman-Cheetah-BAGGEWonder Woman #30 by Peter Bagge

Courtesy of Newsarama.com:

MAD-Nightwing-MrFreeze-VIVIANONightwing #30 by Sam Viviano

MAD-Batman-Riddler-STAAKEBatman #30 by Bob Staake

With the previous ones that’s all 21 covers released!! Check them all out in my 2014 MAD Variant Cover gallery.

Shipping of Fools

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

I just finished a big MAD parody job (can’t tell you what it is, so don’t ask) that had me tied in knots for the better part of two weeks, which means that today is catch-up day on all the stuff I had to ignore during my marathon. You know— stuff like bills, paperwork, emails… sleeping.

One of the big things I have had to put on the back burner is signing, packing and shipping all those sketches and original art I put up for sale in the Studio Store in the last couple of weeks. My sincerest apologies for all those folks who bought pieces from me and who are still patiently (mostly) waiting for them. It is a bit of a time-consuming thing to get that stuff packed up in delivery-service-abuse-proof packaging, weighed and mailed out, so I had to wait until I had a day I could set aside for that process. Plus, my entire shipping and receiving department (The Lovely Anna) was out of town visiting our daughter in Orlando a of of last week. It’s hard to marry good help these days.

They will all be shipping today, guaranteed!

Sakai Family Benefit Auction in Full Swing

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

For the SakaisThe CAPS auction to benefit Stan and Sharon Sakai is in action right now, with some really amazing pieces of art up for bidding, including a number of custom pieces featuring the artist’s take on Stan’s great comic book character Usagi Yojimbo from some pretty heavy hitters (Jeff Smith, anyone?). There are also several pieces of original but unrelated comic book, comic strip and editorial cartoon art. Stan and Sharon are beloved figures in the world of comics, and the industry’s heart is breaking over their struggles with Sharon’s health. If you want to support a wonderful cause and get your hands on some truly unique original cartoon art, this is a unique opportunity.

I posted the image above a week or two ago, it’s my contribution to the effort. It’s an original ink and watercolor, no pixels involved. This piece is not in the auction yet, but I am sure it will appear sooner or later. They must have gotten a huge number of pieces in support of the Sakais, and it will be a while before they get through them all.

I am beginning to think I might be the only cartoonist I know capable of reading and following directions. When the call for original pieces of art went out, the folks at CAPS warned us that we should NOT include any characters we did not own the copyrights to. The reason for this is that they intend to publish a book full of the Usagi Yojimbo tribute artwork and sell it for further support for the Sakai’s medical expenses. For obvious legal reasons, doing something with someone else’s copyrighted character would create a legal problem with the book. That meant Alfred E. Neuman was out, so I came up with the gag above making fun of Usagi’s puffy samurai pants and his 1980′s origins.

Now I look at the auction items, and I see art with other people’s copyrighted characters like Bugs Bunny and the Muppets. I have a feeling there will be a lot of similar examples when other art is put up for auction.

I assume these will not be in the book. Too bad because it’s some great art, but rulz is rulz. I would have loved to have done an Alfred/Usagi gag.

NCS Reuben Awards Art Gallery

Friday, March 7th, 2014

I received a lot of nice compliments on the art I did on the 2014 Rueben Awards Brochure for the National Cartoonists Society. This is something I have been doing for quite a few years now, ever since I was approached by then NCS prez Steve McGarry about doing something for the 2003 Reuben Awards in San Fransisco. After thinking about it I realized this latest one is my 12th Reuben illustration! Sometimes the art was used on the official Reuben T-Shirt, and sometimes it was for the brochure, and once or twice for both. Anyway I thought it would be fun to post a gallery of the Reubens art I have done over the last decade plus… it also makes for a nice record of the guest speakers most years, although some years they depicted the award winners/Reuben nominees instead (clicky any image to embiggen):

2003- San Fransisco, CA


Top row, l to r: Me, Hilary Price (Rhymes with Orange), Bill Amend (Foxtrot), Scott Adams (Dilbert), Oliver Christianson (Greeting cards), David Silverman (The Simpsons), Pete Doctor (Pixar). Bottom row, l to r: Darby Conley (Get Fuzzy), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), James Kemsley (Ginger Meggs). I was actually a guest speaker that year, so Steve asked me to do this for the T-Shirt, which started it all. I don’t have the digital file anymore, so this is a scan of a print that Steve had done and gave to each of us, and we got signatures from (most) of the speakers. The only signatures I am missing is Scott Adams and Pete Doctor… might have been too shy to go up to them and ask. Matt Groening signed it because he won the Reuben that year.

2004- Kansas City, MO

Reuben2004

Front: Mort Drucker (MAD Magazine), Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Sandra Boynton (Greeting cards, books, recording artist), Jules Pfieffer (cartoonist, author, screenwriter) Back (on the grill): Mel Lazarus (Momma and Miss Peach). Kansas City was the start of the “roasts” they did again for a few years of NCS luminaries, starting with Mel… hence on the grill.

2005- Scottsdale, AZ

2005 ReubensAcross back and top of stagecoach: Jay Stephens (Tutenstein), Sergio Aragonés (MAD, Groo and the roastee), Mark Evanier (writer, Groo, etc), Gahan Wilson (gag cartoonist), Scott Shaw! (comics artist, Captain Carrot). In the stagecoach, l to r: Lalo Alcaraz (La Cucaracha), Ann Telnaes, Mike Luckovich and Joel Pett (all Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonists), Hanging on the stagecoach, right: Darrin Bell (Rudy Park, Candorville). Pulling the stagecoach: Glen and Gary McCoy (The Duplex (Glen),The Flying McCoys, editorial cartoons, etc. etc.)

2006- Chicago, IL

2006 Reubens
From the left: Stephen Silver (animator, Kim Possible, etc), Everett Peck (illustrator, animator), Ralph Steadman (illustrator), Elwood Smith (gag cartoonist), Cathy Guisewite (Cathy and the roastee), and Dick Locher (Dick Tracy, editorial cartoons).

2007- Orlando, FL

L to r: Bud Grace (The Piranha Club), Sam Gross (gag cartoonist, The New Yorker), Mort Walker (Beetle Baily, Hi and Lois) and Jerry Van Amerongen (Ballard Street).

2008- New Orleans, LA

Humans, l to r: Mike Peters (Mother Goose and Grimm, editorial cartoons), Sandra Boynton (Greeting cards, Milton Caniff Award recipient), Mark Tatulli (Heart of the City, Lio), Mort Gerberg (gag cartoons, The New Yorker), Tom Batiuk (Funky Winkerbean).

2009- Los Angeles, CA

Clockwise from bottom left: Jeff Keane (The Family Circus, NCS President), Mike Luckovich (editorial cartoonist, Reuben emcee), Michael Ramirez (editorial cartoonist), Dan Piraro (Bizarro, Reuben nominee), Stephen Pastis (Pearls Before Swine, Reuben nominee), Dave Coverly (Speed Bump, Reuben nominee), Steve Moore (In the Bleachers, Open Season), Eric Goldberg (animator), Drew Struzan (illustrator) and Cathy Guisewite (Cathy, host of the Sunday event).

2010- Jersey City, NJ

On back raft, l to r: Isabella Bannerman (Six Chix), Rina Piccolo (Tina’s Groove, Six Chix), Anne Gibbons (Six Chix), Benita Epstein (Six Chix), Stephanie Piro (Six Chix), Margaret Shulock (Six Chix). On the plane: Stephen Silver (animator, Kim Possible, etc), Mort Drucker (MAD Magazine), Stan Goldberg (comics artist, Archie), John Reiner (The Lockhorns). On the raft, l to r: Larry Katzman (gag cartoonist, freelance), Joe Kubert (comic book legend, Milton Caniff Award recipient), George Booth (gag cartoonist, The New Yorker), Steve Brodner (Illustrator), Bill Plympton (illustrator, animator), Yaakov Kirschen (cartoonist)

2011- Boston, MA

Humans, from l to r: Tom Gammill (The Doozies, Reuben emcee), Roy Doty (advertising cartoonist, NCS Gold Key recipient), R.O. Blechman (gag cartoonist, Milton Caniff Award recipient), Glen Keane (animator, Reuben nominee), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine, Reuben nominee), Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac, Reuben nominee)

2012- Las Vegas, NV

Top: Tom Gammill (The Doozies, Reubens emcee). Second row from left: Steve McGarry (Badlands, Trivquiz, Biographic, Kid City, NCS Silver T-Square recipient), Mark Simon (animator, storyboard artist, entrepreneur), Alfred E. Neuman (idiot), John Lotshaw (Accidental Centaurs), Dave Kellett (Sheldon, Drive), Michael Jantze (The Norm, Jantze Studios, SCAD). Bottom row from left: Ray Billingsley (Curtis), Butch Hartman (Fairly Oddparents, Danny Phanton, T.U.F.F. Puppy), Jim Davis (Garfield) and Stan Goldberg (Archie, recipient of the NCS Gold Key Award).

2013- Pittsburgh, PA

This one is a little weird as I did each person as either a famous person from Pittsburgh or a character from a movie filmed there: Clockwsie from top r: Mo Willems (Children’s book author/illustrator) in “The Silence of the Lambs” which was filmed in Pittsburgh , Brad Anderson (Marmaduke, Milton Caniff recipient) as Andy Warhol, Drew Friedman(illustrator) as Frank Gorshin, Jason Chatfield (Ginger Meggs, Reubens Emcee) as Gene Kelly, Terri Libenson (The Pajama Diaries) as Mary Cassatt, Lee Salem (NCS Silver T-Square recipient) in “The Dark Knight Rises” , filmed in Pittsburgh), Rob Rogers (editorial cartoons) as Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Wos (Curator of Pittsburgh’s cartoon and comic art museum The Toonseum) as Mr. Rogers.

2014- San Diego, CA

2014 Reubens

Roughly left to right: Tom Gammill (The Doozies, Reuben emcee) “Weird Al” Yankovic (A.C.E. award recipient) Greg Evans (Luann), Eddie Pittman (animator, Red’s Planet), Sandra Bell-Lundy (Between Friends), Russ Heath (comic book legend, Milton Caniff Award recipient), Bunny Hoest Carpenter (The Lockhorns, NCS Gold Key Award recipient), John Reiner (The Lockhorns, NCS Gold Key Award recipient), Suzy Spafford (Suzy’s Zoo), Chris Houghton (animator, Adventure Time, Reed Gunther).

MAD #526 Sneak Peek- Hunger Pains: Getting Tired

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

As promised. here’s a sneaky peeky at the splash page and art for the Desmond Devlin scribed parody of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” from MAD #526:

Getting Tired_big
Clicky to Embiggen…

Getting Tired pg 3

Getting Tired pg 4

Getting Tired pg 5

Getting Tired pg 6

Getting Tired pg 7
Just for fun, I did the clouds and shadows in that above panel using ink washes rather than digital… it gives things a more textural feel which I wanted for the stormy atmosphere. Here are the inks for that panel sans color:

Getting Tired pg 7-inks

What do you mean you want to read the dialogue? What does this look like… a library? You’ll have to go out and buy the fershlugginer magazine for that, clod!

An Inky Tale

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

ink

If you are ever engaging a cartoonist in conversation and for some reason want that cartoonist to do all the talking, just ask them about the art supplies they use. This never fails to send cartoonists into a rant about how this pen and that paper and this ink and that brush just aren’t made the way they used to be, are discontinued, or some other tale of woe about the struggle to get the tools they like working with. It’s like a law of physics.

I’m no exception. I prefer the Gillott 303 pen nib for much of my inking and that’s a hard thing to find in quantity for a reasonable price in this country, Gillott being in the UK. Strathmore had some problems with the production of their 500 boards for a while, but that seems to be fixed. I really like the Kuratake Fudegokochi disposable brush pen, but again hard to get here in the U.S. There are other examples but this story is about ink.

Back in 1999 I started doing a lot of inking in my work, and in 2000 when I started with MAD it looked like inking was going to be a permanent part of my work process. I had experimented with a lot of different inks with varying degrees of satisfaction, but one stood out for me as being just want I wanted—Pelikan’s Drawing Ink A. It flowed nicely with the pen nibs I liked to use, didn’t thicken up too fast, and in general gave me the fewest problems. I thought I’d found “my” ink. Naturally, immediately following this realization came an intense paranoia that it would be discontinued or the formula changed, and I’d be screwed. Thus, I was determined to “stock up” on some bottles of Pelikan’s Drawing Ink A.

Of course, nothing ever is easy when it comes to art supplies. I was surprised to find that, at the time (the year 2000), I could not get a bottle of Pelikan’s Drawing Ink A anywhere. Many online art supply stores listed it, but they were all “out of stock”. My local art stores also were out of stock. Eventually I got a store manager to look into it for me. Apparently the deal with the company that was distributing Pelikan’s products in the U.S. had expired, and no new deal had been agreed to. No distributor, no imported product, no Pelikan’s Drawing Ink A for me.

I didn’t let that stop me. Pelikan’s was located in Germany, so I called up the one German artist I knew—Sebastian Krüger. I asked him if he had a local art supply store he used, and he told me he did and (not surprisingly) they knew him pretty well. I asked if it would be too much trouble if he could go in and ask them if they could order a few dozen bottle of Pelikan’s Drawing Ink A for me. I would send Sebastian an international money order for the cost plus whatever shipping costs needed, and would he please ship them off to me? Being a swell guy, Sebastian went to the art store and asked them.

He called me a few days later to say it would be a special order, and what size bottle would I like? I had only seen the Pelikan’s ink in a measly 1 oz bottle, but I had seen other inks that came in as big as an 8 oz bottle. I said “the big ones”. How many? he asked. I said I’d take twenty. I figured twenty 8 oz bottles would last me for a long time.

About 2 weeks later Sebastian calls me again and says he has the ink and is ready to ship it, and gives me the total. I honestly do not remember how much they were, but I do remember when I converted it to dollars I  thought it was a lot… but beggers can’t be choosers. I sent off the money order. I was down to the dregs of my last little 1 oz bottle of Pelikan’s, so I was eagerly looking forward to getting a box full of 8 oz bottles and a supply to last for a long time.

A few weeks later I got this in the mail (less what I have used since 2000, baseball added for scale):

a-lot-of-ink

I received twenty 1000 ml bottles. Each is just under 34 oz. That’s 676 oz of ink.

That was 13 years ago. I am a little over half way through my second bottle. Given a consistent rate of consumption, I will run out of Pelikan’s Drawing Ink A in the year 2161, and I will be 195 years old, or just a little younger than Al Jaffee is now.

I have no problems with my ink supply. Pen nibs, on the other hand…

 

The Dreaded Deadline Demon

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

This went from 0 to 160 overnight around here…

 

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