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Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

 I’ve done a few pieces for the Warner Bros consumer products line, and the above I did a year or two ago as a t-shirt illustration. Below are some preliminary roughs!:Alfred_Leprechaun_1 Alfred_Leprechaun_3 Alfred_Leprechaun_2

Sunday Mailbag- Cartooning/Caricature Awards?

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Sunday Mailbag!

Q: I just watched the NCS awards banquet on your site (thanks for posting!), and just attended my forth International Society of Caricature Artists convention. How do these organizations differ regarding choosing award recipients, if at all? At ISCA members vote for the winner of the coveted Noseys. Is this the same with NCS–do members vote or are Reuben recipients chosen by elected board members?

A: They are very different. The questioner knows all about the ISCA awards, but I’ll fill readers in on both.

The International Society of Caricature Artists (ISCA) hold an annual convention and competition each year. At the event, competing artists set up in a huge ballroom and draw each other for four days. Each person has a designated wall space on which to post the work they did (or at least the pieces they liked). At the end of the weekend, each competing artist gets a ballot and spends hours going around looking at thousands of pieces of art, voting for various categories like “Best Black and White Technique”, “Most Humorous”, and many others. They also choose their top individual pieces which are honored as the top ten “Caricatures of the Year” and their top overall artists, the top three of which are awarded the bronze, silver and gold “Nosey”, the last of which is “Caricaturist of the Year”. Once you win the “Golden Nosey” you are no longer eligible to it win again. This method is very immediate, and makes for a dynamic and interactive week culminating in lots of honors and accolades.

The National Cartoonists Society has an annual awards weekend called the “Reuben Awards”. At a black tie awards banquet and show, cartoonists are honored with “Silver Reubens” in divisions like “Gag Cartoons”, “Newspaper Comic Strips” or “Online Comics- Short Form”. The top honor is “The Reuben Award”, named for cartoonist Rube Goldberg, for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year”. The NCS awards are voted on before hand, with the top three in each division and “Cartoonist of the Year” named as nominees, and the winners announced at the awards banquet. The process for these awards changed greatly this year for most divisions.

Previously the NCS would call for submissions in their various divisions, and the divisions were assigned to different local chapters to jury. The chapters were supposed to go outside the submitted work and seek out other work for consideration, just so the field would be more representative of the industry as a whole, and not just NCS members or non-members who would submit (you do not have to be an NCS member to be eligible for consideration, you just have to be eligible for membership i.e. a professional cartoonist). The chapters would then jury and vote on the work, choosing their top three including the winner. The Reuben Award itself is done via a call for nominations from all membership, with the top three nominees then being voted on again by full membership via secret ballot. Some divisions like “Feature Animation” or “Graphic Novels” are done via specialty jury because of the time or complexity involved in being familiar with the work.

The process has changed this year in that voting in the various divisions is now open to all membership via an online voting program. This year members could log on and can see the work of 238 competing artists in 10 divisions, with 2,388 images to view. Then they can cast their choices for first, second and third place in each divisions. There are still some divisions that use specialty juries for the same reasons they were before (can’t upload animated films, TV shows, entire comics, graphic novels and books to compare), but most are now being decided not by a small group of people but the entire NCS membership. What’s cooler is that the entire membership gets to see all the work being considered.

That’s the basic difference. The ISCA awards are for work done onsite, the NCS awards are for work done professionally for the previous year. Both have their merits and disadvantages. Both, I think, reward outstanding work and reflect some of the best in their respective fields.

Thanks to Erik Johnson 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!

MAD Birthday Boys Al and Sam!

Friday, March 13th, 2015


Image courtesy madmagazine.com

It’s a MAD dual birthday today… in fact it happens on this day every year! Yes, today is the birthday of both legendary “MAD fold-In” creator Al Jaffee and longtime MAD artist and current MAD art director Sam Viviano. You see above Al accepting Sam’s award for picking such an excellent date for his birthday, and Al thinking how nice it is to know he could still crush Sam’s hand like a rotten egg despite having been born 32 years earlier. Al is 94 today, and still delivers his completed MAD assignments to the offices by hand, and they are still as sharp and witty as ever. Sam is 62, and continues to cause me to lose sleep with his ridiculous deadlines, and we all wish he was doing more drawing for the magazine.

Happy birthday, gentlemen!

Batman/Superman #10 MAD Variant- Signed!

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

BS 10 Signed

I’m trying to make some room in the studio, and I ran across a small stack of this MAD variant cover I did last year from DC Comic’s Batman/Superman #10, which I just listed in the Studio Store, signed and everything. These were made in very limited quantities.

There were no MAD variant covers this year, which was a real bummer. Those were very fun to do. Maybe DC will do something like that again in the future.

TMAoC: Battle Damaged!

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

BD Book

Well… okay. Not really “battle” damaged like your favorite action figure variation, but sort of.

Books bought wholesale for brick and mortar stores can be returned if unsold within a certain timeframe. Sometimes these returned books come back with a crease on the cover, a bent corner, a little wear on the spine… very minor damage that does not reduce the readability of the book at all, but does preclude the distributor from selling it again as “new”.  I picked up a limited supply of these returned but lightly damaged copies from my distributor the other day, and am selling them for a mere $9.99!

These copies are very lightly damaged, with nothing more that shelf wear, dinged corners, a creased page edge or two… nothing that will interfere with your enjoyment of the contents. A bargain at $9.99…Signed as always!

Pick one up while supplies last!

tMAoC Throwback Art: Matt Damon!

Friday, February 20th, 2015

damonAnother illustration/sketch from my book, this one is of Matt Damon done in watercolor.

tMAoC Art: Paul Newman!

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

newmanAnother piece of art from my 2011 book The Mad Art of Caricature.

tMAoC Art: Katie Couric!

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015


So, rather than post nothing for the next week, I am going to post various caricatures from my book. Most are former “Sketch o’the Week” drawings I then did a little digital wash on. Here’s Katie Couric.

Until Further Notice…

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

The Dreaded Deadline DemonSeriously paying the price for too many irons in the fire. Sleep and free time may be precious quantities for a while. Carry on.

The Walking Sketches: Carol!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Melissa McBride © 2015 Tom Richmond 

 This week’s SotW is another in my little run of “The Walking Sketches”, this time of fan favorite Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier. I did something a little different this week and did this with a couple of different sized Micron pens.


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