Archive for the 'General' Category
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
The National Cartoonists Society just released the nominees for their divisional awards for 2012.
From the NCS Website:
Congratulations to the 2012 divisional nominees for the 67th Annual NCS Reuben Awards! The winners will be announced Saturday, May 25th at the Reuben Awards dinner in Pittsburgh, PA.
- Todd Kauffman, Executive Producer, “Sidekick”
- Alberto Mielgo, Production Design, “Tron: Uprising”
- Rich Webber, Director, Aardman Animation Studios, “DC Nation”
- Rich Moore, Director, “Wreck-It Ralph”
- Joann Sfar, Director, “The Rabbi’s Cat”
- Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Director, “The Secret World of Arriety”
- Mark Brewer
- Bob Rich
- Dave Whamond
- Roz Chast
- Sam Gross
- Mick Stevens
- Jack Ziegler
- Bill Brewer
- George Schill
- Jem Sullivan
NEWSPAPER COMIC STRIPS
- Brian Basset “Red and Rover”
- Jeff Parker and Steve Kelley “Dustin”
- Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman “Zits”
NEWSPAPER PANEL CARTOONS
- Tony Carrillo “F-Minus”
- Dave Coverly “Speed Bump”
- Hilary Price “Rhymes with Orange”
ONLINE COMICS- SHORT FORM
ONLINE COMICS- LONG FORM
MAGAZINE FEATURE/MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION
- Barry Blitt
- Daryll Collins
- Anton Emdin
- John Manders
- John Martz
- Dave Whamond
- Clay Bennett
- Michael de Adder
- Jen Sorenson
ADVERTISING and PRODUCT ILLUSTRATION
- Luke McGarry
- Ed Steckley
- Amanda Connor “Silk Spectre”
- Evan Dorkin “House of Fun”
- Bernie Wrightson “Frankenstein Alive, Alive!”
- Derf- “My Friend Dahmer”
- Joseph Lambert “Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller”
- Chris Ware- “Building Stories”
The above honorees join the previously announced nominees for The Reuben Award for “Cartoonist of the Year”:
- Brian Crane
- Rick Kirkman
- Stephan Pastis
Congratulations to all the nominees! See you in Pittsburgh!
Saturday, March 16th, 2013
Crave Onlines gives us an exclusive first look at the brilliant Sergio Aragonés‘ variant cover for Justice League #19. Love the MAD jammies with Spy Vs. Spy and Flip the bird. That’s the thirteenth and last one to be released!
If you are interested, I have created a page with all the variant cover promotional images on them here.
Friday, March 15th, 2013
Well, not until Sunday but I’m betting most people will be celebrating tonight and tomorrow night. The above is an illustration I did for Warner Bros Consumer Products last summer for some T-shirts or other merchandise for this time of year. You can order one here if you are so inclined.
Anyway, Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend!
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Back in January I got a call from MAD art director Sam Viviano about a side project they were working on—DC wanted to celebrate MAD‘s 60th anniversary with a series of variant covers by the Usual Gang of Idiots for thirteen of their titles. Knowing that I am a huge Batman fan, Sam suggested to the MAD editors that I get to do one of the Batman titles. I was assigned the cover of “Detective Comics”. Given my own choice, I would have picked Detective as well, as opposed to “Batman”. Detective Comics was the title I collected as a kid, and it being the title with the first appearance of Batman it will always be THE Batman title for me. I was thrilled with the assignment… it fulfills a long-time dream of mine to draw Batman for DC. Of course I’d me making fun of him, but if you can’t make fun of something you like then you should save up your money and buy yourself a sense of humor.
The gags on most (but not all) of these covers were written by the MAD staff, and I was sent a rough of the general gag… Alfred as Man-Bat flying off having just left a pile of guano on the hood of the Batmobile. Nothing says “MAD” more than a feces gag. Actually there was some discussion on this… we weren’t sure if the gag worked better with Alfred as Man-Bat or as a regular bat. So I did two roughs:
The second I didn’t spend much time on since as I did it I know it was not going to be the one, although I liked the angle a bit better and it allowed me to do more of the Gotham skyline and add the ” MAD zeppelin” gag in the moon. It’s funnier to have Man-Bat do the deed, as opposed to a real bat, as with Man-Bat you can assume he did it on purpose. Also there is more of a reason for Man-Bat to look like Alfred as opposed to a real bat. Anyway they went with the first sketch.
Not really much more to say about it after that. There was some discussion that the pile of crap I drew was TOO big, so that got dialed down a little (it’s funnier to make it a superhuman pile of crap), and I pointed out that I cheated the proportions of Batman vs. the batmobile so I could make Batman larger and still get the full batmobile in there. If anybody noticed that i could always claim I went to the Rob Liefeld school of proportion. I decided to do my line and color style since it was a comic book and most of them have traditional ink and color covers. Here are the inks and original final color (clicky to embiggen any):
Color-wise I tried to get close to the kind of colors you see in comics these days, muted and unsaturated. In hindsight I should have stuck with a more MAD-like palette, and Sam rightly pointed out to me they’d wanted more of the colorful look. So I did a little tweaking of the color for the final, based on Sam’s suggestions:
So that’s my adventure in Batman comics. I am pretty sure the art team for Detective is not worrying about their job security. Fun to do, I am looking forward to seeing the cover in print next month.
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Another exclusive look at one of the 13 MAD variant covers for various DC Comics titles comes our way courtesy of the good folks at Comic Book Resources. This is the cover of Superman #19, done by the incomparable Al Jaffee. So that’s one Fold-In cover and one “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” cover. I wonder if they had Paul Coker Jr. do a “Horrifying Clichés” cover for “Constantine”?
I imagine one of these days they’ll release the one I did.
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Here’s another one! TheMarySue.com has an exclusive first look at Peter Kuper‘s Spy vs. Spy cover for Wonder Woman.
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
The art for my sold out “Secret Agent Man” print is featured as a double page spread in this James Bond caricature tribute book, which is not really in print yet but is now being offered as a sort of “Kickstarter” preorder from a company called Mad Artist Publishing. The deal is they need 350 preorders to do a print run of this hardcover book with a slipcase. I was reluctant to have my artwork in the book initially, thinking it was unlikely the publisher had secured the rights from MGM and the Fleming estate, but apparently they did so it’s all legal.
There is a preview of the book on their website. I hope this is only a sampling of the book’s content and a fraction of the caricature art actually in it, because if this is it then it is really disappointing. The preview has too many blank pages with “007″ on it, too many gigantic self-caricatures of people doing short forwards, and WAY too many ads for the publishing company about how they will print your art book. The ads are really out of place. You do not place ads in the middle of content in a book, even after the forwards… that’s what magazines do. Books sometimes have ads in the front and back, but once the content starts it’s content until the end. This reads like a magazine. Some of the caricature art is really good, however. Also it’s got some innovative interactive features, with “QR” codes all over that will launch trailers, videos and other digital content including some time lapses of the artwork in the book being created.
Not sure I can recommend this, despite the fact that I am in it. If you are a big Bond fan and can ignore a bunch of intrusive ads, you might like it for the artwork.
Sunday, February 24th, 2013
Q: How do I submit work to MAD?
A: I get this one a lot. The answer is it depends. If you are going to submit really excellent work in an effort to steal my job, please submit it to:
C/O: Dr. Op Dedd
43 Skidoo Ave. Suite 0
Nowheresville, NY 0U812
However if you are looking to submit less dangerous work, either writing or art, you are in luck! MAD just put up a web page where you can upload samples for them to peruse at their leisure! Here’s some of what they say on that page about what they are looking for:
FROM THE MAD SUBMISSIONS PAGE:
We’re interested in material focusing on evergreen topics, such as dating, family, school and work, plus topical material about celebrities, sports, politics, news and social trends. In addition, we will consider submissions for our Fundalini Pages and annual MAD 20 (The Dumbest People, Events and Things of the Year). We also welcome submissions for our Strip Club (artist-writers or artist-writer teams preferred).
Do not include more than three article ideas in a single submission. And please note: We will not consider movie or television satires, rewrites of established MAD premises, your take on existing features, cover ideas, or gags with Alfred E. Neuman.
That means they don’t want to see you write a “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions”, a “Horrifying Clichés”, or some other MAD staple. As I have written here before, your best bet to “break into” MAD, outside of using a crowbar and glass cutter, is to come up with something for the Strip Club, or a one to two page feature that is not time-specific (not dependent on some “hot” topic that will be irrelevant is a month).
Here is a link to that submissions page again. Good luck, and stay away from my assignments! :p
Thanks to R.D. Griffin 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!
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Clicky any of these images to embiggen… and I mean EMBIGGEN!
The Lovely Anna gets very annoyed with me over one thing—okay, over many things, but this one thing in particular—I’m very impatient when it comes to things I want to have. I tend to get them right away and leave her nothing to buy me for gifts on my birthday or Christmas. Well, here’s another thing she won’t be able to get me for my birthday: the enormous new book Tales Calculated to Drive You MAD: Artist’s Edition.
I saw an unboxing video of this book some weeks ago and blogged about it being a drool-worthy, albeit expensive, item. Afraid it would sell out quickly, I immediately ordered a copy, much to the chagrin of my gift-idea-starved wife. I just got my copy and I can safely say it’s worth every penny of the price tag.
The concept with these “Artist Edition” books from IDW is that they take untouched high resolution scans of original art boards and print them, with pencil lines, white out, paste-ups and all, at their original size on paper that they say approximates the surface of the actual boards. The result is supposed to duplicate the experience of looking at the actual, original art as much as possible.
I’d say they succeeded.
MAD has always had their artists work at 200% of print size, unlike comic book artists which typically work at 130-150%. As a result, the original art from MAD pages are huge, 16 1/4 x 21 inches without bleeds. That makes this book gigantic. Measuring in at 15 1/2 x 22 1/4 inches and 1 3/8 inches thick, it must weigh 15 lbs, but is not too unwieldy to page through… and what pages!
Look at these Wally Wood inks!!!
The reproductions really are like looking at originals. The ghosts of pencil lines are plainly visibly, gray smudges from handling, ruled lines from lettering, yellowing/browning of aged paper, white out from corrections, even the difference in tone from pasted in corrected art is obvious. All the production notes and margin direction are there. That stuff is all interesting and adds to the feel of a real, worked on piece of art, but the real magic is in the inks.
You can see the brushwork, the direction of the strokes…
Jack Davis’s brushwork, and white out use!
More Wood… you can see his pencil work here
You can see the brush strokes. The places the pen blotted and scratched. The uneven strokes of the large, brushed-in black areas. Most importantly, you can see the art at the actual size the artist did it at… seeing his decisions and how he handles the smallest of areas. It’s as close to looking over the shoulder of Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Will Elder, Harvey Kurtzman and company working at the peak of their powers as you will ever get until they actually invent a time machine. In fact, I’d argue this is as close to an actual time machine as you will ever get. It’s amazing how you really get a sense of the original art, not just the original images.
Even the zipatone edges are visible
From one of my all-time favorites…
I have no qualms about recommending this book, even at the $150 cover price. I got it a bit cheaper at Amazon, but it’s worth twice the price regardless.
The only drawback? The physical size of the thing. It’s so big and heavy there is no way to display it. I tried setting it up on a display easel in the corner of my studio’s counter top, but that appears to not work. The pages are so heavy that having the weight distributed mostly along the bottom edge causes the pages to start to buckle within the binding, and the book begins to bend and warp within it’s hardcover shell. I am going to try and figure out some way to prevent that from happening… I might be able to use some kind of clamp on the top and sides to keep the pages in place, but only if it doesn’t detract from the display or damage the cover. Until then it has to be stored flat.
Friday, February 15th, 2013
You have to love Stephen Colbert‘s comment about the paint stylings of former president George W. Bush:
“That is a bold, artistic vision that says ‘faces are hard.’”
That reminds me of a Saturday Night Live skit from many years ago, right after the Unibomber was captured after this police sketch of him circulated around for what seemed like years:
Of course no one in their right mind thought this would be of any help to those trying to identify and apprehend the Unibomber. That sketch could be of anybody.
In the skit the setting was a news magazine program interviewing the police sketch artist, played by Norm MacDonald, who drew the unibomber sketch. The interviewer asked Norm why he drew dark sunglasses on the subject.
“Eyes are hard to draw,” Norm replies. “So I always draw dark glasses on people so I don’t have to draw the eyes.”
“So, why the hood over the head?” the interviewer askes.
“Hair is hard,” Norm says. “So I always add a hat or something to cover it up, so I don’t have to draw the hair.”
This goes on for a bit, until Norm shows his portfolio of other criminals he’s sketched… they all look exactly like the Unibomber sketch with subtle changes. I was rolling around on my couch.
I’ve known a few live caricaturists with the same problems!