Archive for the 'MAD Magazine' Category
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
Some months ago MAD quietly redid their website and got rid of the separate official blog formerly known as “The Idiotical”. Actually DC rebranded all their websites, and MAD was along for the ride. They merged the blog with the rest of the site so it became one central place to go and get daily updates, news, gags (and gagging), shopping etc. Now when you visit, there is a two column staggered list of teasers ala a Facebook wall, with the latest MAD tomfoolery. They still post original content, often of the parody movie poster or TV ad variety, plus sneak peeks of stuff from the latest issue, comics from “The Strip Club”, classic MAD features like Don Martin cartoons and more.
They have done a great job at embracing the one element to their website content that is impossible to duplicate in the magazine: the ability to address up-to-the-minute current events and news. With a 6 week lag between press date and news stand appearance, publications like MAD cannot match the instantaneous nature of the internet. The editors therefore make sure much of what they do on the website takes advantage of that dynamic, making fun of breaking news and buzz like Governor Chris Christie’s lapband surgey, Martha Stewart’s Match.com participation, and the Jason Collins announcement.
I was sad to see them lose “The Idiotical” concept, though. I thought that was a funny idea to have a virtual magazine format where they published MAD humor online, and I loved the name. Ah, well. Same content, different presentation. Check out MAD‘s website early and often for a dose of daily MADness.
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
The latest in MAD‘s series of “Mad’s Greatest Artists” featuring Dave Berg just became available for pre-order on Amazon. From the Amazon page’s description:
Included in this magnificent collection are some of the greatest works from Dave Berg—one of MAD Magazine’s most popular writers/artists. The material will be presented chronologically and interspersed throughout with rough sketches, a rare 1970 interview, an introduction and portrait of Berg by well-known American illustrator Drew Friedman, a “growing up with Dave Berg” essay by his daughter Nancy Berg, newly illustrated versions of classic Berg strips by several noteworthy cartoonists, and much more.
I am one of the cartoonists who did one of the “classic Berg strips”, which made me happy because when Dave passed away I had just joined the Usual Gang of Idiots, and as a result of being a newbie I was not asked to be one of the artists that took part in a special tribute to him in issue #427. In that issue a number of MAD artists illustrated what was his last script of “The Lighter Side of…”, which he never got a chance to illustrate. This time I got to do one. By the way I’ve seen Drew’s illustration of Dave as mentioned above, and in typical Friedman fashion it is fantastic.
These books are very well done. The only real problem with them is that so many of “MAD‘s Greatest Artists” worked for the magazine for so long and did so much work, that a “The Complete Work of…” is impossible with only a few exceptions. Dave worked for MAD for 46 years, first doing various gag artciels before starting “The Lighter Side of…” in 1961, which he did until his death in 2002. Just for perspective, “The Lighter Side of…” was already five years old when I was born in 1966.
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
In comic book shops, on the iPad, in subscribers mailboxes and on news stands everywhere today:
MAD # 521 (June 2013)
- Cover (Mark Fredrickson)
- The Fundalini Pages (Rick Tulka, Jeff Kruse, Anton Emdin, Bob Staake, Brian Gordon, Matt Lassen, John Kerschbaum, Tom Bunk, Darren Johnson, David DeGrand, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Paul Gilligan, Phil McAndrew)
- Game of Groans (Desmond Devlin, Hermann Mejia)
- A MAD Look at Baseball (Sergio Aragonés, Colors: Tom Luth)
- Planet TAD!!!!! (Tim Carvell)
- Overheard in Doggie Heaven (Jeff Kruse, Paul Coker)
- The All-American Fun N’ Gun Show (Frank Santopadre, Scott Bricher)
- The Darker Side of the Lighter Side of… (Dave Berg)
- Stuff-E-Vest Puff Jacket (Dick DeBartolo, Scott Bricher)
- Spy vs Spy (Peter Kuper)
- The Strip Club (John Kovaleski, Peet Tamburino, Brian Gordon, Kit Lively & Scott Nickel, John Katzenstein, Alex Cline, Jason Yungbluth, Christopher Baldwin)
- The MAD Vault: Scenes of Americana Yesterday and Today (George Woodbridge, Mike Snider)
- The MAD Guide to Man Boobs Volume 3 (Ryan Pagelow, Drew Friedman)
- 8 Questions to Soften the Blow for those on Death Row (John Caldwell)
- Casebook “Spyfail”: The Battle of the Bonds (Desmond Devlin, Tom Richmond)
- The Best of The Idiotical (various)
- Another Ridiculous MAD Fold-In (Al Jaffee)
- Back Cover: iPad Teensy-Weensy (Uncredited)
- Drawn Out Dramas (Sergio Aragonés, appear throughout the issue)
This issue I did the art for a parody done in a little different format than the usual MAD satire— it’s a send-up of all three Daniel Craig 007 films with the previous five Bonds doing the narration… and the snarky comments. I will post a sneak peek of the art as soon as I’m allowed to, they have some website doing an exclusive sneak peek of it sometime soon and I can’t post anything until that’s been released. Seeing as the issue is out, it’s not much of a sneak peek anymore, but an exclusive agreement is an exclusive agreement.
Well . . . What are you waiting for, clod?!? Go out and buy a fershlugginer copy already!
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Yesterday Entertainment Weekly released an exclusive sneak peek at the cover of MAD #521, check it out here. As you can see, MAD will be pillaging Game of Thrones, which I did not do the art for… and also exercising their license to kill on “James Bond”, which I DID do the art for! Is it a parody of Skyfall? A spoof of all 50 years of 007 movies? Gratuitous caricatures of half naked Bond girls? You’ll have to wait for the issue to hit the stands to find out! Fa Fa Fa!
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Remember that radio interview I told you about yesterday featuring Drew Friedman, Al Jaffee, and Arnold Roth, talking about Harvey Kurtzman? Well, turns out they do have it archived and available for listening after it’s original airing. In fact, here it is:
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Here’s a link to a great article on the history of the movie parodies in MAD from Film Comment magazine. There are also on-line side interviews with MAD editor John Ficarra and me.
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.
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.
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Yet another DC MAD variant cover, this one by the long-time MAD artist and current art director Sam Viviano! This one comes courtesy of Gamma Squad.
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Buzzfeed.com has an exclusive sneak peek of my variant cover for Detective Comics #19. This was a lot of fun and given my being a huge Batman fan getting to do the cover of Detective Comics was extra special. I am too busy today to write more about this, but Thursday I will post some pencil sketches and a closer look at the artwork.