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More MAD Weird Al-ness…

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Signed by Weird Al!Here’s a great HuffPo interview with MAD VP and head editor John Ficarra and issue #533’s guest editor “Weird Al” Yankovic. This issue really sounds like a lot of fun. I can say that Weird Al has a cameo in the piece I did for the issue, and I am sure he’ll be popping up in many of the other features as well. He’s assembled an all-star lineup of contributors to the issue. read the article for all the details.

The art above is a commission I did for a mutual friend a few years ago who gave it to Al on his 50th birthday. This is a scan of a signed print of it he signed for me.

MAD’s Tom Koch- RIP

Friday, April 3rd, 2015


Tom Koch, a veteran writer for MAD and yet another of the “old guard” I never got a chance to meet, passed away back on March 22nd. I’d have posted about this earlier but I didn’t seen any decent obits about him until today.

Tom was a comedy writer for television and performers, and worked in the 50’s with the well-known comedy team Bob & Ray. His first few assignments for MAD were for the short-lived “Bob & Ray” feature in the magazine, featuring some of the earliest MAD artwork from a young, up-and-coming artist named Mort Drucker, back in 1957. He continued to write for MAD regularly until the early 90’s. He did a lot of TV writing over his career, for shows like “The Lucy Show” and “My Mother the Car”.

Tom’s biggest hit for MAD was easily the classic “43 Man Squamish” article in MAD #95, illustrated by George Woodbridge. It was a parody of the convoluted rules of team sports. The article gained quite a following, with several colleges attempting to play the game by the impossible rules Koch had dreamed up, and sending in pictures to MAD of their teams. It remains one of the most remembered and referenced MAD articles… according to MAD’s post on Tom’s passing, “43 Man Squamish” “remains MAD’s most requested reprint”. If you’ve read any of the MAD parodies of the Harry Potter films, you might have noticed writer Desmond Devlin giving a nod to Tom by replacing “quidditch with “squamish” throughout.

Sorry I never got to meet Tom. He wrote some very funny stuff over a long career.

MAD Gets Even Weirder

Saturday, March 21st, 2015


MAD cover art by Mark Fredrickson

From the MAD Magazine Website:

At 6 PM on April 20th, the guest editor of MAD #533, “Weird Al” Yankovic and MAD Editor John Ficarra will be at the Barnes & Noble at 33 E 17th St in NYC to sign autographs and meet fans! Mark your calendars! Enter the coordinates into your GPS! Moisturize and manicure your hand-shaking hand!

It will be fun to see this issue. Weird Al got worked into the piece I did for #533, and I am sure other features will have him involved in some way. This “guest editor” thing is a great idea. It would be fun to see an issue a year feature a guest editor. There are a lot of comedians and entertainers that cite MAD as a major influence who would probably love to do it: Stephen Colbert, Judd Apatow and Jon Stewart come to mind.

Sneak Peek: “House of Cons” from MAD #532

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

As promised, a couple of panels from the MAD parody of “House of Cards” in issue #532 (clicky any to embiggen…):

House of Cons-1

House of Cons-2

House of Cons-3

House of Cons-4

In case you missed the splash page that was posted last week:


Read the parody in MAD #532, on newsstands now!

On the Stands: MAD #532

Monday, February 23rd, 2015


In comic book shops, on the iPad and in subscribers mailboxes now, on news stands everywhere tomorrow:

  • Cover (Mark Fredrickson)
  • The Fundalini Pages (Dick DeBartolo, Kevin Pope, Joe Dator, Jeff Kruse, Sam Sisco, Kenny Keil, Nathan Cooper, Bob Staake, Shannon Wheeler, Desmond Devlin, Anton Emdin, Samuel Ferri, Kit Lively, Evan Dorkin & Sarah Dyer, Patrick Merrell)
  • House of Cons (David Shayne, Tom Richmond)
  • A Sneak Peek at More of the Characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Mike Morse, Hermann Mejia)
  • The Darker Side of The Lighter Side… (Sort of Dave Berg, Carl Peterson: Colorist)
  • A MAD Look at LEGO (Sergio Aragonès, colorist: Tom Luth)
  • The Worst Reviews on Yelp* (Kenny Keil, Scott Bricher)
  • President Obama’s Bucket List (Mike Morse, Paul Coker)
  • Spy vs. Spy (Peter Kuper)
  • The Strip Club (Dakota McFadzean, Christopher Baldwin, Kevin Werth, Eric Scott, Nathan Cooper, Kit Livley & Scott Nickel, Phil McAndrew, Peet Tamburino)
  • The Mad Vault- From MAD #141, March 1971 (Artist: George Woodbridge, Writer: Sy Reit)
  • Internet Rumor Timeline (Mike Morse, Ward Sutton)
  • Few Joke Girls (Mike Morse, Tom Bunk)
  • Star Wars Fans Then… and Now (Artist: Rich Powell)
  • The Best of the Idiotical (Uncredited)
  • Drawn Out Dramas- Various margins throughout the magazine (Sergio Aragonès)
  • The MAD Fold-In (Al Jaffee)

This issue could arguably be called the “Mike Morse writes just about everything issue!” Seriously the guy wrote 4 major articles, including collaborating on a rare non-reality show TV parody art appearance by Tom Bunk! I did the art for David Shaynes’s parody of the Netflix show “House of Cards”. The splash page was already posted online by Uproxx.com, but I’ll post a sneak peek of a couple of panels of it tomorrow.

Now, What are you waiting for… a furshlugginer invitation?!? Go out and buy a copy, clod!

MAD #532 Sneak Peek: House of Cons!

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

mad-532-house-of-consClicky to embiggen…

Uproxx.com’s Gamma Squad just released a sneak peek of the splash page of the parody of “House of Cards”, written by David Shayne and drawn by me (but, of course, Uproxx doesn’t mention that). You can read the rest of the parody in MAD #532, due on newsstands next Tuesday!

Monday SADness: R.I.P. MAD Coversite

Monday, February 16th, 2015


MAD Magazine fandom lost a really fantastic source of joy and MAD scholars lost a really fantastic resource this past weekend when the MAD Cover Site shut its digital doors forever. All that’s left of its seemingly endless MAD data is a placeholder.

The MAD Cover Site was the individual effort of one person, MAD Superfan Doug Gilford. Doug started it on Aug 17th, 1997 as part of the late Dick Hanchette‘s Collectmad.com website. It began as a collection of scans of the all the covers of MAD through the years, along with a list of each issues highlights (or lowlights depending on your perspective). Doug began adding lists of all the movie and TV parodies that had appeared, in alphabetical order with the real movie or show title and the issue in which it appeared. Over the years it expanded, including the full contents of each issue and higher resolution scans of covers, special issue covers and contents, MAD book lists and a lot more. In the last couple of years he started a MAD contributor database, where you could look up any major writer or artist and find a list of the features they worked on , which issue it appeared in and which collaborator (if any) they worked with. I’m especially going to miss that feature, because I would often use it to check and see the title of something I worked on or who was the writer on that particular piece. I have my own personal list of such info, but visiting Doug’s site was always a joy and I found myself clicking links to see the credits of writers I’d worked with and remembering pieces I’d read in MAD years ago.

Doug just suddenly announced he was shutting it down, and within a couple of weeks all those countless hours of work collecting, researching and listing was gone. Well, you can use the Web Archive.org resource to see “snapshots” of it over the years… Here’s what it looked like in 1998, and here is the last snapshot when everything was still active (although not all links work). While those archives last you can still appreciate the enormous amount of work Doug put in for nothing but his love of the magazine.

So, why did it end? Doug really doesn’t elaborate, but perhaps it became too much work for not enough return. Lack of appreciation, both tangible and intangible, eventually wears one down when doing a truly thankless task. Or perhaps Doug’s life priorities just demanded he stop, and if he could he would have kept going. Maybe it’s a little of both. No one knows but Doug.

At least we still have Mike Slaubaugh‘s MAD Lists!

All I know is I visited Doug’s site often, and marveled at his attention to detail, his seemingly tireless effort to be accurate and thorough with his data, and his quest to be as complete as possible. He did more to preserve the history of MAD than just about anyone I know. Thank you, Doug, for seventeen years of informative fun and invaluable resource. Stay MAD.

One Weird Editor…

Friday, February 13th, 2015

I guess “Weird Al” Yankovic is moonlighting in the publication biz these days. Al tweeted recently that he will be the first ever “guest” editor for MAD Magazine in issue #533, due out in April.


The official MAD Press release:

“The Usual Gang of Idiots” are getting a new Idiot-in-Chief! Celebrated musical satirist and comedian “Weird Al” Yankovic, the biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history, will helm the next issue of MAD as the legendary humor magazine’s first-ever guest editor.

Winner of the 2015 Grammy® for Best Comedy Album, Weird Al is the writer of some of the biggest song parodies in history.

Speaking from the MAD offices in New York, current “Idiot-in-Chief” John Ficarra said, “Al will surely ruin his nearly four decades of popularity by associating with MAD. I still can’t believe we talked him into it!”

Among Weird Al’s many duties will be writing an introduction to the issue, contributing (along with some of his celebrity friends) to the Fund”AL”ini Pages, and picking his favorite MAD article for the Vault section. Other ridiculous responsibilities are yet to be determined but will certainly do nothing to advance his career.

“It was my childhood dream to one day be a contributor to MAD Magazine,” said Weird Al. “This is an excellent example of why children are never allowed to make important decisions.”

Readers are invited to make Weird Al’s life even harder by sending letters for MAD’s Letters and Tomatoes section at letters@madmagazine.com. Weird Al will provide dumb answers to the dumbest questions.

Start saving your dollars because MAD #533 will hit newsstands on April 21 at an absurd price!

The good news is there is a chance, probably still very small but A CHANCE, that this issue of MAD might actually be funny. No hope for the artwork of course, but the jokes….

Monday MADness- 30 Rock!

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Monday MADnessThis week’s Monday MADness is a look at MAD‘s parody of “30 Rock”, written by Arnie Kogen with art by me. From MAD #490, June 2008 (clicky any to embiggen):

30-crock-1-2Pencil roughs

Final splash page

So, what’s with the odd looking monkey I added in the lower center of the splash on the final? Well, the issue before was the “All Monkey Issue”, and I did the art on a piece showing the MAD staff as monkeys:

After the issue came out, the folks at MAD decided they should have added former art director Nadina Simon in that group. So they asked me to draw her in the 30 Crock splash. As a monkey. Yep.

Here are some more pages from that parody:




All images © 2008 DC Entertainment/MAD Magazine/E.C. Publications- All Rights Reserved

MAD #532 Sneak Peek- The Cover!

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Cover of MAD #532 by Mark Frerickson

The Huffington Post posted a sneak peek of the cover for MAD #532 by Mark Fredrickson, which also features some teases of what’s on the inside. Two, count ‘em, TWO TV parodies. I did the art for the “House of Cards” parody. The issue will be on newsstands on Feb 24th and in subscriber mailboxes as early as Feb 13th!


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