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MAD 530 Sneak Peek: Orange is the New Blecch!

October 20th, 2014

OitNB_1Clicky any to embiggen…

Uproxx.com’s Gamma Squad published an interview with MAD editor John Ficarra on Friday which included an exclusive look some of Desmond Devlin and my parody of “Orange is the New Black”, so after a few days of waiting I can show you a sneak peek of the art myself.

This was a BIG eight pager… the longest MAD parody I’ve done since the nine page “Harry Plodder and the Lamest of Sequels” back in 2002’s MAD #424. It was unique in it had what was essentially a three page splash. The first page was a left side page, followed by this two page spread:

Orange is New Blecch pg 2-3

I binge-watched the show and then tried to add as many of the less prominent characters as I could squeeze in, since one of the strengths of this show is a very rich list of secondary characters who are all very interesting and engaging. If you are a fan of the show, you’ll recognize some of these characters in the background or in some aspect of the scene in many panels… and the chicken will make sense to you as well. Here’s a few panels from the rest of the parody:

Orange is New Blecch pg 4

Orange is New Blecch pg 5

Orange is New Blecch pg 6

Orange is New Blecch pg 7

Orange is New Blecch pg 8

Sunday Mailbag- How many caricatures?

October 19th, 2014

Q: How many persons do you caricature within a year? Now and in your theme-park time? What is your estimation: How many persons did you caricature since you started drawing? Are there persons you caricature over and over again, maybe over many years?

A: I don’t think I can even begin to answer any of those questions with any degree of accuracy, except the one about my theme park time. The first few summers that I drew live caricatures we used a system where we had paper receipts that we collected for each day and that’s how we got paid. At the end of the week we’d turn in our receipts with an invoice. That made it fairly easy to keep track of how many faces we drew. I remember I did 3,100 faces my first summer, and 3,800 my second. I got better and faster as each year progressed, and I estimated I averaged about 4,200 faces per summer throughout my years of drawing full time at theme parks. I did that for 17 seasons, which would mean I did a little over 70,000 live caricatures. Throw in the occasional live drawing I’ve done over the last dozen years or so since basically retiring from the theme park thing, I think 80,000 faces would be a conservative estimate. I think I started getting warmed up at about 45,000 faces, stopped completely sucking at 55,000, and started getting the hang of it around 68,000.

That sounds like a lot but it is nothing compared to many live caricaturists I know who do it for a living year around at parks, fairs, gigs, etc. I am sure many live caricature artists have done hundreds of thousands of faces. I’m a poseur compared to that.

I haven’t a clue how many people I caricature a year these days between MAD, other publication projects and such. In fact, just last week I was sitting on the MAD Panel at New York Comic Con and MAD editor John Ficarra turned to me and asked how many caricatures I had done in just the splash page from the parody of “Orange is the New Black” in the latest MAD. I had no answer for him. No idea. Turns out it was 25, and if you count the three on the intro page 28, but I didn’t know and don’t really have any interest in knowing. It might be better not to think about it. So, I have no answer for how many I’ve done over my career. A lot. I guess.

For your last question: “Is there anyone you’ve caricatured over and over again?” I would suspect the actors from “Married… with Children” are still the people I have caricatured the most overall simply because I drew two dozen issues of that comic book back in the early 90’s and it was nothing but caricatures of Ed O’Neil and company. I’m not sure I’d count that though, since those “caricatures” were compromised by certain limitations put on me by Colombia Television who approved the art, and my own lack of skills at the time.

Thanks to Dominick Zeillinger 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!

The 2014 NCS Reuben Awards Show Video

October 18th, 2014
YouTube Preview Image

NCS video guru John Lotshaw just posted a full length film of the 2014 NCS Reuben Awards on the NCS YouTube channel. It weighs in at a whopping 1:57 but is chock full of fun thanks to the antics of emcee Tom Gammill and assorted cartoonists who played along with said antics, the show direction of Bill Morrison and the video work of the afore mentioned Mr Lotshaw. I believe this is the first time a Reubens has ever been released in its entirety on video to the general public.

There are many highlights, but in particular you will see:

  • Tom G’s spectaular opening number
  • Renee Faundo recieving the Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship
  • Weird Al” Yankovic receiving the A.C.E. Award
  • Bunny Hoest Carpenter and John Reiner being honored with NCS Gold Key Awards
  • Russ Heath get the Miltion Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award
  • More Tom Gammill video fun
  • Lots of cartoonists getting awards
  • Wiley Miller receiving the Reuben for Cartoonist of the Year

Unfortunately we couldn’t include the original video intro featuring a montage of clips from “The Simpsons” that revolve around comics, comic strips and MAD Magazine because YouTube refused to accept “Matt Groening said we could use these!” as actual copyright use permission. I’m going to try and get something more official, and if I do we’ll have a new version to post.

In the meantime, enjoy the show!

The Mad Art of Caricature 2.0?

October 17th, 2014

tmaoc2

Found out today that my book The Mad Art of Caricature! is totally out of stock on Amazon here in the US. I can’t quite figure out how Amazon works with its ordering copies from the publisher (i.e. me) in order to keep items in stock. It is obviously automated, as I will sometimes get two or three POs right on top of each other asking for copies to be sent in, but they are weird quantities like 2, 7 or 11 at a time, sometimes on consecutive days. The distributor (i.e. me) can have a standing request for “case quantity”, but Amazon will totally ignore that anytime they feel like it. I just cancel any POs that are not a full case (24) copies, and two cases on currently on the way to Amazon right now, but they ordered them too late to prevent running out.

Sales of the book have slowed down a bit since the middle of the summer, but they are still selling at an amazingly steady rate. Amazon and bookstore sales continue to chug along, and my wholesale distributor tells me I have a very low return rate on the book. This is really quite surprising to me. I honestly had no idea there would be such a continuous demand for a book on drawing caricatures. I expected to sell a lot of copies right away to caricaturists and then perhaps a trickle to those who might have an interest in the artform, but that trickle has been a pretty steady flow. In fact, the 6th printing of the book in on the horizon already.

I have been asked quite frequently when my next book is coming out. I don’t think I have another one in me, or if I do I don’t know what it would be about. I had a lot to say about how to draw caricatures, and with a few exceptions (material that I didn’t include in the original book in the interest of production time) I basically said it all in The Mad Art of Caricature! I have thought about doing a book on freelance illustration, but that business is evolving so fast I don’t know if what I know would be obsolete in short order, or how many people would be interested in such a book. Certainly a much smaller audience.

What is more likely in the near future would be an updated edition of The Mad Art of Caricature! with much of the previously mentioned deleted material added in. I had a whole chapter on caricaturing expressions, a section on drawing kids, some stuff about exaggerating bodies and action, and a number of other examples of caricature observations from photos with the accompanying caricature. Probably about 24 to 32 more pages.

My question: would anyone be interested in an updated version of the book? If so, what would you like to see added or more of? Just curious. I do not have this on my radar right now, but I have been thinking about it more lately.

Illustration Throwback Thursday #6

October 16th, 2014

This piece was done in 1996 for San Diego magazine for a story on, you guessed it, the increasing popularity of karaoke and piano bars. It was done in traditional media including watercolor, inks and airbrush. The above was a full page and the one below a spot illustration used later in the article.

img406

Sketch o’the Week- Boris Karloff!

October 15th, 2014

Boris Karloff ©2014 Tom Richmond

I thought I’d do a few Halloween themed sketches for the rest of the month, starting with the legendary Boris Karloff as “The Monster” from “Frankenstien”, done using various pens and markers. I did this one of Bela Lugosi some time ago, but will do a new one for next week:

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NYCC Wrap Up

October 14th, 2014

The Lovely Anna and I are back from New York Comic Con. It was a crazy, busy convention. I think it was actually more manic than San Diego… maybe that’s just because it’s approaching the same attendance levels but squeezed into a smaller area. Not having my own booth at SDCC I am not sure how I’d do under the same circumstances. All I know is I was swamped from open to close doing caricatures and commissions. Here’s some pictures from the show, including a couple of drawings I did:

With Charlie Ryan and RayAbrams Publishing editor Charlie Kochman, MAD art director
Ryan Flanders, me and MAD artist/illustrator Ray Alma.
Photo courtesy of Ray Alma.

With Ryan and JohnRyan, me and Random House senior designer John Sazaklis, also a former
MAD design intern. Photo by John Sazaklis.

madonnaA couple of commissions for a guy from MTV, Madonna and…

pink…Pink. I guess he likes female rockers with only one name.

uncacreepyI did this in someone’s sketchbook using Pitt pens. Had to channel my
inner Jack Davis to draw Uncle Creepy from Creepy Magazine

Capt Alfred ReynoldsAnother pen-drawn sketchbook commission- Alfred as
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds from “Firefly”

The MAD PanelThe Thursday MAD Panel. Left to right: Peter Kuper, Jonathan Bressman, me, Ryan Flander, Sam Viviano, John Ficarra. Photo by Ray Alma.

With SteveMy caricature of fellow caricaturist Steve Nyman.

We had a great time. See you next year, NYCC!

 

On the Stands: MAD #530!

October 13th, 2014

MAD 530

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

  • Cover (Mark Fredrickson)
  • The Fundalini Pages (Mike Morse, John Kerschbaum, Jeff Kruse, Hermann Mejia, Scott Bricher, Dick DeBartolo, Anton Emdin, Kenny Keil, Tom Cheney, Evan Waite, Paul Coker, Kit Lively, Teresa Burns Parkhurst, Sam Viviano (uncredited))
  • Orange is the New Blecch (Desmond Devlin, Tom Richmond)
  • Prohibitive Cost of Bathing (Scott Maiko, Scott Bricher)
  • Fun Facebook Facts (Frank Santopadre & Evan Waite, John Martz)
  • Planet Tad!!!!! (Tim Carvell)
  • Phrases That Left the English Language in 2014 (Matt Lassen, Kevin Pope)
  • MAD’s 2015 Middle Earth Calendar (Art: Hermann Mejia and Tom Richmond (uncredited))
  • A MAD Look at Puberty (Sergio Aragonès, colorist: Tom Luthl)
  • The Mad Vault- From MAD #251, Dec 1984 (Artist: Harry North, Writer: Tom Koch)
  • The Strip Club (Dakota McFadzean, David DeGrand, Kenny Keil, Christopher Baldwin, Box Brown, Kit Livley & Scott Nickel, Nathan Cooper)
  • Spy vs. Spy (Peter Kuper)
  • AAUGH Reverse Mortgages (Writer: Scott Maiko, Photogragher: Irving Schild)
  • MAD Deconstructs TV Talk Shows: TMZ Live and TMZ on TV (Desmond Devlin, Tom Bunk)
  • The Best of the Idiotical (Uncredited)
  • Questions We’d Like to Ask the Turkey Hotline (Scott Maiko, Josh Mecouch)
  • Drawn Out Dramas- Various places throughout the magazine (Sergio Aragonès)
  • The MAD Fold-In (Al Jaffee)
  • The iPad Air- A MAD Ad Parody (Uncredited)

This issue I do the art for Desmond Devlin’s whooping eight page parody of the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black”. I’d post a sneak peek of that, but the marketing guys at WB are busy trying to convince some putz to pay for a web exclusive of it, so until they give up on that hopeless idea I can’t post anything.

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

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Sunday Mailbag- What do you use for…?

October 12th, 2014

Q: Hello! I am a great fan of your caricatures. I have read your book again and again. Please advise me where I can buy the same adjustable easel you use. Also which prismacolor art sticks for flesh tones for all races and where t buy. YOUR BOOK IS VERY INSPIRING, in the next edition please include materials and tools in much more depth.

A: I get a lot of these types of emails. I understand the curiosity but it’s a bit misguided. The tools and materials one uses are incidental have minimal impact on the work one produces. It’s the thinking and, above all, the hours and hours of work one puts in to develop their eye and their skills that makes for a good caricature. A caricature is drawn by your head, not your hand. That’s true of any good drawing. The tools you use are whatever you find works for you, and usually that’s whatever you have to work with and become accustomed to.

Still, people insist on knowing what materials an artist likes to use. Nothing wrong with that as long as they understand there is nothing magic about the materials. Therefor, I presnt my annual “what kind of  _____ do you use?” post (any links are just one possible source for purchase, do some web searching and you are bound to find the same things elsewhere and possibly cheaper):

In the Studio

For doing my publication work I use a lot of different tools and materials. While most of what I do these days is digital I do occasionally, when the job calls for it, pull out the old paints and such. Here are the tools I like to use in the studio:

Pencils-

Honestly I usually use whatever I end up grabbing from my eight or so coffee cup/jars full of drawing utensils near my board. For years I used a clutch-type leadholder like the Staedtler Mars Technico Lead Holder and would fluctuate between H, HB or F 2mm leads depending mostly on what felt right that day. I got very tired of using the lead pointer to sharpen it all the time (and more than half the time having the lead snap off in the sharpener, causing me to have to pry it out and sharpen all over again). So I switched to the mechanical pencils with the tiny .05 mm leads that feed from inside. These don’t need sharpening and as they don’t have any thickness to their edges the line quality is not something I need to be concerned about, which makes it ideal for concept sketches as I don’t waste time with the niceties of the line. I use HB mostly but sometimes H or 2B. I also like using regular old #2 wood pencils (which are 2B). Almost all of my “Sketch o’the Week” drawings are done with those.

I have taken to doing a lot of my rough concept sketches digitally these days for various reasons, so see my digital “materials” list for details there. Here’s the rest:

Paper and boards-

Paper for roughs- I generally just use my live caricature paper for my rough sketches and layouts, which is a 67lb vellum bristol. The equivalent would be a Strathmore sketchbook heavyweight paper that comes in pads.

Boards for finals- Strathmore 400 or 500 series bristol, usually vellum finish but lately I’ve been using the smoother stuff sometimes… mainly when I know I’ll be doing my “colored line” style of digital finals. I like a smoother line for that. If it’s a real painting I’ll use a piece of illustration board with a kid (rough) surface as it won’t buckle when I apply a lot of washes. BTW, Strathmore has had it’s problems in the last few years with quality, but it seems they have figured out the issues, so it remains my board of choice.

Pen Nibs-

I usehe Gillott 303 and the classic Hunt 102 crow quill. The Gillotts are tough to find in the US. You have to order them from overseas, and that’s expensive. But, if you have to have them, try: John Neal Booksellers. There are others but these are the cheapest I’ve found online. If you look elsewhere, usually the good nibs are found listed under “Copperplate” among calligraphy supplies. These suppliers have lots of cool nibs like Brause and such, so if you are looking for something that “feels right” buy some singles and try out a few. You can get pen holders here as well.

You could try my method of getting Gillott nibs: beg a friend and colleague who lives in Great Britain to order 1,000 nibs at his local art store and bring them with him to the ISCA convention in the states, where you pay him for them and then buy him some beers in gratitude. I am still a few Guinness shy of total compensation. Thanks, Steve!

Pen Holders-

There are lots of different kinds, but I found one I really love called the Universal Pen Holder. It’s just a clear plastic rod with a soft plastic sleeve around the end to hold the nib. The soft sleeve also acts as a cushioned finger grip. Simple but great. You can get them at John Neal on this page.

Brushes-

I use a red sable #1 and #2, and a #6 for big areas. Winsor & Newton Series 7?s set the standard but they are expensive. If you take care of them they will last a reasonable length of time, but ink destroys them much faster than watercolors do. You can find these brushes at virtually any art store. Unfortunately real red sable is becoming impossible to get in this country thanks to an import ban by the US Fish and Wildlife Department, who have nothing better to do. So, good luck finding a Series 7 these days.

Inks-

For the dip pen I use Pelikan Drawing Ink A. It used to be hard to find this ink but now they are more readily available.  If you want to order online try:

MisterArt

For the brush I like Dr. Ph.Martin’s Black Star HICARB or Tech 14W Black, which are both much more dense that the Pelikan and make for better brush work.

Digital Color: Software-

I use PhotoShop for all my digital color work. I know a lot of people swear by Painter, but as I can accomplish everything I want to in PhotoShop I do not see a compelling reason to switch. Currently I am using CS6, which i may use forever since I abhor Adobe’s new “cloud” concept where you perpetually pay for use.

I mentioned earlier doing pencil sketches in PhotoShop now. I have found some great tools presents for this that I highly recommend from artist Ray Frenden. He has several different “sets” for things like inking and sketching in PhotoShop for sale at $4.99, but they only work in PhotoShop CS5 or CS6. I especially like the set of pencil tools. You can visit his online store here.

Digital Color: Hardware-

My current computer is a 27″ iMac. I used to have a more expensive Mac Pro but honestly the memory and processor speed of more “standard” computers are so strong now that they can easily handle imaging tasks… even big images. I recently did a 29? x 40? movie poster illustration, 300 dpi and CMYK and with multiple layers that weighed in at a whopping 360 MB, and my iMac didn’t even break a sweat. These days unless you are doing 3D modeling or video rendering work, you can use computers right off the rack at Best Buy or the Apple Store for most any illustration.

I use the Wacom 24HD widescreen Cintiq as my graphics tablet. It’s a monster and works well for my purposes. It’s ridiculously expensive and a few other competing products are now becoming viable like the Huion GT-190, so if Wacom is out of your price range look at some alternatives.

Real Paints!-

When I do get out the real paints I basically work in a combination of acrylics and watercolors with both a brush and some airbrush touches. I have no preference as to the manufacturers of such materials, and have a hodge-podge of tubes of various types. The last time I did a real painting was last year when I was commissioned to this for Weird Al Yankovic’s birthday:


Clicky to embiggen…

Live Caricatures

Pencil-

I learned to work in pencil so I stick with that. My pencil of choice is a Caran D’ache FixPencil 3 using thier 6B leads, although I also have a special 4B lead that works with this pencil. I also use a Create-a-Color 5.6mm leadholder with a 4B lead.

Blending Stump-

Standard No. 8 stump for shading. I soak the new stomp in tap water for about 10 minutes, then put it on a paper towel and place it in a sunny window for about 3 days until it’s fully dried out. This has the effect of loosening the glue that binds the stump and making it much softer. Then I sand off one of the ends to a much rounder shape, so I have a fine end and a wide end. I know… that’s a lot of work for a $1.65 tool, but it’s much more useable after that process.

Airbrush-

I use the Iwata HP-SB Plus for live caricature work with a 13 bottle palette. I also use this same brush in the studio. I have metal bottle hardware custom made, as the plastic horrors available for general purchase are garbage. In fact I make the entire bottle assembly myself (Please don’t write me asking to buy a set… I don’t sell them except to artists who work with us in our caricature concessions).

Airbrush Paint-

Mostly Com-Art Opaque and Transparent paints by Medea.

Easel-

I use several different ones in our various parks, all are just standard drawing tables that you can get at any art supplu store. I do have new tops made out of plywood with a paper holder built on the back, and make it as small as the base allows for space reasons.

Thanks to Stajadin 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!

 

More NYCC!

October 10th, 2014

P1390620

Image courtesy Jason Chatfield

IMG_2309.JPG

Image courtesy Luis Rosario via Facebook

The Lovely Anna and I working it at New York Comic Con. For a Thursday it was a very busy opening day.

Of course we ran into some problems right away. Like an idiot I shipped the wrong backdrop support unit to hold up that banner you see behind us. It should be two feet taller and should not be about to collapse upon us at any second. Fortunately we were able to MacGyver it so it is at least standing. That’s the only negative. Otherwise met a lot of nice people, did a lot of fun drawings, has fun on the “MAD about MAD” panel, and quite a few people took home some prints, books and original MAD art they bought from me. I even had a guy come up with a copy of  a “Married… with Children” comic from back in the Day for me to sign!

I’ll try and get some shots of some drawings today.

 

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