March 20th, 2015
If you are attending the Toronto ComiCon this weekend, stop by and see me at the National Cartoonists Society booth #117! I’ll have copies of my book, my Sherlock and Batman LE prints, exclusive comic con print-cards and original art pages from MAD for sale, and I’ll be doing caricatures and commissions! Also meet “Between Friends” cartoonist Sandra Bell-Lundy, and on Saturday cartoonist/illustrator Mike Cope! The NCS will have some of it’s fantastic comic con T-shirts available as well, with art from the likes of Sergio Aaragonés, Jack Davis, Garry Trudeau, Mike Peters, Patrick McDonnell, Bill Ameca, Jim Borgman, Rick Kirkman, Jeff Keane and others!
Just stop by and say hello!
March 19th, 2015
I just read on Mark Evanier‘s blog that longtime MAD writer Lou Silverstone passed away this past Monday, March 16th at age 90. I never met or worked with him, he having left MAD in the early 90’s and going over to Cracked to write and eventually become an editor there, But I always enjoyed his work on MAD‘s TV parodies. He teamed up a few times with Mort Drucker and especially often with Angelo Torres on many, many classic MAD spoofs. Some of my favorites were “Bats-Man”, “Clodumbo”, “Miami Price” and “The Greatest American Zero”.
So long, Lou. Thanks for the many laughs!
March 19th, 2015
I’m off to the Toronto ComiCon! You’ll find me at the NCS booth (117) doing caricatures/commissions and with plenty of original MAD pages, prints, and books for sale.
One new wrinkle: Exclusive ComiCon stuff! I will have an updated James Bond #007 caricature 6×9 postcard print and a MAD Alfred/Joker variant cover 6×9 postcard print for sale for $5.00 each CHEAP!
These will not be for sale anywhere but when I have a booth at a comic book convention. Not online, not via mail. Zip. Gotta come see me!
March 18th, 2015
This week’s Sketch o’the Week is in honor of my trip to Canada this weekend for the Toronto ComicCon… Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas AKA Bob and Doug McKenzie of “The Great White North”!
Tags: Bob and Doug McKenzie, caricature, Dave Thomas, Rick Moranis, sketch
March 16th, 2015
This week’s Monday MADness is a look at some of the art I did for the parody of the second Harry Potter movie: “Harry Plodder and the Lamest of Sequels”, written by Desmond Devlin, from MAD #424, Dec 2002. This parody is my record for length of any piece I ever did for MAD, weighing in at whopping 9 pages! Sadly, it seems that 5 of the original digital files of those pages are lost, as I only found the splash page and pages 3 and 4 on my hard drive… (clicky any to embiggen):
Tags: Harry Potter, MAD Magazine, Parody
March 15th, 2015
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!
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!
March 13th, 2015
Can you believe I have basically lived my whole live almost a stone’s throw from the Canadian border, and have never been to Canada! Well, that all ends next week when I invade the Great White North for the Toronto ComiCon. I’ll be appearing all three days of the show at the National Cartoonists Society booth, space #117. Also appearing there will be the creator of the syndicated comic strip “Between Friends” Sandra Bell-Lundy, and possibly some other NCS cartoonists.
I’ll have my usual plethora of original MAD artwork, prints, copies of my book, some new mini-prints (!) and other fun stuff… plus I’ll be doing commissions and caricatures!
So stop on by, eh?
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
March 12th, 2015
Back in 1962, MAD‘s Mort Drucker illustrated a satirical coloring book about the Kennedy clan called the “JFK Coloring Book”. It was a brilliant piece of satire written by Paul Laikin and Jackie Kannon, making fun of a president who was wildly popular and bucking conventional wisdom. It spent 14 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller’s list. Then came the assassination, and the book was pulled from bookstores and never saw print again… until now.
Actually the reprint took place last September, but I just found out about it through a MAD fan group. I have a vintage copy I got from eBay years ago, but you can now get a pristine, brand-spanking new copy for only $7.99. This is genius and Mort’s artwork is incredible as always.
It’s very cool that this piece of history gets a new audience 52 years later.