Thursday, September 18th, 2014
The Wall of Shame has a new resident! This summer Jack Black and Kyle Gass signed autographs at the National Cartoonists Society booth at San Diego Comic Con along with illustrator Luke McGarry, promoting their summer charity music event. I took the opportunity to get them to sign an oversized print of my splash page from the MAD parody “Fools of Rock”, from MAD #438, Feb 2004.
I printed a copy out for each of them. Probably used it to line their cat’s litter box. At least I got a nice piece for my studio wall!
Monday, September 15th, 2014
Rather than dig through a bunch of old stuff this week, I though I’d share the rough sketches I did for the recent parody of “True Detective” in MAD #528. Here they are, followed by the final art… clicky any to embiggen:
Yes, these roughs were all done digitally using my super-sized Cintiq. Why digital, when I have repeatedly professed my dislike for drawing on the computer? There are a couple of compelling reasons.
First, the very fact that I don’t enjoy the tactile sensation of drawing on the screen is a plus. It keeps me from becoming too enamored of the quality of the linework and niceties of the pencil’s values and texture. This is just pure composition, form and function.
Second, I have a hard time drawing things at the size required for the panel in question, especially caricatures. Often I am working on a caricature and just when I get it right I find I drew it too big. Instead of either erasing and redrawing it, or scanning it in, shrinking it in Photoshop and doing a light table job to get it the right size, I just lasso it and resize it to fit. In fact I can move around and resize anything I want in these layouts to get them to work the way I want, without having to conform my drawing to do that in the first place. Big time saver.
Third, I work these roughs out tight enough that I can ink via a light table with only doing additional pencil drawing on the faces and some of the elements I decide I want to change. This causes me to draw with the ink rather than just trying to recreate the pencil lines in ink, and little or no erasing needed. I get a more spontaneous feel to the inks this way, and save time not having to erase the hell out of my boards before I scan them.
Anyway, I like this process. Here are the finals of the pages above:
Monday, September 8th, 2014
From MAD #471, Nov 2006, a two page feature called “When Video Games Become Religious” written by Jacob Lambert. The pencil roughs in the layout and the individual final art panels:
Clicky to embiggen…
Clicky to embiggen…
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Monday, August 25th, 2014
As promised, “Bats in the Belfry” is now on sale in the Studio Store. For those looking for one of the inked originals and “special edition” prints that accompany it, I will be posting the ones that have not already been claimed later today. Here’s the copy from the print product page:
Batman is one of the most enduring and beloved comic book characters of all time, and has been portrayed in many different ways on television and in film since the mid 1900s. This limited edition print caricatures, and pokes a little gentle fun at, the eight different portrayals of the fictional Dark Knight spanning over 70 years of Batman on the big and small screens:
- Lewis Wilson- “Batman” movie serial series from 1943
- Robert Lowery- “Batman and Robin” movie serial series from 1949
- Adam West- “Batman” television series series, 1966-68
- Michael Keaton- “Batman” and “Batman Returns” films, 1989 & 92
- Val Kilmer- “Batman Forever” film, 1995
- George Clooney- “Batman and Robin” film, 1997
- Christian Bale.- “The Dark Knight” film trilogy, 2005-2012
- Ben Affleck- “Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice” upcoming film, 2016
Fans of the Caped Crusader will love this unique collectible, created by MAD magazine artist Tom Richmond (me… duh)! Shipped in a sturdy cardboard tube, and signed and personalized if directed.
“Bats in the Belfry” Limited Edition Print
- Artwork by award winning MAD Magazine artist Tom Richmond
- 450 signed and numbered prints
- 11″ x 28″, elegant matte finish professional print
- Only $25.00 (cheap) plus shipping
Here’s a gallery of the different Batmen caricatures from the print:
Sunday, July 13th, 2014
Q: The pages you do for your MAD parodies are very detailed and full of a lot of little gags and touches, especially the opening pages. How long to you spend on each page?
A: I get this question a lot when people look at my originals. The only accurate answer is that it takes as long as they give me.
Doing the physical artwork is only part of the work and time I put into a movie or TV parody for MAD. I spend quite a bit of time doing research and getting familiar with the show or film as well as looking for reference photos or stills before I even pick up the pencil. Doing TV show parodies are harder in terms of research, because I need to watch a number of episodes to get the feel of the show and search for “inside” gags I can incorporate into the art. When we do serial shows like the recent “True Detective”, I really have to watch the whole run to completely get it. I know what you are thinking… “Poor baby, you have to watch TV for your job!” Yes, but it’s a two way sword. First, if I hate the show I still have to watch it, and that gets pretty tedious. I’ll never get back the hours of my life I spent watching “Samantha Who?”, “Glee” or “Pimp my Ride”. Second, it’s a lot of hours spent. One season of a typical serial show is 13 hours. If we are talking multiple seasons that’s some major binge watching. Of course, if I love the show like I did “Breaking Bad”, “Mad Men” or the previously mentioned “True Detective”, that’s not very arduous… just very time consuming.
Movies are easier from a research perspective as they are usually less than 3 hours long, and if I see it twice that’s plenty. I usually watch a movie I’m doing the parody art for once when I get the assignment, then again after I’ve read the script and know what scenes we are doing, so I can pay close attention to the visuals during those scenes. Then I download trailers and search the internet for stills or promotional photos to use as reference.
Once I start the actual artwork I do a page in about 2 to 3 days. It takes about a day per page to pencil it out, including roughs and final pencils, 1/2 a day to ink it and 1/2 a day to color it. That’s 2 days per page, but If I take my time it stretches out to 3 days per page. 2 days per page is pretty much my top speed. Any faster and the work suffers. By a “day” I mean about 12-15 hours. I have been known to color and entire 6 page parody in under 48 hours, but that is a function of endurance rather than speed. I simply stop sleeping or doing anything but work, eat and use the restroom (and it’s not out of the question to do all three at the same time) until the job is done. Not healthy but deadlines wait for no man.
Thanks to Steve Barber 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!
Monday, June 23rd, 2014
This week’s Monday MADness is a look at the complete pencil roughs for MAD‘s parody of the TV show LOST, from MAD #453, May 2005, written by Dick Debartolo (Clicky any to embiggen):
And if you are curious, here’s what the final art looked like:
Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
As promised, here is a sneak peek of my art from MAD #528’s parody of “Two Detectives”, written by Arnie Kogen:
The splash page (Clicky to Embiggen…)
What do you mean you “want to read the entire parody?” What does this look like, a furshlugginer library?!? Go out and buy the issue, putz!
Monday, June 16th, 2014
In comic book shops, on the iPad and in subscribers mailboxes now, on news stands everywhere Tuesday:
MAD # 528 (August 2014)
- Cover (Mark Fredrickson)
- The Fundalini Pages (Matt Lassen, Ward Sutton, Tim Hamilton, Jeff Kruse, Rick Tulka, P.C. Vey, Dick DeBartolo, John Caldwell, Kenny Keil, Anton Emdin, David DeGrand, Tom Bunk, Rich Powell, Kevin Pope, Mark Fredrickson, Bob Eckstein, Stan Sinberg, John Kerschbaum)
- Two Defectives (A MAD TV Satire) (Arnie Kogen, Tom Richmond)
- How Kimye Stacks Up Against Other Famous Married Couples (Uncredited)
- Planet TAD!!!!! (Tim Carvell)
- Appy (Mike Morse, Sam Sisco)
- MOtowNOPOLY (Stan Sinberg, Mike Loew)
- Monster Marriage Poster (Mark Fredrickson)
- A MAD Look at Captain America (Sergio Aragonés, Colorist: Jim Campbell)
- MAD’s Celebrity Acronyms (Matt Lassen, Rick Tulka)
- The MAD Vault- (From MAD #409, Sept. 2001: John Caldwell)
- The Strip Club (Eugen Erhan & Tudor Muscalu, Dakota McFadzean, Phil McAndrew, Josh Mecouch, Jason Yungbluth, Nathan Cooper, Christopher Baldwin)
- A Minor League Baseball Flyer That Tells it Like it Is (Jeff Kruse)
- Reality Show Rejection Letters (Kenny Keil)
- Spy vs. Spy (Peter Kuper)
- The Puffington Host (Matt Lassen & Scott Maiko)
- The Best of The Idiotical (various)
- 7 Easy Ways to Defeat Godzilla (Mike Morse, Hermann Mejia)
- Another Ridiculous MAD Fold-In (Al Jaffee)
- Drawn Out Dramas (Sergio Aragonés, appear throughout the issue)
I did the art on the parody of the HBO TV series “True Detective” (incorrectly listed as “A Mad Movie Satire” in the issue’s table of contents), a six pager written by Arnie Kogen. Look for a sneak peek of my art from that in tomorrow’s post.
Well . . . What are you waiting for, clod?!? Go out and buy a fershlugginer copy already!
Saturday, June 14th, 2014
If you don’t frequent MAD‘s website often, you are missing out on some original and funny stuff. They post daily content that is often all new and very timely stuff that is more than a few notches above your typical meme. They also sprinkle in classic features like Don Martin, Dave Berg, Spy vs. Spy and more.
Lately they have really been on a roll with political satire ala these two recent posts:
Back in the early 2000s when I started for MAD, I heard a lot of right-wingers accusing MAD of being a “liberal rag” because all they did was bash Bush and his cronies. I would defend MAD in saying they go after the people in charge, left or right. That, of course, held no water for the Limbaugh crowd… if you aren’t with them you are against them.
Now, the lefties are all crying about MAD being an extension of Fox News and accusing them of having been bought out by Rupert Murdoch. See my same argument from 2001-2009. You go after the people in power, and regardless of your personal political views if someone does something stupid, you point it out with gusto. The only difference is that a good political satirist tries to separate the spin from the real stupidity.
Monday, June 9th, 2014
As promised, here’s the first of seven times I ended up having two different pieces in the same issue of MAD:
MAD #463, March 2006:
I did the art for the TV parody of “Everyone Hates Chris” written by Arnie Kogen. Here’s the pencil roughs and the final splash page art:
Clicky any to embiggen…
I also did the art for a Russ Cooper written feature called “MAD presents iToons” which were gags riffing on the at-the-time Apple ad campaign featuring silhouettes of people dancing around with white iPod earbuds in: