Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Well, technically election day is tomorrow but today is “Monday MADness”, so here’s an election day themed blast from the past:
In October of 2000 MAD was putting together it’s annual “MAD 20 People, Events and Things” issue and I was assigned the obligatory page making fun of the presidential election of that year, George W. Bush versus Al Gore. The issue was going to press on Nov. 8th, the day after the election. Not knowing who was going to win, I was asked to do two versions of the image, one with Bush being sworn in and one with Gore, showing the appropriate despondent other candidate and new first lady as well. Here were the images I did:
Since the print date was so close, they editors actually turned in both pages to the printer and were going to literally call them up on the 8th and tell them which to run. I remember The Lovely Anna and I were vacationing in Hawaii at the time of the election (you have to love absentee voting), and on the 8th I got up and checked the internet to see which of my illustrations would run in MAD.
… of course there was no winner. Not the next day, or the next, or the next. Thanks to “hanging chads”, general partisan stupidity and the controversy surrounding Florida’s electoral votes, the actual winner wasn’t known for weeks.
MAD waited for a few days to see if a result would be forthcoming, delaying the printing of those pages and the final stapling of the magazine as a result. Finally they went to press having printed half the issues with Bush and half with Gore as the winner. The piece was moved from “Dumbest Thing” #11 to #1 (actually this was decided well beforehand), and featured the following disclaimer:
Editor’s Note: For the purpose of historical inaccuracy, some editions of this issue depict George W. Bush being sworn in, while others show Al Gore. In the interest of bipartisanship, we urge all Americans to buy them both!
I believe I have relayed this story before here on The MAD Blog but I thought it worth revisiting on the eve of yet another Election Day.
Monday, October 13th, 2014
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!
Monday, October 6th, 2014
I’m going to do a few Halloween related Monday MADness’s this month… you know, stuff involving werewolves, vampires, zombies and other really scary looking things like Kevin Bacon. Here are the pencil roughs and final art for MAD‘s parody of the film “Van Helsing” (MAD #445, April 2004, written by Dick DeBartolo), a film so bad that even Kate Beckinsale in a bustier couldn’t save it (clicky any to embiggen):
Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
Grist for the Schill Dept.
Just got my copy of MAD Spoofs Politics, the new “bookazine” from the Usual Gang of Idiots. Some great stuff in there from the 80’s onward. There are a couple of my pieces in there, including the fairly recent “National Buffoons’ Abysmal House” from MAD #525 written by Jay Rath, and “MAD Exposes Who’s Thinking What at the Obama Inauguration” from MAD #498, written by Desmond Devlin, Jeff Kruse, Jacob Lambert, Frank Santopadre and Dennis Snee.
Well, what are you waiting for? Go buy a fershlugginer copy already, clod!
Monday, September 22nd, 2014
This week’s Monday MADness is a look back at the original pencil roughs of MAD‘s parody of the film “Watchmen”, written by Desmond Devlin from MAD #499, April 2009. Clicky any to embiggen:
Here’s the final art. The last panel was rethought from the original roughs:
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…
Clicky to embiggen…
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!