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Sunday Mailbag- Parodies Outside MAD?

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Q: I have to admit that I am a little disappointed because I thought that just maybe Mad would have done a satire of the movie “Gravity”.  The movie was a big hit and quite notable (notable enough to warrant a Sergio Aragones piece in #526) and certainly worthy of the satirical minds at Mad to shred to pieces.  A miss on the magazine’s part, I felt.  And that got me wondering.  Have you ever considered simply doing your own satire of a movie or TV show that Mad ignored to satisfy your own wish to see that movie or TV show skewered?  Nothing like a seven page endeavor, of course, but maybe a one or two page spread that you’d basically keep as your own private property?

A: Regarding “Gravity”, I actually asked the guys at MAD if that one was in the pipeline. They said it was being considered, but they decided not to do it. There were probably several reasons but I suspect the chief two were that Sergio was doing his “MAD Look at Gravity” and that the film was basically one person floating around in a series of space vehicles, so not much visual fun. Plus they said I suck at drawing Sandra Bullock. The timing of the movie in relation to the release of the magazine was probably a factor. Anyway, it wasn’t to be. A lot of really worthy movies don’t get the MAD treatment because of various reasons, not the least of which there are only six issues a year to go around.

As to doing them on my own, I actually had thought about that at one point… kind of a MAD web comic that I could eventually collect in a book or something. Then I remembered how much %$#%& work these things are, and came to my senses. Seriously it would be fun to do and I think I could write well enough to pull off some short ones, but I just don’t have the time to do that.

Thanks to Art Armstrong 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!

On the Stands: MAD #527

Friday, April 18th, 2014

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

MAD 547

MAD # 527 (June 2014)

  • Cover (Mark Fredrickson)
  • The Fundalini Pages (Rick Tulka, Evan Waite, John Martz, Tom Bunk, P.C. Vey, Matt Lassen, Kenny Keil, Garth Gerhart, Mike Morse, Mike Loew, Rich Powell, Dick DeBartolo, Bob Staake, Glen Le Lievre, Desmond Devlin, Justin Peterson, Sarah Chalek, Mike Lynch,
  • The Slobbit: The Adaptation’s a Slog (A MAD Movie Satire) (Desmond Devlin, Tom Richmond)
  • Sport’s Atrocity- (Jeff Kruse, Scott Bicher)
  • When Delivery Drones Go Bad (John Caldwell)
  • The Darker Side of The Lighter Side (Dave Berg… sort of)
  • Planet TAD!!!!! (Tim Carvell)
  • MAD’s Common Sense Tips for First Aid (Teresa Burns Parkhurst)
  • Spy vs. Spy (Peter Kuper)
  • College Courses for the Lousy New Economy (Neil Berliner, Chris Houghton)
  • A MAD Look at Legalized Marijuana (Sergio Aragonés, Colorist: Jim Campbell)
  • New Rules for Bill Maher (Butch D’Ambrosio, Paul Coker)
  • The MAD Vault- (From MAD #182, April 1976: Jack Rickard, Lou Silverstone)
  • The Strip Club (Dakota McFadzean, Jason Yungbluth, Kenny Keil, Christopher Baldwin, Phil McAndrew, Kit Lively & David DeGrand, Keith Knight)
  • Forgotten Moments from 30 Years of Wrestlemainia (Desmond Devlin, Anton Emdin)
  • The Best of The Idiotical (various)
  • Another Ridiculous MAD Fold-In (Al Jaffee)
  • Drawn Out Dramas (Sergio Aragonés, appear throughout the issue)

Lot’s of fun art in this issue, including the first full interior feature for Chris Houghton and an awesome multipager by Anton Emdin. I did the art on the parody of the second “Hobbit” movie, a seven page extravaganza written by Desmond Devlin. Look for a sneak peek of my art from that next week in “Monday MADness!”

Well . . . What are you waiting for, clod?!? Go out and buy a fershlugginer copy already!

 

MAD About Sergio’s MAD Masterpiece!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Madness!

One of the gems in the Inside MAD book is the mind-blowing, pull-out poster illustration by Sergio Aragonés depicting virtually everyone ever associated with the magazine in its sixty-plus year history. Not only is it chock full of “The Usual Gang of Idiots”, it contains dozens and dozens of references to famous MAD moments, items and other goodies. In true MAD fashion, this is an image you can spend an hour staring at and still miss some of the gags and little touches.

Fear not! The good folks over at Doug Gilford’s MAD Cover Site (ok, Doug… but with a little help from his friends) has put together an interactive version of Sergio’s masterpiece, complete with flags for pop ups identifying each person, place and thing of significance in the image. Go there, zoom in, and get edjumahcated about all things MAD, and marvel at the talents of the Great Sergio!

Monday MADness: #527 Sneak Peeks!

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Here’s a roundup of the various sneak peeks that have (so far) popped up on the Interwebs from the upcoming MAD #527 (besides the one of “The Slobbit” I posted about last week):

140407_bill_maher_mad_magazine_328

MAD rules Bill Maher- Written by Butch D’Ambrosio with art by Paul Coker, courtesy of Politico

MAD-527-WrestleMania

Desmond Devlin and Anton Emdin take a look back at Pro Wrestling, courtesy of Craveonline.

mad-clip_1

El Maestro Sergio Aragonés (with colorist Tom Luth) takes a MAD look at legalizing marijuana, courtesy of (go figure) High Times.

Monday MADness- The Obama Inauguration!

Monday, March 24th, 2014

This week’s Monday MADness is a look at one of the craziest crowd scenes I’ve ever done for MAD- “MAD Exposes Who’s Thinking What at the Obama Inauguration” from issue #498, February 2009. This is the pencil rough I did to send to the MAD editors for review before I redrew the whole thing much larger, inked and colored it for the final. You’ll probably recognize a number of politicians, pundits, talking heads and other celebrities even in the rough, as I did take a stab at most of their caricatures even at this initial stage.

The original final art for this splash is a permanent piece in the collection of the Toonseum in Pittsburgh.

Oddly enough, this original pencil rough just went up for sale in the Studio Store just sold in the Studio Store for a measly $60 (cheap).

Monday MADness: American Idol!

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

This weeks Monday MADness is a look at the pencil roughs from a piece called “You Can Write the Next American Idol Single!” written by Desmond Devlin, which appeared in MAD #466, June 2006. Clicky any to embiggen:

idol 1

idol 2-3

idol 4-5

And here’s how the final art looked:

idol_pg1

idol_pgs2-3

idol_pgs4-5

Monday MADness- On the Stands: MAD #526

Monday, February 24th, 2014

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

526

MAD # 526 (April 2014)

  • Cover (Mark Fredrickson)
  • The Fundalini Pages (Anton Emdin, Barry Liebmann, Stan Sinberg, P.C. Vey, Kenny Keil, Justin Peterson, Will Presti, Jeff Kruse, Jack Pittman, Jay Rath, Chris Houghton, Rick Tulka, Todd Clark, Garth Gerhart, John Martz, Ward Sutton, Tom Cheney, John Kerschbaum, Jonathan Edwards)
  • The Hunder Pains: Getting Tired (A MAD Movie Satire) (Desmond Devlin, Tom Richmond)
  • The MAD Vault- (From MAD #297, Sept 1990: Jack Davis, Mike Snider)
  • Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy (Peter Kuper)
  • Why the Lego Man was Made for Hollywood (Mike Morse, Scott Bricher)
  • Planet TAD!!!!! (Tim Carvell,)
  • A MAD Look at Gravity (Sergio Aragonés, Colorist: Jim Campbell)
  • MAD’s Guide to Proper All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Etiquette (Dick DeBartolo, Tom Bunk)
  • Warning Signs of a Crappy Tanning Salon  (John Caldwell)
  • Books for the Growing U.S. Obese Community (Matt Lassen, Scott Bricher & Richard Williams)
  • Tips and Cheats for Obscure Lego Video Games (Scott Maiko, Hermann Mejia)
  • The Strip Club (Nathan Cooper, Keith Knight, Scott Nickel, Rob Harrell, Christopher Baldwin, Phil McAndrew, Peet Tamburino)
  • American Girls (Scott Maiko, Kira Shaimanova, Manolo & Jacob, Mako Studios, Sarah Chalek)
  • The Best of The Idiotical (various)
  • 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 second “Hunger Games” movie, a seven page extravaganza written by Desmond Devlin, entitled “The Hunger Pains: Getting Tired”. Look for a sneak peek of my art from that tomorrow.

Well . . . What are you waiting for, clod?!? Go out and buy a fershlugginer copy already!

Sunday Mailbag: Drawing Size?

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Q: There’s a big (pardon the pun) difference between drawing a 15″ caricature (amusement park style) and a 3″ or 4″ that goes into a Mad drawing. Did you have difficulty switching sizes?

a: There is no major difference when it comes to the drawing, really. The same basic elements should be in place in a caricature of any size.  The size it will be reproduced at is something to think about when it comes to execution, though. You can obviously include a lot more detail in a larger illustration, and you need to think more economically for something that will be viewed much smaller. That’s really more about technique and execution than it is the caricature itself.

For example, if I am doing a caricature in a MAD splash page, that is usually bigger than the ones I do in the panels. I can add more detail to the splash page caricature, or to a close up in a panel. In the longer shots, I am still imparting the same information, but I have to do it in fewer lines so it’s more simplified. It’s still the same basic information though.

In terms of drawing, “switching sizes” is an interesting dynamic… especially when you talk about live caricature. I’ve always found that beginner live artists tend to want to draw the face a certain size no matter what size paper they are working with. I have had to break many a rookie out of the habit of drawing enormous or tiny faces, and get them to work in a manageable size for the 12 x 16 inch paper we use. How do I do that? I make them draw practice faces in the opposite extreme size  they are naturally inclined to draw at. So, if I have a rookie drawing tiny heads, I have them draw gigantic heads for practice, and vice versa. I personally like to draw my faces a certain size, and given no requirements for a job (like when I work in a sketchbook) the sizes of the heads I draw tend to fall into a certain range. I find it useful to draw a couple of caricatures of a MAD subject at my “comfort size” first, then when I have to do a smaller caricature in a long shot, I have the basic elements figured out and can just simplify them.

EDIT- After thinking more about this, there actually is a bit of a difference when doing a smaller caricature as opposed to a larger one. The smaller you get, the more you have to not just simplify but to push the exaggeration choices more. Subtlety is out, and you have to make the exaggerations count with much less information. So, a bit of a bulbous forehead needs to be a very bulbous forehead if you want your smaller caricature to carry any exaggeration weight.

Thanks to J Jackle  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 MADness- Without Sports…!

Monday, February 17th, 2014

In honor of spring training opening this week, today’s Monday MADness comes from MAD #434, October 2003—a feature written by Barry Liebmann that asks the question: what would the world be like “Without Sports…”. Click the image below for an embiggened look at my art and follow along with the key for a sampling of Barry’s many gags from the original article:

withoutsports

Without Sports…

  1. … many of the athletes who receive millions to endorse sneakers would only be qualified to work in the same 3-cent-an-hour sweatshops that manufacture them.
  2. … the only people left to grab their own crotch in public would be three-year-olds, incontinent seniors, and Eminem.
  3. … God would be able to concentrate on world hunger and curing illnesses once he’s no longer besieged by Cubs and Red Sox fans praying for a World Series win (and yes, that “God” is Bill Gaines).
  4. … Bobby Knight would be tranquilized, Mike Tyson would be lobotomized, and O.J. would be on Death Row.
  5. … Pro Wrestling would be totally unchanged.

Monday MADness! MAD #526 Cover!

Monday, February 10th, 2014

mad-magazine-lego-cover_774x1000

An exclusive first look at the cover of MAD #526, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly! The cover artist is Mark Fredrickson. In this issue I did the art for the “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” spoof as MAD let slip last week. I will post a sneak peek of that when the issue is released.

 

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