Thursday, October 10th, 2013
Clicky to Embiggen…
Uproxx.com has an exclusive first look (I know… big deal!) of the splash page for the parody I did along with writer Desmond Devlin of the movie “Man of Steel”. The sneak peek includes a look at MAD‘s long history of lampooning Superman, starting with ‘Superduperman” in MAD #4.
You’ll have to click the link to read the intro text to get the gag behind the title.
After the issue is released on Oct. 23rd, I’ll post a few more panels from the parody. Seven pages!
Sunday, September 29th, 2013
Q: I’ve read your articles on the evil of doing work-for-hire art. Isn’t MAD work-for-hire? Why the double standard?
A: It’s true, I have railed about the inadvisability of work-for-hire agreements, which are agreements between the artist and the client wherein the client owns not only the copyrights to the work, but all the originals and every scrap of every concept or idea you did for that project, forever. Usually this is not a very good deal for the artist, because that work can become a cash cow for the client with no further payment to the artist necessary.
That said, there are some exceptions to that “no work-for-hire” rule. One is when you are working on someone else’s licensed properties or characters. If Disney hires you to do a series of Mickey Mouse greeting cards, you might as well sign a work-for-hire agreement because nothing you do will ever be useable for you with any other client in the future anyway due to the copyrights of the characters you worked on. The work I do for Jeff Dunham is work-for-hire, which makes sense since I can’t possibly sell the rights to reproduce that work to anyone else anyway. Another exception might be if they significantly increase the fee you would have charged for something where you only sold them the copyright for limited use. That’s not much different than selling “full rights” to your work to someone. Where you really have to be careful with work-for-hire stuff is when you are creating something that might have longevity and marketability down the road… say you are hired to develop some comic book property for a publisher. If you do it work-for-hire, they can toss you off the book and hire others to do it, or sell the movie rights to your creation and not pay you a dime or give you credit, ever. I would think twice about creating a property or character under a work-for-hire agreement.
Now, your direct question: Why would I work under a work-for-hire agreement for MAD? I guess the same reason someone would play for the Yankees if they came calling but the deal wasn’t quite as one might like… it’s MAD Magazine. Yes, MAD owns all the work I do for them, and can reprint them at their leisure with no further payment to me. However, I have gotten a lot of peripheral work from my “notoriety” in being a principal MAD artist. For example, all those workplace posters I do every month for the last decade? I got that gig because the art director was a MAD fan, saw my work in the magazine, and looked me up. Same thing with my work for Jeff Dunham. There are many other examples. Also, the guys at MAD are great about throwing me other side projects and in general treat me like a member of the family… well, like the uncle who’s always drunk at Thanksgiving and says awkward things… but still family. They also do not ask for the original art back and and have no problem with me selling it. In other words, it’s as good an arrangement as a work-for-hire deal can get, and I am happy with it.
Thanks to Bob Mc 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, September 23rd, 2013
Occasionally MAD asks me to step outside the box and do something that is very different from my usual style of art. In honor of Apple’s release of iOS 7 last week, here is some art from one of those assignments. This appeared in MAD #463, March 1006 and was written by Russ Cooper (clicky on some to embiggen…):
Above are the pencil sketches. I did them separately and then scanned and placed them in the color layout, and erased out the white so the editors would get a feel for the look. Here are the finals:
Monday, September 16th, 2013
Seems like a long time since I’ve done one of these… every (supposedly) Monday I try and post some MAD related art or tid-bit no one has seen on the blog before. Sometimes it’s all the pencil roughs from a project, or something behind-the-scenes, or just some cool thing MAD has got going, like a book project or some such.
Today’s Monday MADness is something that demonstrates I am either losing my mind or have been in this business too long. It’s a caricature of TV talk show host Conan O’Brien I did for MAD back in 2010… my apologies for the LONG post:
The odd thing is, I can’t for the life of me remember what I did it for. I know it was not for the magazine, it was for some promotion or side project, and I never saw it used anywhere. It’s possible they were doing something where they had some kind of interaction with Conan, and they put this on whatever it was they were working on for him. No doubt that killed any deal they were discussing! Every once and awhile I’ll do some piece of art for something like that for the MAD guys. Anyway, no idea what this was for, but here it is.
Friday, August 23rd, 2013
As promised, here are a couple of panels from “Ho-Hum Land” appearing in the latest issue of MAD. written by David Shayne.
And in case you missed it, here’s the splash:
Clicky to embiggen…
As I mentioned briefly before, this particular piece has a special significance for me, since it represents the 100th issue of MAD my work has appeared in. My first appearance was in issue #399 back in October of 2000, and since then I’ve had work in all but 25 of the subsequent 124 issues. That magic #100 should be updated sometime soon on Mike Slaubaugh’s MAD lists page. According to Mike’s list, I am #36 in the most frequent contributors list.
I have a hard time remembering what year and what issue I did what for the magazine, so I created a spreadsheet to keep track some time ago. It gives me some interesting stats:
As of MAD #523:
- No. of issues appeared in: 100
- No. of issues with more than one piece in it: 7
- No. of movies parodies: 25
- No. of TV parodies: 30
- Total number of pages published: 433
- Writer most collaborated with: Desmond Devlin- 28 articles illustrated
Just some useless stats, but fun to keep track of.
Incidentally, by this time next week I should have turned in my latest MAD job, which will raise the movie parody, Des Devlin collaboration and total issues appeared in by one, and total pages up to 440!
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
In comic book shops, on the iPad and in subscribers mailboxes now, on news stands everywhere on Aug 27th:
MAD # 523 (October 2013)
- Cover (Mark Fredrickson)
- The Fundalini Pages (Sam Sisco, Shira Rachel Danan, Matt Lassen, Peter Bagge, Alex J. Mann, Darren Johnson, Chris Houghton, Rick Tulka, Rich Powell, Teresa Burns Parkhurst, Kevin Pope, Darren Johnson, P.C. Vey, Nate Chastain, John Martz, Hermann Mejia, Nate Fakes, Jeff Kruse, John Caldwell, Tom Hart, Anton Emdin, Darren Johnson, )
- Ho-Hum Land (A MAD TV Satire) (David Shayne, Tom Richmond)
- Rules of Office Cubicle Ettiquette (Tom Cheney, Colorist: Carl Peterson)
- The MAD Vault: What Coaches Say… (Jack Davis, Peter Paul Porges)
- A Fairy Tale We’d Like to See (Matt Lassen, Tom Bunk)
- Planet TAD!!!!! (Tim Carvell)
- A MAD Look at The Theatere (Sergio Aragonés, Colorist: Tom Luth)
- Brutally Honest Marriage Vows (Teresa Burns Parkhurst, Leonardo Rodriguez)
- 9 Reasons Technology Sucks (Jeff Kruse, John Kerschmaum)
- Global Warming Haiku (Desmond Devlin, Paul Coker)
- The Strip Club (Scott Nickel, Christopher Baldwin, Jason Yungbluth, Kevin Werth, Paul Gilligan, Noah Van Scriver, Nathan Cooper, Peet Tamburino)
- The Clear-Crap X-None Digital Antenna (A MAD Ad Parody) (Dick DeBartolo)
- The Influence of 50 Shades of Grey on Modern Weddings (Teresa Burns Parkhurts)
- Spy vs. Spy (Peter Kuper)
- Chilling Thoughts- 2013 Edition (Desmond Devlin, Evan Dorkin, Colorist: Sarah Dyer)
- Silliams-Wonoma (Scott Maiko, Scott Bricher)
- The Best of The Idiotical (various)
- Another Ridiculous MAD Fold-In (Al Jaffee)
- Drawn Out Dramas (Sergio Aragonés, appear throughout the issue)
Yes, this issue came out only one month after the last one. Did you notice? I didn’t think so. You probably also didn’t notice that #522 came out three months after #521 (aka a month late). You also probably didn’t notice that in between there was a Superman Special out. Not very observant, are you? Or—more accurately—you don’t care… so you probably don’t care to know that this issue came out so fast on the heels of #522 to get the printing schedule back in line. Well, now you do. You’re welcome.
As mentioned previously, this issue I did the art for a parody of the TV show “Homeland”… I’ll post a sneak peek of some of the art tomorrow, along with some thoughts on my big 100 issue milestone.
Well . . . What are you waiting for, clod?!? Go out and buy a fershlugginer copy already!
Thursday, August 8th, 2013
MAD posted a much bigger version of the cover art today, so all is right with the world. Of course, if you REALLY want to get a good look at the cover art, and any other furshlugginer garbage within its pages, go out at BUY THE ISSUE when it comes out August 27th…. clod.
Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Clicky to Embiggen… Photo courtesy of Tom Bunk
Last week I was in New York City to film some interview footage for the upcoming documentary ‘When We Went MAD“, and hung about the MAD offices all day while many of the Usual Gang of Idiots did their segments. Somebody got smart and took a picture, but sadly after painter extraordinaire Richard Williams had left, and before Spy vs. Spy artist Peter Kuper rolled in… Here’s the key:
- Dick DeBartolo- Longtime MAD writer
- Desmond Devlin- Also longtime MAD writer but not as longtime as Dick
- Charlie Kadau- Senior Editor
- Tom Bunk- Wacky MAD artist
- Irving Schild- MAD photographer on 99.99% of all those photo ad gags and other pics in MAD
- Paul Coker- MAD artist, Legend
- Lana Limón- Production Artist and yes, that’s her real name
- John Ficarra- VP and Executive Editor
- Ryan Flanders- Associate Art Director, future publisher
- Sam Viviano- Art Director, longtime MAD artist
- Teresa Burns-Parkhurst- Very funny MAD writer/artist, winner “Best Smelling” of this group (Lana close second)
- Doug Thomson- Assistant Art Director
- Tom Richmond- Clod
- White Spy- Spy, Killer/Victim of Black Spy depending on issue (No one knows WTH Grey Spy is about)
- Dave Croatto- Editor… not “Executive”, “Senior” or “Associate”… just “Editor”
- Drew Friedman- MAD artist whose Man-Boobs feature legacy lives on
- Doug Gilford- “When We Went Mad” co-producer
- Alan Bernstein- “When We Went Mad” co-producer
Missing from photo: everyone else.
Monday, July 29th, 2013
I can finally share a sneak peek of “The Slobbit” from MAD #522. The above splash is not the actual splash from the magazine but my art with the layout text boxes and copy pasted in… the guys at MAD were too busy producing a magazine to get me a JPEG of the final pages. Due to the odd nature of the splash with the map and overlaying insets I didn’t do the inked text boxes, but rather assembled the whole thing digitally and submitted “full art” as they call it. MAD did the text boxes on the final, although I did it the usual way the rest of the parody. Here’s the art sans text boxes:
Clicky to embiggen…
Desmond Devlin was the writer on this parody, and he suggested the map format for the splash. He sent me a long list of possible silly names of places on the map, but I came up with about 1/2 of them myself. Yes, “Morning Wood” and “Six Flags over Mordor” were among my contributions… I am so proud.
I was really sick of dwarves by the end of this job. Here are some panels from the rest of the story:
Clicky to embiggen…
Well, what are you waiting for?!? Go out and buy a fershlugginer copy, clod!
Monday, July 22nd, 2013
Officially announced at the MAD Comic-Con panel on Saturday: Apparently TIME Home Entertainment was so happy with last year’s “Totally MAD” 60th anniversary book that they fell for another book pitch by those masters of schmoozing, the MAD editors! Now available for pre-order is “Inside MAD“, 256 pages of complete stupidity . . . and a few nifty surprises.
The concept for this book is quite a bit different that your average MAD book—they asked the Usual Gang of Idiots what their all-time favorite MAD article was, and then made us explain why in a semi-coherent paragraph or two. You’ll discover the favorite MAD pieces of Sergio Aragonés, Tom Bunk, Tim Carvell, Paul Coker, Jack Davis, Dick DeBartolo, Desmond Devlin, Mort Drucker, Mark Fredrickson, Drew Friedman, Frank Jacobs, Al Jaffee, Peter Kuper and a bunch more, including myself. I won’t tell you what my choice was, but it will probably surprise you as it is NOT a TV or movie parody. Of course I have a lot of favorites, but many of those have been reprinted so many times I wouldn’t have wanted to pick one of those. Fortunately my absolute, hands-down, all-time favorite hasn’t been reprinted much… in fact I can think of only one MAD book where it appeared (a somewhat obscure one), so it was an easy choice all around.
Also included in the book are essays by some big names in entertainment, talking about what MAD meant to them, including Roseanne Barr, Ken Burns, Dane Cook, Paul Feig, Whoopi Goldberg, Harry Hamlin, Tony Hawk, Ice-T, Penn Jillette, George Lopez, David Lynch, Todd McFarlane, Jeff Probst, John Slattery, John Stamos, Pendleton Ward and Matthew Weiner.
There are some special surprises in this book as well, one of them an original feature piece I did the art for. Another is Sergio’s “A Look at the Legendary MAD Offices” mentioned on the pre-order page. I had not seen it before it was debuted on the panel at Comic-Con, but I had been told by several people it is going to go down as one of Sergio’s all-time masterpieces . . . and THAT is saying something. It was awesome.
PLUS, as if that isn’t enough, the intro is by comedy film genius Judd Apatow!
So, what are you waiting for, clod? Go pre-order “Inside MAD” today!