Q: I know you are not in NYC where the MAD offices are, but have you met many of the other MAD artists, writers and editors, and if so, who?
A: I occasionally go to New York City just so I can bum a free lunch off the MAD staffers, particularly art director Sam Viviano. I know flying all the way from Minneapolis is a long commute for just a free lunch, but Sam often gets extravagant and allows me to “Super-Size”.
The first MAD person I ever met was Nick Meglin. He was reviewing portfolios at the San Diego Comic-Con in 1993. I was there at the NOW Comics booth promoting the “Married… with Children” comic I was drawing. I showed Nick my work. He told me to take drawing lessons and come back to show him some work that applied to MAD in about 10 years. It actually only took seven. He doesn’t remember that… the putz.
Since I’ve started working for MAD I’ve met all (or most) of the MAD staffers. Sam, editor John Ficarra, senoir editors Charlie Kadau, Joe Raiola and Jonathan Bresman, editors Amy Vozeolas, Greg Lietman and Dave Croatto. In the art department: Art directors Nadina Simon and Patty Dwyer, associate art director Ryan Flanders, production artists Brian Durniak and Doug Thomson. These are the current staff and others I’ve met have gotten smart and got out while they could.
I’ve also met longtime MAD production/art dept. guru Lenny (The Beard) Brenner and MAD’s Maddest writer/editorial consultant Dick DeBartolo who is in the offices on Wednesdays for cookies.
As far as artists and writers go, I’ve met a number of them at various events like the NCS Ruebens and the MAD holiday parties that Anna and I sometimes attend. Since the publication of Mark Evanier‘s MAD Art, I know exactly who I’ve met, because I have their signatures in my book like the fanboy I am. Here’s who I have signatures and notes from in my personal copy of MAD Art (in the order they are in the book):
Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, Al Jaffee, Monte Wolverton, Sergio Aragones, Paul Peter Porges, Angelo Torres, Tom Bunk, John Caldwell, Rick Tlka, Sam Viviano, Irving Schild, Ray Alma, Scott Bricher, Amanda Conner, Peter Kuper, C.F. Payne, Kevin Pope, Grey Blackwell, Bob Jones, Timothy Shamey and Bob Staake.
I’ve also met, but did not have the book for their signatures in, Bob Clarke, Don “Duck” Edwing, R.J. Matson, Drew Freidman, Garth Gerhart and Roberto Parada. Several writers as well including Desmond Devlin, Butch D’Ambrosio, Frank Jacobs, and others I am sure I am forgetting.
If you have any questions you want answered in the “Sunday Mailbag”, e-mail me! I’m running out!
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