On the Drawing Board

November 30th, 2006 | Posted in On the Drawing Board

I’ve got a TV parody for MAD in the works and I’ll be really going to town on that starting today.

Here’s my latest poster illustration for the workplace poster client:


Honestly, many of these poster jobs turn out so-so and I’m not always thrilled with the final results. This one I thought was a fun one and it shows in the final. Interesting scene, lots of fun, expressive faces to draw and the kind of interacting crowd and environment I always find fun to work out and render. It’s always a nice break when I do something without having a caricature involved.


  1. zwallenfang says:

    Would that kid in the bottom left corner happen to be wearing an old Don Majkowski jersey? Sorry, had to ask…

  2. SteveH says:

    Great work Tom! Keeping the prespective in this is a master stroke! Way to go!

  3. Tom says:

    No, I don’t do that on purpose. I layout a scene or splash based on the best way to tell the story or impart the message. If feet enter into the scene, I draw them. If not, I don’t. I could have cropped the kid with the frog’s feet in this one if I had made the girl in the foreground’s desk bigger and more in line with the other desks. I decided to move it out of the way to show more of the kid’s body, as he was central to the image and therefore both he and the scared girl needed to be as visible as possible. Once I established the important parts I just filled in. When a foot or hand was needed, in it went.

    I understand what you are saying, however. It’s always easier to crop a body than draw it in full convincingly. I was told Drew Friedman hates drawing feet.

    Clarification: Drew tells me he doesn’t dislike drawing feet, he just doesn’t think they add any humor to a drawing unless they are drawn by Jack Davis or Don Martin.

  4. cvanoni says:


    When you do pieces like this (with MANY characters) do you try and design your layout to hide incidental feet and things so you don’t have to draw them? (You being a shrewd, time saver, I mean – not an artist who can’t draw feet!)
    I know in a lot of old MAD parodies Drucker (and others) would often lop off legs or what not to allow for a splash page layout – and it was fine because the content was goofy anyway. It didn’t really hurt anything.
    But on a job like this you obviously can’t be that blatant.

  5. cvanoni says:

    HA! Interesting about Friedman!

    Your response answers my question perfectly.
    I hadn’t even noticed those two desks were ‘out of line’ with the others, for layout purposes.

    For such a complicated piece – it sure is uncluttered!
    Frog girl’s foot – envelope boy’s foot – the globe – the teacher’s arm against the wall . . . no space is wasted but everything has its place.

    – C

  6. SUZWORKS.COM says:

    Tom…Just joined your blog…You are absolutely amazing…talentwise and as a human being. Thanks for sharing and helping us all grow! Honored to know you. Suzanne Berry

  7. Tom says:

    Suzanne- Thanks… I’m blushing!!!!


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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