Harry Plodder Sneak Peek

July 13th, 2007 | Posted in MAD Magazine

As promised, here is a smattering of some of the art for the “Harry Plodder and the Torture of the Fanbase” movie parody in this month’s MAD.

Two page splash, text and header courtesy of MAD
Click on image for a closer look




Lot’s more where that came from… this was a 7 pager. Not something you see too often with MAD anymore. Most parodies seem to weigh in at 5 pages maximum. Of course the last time I did a Harry Potter movie for MAD, it was 9 pages! Whew.

As I mentioned, The Lovely Anna and our two youngest kids went to see the movie last night. As usual, we screwed up on some of the plot points in the parody because we did it in advance of the film’s release. Des did the script from the book, leaving out those things rumored to be left out (like Quidditch) and harping on the things he thought would be main plot elements in the film. We had a panel showing Harry screaming at Ron and Hermione because they were chosen as school prefecrts, and we wasn’t. Not in the movie. We had a panel showing Hagrid’s “Care of Magical Creatures” class being taught about thestrals. Not in the movie. The big one was a large panel showing Harry with a gift Sirius gives him in the book, one that if he’d just cared to open would have avoided most of the bad things that happen later. Not in the movie. That’s the price you pay doing advanced parodies. The sad thing is that Warner Bros. makes these films, and Time/Warner owns MAD, so you’d think we’d get at least a real script to work from. No way.

Regardless. this was a fun one to do. Not only because the whole family loves the books, but because it was a big movie and those kids are fun to draw. Too bad was only after seeing the film I noticed how much shorter Daniel Radcliffe is than the rest of the boys in the film. I could have had some fun with that.


  1. mengblom says:

    Fantastic stuff as always, Tom! I just saw the film myself last evening and really enjoyed it (probably my favorite of the lot of them).

    I’m also perplexed by their refusal to give you guys a more accurate story summary. I can see them being very protective of it if it were an original story made specifically for the screen (like George Lucas’ Star Wars films), but come on…it’s not like Harry’s most rabid fans don’t know what’s going to happen in the story. As one of the “Most Read” series of books on the planet, what exactly are they trying to keep a “surprise”?

    However, I think the huge popularity of the Potter books is also a sort of “saving grace” for your MAD parody, in the sense that Potter fans might feel like they’re getting something extra or a “bonus scene” (to use DVD terminology) they had wanted to see in the actual movie.

    Say, speaking of MAD, I was hoping you’d talk a bit about the ad campaign appearing in this month’s comic books. You did a piece for it that was a take-off on the classic “evolutionary progression” image that I thought looked great. Yeah, all the fanboys are griping (as usual) about the insert , but I thought it looked great.

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks, Mark! I’m working on doing a review of the film for the blog (probably for tomorrow) but I also liked it.

    Your point has been my basic feeling, it that we are really doing both a parody of the film and the books at the same time. It has commentary for both audiences.

    As for the ads… didn’t realize they were out. I haven’t even seen them yet, and I was looking for them in the DC section of the comic book store Wednesday. I also did that “cover” illustration as well as the take off on the “March of Progress” image you mentioned. I was waiting until publication to spring the art on the blog.

  3. cartoonizen says:

    That’s a nice sneak peak into the preview of what we can expect from the movie…you seriously think Harry is a threat to the society of today? maybe te kids would quit reading books after the final book is done with…yep..the height …how would you mock of his height?
    But I love your parody movie …makes harry look older…hey check out my comic blog and feel free to comment ..http://soufflelivejournal.blogspot.com/

  4. kmcnutt says:

    Wow, Tom – you’ve left me staggering… the spread is just that cool. I know these things are built up in stages, but the end result is still overwhelming, and the way you bring so many elements into one sweeping composition and it all still makes sense… sheesh. Seeing this Harry Potter one makes me wonder (you may have answered this before, but I’ll ask anyway) which of your MAD spreads you think of as your personal favorite, and why? Also, I don’t care a whit about American Idol, but Simon sticking his head in is funny as… well, that’s just funny.

  5. stingicide says:

    That is an amazing spread. Very well composed, which I imagine is even more difficult than the likenesses to achieve when you have so many characters vying for attention. A very perfect Dan Radcliffe you’ve managed to capture, and the rest of the kids are amazing as well. Can’t wait to pick it up.


  6. Mark Hill says:

    Brilliant rendering, as always. Love the little present left on the hood of the passing motorist’s car!

    The Wall Street Journal and a few other ‘national’ papers have reviews of the film in today’s editions…and have mentioned it being a bit dark in tone. I haven’t seen it yet, but it seems that if the characters are older now, a small dab of additional maturity is to be expected from the storyline.

    We’re planning to take our daughter this weekend, but I’ll be interested to see what you thought of it.

  7. Mongoose says:

    Tom I’ve loved your work and a big fan but I thought you missed on Simon Cowells caricature. It didn’t look like him like your other caricatures are instantly recognizable. Thought the mouth on Cowell was off.
    Thats just my objective opinion.

  8. Tom says:

    Sorry you thought my Simon Cowell a poor job. I’ll see if I can arrange a refund for you on that issue from MAD…

    I called them about it and they said just send them your checking account number, bank routing number and any passwords on the account and they’ll “get right on it”. They also asked for your balance for some reason.

  9. Mark Hill says:

    I knew it was Simon the second I saw it, for whatever that’s worth…

    I’ll have to check into those refunds. (My issue from Oct ’87 has a cover missing. Poor stapling possibly?)

  10. Tom says:

    Sorry, but MAD’s return policy does not include bad staples, poor paper or bad taste in humor.


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