Q: Which of your MAD spreads you think of as your personal favorite, and why?
A: That’s a tough question to answer because everything I do has good and bad points. I have a ritual after each MAD project, in which I clean and organize my studio and print out the final art on my color printer at print size, then sit down and digest it. I always see things I didn’t see before, that I wish I could do over. I’m not talking about overt mistakes like the wrong person saying a line or a missspelling or something… just something that is awkward or not working as well as I had thought it would. Sometimes it’s just plain old bad drawing on a figure, face or hand. My opinions on the work get worse as time goes on. I like to think it’s because I am improving as an artist and designer with each job.
Anyway, as a result there isn’t any one spread that I consider my best work, because I have yet to do my best work. Still, if I had to choose a “spread”, I think I would call “Harry Plodder and the Torture of the Fanbase” my favorite so far.
Compositionally it works, the caricatures are pushed a bit more than usual, I had some fun with a little forced perspective and I didn’t have to ‘cheat’ the figure sizes and perspective very much. The notable exception to that is the judge, who is far larger than his counterparts in the jury box.
Without the “spread” requirment, my overall favorite is the one page splash from my parody of “Medium”. The composition wasn’t very challenging or impressive, but I like how the lighting, the caricatures, the color and the inking combine to create the mood and feel of the darkened bedroom and some of the creepiness of the show itself. Here’s that final (circa 2005) and just for fun the pencil rough I sent to MAD for approval, which I happened to still have a scan of. I wish I could use a mulligan on those feet back in the foreground, though. Ugh.
Thanks to Kelly McNutt 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! I’m running out!
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