Q: You mentioned a few weeks ago that you don’t mention your MAD work when you draw at the park. Has anyone recognized your signature or art style after you’ve drawn them at one of your locations?
A: Yes, that happened once.
The first job I ever did for MAD was called “MAD‘s Cable TV Betting Odds”, which consisted of several spot illustrations of shows from different networks and odds of this or that taking place with those shows. In one panel I did a caricature of Tom Green eating rats out of a take out container for the MTV channel. The job got put in the ‘evergreen drawer” and did not get published until almost a year later, by which time I was doing TV and movie parodies for MAD. I liked the Tom Green one so I redid it in color as a park sample:
This kid come up to the booth when it was kind of slow and starts looking at the samples on the wall. He see’s the Tom Green one and points at it.
Who did that one?” He asks.
“I did.” I replied.
“No you didn’t,” He stated accusingly. “I saw that drawing in MAD Magazine. You stole that out of MAD Magazine.”
“Well, I did the drawing in MAD also,” I explained. “I work for MAD Magazine.”
He blinked at me with a blank expression for a few seconds…. then he wrinkled up his face and exclaimed “Yeah… RIGHT. SUUUUUURE you do.”
He flapped a hand at me and walked away.
No one has ever seen me do a drawing and recognize the style as mine in MAD. It would take a pretty sharp eye to see the common threads between my theme park style and what I do in the magazine. Sadly MAD is not that well read compared to former years and it would probably be rare for a current MAD reader to see me draw live, let alone make the connection.
… and they wouldn’t believe me if I told them anyway.
Thanks again to my good friend and fellow cartoonist Jim Batts 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!
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