Watchmen Parody Sneak Peek

February 24th, 2009 | Posted in MAD Magazine

Click for a Closer Look

MAD had a difficult dilemma concerning their proposed parody of the movie “Watchmen”… the question of when to do it.

For once the problem was not in getting a reliable advanced script. MAD occasionally tries doing movie parodies prior to the release of the films, so that they will be on the stands around the same time the films were hot. This doesn’t always work out, as the source material the writers would work from were often leaked scripts that didn’t turn out to be accurate… like the time we got the ending wrong for “X-Men 2”. Supposedly the source material obtained for the parody was rock solid… so that was not the problem.

The problem was the timing of the movie and that of the magazine. They couldn’t do it in #499, because that was slated for release in mid-February and MAD‘s parent company, Time Warner, didn’t want any spoilers revealed before the Warner Bros. film debuted. They didn’t want to do it in issue #500 in April, as they felt it would get lost in the shuffle of that anniversary number and they wanted the parody to anchor the issue. Of course we now know that #501 won’t be out until late summer 🙁 , so that would be way too late.

Interestingly the powers that be at DC and Time Warner agreed that, if MAD delayed the shipping of #499 until late February they could do the parody and run it in that issue. Apparently “Watchmen” was to be released earlier in Japan and/or elsewhere overseas. With the internet being what it is, they figured that spoilers that might be revealed… like, say an entirely NEW ENDING… would hardly be kept a secret once the movie was in theaters somewhere.

So, I get a call from MAD to do the art on the parody of “Watchmen” but the catch is I have a little less than two weeks to do 6 pages. Yikes. Fortunately there are two trailers and many sources of pictures of the cast and scenes all over the internet, so putting together reference was not difficult. As it turned out I actually finished early… I found it very easy to do the art for this one. One of the reasons is that the crazy costumes and action poses makes doing goofy drawings easier, and also eliminate a lot of the caricature work usually involved with a movie parody. Plus as a big fan of the graphic novel I was well acquainted with the story and the characters. Finally I was so keyed up about working on “Watchmen” it didn’t take much to keep me motivated when working.

Here is the rough pencil of the splash page pictured above, and a couple more sneak peek panels:

©2009 EC Publications / MAD Magazine
Click for a closer look…

©2009 EC Publications / MAD Magazine

©2009 EC Publications / MAD Magazine

©2009 EC Publications / MAD Magazine

©2009 EC Publications / MAD Magazine

©2009 EC Publications / MAD Magazine

©2009 EC Publications / MAD Magazine


  1. Jeff Zugale says:

    Holy furshlugginer! “Dr. Meatdanglin’?”

    This ain’t yer grandpappy’s MAD! 😀

  2. Antzo8 says:

    I got the issue just a few days ago and its brilliant. I’m actually glad they delayed it a few weeks, because the Watchmen parody was great. I knew Des Devil would be the writer. I don’t know how he can write jokes about somehting that he hasn’t even seen yet. That’s talent. Your art is brilliant as well. I suppose now you’ll be stuck with all the tight deadline pieces since you did such a good job with this one.

    • Bill Z. Bub says:

      The name’s not “Des Devil,” it’s “Demon Devlin.”

      Is Des Devil related to other MAD contributors like Satan Hart, Lucifer Silverstone, Damned Viviano, and Hell Man Mejia?

  3. Bearman says:

    Love the stuff as usual. Still can’t figure out what makes Watchmen different than the X-men, but still excited about seeing it.

  4. Mark Engblom says:

    “Still can‚Äö√Ñ√¥t figure out what makes Watchmen different than the X-men…”

    Er….you’ll find out. :0

    Tom…excellent work. I think I’ll pick one up on the way home from work tonight!


  5. Mark Engblom says:

    By the way, I can’t believe they allowed Veidt on the splash page!

    • Tom says:

      Yeah, that kind of shocked me also. They do address that in the text, but I am not so sure that it’s really so obvious as to not have a least a CHANCE o being a surprise.

  6. MIke Kudna says:

    oh this is great! Great job!

  7. Trevour says:

    Nice vomit SFX 😉 It works in many ways – spewing, birds being crushed in supervillain hands, etc.

    Can’t wait for the movie AND this issue – epic!!

  8. i can’t get over the fact that Manhattan’s martian house is made of tinker toys, hilarious. also the way Moore is included is great.

    but yeah, veidt on the cover, a surprise.

  9. Great stuff as usual Tom! I always look forward to your sneak previews before my issue comes! Thanks for sharing.

  10. PS. Also, thanks for answering my Sunday Mailbag question the other week! Much appreciated!

  11. Mugshotz says:

    I for the life of me, do not get the appeal of nipples on a Superhero Suit. Great Job, Tom. I can tell you had a blast working on this.

  12. Damn Tom!
    your work always rocks but I think
    This is one of your best yet!
    Love the puke, explosion ripping faces off stuff and the cool jokes inside each panel. Noice!


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

Workshops Ad

Dracula ad

Doctor Who Ad

Superman Ad

%d bloggers like this: