August 20th, 2009 | Posted in MAD Magazine

A MAD Caricature Convention

The International Society of Caricature Artists (ISCA, formerly known as the NCN) 2009 Annual Caricature Convention and Competition is fast approaching on November 2nd-7th in Sandusky, Ohio. If you are a caricaturist either doing the live thing or for publication and have never attended one of these events, you are missing something special.

There are some unique things about this year’s convention that makes it a perfect time for non-ISCA members to attend to see what it’s all about.

First off, there is not one, not two, not three but FOUR guest speakers, all from MAD Magazine:

  • Sam Viviano– Longtime MAD artist and current art director
  • Mark Fredrickson– Frequent MAD cover artist, former airbrush demigod and current digital painting master
  • Hermann Mejia– The brilliant “artist’s artist” for MAD, caricaturist, painter, sculptor, genius
  • Tom Richmond– My humble self

That’s quite a lineup, and as far as I know very unique. As Sam pointed out to me, it will be possibly the first time that something like this has been organized that features predominately new generation MAD artists. Sam’s actually been with the magazine for over 30 years, but compared to guys like Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, Sergio Aragones and Al Jaffee, that’s like just starting last week. The legends get plenty of well deserved accolades, but these guys (at least three of them, anyway) deserve some attention for their work… which often gets overlooked in the shadows of the MAD giants.

This should be fun. Each speaker will have a presentation, there will be a MAD panel discussion and possibly some workshops done by the guests. I’m planning one on some form of cartooning, possibly another inking workshop but more likely storytelling as it applies to MAD.

You’ll also get a chance to meet and hang out with such caricature legends as Jan Op de Beeck, Joe Bluhm, Steve Silver, Court Jones and many others who attend every year and also sometimes conduct workshops. The final schedule is not complete and as there are so many main speakers the workshops might be limited this year, but at least you’ll see ones by Jan and Silver.

Ordinarily these conventions are only open to members of the organization. For the first time this year there will be a special fee of $99 for anyone who is not a member but wants to attend just the MAD speaker presentations. I warn you, though, if you are a caricaturist or cartoonist and attend just for the speakers you will be so blown away by the creative power of the event you will likely apply for membership on the spot and end up drawing away like the other 150 plus attending artists.

The deadline for the discounted early registration is fast approaching on Sept. 15th. There are $99 a night room rates available at the resort as well. I hope to see some readers of The MAD Blog there!


  1. […] See his blog for further details – especially about the part that allows non-members to attend the presentations. […]

  2. julio cesar Naranjo says:

    Hi Tom this is something unique and its a great opportunity to meet many of the staff of MAD and interact with different visions of their art , its simply amazing, its a shame not to be there, it will be very interesting.


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