Sketch o’the Week: Abysmal House!

December 18th, 2013 | Posted in MAD Magazine

Abysmal House pencilClicky any to embiggen…

Better late than never today… had another job due this afternoon that had to get done first.

So, this week’s SotW is one of the two pieces I did for the latest issue of MAD. Originally I was supposed to do only the art for the parody of “The Swallowing” for MAD #525 (now on news stands… Fa Fa Fa!), but then the editors decided they also wanted me to do the art for the #1 “Dumbest Thing” in MAD’s “20 Dumbest People, Events, and Things of 2013”. I can’t imagine where they got the idea for me to do this job, but there you go.

Anyway, this was making fun of our dysfunctional House of Representatives and the government shutdown, using Rick Meyerowitz‘s classic “Animal House” movie poster as the vehicle. I tried to capture the feel of the original, which meant the final linework was done in pencil, while still doing more illustrative caricatures of the many politicians involved.

Here’s the preliminary sketch:

Abysmal House rough

And the final:

Abysmal House Final

They printed it as a two page spread, which is cool!


  1. Leo Kelly says:

    Two words: Awe some!!!

  2. Jaime says:

    I LOVE it! You have all my dogs in there, my favorite movie, and in my favorite magazine. Where can I get a poster?

    • Tom says:

      Well, I did do the artwork very over-sized (23″ x 28″ actual art size) in case they did want to do a poster. Not sure if that’s in the cards, though.

  3. David Lubin says:

    Tom, great art! Is there anywhere where the names of everyone are given?

  4. Rick Wright says:

    Freakin’ AWESOME!! Thanks for sharing. Let us know if there will be a poster made. Great job as always.

  5. Jay Rath says:

    I wrote it, and I was VERY pleased with your fantastic art, Tom!


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

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