The Mad Art of Caricature 2.0?

October 17th, 2014 | Posted in General


Found out today that my book The Mad Art of Caricature! is totally out of stock on Amazon here in the US. I can’t quite figure out how Amazon works with its ordering copies from the publisher (i.e. me) in order to keep items in stock. It is obviously automated, as I will sometimes get two or three POs right on top of each other asking for copies to be sent in, but they are weird quantities like 2, 7 or 11 at a time, sometimes on consecutive days. The distributor (i.e. me) can have a standing request for “case quantity”, but Amazon will totally ignore that anytime they feel like it. I just cancel any POs that are not a full case (24) copies, and two cases on currently on the way to Amazon right now, but they ordered them too late to prevent running out.

Sales of the book have slowed down a bit since the middle of the summer, but they are still selling at an amazingly steady rate. Amazon and bookstore sales continue to chug along, and my wholesale distributor tells me I have a very low return rate on the book. This is really quite surprising to me. I honestly had no idea there would be such a continuous demand for a book on drawing caricatures. I expected to sell a lot of copies right away to caricaturists and then perhaps a trickle to those who might have an interest in the artform, but that trickle has been a pretty steady flow. In fact, the 6th printing of the book in on the horizon already.

I have been asked quite frequently when my next book is coming out. I don’t think I have another one in me, or if I do I don’t know what it would be about. I had a lot to say about how to draw caricatures, and with a few exceptions (material that I didn’t include in the original book in the interest of production time) I basically said it all in The Mad Art of Caricature! I have thought about doing a book on freelance illustration, but that business is evolving so fast I don’t know if what I know would be obsolete in short order, or how many people would be interested in such a book. Certainly a much smaller audience.

What is more likely in the near future would be an updated edition of The Mad Art of Caricature! with much of the previously mentioned deleted material added in. I had a whole chapter on caricaturing expressions, a section on drawing kids, some stuff about exaggerating bodies and action, and a number of other examples of caricature observations from photos with the accompanying caricature. Probably about 24 to 32 more pages.

My question: would anyone be interested in an updated version of the book? If so, what would you like to see added or more of? Just curious. I do not have this on my radar right now, but I have been thinking about it more lately.


  1. Brian Benson says:

    Man!! That book is the best book on not just drawing caricatures but just drawing period. I’d love to see all the things mentioned. But what I really would like is video of you drawing live park style caricatures. You could film it and charge a membership fee to view it. I’d pay for that in a heart beat.

  2. Stefan Gasic says:

    I would be interested on in an update and would definitely buy one from you. All the things that you mentioned in your post would add value to a new edition. Your book has helped me become a far better caricaturist; and I only do it for the kicks.

    On a separate note, your blog posting activity & quality is excellent. Furthermore, Brian’s video suggestion is a superb idea.

  3. Hi Tom, I’m 57 years old and draw cartoons for early 2013. So not very long. I bought your book twice. printed 1 x and 1 x * .pdf file. ( The best thing is, I can’t English 🙂 ) But I substitute me with translation software. My first drawings were not really great, but I was able to increase me really strong. ( maybe you remember my attempt to steal from an original you with my sketch of yourself and your energy drink 😉 ) Because the book last but not least is to blame. I would buy immediately back a new version. What you new could bring? Write a little more about the material you are using. (Pins, springs and what ink?-hard and software), the image sizes and other details. I want to say, go a step further in depth.

    Love greetings


  4. Mike Hasson says:

    I’d buy your next version, regardless of what you added, a)to support you and b)because everything in the last one was pure gold. But since you asked what we might like to see (and you’ll regret asking for that) what I’d like to see is a restructuring of the whole book, to make it more like a how to textbook, complete with assignments at the end of each chapter. I think there is enough content in the book already to base a really worthwhile semester long class on it. And I’d like to take that class, in a real classroom, beside other real students, rather than online. Your book would make it possible for other teachers to offer that.

  5. Will says:

    Yes! The original is the Caricature Bible. I’d say just do a 2nd edition and add the extra bits in as new chapters – no need to revamp the rest.

    Also, some sort of printed compilation of your sketches wouldn’t go amiss.

  6. Fernando says:

    YES!!! More on anatomy of a caricature! Body, movement ect.

  7. Hey Tom, it’s no mystery why your book is selling so fast‚Äö√Ѭ∂ this is truly an education worthy book for those interested in this art form. If you decide to create another edition, I’d be interested in seeing more about creating gags and more about caricature beyond the head. I can’t stop referring back to the live caricature sequence, my absolute favorite part.

  8. Leon says:

    I would definitely buy one. I think more information on bodies and expressions would always be welcomed. I like to see how other artist interpret expression and personality. Count me in as a repeat customer!

  9. Bill Hernandez says:

    I would Love to see read and see the rest of those pages. I would definitely buy!

  10. Chris says:

    Tom, your book is great and I love referring back to it ALL THE TIME. My only thought would be Caricaturing someone can include the whole body. I love some of the body images you capture. They can defy physics and they are fun,eg the way clothes ‘hang off’ the person.

  11. Lisa says:

    Tom – what a great idea! I would buy one, too.

    Drawing children is really important for me; I drew a 9 year old once and the poor child looked much older! HELP is definitely needed in that area.

    It looks like you have enough to draw a SECOND BOOK and not just add a couple of pages to the first one! Here’s my top list:
    – children
    – bodies (for live caricatures – how to draw bodies FAST)
    – clothes
    Рlots and lots of examples of faces and how you see them (you did that once when you were showing the caricatures you drew on the cover page for people who bought your book ‚Äì so we had the picture you drew from, what you wanted to do written on the picture and the finished drawing)

    I would also like to add this: please use a different binding for the book all the pages in my book have fallen out!! Maybe a metal spiral binding?

    I’m looking forward to the finished product!!

  12. I would buy a hard cover version of an undated book. I can see an expanded or added chapter on the theme park and party caricatures. Maybe a gallery of more examples of your live work or other artists you appreciate. More of the USO trips? More info about digital caricatures?(Which I know is always changing.) I remember you talking about the objects and environments you place the caricatures in need to mesh. Exploring that area more could be added. How about including a disk with the book of you demonstrating a live caricature?

  13. Brian O. says:

    I’d gladly pay for a digital download of the additional pages.

  14. Hi Tom!

    I think your first book was great! An easy and fun read that was chock-a-block of info – too much for one sitting! And with the amount of quality stories, memories, bits & pieces you post almost daily here on the blog, I think you definitely have another book in you. Maybe not necessarily a Vol. II (although you may have to market it that way) but keeping with the same theme of caricaturing/cartooning. I would say branching out into the areas you grazed over or had to omit the first time (kids, deeper into the live caricature arena, materials, conventions/speakings, etc.)

    And if you think that wouldn’t be enough material to warrant another book, I would suggest including more of the stories that you frequently get into on the blog. Whether it is Tales from the Theme Parks, Tales From the Freelance Files or even Tales from Last Week When I Had To Put Everything On Hold To Finish Up the Orange Is The New Blecch Satire Artwork, you spin a nice yarn that makes the reader happy to read the next one put in front of them.

    I don’t want to say that it is a little more of a “reality-show” angle to take, but I enjoy reading/hearing the stories of some one’s life when they are interesting and even more so when they are speaking about a topic I’m interested in. Having the main character’s background and a context to help relate to the stories make them all the more can’t put down-able.

    So yeah, start jotting ideas down and throw together a skeleton of what it would take to get that next bunch of info and goofiness out there. If that sounds like too much, you could always get Chic Glitz or J. Prete to ghost write it for you!

    Thanks for the daily fun,


  15. 1. Handling the space between the eyeball and the eyebrow
    2. bags under the eye
    3. Shading the cheek bone
    4. Making sense between facial hair and shading
    5. 3/4 view. The only thing I got was to make the eye look like its protruding
    6. More nose angles and shading the nose
    7. Shading wrinkles starting from the crows feet. There’s a tradeoff somewhere since too many wrinkles means no more facial features, but I can never figure out where.

    I still have trouble with all of these

  16. Christine says:

    Hi Tom!

    I have bought your first book and find it very useful not only for drawing caricatures but also drawing portraits, and specially for learning how to analyse faces.
    I wouldn’t be too happay about an improved version. I am certainly interested in additional themes but what should I do with the first book? I would definetly prefere a second book with complete new content, which builds up on the first book.
    I would like to read:
    – Poses for caricatures (singles and pairs)
    – drawing bodies
    – more on the process (like you already did in the blog) for inking, adding washes, colouring, or process of your scetches
    – drawing clothes
    – drawing children, teenagers
    – different facial expressions

    Curious about, what you are going to do!

  17. Richard Buff says:

    I’d like to see:

    * More examples on how NOT to draw things
    * More side-by-side examples of real people and their caricatures
    * The same person caricatured from multiple angles <– This is my biggest fail point. It's easy to draw a wacky nose, but understanding how it looks and influences other featues in three-dimensional space is where I struggle.

  18. Jose says:

    My suggestions, please consider:
    -Inking: adding depth, and visual interest
    -Drawing Clothes and Full Bodies
    -Dynamic Poses
    -Drawing Hair
    -How to get your foot in the door professionally And/Or get your name out there!

    Thanks Bub.


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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