Monday MADness- Terri Schiavo Media Circus!

February 27th, 2017 | Posted in Monday MADness

As promised in yesterday’s mailbag, here’s a look at the MAD 20 piece I did the art for back in MAD #461, Jan 2006, dealing with the Terri Schiavo story. A quick search showed that I shared this a few years back already, but it deserves a second look. The art I did has a kind of haunted feel to me because of the juxtaposition of the circus images and the tragic depiction of Schiavo in her hospital bed. It’s a rare instance where humor is used in a depiction of something that is anything but funny.  Here’s the original concept sketch where the layout was a bit different:

After seeing this the editors at MAD decided they wanted to elongate the poster so it was more of the dimensions of an actual circus billboard poster (rather than the dimensions of the magazine page), which gave us a little more room for the various elements. They did the following quick design surgery and came up with this:

I much preferred the original G.W. Bush figure with the arching back in the original sketch, but the editors really wanted the more stretched out look. The spotlight on the hospital bed is a nod to Emmett Kelly’s famous “Weary Willie” sad clown routine.


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