Sunday Mailbag- Big Ego?

October 15th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: In the description of you for the Lakes Comics Festival, it calls you “the world’s greatest living caricaturist”. Seriously? Do you really believe that?

A: I take it you assume I wrote that blurb, or that I even saw it to approve it before it was plastered all over the promotional materials for the show. You don’t know much about how these kinds of things work and the hyperbole sometimes used.

I didn’t see that until they started making big announcements about the festival and by then it was too late to do anything about it. I was quite embarrassed and had I been given an opportunity to change it I would have. I didn’t get that opportunity, so it is what it is. When I saw it I just made a joke of it, saying “I don’t know about “greatest living caricaturist”, but I know I’m doing better work than the dead ones do right now”. I’m embarrassed because that kind of self-aggrandizing is not me, and further more I personally know a lot of artists who actually/arguably could be considered “the world’s greatest living caricaturist” (if there really is such a thing in a highly subjective field). I’d hate to think they would think I’ve got that kind of ego. Fortunately most of them also know me, and they know that’s not the case.

And, no… I don’t believe that. I’m not even the best caricaturist attending this festival. I’m not even the best caricaturist currently in this room, and I’m just sitting in the lobby of our festival hotel right now. I’m just a guy who draws funny pictures for a living, do what I do and work at improving with every piece I do. I am not interested in being better than anyone else or being recognized in that way. I’ve always only been interested in being the best I can be.

The organizers of the Lakes festival are nice and wonderful people, and they just wanted to promote the event as best they can and went (way) overboard in their enthusiasm. They’ve got genuine issues and concerns to deal with and don’t need to hear me complain about this, so I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I did have a quiet word about it just to avoid future similar circumstances.

I did learn something from this experience… from now on if I ever participate in a show where my attending is in any advertising or promotion, I am going to insist I approve any bios, descriptions, etc before they are run. Hard to believe that is necessary, but I guess it is.

Thanks toanonymous for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!


  1. Dawn wallace says:

    Your work is awesome, and Thankyou for the batman caricature yesterday,our son Harry was over the moon 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  2. Look, anyway you slice it, you are damn good. And your book is awesome.

  3. Des Devlin says:

    Tom Richmond, that was, by a tremendous margin, the single greatest response to any question in the history of human interaction. You make Socrates himself look like the stuttering baboon he was. Feel free to quote me.

  4. leefhcaricature says:

    This is a problem of social media where people hide behind a screen to ask a question! I wouldn’t bother to reply them.

    • Tom Richmond says:

      Actually this question was asked of me, in a much more diplomatic, round-about way, but one of the attendees here at the Lakes Festival. I didn’t want to use their name.


I’m in LA doing back to back Caricature workshops. Here’s the class illustration of workshop no. 1. Visit for all the details and to see where others are scheduled in 2018!

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