This week’s Monday MADness is a look at one of the more unique movie parodies I’ve done for MAD, “Green Lantern” from MAD #510, August 2011. written by Desmond Devlin. It was not unique because of the film, but because of a rare instance of the MAD editors cutting a gag of mine, some experimenting on my part with my process, and a bizarre request for a cameo.
First, the MAD edit: This was my pencil rough for the splash page:
The “finger” ring construct was my gag. It’s not very often the editors step in and nix a gag I come up with, but in this case they never considered the finger gag as a possibility and immediately told me I needed to lose it. That rarely happens, but really that’s because I know what their boundaries are and I rarely try to test them. I didn’t think that gag would make it by the editors, but you can’t blame a guy for trying . . . just looking to be a little edgier. I had to rethink that one. Here’s the final inks:
And the final splash:
Here’s the pencil roughs of the other four pages:
The other reason this job was different was because I thought I’d experiment a little and try doing the story page inks at a smaller size (I stuck with the traditional size for the splash). MAD has traditionally worked at “twice up”, meaning the artist does the original art at 200% of the size it prints at. This is enormous compared to regular comic books, which are traditionally done at 130% of print size. The size of an original page from a movie or TV parody is about 16.75 x 21 inches. That’s really big and it takes a lot of time to ink that. I thought I’d give 150% of print size a try and see if it speeded me up and still gave me the look I wanted. Pages 3 through 6 measured about 12.5 x 15.75 inches. Here are the results:
My verdict? Meh. I thought in print it lacked the detail and sharpness I was used to getting when working at the larger size, especially when I did smaller faces and figures in panels that were long shots. I made it work but never tried the smaller sized originals again. Here’s the final art:
If you are wondering what happened to the second to last panel (incomplete inks and revised final), it’s because of the third odd thing about this parody. As I was working on the inks it was suggested to me to work these two guys in to the parody as Lanterns:
This was part of this “Mystery Hipster Cops” thing that was going on at the time. I’d tell you more but then I’d have to kill you.
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