Mailbag

Sunday Mailbag: Big MAD Changes?

September 10th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: With MAD’s move to the west coast in 2018, and the resulting almost complete turnover in editorial and art staff, do you expect big changes with the magazine? A: I think changes are inevitable, but there is nothing wrong with that. Change can be a good thing, staying the same forever is a recipe for staleness, irrelevance, and eventually demise. Certainly we can expect the new editorial and art team led by new V.P Executive Editor Bill Morrison, to put their own stamp on MAD. BIG changes, though? I don’t think Bill and co. will do anything to change the MAD zeitgeist… in other… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag- Caricature Art Devalued?

September 3rd, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: I do caricatures more as a hobby right now but hope to do more of it as part of a business. As I explore the market I would like to throw this out for debate: I wonder if the appreciation for the value of caricature and cartoon art has decreased over time due to the fact that there is so much fragmentation in how people can view art now. Art can be quickly accessed and viewed on the internet, mobile phones, YouTube, TV, e-books, e-mags etc. Is traditional caricature and cartooning now considered more “old school”? Comic strip characters are no longer the rage… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Writing?

August 27th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: You are excellent at drawing, but for me your writing is excellent too. How did you learn to write? Some time ago I’ve read William Zinsser’s “On Writing Well”. You are always following his four articles of faith: clarity, simplicity, brevity and humanity. A: Thanks for the compliment. I’ve always loved to write, but have had no formal training past what everyone got in high school. That makes my writing long on message and context but short on grammar, punctuation, and structure. What grasp of the language I have I credit to my mom for forcing my siblings and me to speak correct English.… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag- Drawing Easel?

August 13th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: Which kind of easel do you use when drawing live caricatures? A: I don’t use an easel per se but rather a drawing/drafting table or drawing board when I do live caricatures. It depends on if I’m drawing them at a theme park or a convention/event. At the theme parks we use drafting tables that have been modified. I replace the laminated pressboard table top with a custom made laminated plywood board (much lighter and thinner) that has a drawing paper holding tray on the underside of it, a clip scavenged off of a clipboard for holding the piece of paper I am drawing… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag- Reining in Exaggeration?

August 6th, 2017 | Posted in MAD Magazine

Q: Someone told me you hold back on the exaggerations of your caricatures in your MAD Parodies for some reason. Is that true, and if so why? A: That’s sort of true–or at least true to a certain extent. First off, I’m not really much of a “mean guy” caricaturist. I do not exaggerate features to the point of grotesqueness… my goals are seldom to push the exaggeration as far as I can. I am more about exaggerating expression than anything else. Still, without exaggeration of the features all you have is a portrait, so clearly exaggeration in some form is a crucial part of… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Live vs. Studio Approach?

July 30th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: I know that you mention the inside/out method when working on live caricatures, but I wanted to know if you still use that same method when working in studio on celebrity caricatures? A: No, in the studio I usually start with the head shape and rough I'd the basis features, then go back in and draw it out more completely. For that final stage I do work from the eyes and interior features out and make adjustments as I go. This is actually still the same process as what I do with live work. Even though the first thing I draw in a live… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag- Sued by Celebrity?

July 16th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: Have you ever been sued or coerced to remove your caricature drawings from your books or blog because the subject did not like his/her drawing to be publicly displayed even if it was not a commissioned work? How did you deal with it? A: I’ve never been sued but once I (or rather one of the artists who was drawing at my booth at the Mall of America) was told by a celebrity to remove his caricature from the display at one of my booths. This happened a long time ago, so some of the details are a little hazy but basically he demanded… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag- Do a Workshop Near Me?

July 9th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: Are you going to come to my hometown and do a workshop? A: I get a lot of people who ask me that, and the only answer is maybe but probably not. It isn’t as easy to set up a traveling workshop as one might think. I have to find a hotel that has the right room for our needs and all that, but the biggest concern is making sure I can fill all twelve student spaces. It doesn’t make sense for me to take three plus days away from the studio and incur the expenses of travel and hotel and room rental etc.… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag- Color Palette?

July 2nd, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: How do you choose the colors for your drawings? Is there something like a Tom-Richmond-color-palette? A: My PhotoShop swatch palette is a Frankenstein-ed amalgamation of colors which includes ones I have found I like the look of in print and kept a sample of for future use, standard PS colors, and a palette of comic book orientated colors I got off the internet from somewhere years ago. It’s a real mish-mash and very disorganized. However, if anyone is interested in having it, here it is. Thanks to Dominick Zeillinger for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag- How Long for MAD Jobs?

June 18th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: How long does it typically take you to do a MAD parody? A: As long as they give me. Seriously, that’s the real answer. I am given a deadline, and I turn in the art on that deadline. If the job is a six page parody and the deadline is in 4 weeks, it takes me four weeks. If the deadline is in two weeks, it takes me two weeks. In the former case I am able to work on other jobs as well, and do things like sleep. In the latter, not so much. I have been given as long as 5 weeks… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag- Exaggerated Body Movement?

June 11th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: My question is about how you decide to exaggerate the body movements on your caricatures. In the most recent MAD you have Chris Hardwick having his neck stretched way beyond what any human could possibly do, in some other parodies I have seen similar cartoony images. Does the art director decide when to have this or is it a personal choice. A: Here’s the panel in question: No, that’s up to me as the artist to decide when something like that is appropriate. Some written action or jokes in a parody demand “physical comedy” in the visuals to help “sell the gag”, and sometimes… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag- If I wasn’t an Artist?

June 4th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: What do you think you’d be doing for a living if you were not an artist? A: I get this question now and then, but I’ve never really had a good answer for it because all I’ve ever want to be was an artist. However, I was thinking about that subject while walking the dogs the other day (all great thinking is done either in the shower or while walking the dog) and it occurred to me I do have an answer: I’d want to be a writer. A novelist, short story or kids book author, TV or film script writer…I wouldn’t be picky.… READ MORE

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