Saturday, 6 September 2008

This is MAD (literally!).

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the offices of MAD magazine in New York. I've been working on and off for MAD and MAD Kids now for about 2 years and thought I'd try and drop in whilst in New York. I finally got to meet Sam Viviano, Ryan Flanders and Patty Dwyer who I'd only previously spoke to on the phone or via email. I was made to feel very welcome indeed and was even asked to sign the visiting artist's wall. This was a real "pinch yourself" moment as I had to fill a space surrounded by sketches by Sam Viviano, Al Jaffee(!!!), Richard Williams, Peter Kuper, Sergio Aragones(!!!!) and many, many other hugely talented artists. If there had been Jack Davis and Mort Drucker on there too I'd have probably exploded. I started reading MAD when I was about 8 or 9 and the work of Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, Sergio Aragones, Paul Coker JR, Don Martin etc has continued to be a major influence on my work ever since. I'd love to be able to tell the 10 year old me (sat there drawing his own MAD-style parodies of Fall Guy and Raiders of the Lost Ark!) that one day I'd be one of the "usual gang of idiots" and have his work on the walls of the offices. I'm not worthy! They even gave me free fudge. Can a day get any better?!?


WJC said...

Not easily.
The issue with both Return of the Jedi AND The A-Team was one of the foundations of my art schooling.

Jonathan Edwards said...

I found that very issue in my attic the other day! Lovely Richard Williams cover.

Unknown said...

I didn't know you'd been doing stuff for MAD, nice one!

MAD was a big part of my childhood too, they took nothing seriously and lampooned everything. Looking back it probably wasn't exactly hard-hitting stuff but for a youngster it was a complete eye-opener and a great introduction into satire. I wish I still had all my old issues to look back through.

I loved those little paperbacks you could get too, especially the Don Martin ones, a great cartoonist and a true original when it came to sound effects.

Jonathan Edwards said...

I got a great hardback from Barnes & Noble called Mad for Decades which is a compilation of MAD from the 50's onwards. It's about 4 inches thick and was only $10. What a bargain! It's weird seeing all the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T. parodies again after all these years.. Such great stuff. I missed out on seeing some Mort Drucker original art by about a week (they'd just sent it him back). Managed to see 2 original Al Jaffee Fold-Ins though.

Thanks to MAD I was the only 10 year old in my school with a grasp of the American political system!

Unknown said...

I remember wondering who the hell Spiro Agnew was for years!

Chris Battle said...

Awesome! Definitely a childhood dream of mine to draw for MAD. I guess this animation thing was a good fallback career ;) Sergio Aragones & Mort Drucker were my childhood heroes. Hell-- they still are.