Archive for the ‘Me, Myself and my Puppet’ Category

Fotographical Friday: Still #1.

December 15, 2017

Shocking image, ain’t it. No more shocking than that MAD Magazine is moving from NYC – its home since its inception 65 years ago – to Burbank. On Monday night editors, staff and contributors, both past and present, gathered at send-off party…and I got as many of them to sign this infamous image as I could. As a kid reading MAD I dreamt of being one of “the usual gang of idiots.” Many thanks to my first editor, Jon Bresman, for the encouragement and guidance to make that happen, and to my second editor, Ryan Flanders, for keeping that dream alive and becoming a dear friend in the process.

Puppet sighting

June 16, 2014

This was in a MAD collection, but I’m not sure where. I think it was on the bargain racks at Barnes and Noble. You know the ones – lots of books published just to be sold at discount prices. And, of course Calvin and Hobbes collections. (Is there a massive stockpile of these in an underground bunker at an undisclosed location in the Midwest that is not, definitely not, Kansas City?)


Poor promotion

December 7, 2013

Did I mention that I had a “Me, Myself and My Puppet” comic strip in this issue of MAD Magazine from months and months ago? Of course I didn’t.


“Puppet” found in MAD collection

October 25, 2013


The MAD blog – Me, Myself and my Puppet

October 3, 2011

Did you know that the MAD Magazine blog, The Idiotical, is posting stuff from their Strip Club section on Mondays? And that the first Me, Myself and my Puppet strip is appearing today?

Could I stop asking so many questions?

MADly rejected – Bacon!!!!

July 12, 2010

I’ve been submitting a bunch of ideas to MAD recently…and only one of them got accepted. (Such is the life of a freelancer) So I figured I’d share them with you in the next couple of days.

I sent in two “Me, Myself and my Puppet” sketches and the above is the one that got rejected.

Getting MAD

February 9, 2009

(This post isn’t about getting angry – it’s about getting in MAD Magazine for the first time.)

MAD was the seminal magazine of my childhood. And although I’d always wanted to be in MAD, I knew from a young age that my interest was in someday doing a comic strip, so MAD was always a distant dream.

Fast forward to me being an actual cartoonist and knowing MAD artist Tom Richmond. I’d asked Tom a few vague questions about getting into MAD, and he was nice enough to answer them, but it felt like it wasn’t “my thing.” (The MAD style of humor didn’t feel like something I could do well, like political cartoons. They just aren’t “my thing,” so I don’t do them.)

At the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Weekend (the Reuben is our Oscar) in 2005, I picked up a flyer about MAD starting a new section called “Strip Club.” And listed were some strip guys that I knew – Keith Knight, Rob Harrell, etc. I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I’m a strip guy…maybe this is my ticket in.”

I e-mailed the editor listed on the flyer and, since I was going to be in New York City in a few weeks, set up a meeting. I had a great time meeting Jon Bresman. He couldn’t have been sweeter, spending time with someone who hadn’t even submitted anything yet. I showed him some of my work, both Bo Nanas-related and non, and he was very encouraging. I left feeling that I could definitely do this.

Take a look at that last sentence. “I could definitely do this.” This could not be more unlike me. I just don’t have that kind of confidence. I actually thought I’d knock it out of the park with my first submission.

So, based on something Jon had commented on on my site, I created an on-going religious allegory strip.

Now look at that sentence. “An on-going religious allegory strip.” What was I thinking? I was obviously delusional…and yet I still thought they’d bite. To no one’s surprise but mine, Jon passed on it, but was still very encouraging. (I would post this infamous strip but I’ve actually got it on the back burner as a graphic novel idea.)

Over the next year I came up with some more strip ideas and some other pieces for the other sections of MAD…and Jon was encouraging every time. In other words, no sales. (I’ve found a number of these rejected pieces while digging in my files. Just the kind of embarrassing items I’ll start posting soon.)

I was going to NYC quite often and so I’d meet with Jon on each trip. But I was starting to feel like I was wasting his time.

In June 2006, I was in NYC for the Licensing Show with my friend (and fellow cartoonist) Chuck Gamble. I had set up another meeting with Jon and, as I was walking up to their building, I was thinking, “Oh, man. What are we going to talk about?” Then I remembered that I had sent him some ideas just before leaving home so I didn’t seem as much like a stalker. “Yeah, we can talk about those. He’ll say, ‘Good try’ and that’ll be that.”

I walked into Jon’s office and he said, “We’re buying two of these” and the inside of my head exploded. The rest of the visit was a blur, with me wearing a big, stupid grin the whole time.

Here’s the sketches for the two Me, Myself and My Puppet strips they took.



As I was coming out of the building, I called my wife and excitedly told her that I was the newest member of “the usual gang of idiots.” She didn’t understand what the heck I was talking about. When I explained that that’s what the artists and writers are called in the masthead, she screamed with joy. (I think she had to pull over the car she was driving as well.) Then I called Chuck at our hotel and told him the exact same thing. He’s a geek. He knew exactly what I was talking about.

When I got back to the hotel I got a call from Jon. He said that there’s a wall in the hall of the MAD offices that the artists draw on when they visit. Had I noticed it? (Had I?! I had to stop myself from worshiping it and sacrificing a goat to it.) And would I like to add a drawing to it? (Would I?! And then I don’t remember much at all except for Chuck keeping me from swallowing my tongue.)

The funny thing is, because I had only done a couple of sketches of the guy and his puppet, I couldn’t really draw them that well and had to practice in the hotel room before scribbling on the wall at MAD a few days later.

(I’ve been meaning to write this piece for the blog since I started it. With MAD going to a quarterly publication schedule, I feel like I’m doing it a bit out of a newly-minted nostalgia for “the old days.” And “the old days” aren’t officially over until after issue #500 in a couple of months.)

MAD changes

January 26, 2009

Not quite, but…

It was Friday afternoon and I had just gotten home from the artist’ talk at the Gettysburg College Faculty Art Show. Among the original cartoon art I’m exhibiting are a couple of pieces I did for MAD (Me, Myself and my Puppet, to be exact). I talked about how it’d always been a dream of mine to be in MAD and how thrilled I was to get in for the first time a couple of years ago.

Then I got home and found out that, as of issue 501, MAD would be changing from a monthly publication to a quarterly one. And that the very new MAD Kids would be canceled. And that three of the MAD staff are being let go. (This is part of the cutbacks being made by their parent company Time Warner.)

This hits hard on so many levels:

• If you are of a certain age, you read MAD. MAD taught me not only what was funny, but also how to think critically, not to trust everything that’s out there. I also learned about the world. At a time of only three channels (and very little in the way of internet*), I learned about things from Judaism Woodstock in a backhanded way. (Much like getting your news from The Daily Show today.) Going quarterly probably means MAD will become less influencial in our society. Its been monthly since the 50s, and with the economy and newer media hitting publishing hard, getting back there seems unlikely.

• As a very recent member of the UGOI (“usual gangs of idiots” – what the artists and writers have been called in the masthead for years – and, in all seriousness, it’s an honor to be called that), the diminished publication schedule means less chances to get my work in. But I’m a “every-once-in-a-while” contributor. I really feel for the folks who are in almost very issue and rely on that income.

• And, lastly, I feel for those getting laid off. I know some of them and, man, what a crappy thing to have happen.

(* None. There was none internet.)

MADly rejected – Apres Halloween Part 1

November 10, 2008

Can’t believe I forgot this Me, Myself and my Puppet about costumes. It didn’t make the cut at MAD because they prefer not to have the puppet refer to himself at a puppet. (Metaphysical, huh?)


MADly rejected – Puppets and movies

October 21, 2008

I figured I’d show some of the rejected ideas that I’ve sent to MAD. This was from the first batch of Me, Myself and My Puppet that I submitted. Two of them were selected; this one was not. As you can see, I even rewrote it but still no dice.