It's hard to work out how Robot Chicken creative director and increasingly busy comic book writer Kevin Shinick found the time to complete 100 episodes of Mad for Warner Bros. Animation, but he did it, and it's an accomplishment he and the studio are celebrating with a double-sized anniversary show tonight on Cartoon Network. Perhaps most enticingly for ComicsAlliance readers, the episode's centerpiece is what's surely to be a biting Man of Steelparody starring "Weird Al" Yankovic as Superman and Henry Winkler as Jor-El.
Devised and written by (and usually starring) Shinick, the Mad cartoon is, in his words, the magazine brought to life in animation. It's a bold statement but honestly Shinick isn't wrong. Besides just being very funny, Mad translates the venerable humor magazine's signature irreverence, silliness and other naughtiness for television, segueing from one sketch to another with animated page tears and everything. The series actually employs some of the cartoonists who continue to define the voice of Mad, including Sergio Aragonés, who contributes all-new in-the-margins strips that find their way into every episode, as do topical film and television parodies, fake commercials and, of course, Spy vs. Spy. In every case, sketches are presented in visual styles reminiscent of Mad masters like Don Martin, Mort Drucker and Al Jaffee, and by way of different animation techniques such as Flash, stop-motion and puppets, to further honor the stylistic diversity of the magazine. But the series updates the magazine's scope for the extremely memetic world of today, going all-in on mashups (the ThunderLOLcats comes immediately to mind) and other highly bloggable jokes.
That any contemporary animated series makes it to 100 episodes is remarkable, but Mad has the additional distinction of being explicitly based on a comics magazine -- and with the help of that comics magazine's current contributors like Aragones and Tom Richmond -- makes the Emmy-nominated series that much more interesting. It's obvious from talking to Shinick (who's also writing Superior Carnage for Marvel) that the mantle of Mad is hugely important to him. In the following interview you'll find out why that is, as well as an inside look at Mad's impressive production workflow, Shinick's philosophy about comedic content for children, and what else to expect from tonight's 100th episode.
Longtime MAD Magazine artist Sergio Aragones is well known for how much stuff he can get on a page -- he's been filling the magazine's margins for decades. So just imagine what he could do with a gigantic pullout poster!
Well, you don't have to imagine it. Aragones has condensed more than 60 years of MAD history in one big image for Entertainment Weekly.
Al Jaffee is an icon of cartooning. Though the artist was working for Marvel precursors Timely and Atlas comics in the 1940s and '50s, he is easily best known for the work he's produced for Mad Magazine, with his signature creation for the publication being the Mad Fold-In's he started in 1964, and still produces today. In a career that has spanned more than 70 years, Jaffee has amassed an incredible body of work, and now he's donating much of that collection to the rare book and manuscript library at Columbia University, located in the Harlem section of New York, the city the cartoonist calls home.
TV: AMC teases the February 10 return of The Walking Dead with some new zombie-fighting footage. Sales: Until January 5, you can get 20 percent off of your entire purchase at the Fantagraphics online store with the code
TV: BBC America has posted the first official photo of actress Jenna-Louise Coleman in her role as the next (but still unnamed) Doctor Who companion set to debut this Christmas. From what I can tell, she seems to like sweaters.
Museums: The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco will host an exhibit of rare MAD Magazine art from
The DC Universe, its heroes and their costumes apparently weren't the only things that DC Entertainment had in the works for a reboot over the past several months -- the DC Comics website has also gotten
In all the excitement surrounding Before Watchmen, we'd completely forgotten that DC Comics had already published a new Watchmen comic by creators other than Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It was called Botchmen, and it happened all the way back in
It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.
It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://comicsalliance.com using your Facebook account.