MAD: To Be or Not To Be

Above is the last issue of MAD. (Or not.)

#9 is dated October 2019 and on the shelves of bookstores, grocery stores, and newsstands now.

Somehow I find it fitting that the latest issue of MAD has a television satire of a fake series.

This is the big Tarantino issue with my cover and a 5 page parody of the fictitious “Bounty Law” show from the film, written by Emmy nominated writer from “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”, “The Goldbergs”, etc., Andrew Secunda.

Cover (and inside) artist Tom Richmond has a table of contents for this issue.

From the back-in-the-day Gang are contributions by Dick De Bartolo and Sergio Aragonés, unfortunately they couldn’t get a new or unpublished Al Jaffee page.


And Tom Richmond mentioned above?

Tom tells the fascinating story of how the assignment for the movie props came about.

Chris [Call] and I discussed the project, and when he showed some samples of my work to Quentin and told him I was an artist for MAD, the director thought also doing a 60’s era MAD cover that showed “Bounty Law” being spoofed in the magazine would be another great way to illustrate how big Cahill and his show was. Plus Quentin was a huge fan of MAD from way back, so he was very excited about adding the MAD cover prop. So I was hired to do both a fake TV Guide cover and a fake MAD cover.


In Part Two of Tom’s Tarantino Story he gets on the set and meets Quentin.

We had a nice conversation. He very exuberantly talked about MAD, and how much he loved it growing up

At some point Quentin said “wouldn’t it be cool if MAD did a parody of the TV show from the movie, just like it would have been with the cover you did?”. I said “Yeah, that would be cool! You should pitch that to the MAD folks”. So that’s how this all ended up with me also doing a parody of the fictional “Bounty Law” TV show from the movie in MAD #9, complete with the cover I did for the film and the whole retro look of (some of) the issue. That was all Quentin’s idea. He even came up with the parody title… “Lousy Law”.


The Tom and Tarantino Story Part Three details how the satire of a non-existent TV show went down.

Afterward the MAD crew discussed our thoughts about how to approach this over an early lunch. We were all in agreement that, without a real show to spoof, it would be best to make fun of the basic genre of the TV “oater” western, and Andrew would work some of the specifics from the scenes we saw into the story.


Tom notes:

Now that the issue is out, when you see it the first 12 pages have a spot on retro 60’s look, complete with vintage ads, table of contents, letters page, etc. Peter Kuper played along with a dead-on Antonio Prohias style homage for his Spy vs. Spy. Suzy and the MAD art crew really outdid themselves with the visuals. Everything is picture perfect, right down to the fonts, the typeset marginal jokes, the slightly skewed print job on some pages and a realistically yellowed page color with the browning edges. A virtuoso job!


As for the fate of MAD? DC co-publishers Dan Dido and Jim Lee are interviewed: