Archive for the ‘MAD Magazine’ Category

I Can FEEL Your Anger! It Gives You Focus! Makes You Stronger!


You know what? As a writer, often I really try to get into the heads of my characters. And sometimes, I take it too far. For example…

Oh, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a couple of announcements (and THEN, as usual, I’ll tell you an embarrassing anecdote from my writing career).

  • MAD Magazine: I wrote a humor piece called “The Bad Roommate,” which was illustrated by David DeGrand. It appears in MAD #7, on sale now!
  • Last month my Avengers Little Golden Book The Threat of Thanos (illustrated by Shane Clester) appeared in a Barnes & Noble ad in celebration of the film Avengers: Endgame! (Click on the thumbnail to see the whole ad)
  • Hungry Shark: The Official Shark-Tastic Guide, written by yours truly, comes out on June 25th, 2019 from Scholastic. Barnes & Noble included the book on their list of “Guides & Novels for Your Gamer.” (Seriously, what’s with Barnes & Noble hyping all of my books lately? Not that I’m complaining…)
  • Star Wars Adventures: Recently I wrote a Tales from Wild Space comic book story called “Majordomo, Major Problems,” which was illustrated by Drew Moss. “Majordomo” is an 8-page backup tale in Star Wars Adventures #23, which comes out on June 26th, 2019 from IDW Publishing.

Now that that’s out of the way, I believe you’re owed a humiliating anecdote about my writing career. And you shall have it:

As a writer, often I really try to get into the heads of my characters. For example, when I was a staff writer on the television series TruTV Presents: World’s Dumbest, I found that in order to write jokes for Gilbert Gottfried (who was one of the cast members), you had to yell the jokes out loud AS Gilbert Gottfried. In other words, you had to do an impression of Gilbert Gottfried, to figure out how he would say a particular joke.

And that’s something I’ve done quite a few times in my career. When I was writing the scripts for the House M.D. video game, I did an impression of Hugh Laurie, in his “Gregory House” voice. As “Hugh Laurie,” I acted out each scene, talking into a digital recorder. Then I played it back in order to see if it sounded like something the character would actually say.

When I used to write Bart Simpson comic book stories for Bongo Comics, whenever Krusty the Clown was in a story, I found that it was really helpful to brainstorm one-liners for Krusty by doing a terrible Krusty impression and ad-lib some jokes while talking into the digital recorder. More recently, when I wrote my LEGO Star Wars books for Scholastic, I liked to put a few Emperor Palpatine jokes in each book. And sometimes the jokes were written IN Palpatine’s voice, especially if Palpatine was narrating a section of the book. That meant doing a really terrible, over-the-top Ian McDiarmid impression, and it really helped make the Palpatine jokes and Palpatine narration even funnier.

But what I’m really getting at is that – as I type this – there’s a digital recorder right next to my laptop. On that digital recorder’s files there’s hours and hours of audio of me doing the absolute WORST Hugh Laurie, Krusty the Clown, and Ian McDiarmid impressions. And when I was writing the House scripts, I was also doing impressions of the OTHER House cast members. So there’s audio of me doing awful Omar Epps impressions, awful Lisa Edelstein impressions, awful Robert Sean Leonard impressions. Oh, you have no idea. And you WILL CONTINUE TO have no idea. Because nobody will ever hear those audio files. I guess this isn’t really a humiliating anecdote as much as it’s a POTENTIALLY humiliating anecdote.

But if you ever need something to blackmail me with, just steal the digital recorder, okay?




Hello, everyone!!

Just wanted to share a few new developments with all of you:

My book “Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed!” (Chicago Review Press, Sept 2006) is in bookstores now! For Media Review Copies of “Masters of TCBUR!”: Send request to Sara Hoerdeman, Publicity Manager, Independent Publishers Group.

Speaking of “Masters of TCBUR!” thanks to everyone who attended the launch party on August 28th at the Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art (MoCCA). Thanks also to Jerry Robinson, Danny Fingeroth, R. Sikoryak, Eddy Friedfeld, Matt Murray, Ken Wong, Kyle Baker, and Liz Glass for their help in making the evening such a success! And for those who didn’t get a chance to attend, here’s an article about the event from the Aug 31 New York Sun:

“Masters of TCBUR!” interviewee Kyle Baker was nice enough to plug my book on his blog. His wife Liz Glass wrote some really nice things about “Masters…” on the blog and even included an excerpt from the book! Here’s the link:

It can be found under the following date and title: “Saturday,October 21, 2006 Kyle Baker featured in Arie Kaplan’s MASTERS OF THE COMIC BOOK UNIVERSE REVEALED!”

And I’ll be doing a series of lectures/book signings from November4-8 as part of the exhibit “ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: 1938-1950- The Golden Age of Comic Books” at the Janice Charach Epstein Gallery at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

I’ll also be lecturing as part of the center’s 55th Annual Jewish Book Fair. To promote the event, there’s an interview with me in last Wednesday’s Detroit Jewish News, where I talk about MAD, my new book, and an unrealized dream project called “LepreCOPS”.

Aside from my book, you can find my name elsewhere at bookstores and on newsstands right now:

In the October 2006 issue of NICKELODEON Magazine, my “Vampire Nerds” gag cartoon (which I both wrote AND drew) is on page 32. Some of you may notice that Kyle Baker wrote and illustrated “The X’s” comic strip on pages30-31. And my colleague Karen Sneider wrote and drew the “It’s Laundry Day” gag to the left of mine on page 32.

And one of the first pieces I ever wrote for MAD, “New ‘Rock & Rap Inspired’ Ben & Jerry’s Flavors” has just been reprinted on page 96 of MAD Classics #10, on newsstands now! That piece can also be seen on

In addition, my X-Men spoof “Are You Just Growing Up…Or Are You A Mutant?” is in MAD Kids #4, on page 10 in the Brain Drool section.

Last but not least, the latest installment of “Dave Danger, Action Kid,” the episode titled “How to Stop A Golem!”is in the Fall 2006 issue of REFORM JUDAISM Magazine, on pages 8-9.

It’s illustrated (as always) by the amazing Leela Corman!

I was also recently interviewed about my book by the comics-themed Internet radio show Indie Spinner Rack (, and the interview should air some time in mid-November. I’ll keep you all posted as to the exact air date!

Meanwhile, check out the constantly evolving for news, updates, cartoons, info on new projects, and more!!

Thanks, and I hope you’re all doing well!

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