Go MAD with Humor Experts at Free Seminars in Watkins Theater
“The Toonists Take on Tune Town” when the National Cartoonists Society’s Southeast Chapter brings legendary film and magazine illustrators – including MAD Magazine alumni Nick Meglin and Angelo Torres – to Nashville for their fall meeting November 2-3. Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will host the cartoonists for several open-to-the-public seminars on humor theory, satire, caricature and animation on Saturday, November 3.
On slate for Saturday’s free seminars in the Watkins Theater are several nationally acclaimed cartoonists representing multiple disciplines within the cartooning field. Former Disney animator and “Veggie Tales” director Tom Bancroft will open the day’s events at 11 a.m. with an hour-long session on animation. Bancroft’s work with Disney includes “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan,” and “Brother Bear.”
After a lunch break the seminars will resume at 1 p.m. with MAD Magazine editor emeritus Nick Meglin and Southeast Chairman and humorous illustrator Jack Pittman speaking on humor theory. The duo will present different aspects of humor illustrated by examples of Pittman’s work, ending with a brief presentation of Pittman’s procedure in putting together cartoon maps for the various amusement parks he illustrates around the world.
At 2 p.m., Meglin will team up with long-time MAD illustrator Angelo Torres (their association with MAD spans five decades) in a retrospective of Torres’ work for MAD, EC, and various comics he has drawn over his career. Torres is especially well known for the film and television satires he illustrates. This seminar will segue into a session on caricature at 3 p.m., which will include Torres, National Cartoonist Society President and MAD illustrator Tom Richmond, and editorial cartoonist Dwane Powell. The trio will speak about their approaches to caricature with live demonstrations by each.
There will also be a silent auction of original art from the cartoonists (concluding after the seminars). Proceeds will be divided between the National Cartoonists Society’s Milt Gross Fund and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.
The National Cartoonists Society was founded in 1946 with Rube Goldberg as its first President. Its members have a long history of public service with USO tours, visits to military and children’s hospitals, and a variety of charity benefits. Each spring the society holds it annual Reuben Awards Presentations to recognize those in the profession whose work from the previous year has demonstrated excellence in different fields of cartooning. Both Pittman and Richmond are multiple winners in the Advertising, Magazine, and Newspaper Illustration divisions. The Reuben, named for Rube Goldberg, and a statue sculpted by him, is presented to the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. This year’s Reuben was presented to NCS President Tom Richmond in recognition of his stellar work for MAD as well as other clients.
Illustrated above in the poster: Angelo Torres and Nick Meglin
For more information, contact Caroline Davis at [email protected].
Tom Bancroft has almost 25 years of experience in the animation industry, most of which was for Walt Disney Feature animation where he was an animator for 11 years. He has been nominated for Annie and Rueben division awards, spoken at the Kennedy Center and awarded an entry into the Chicago Children’s Film Festival.
While at Disney, Bancroft had the opportunity to contribute animation on 10 animated feature films, 5 animated shorts, and numerous special projects and commercials. Some of the classic films include, “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin”, “Mulan”, and “Brother Bear”. He was also a character designer and director for Big Idea Productions makers of the family-friendly “Veggietales” video series.
In 2005, Bancroft had his popular art instruction book, “Creating Characters with Personality” published by Watson-Guptill Publishers. It has become the most recognized book on designing characters for animation, video games, comic books, and cartooning and is a required textbook at many art schools around the world. Focal Press recently published his second book, “Character Mentor” and it is already one of their best-selling art instruction books.
Bancroft co-founded Funnypages Productions, LLC and ran it for eight years. Throughout that time and now, he has provided direction, art direction, illustration, character design and animation development for clients like Disney Feature films, Disney Licensing, DC comics, Marvel Licensing, Big Idea Productions, Warner Brothers, CBN, Scholastic, Lego International, DeNa Studios, and Pocketgems. He has also illustrated over 50 children’s books. Recently, he provided character art and art direction to help launch the popular kid’s educational website ABCMouse.com. Bancroft and his family reside in Franklin, Tennessee. You can see a gallery of some of Bancroft’s work at tombancroft.designbinder.com.
Jack Pittman, a former staff artist, courtroom artist and cartoonist illustrator with Raleigh’s News & Observer, has been freelancing from his home studio with various ad agencies, publications and corporate clients since 1983.
His clients include American Express, Carolina Hurricanes NHL team, Coca-Cola, ESPN, Focus on the Family, Gatorade, GlaxoSmithKline, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Kellogg’s, Marvel, National Geographic Society, NC Museum of History, Nortel Networks, Palace Entertainment, Plant Delights Nursery, Procter & Gamble, Reader’s Digest, Steck-Vaughn Publishing, Universal Studios, Wendy’s, Wildlife in NC, and WTBS.
Pittman’s work has received numerous awards—Best in Advertising Illustration and Best in Magazine Illustration at the National Cartoonists Society’s 50th, 53rd, and 59th Annual Reuben Awards, the Art Directors Club, Silver and Bronze medals in NY’s The One Show, and various Addy Awards.
Pittman received his design degree from NC State University’s School of Design in 1974. His bio is included in the current editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. He is Chairman of the National Cartoonists Society’s Southeast Chapter. Visit jackpittman.net
Nick Meglin is best known as the editor of MAD Magazine, a position that he held for most of his professional career and is a proud member of the National Cartoonist Society (Southeast Chapter), the Society of Illustrators, ASCAP, and Dramatist Guild.
His musicals Tim & Scrooge (book and lyrics), written with composer Neil Berg, was selected for the New York Musical Theater Festival and had a critically acclaimed production at Queens Theater in the Park ( the show also enjoyed a sold out production at OST in Greensboro, NC in Dec 2011, and is scheduled to open in Tampa, FL in 2013) and Grumpy Old Men — the Musical (lyrics) had it’s world premier at the Manitoba Center for Performing Arts in Winnipeg last October.
Nick is the author of 15 books including: MAD About the 50’s, MAD About the 60’s, Rotten Rhymes and Other Crimes, MAD Stew, Honor Thy Godfather, Superfan, Superfan Again! as well as over 300 national publications Tennis Magazine,Opera News, Pro Quarterback, The NY Sunday Times , etc.
In the area of art, he is particularly proud of his book, Drawing From Within, written with his daughter Diane, a clinical social worker at Duke University Medical Center. The Art of Humorous Illustration, and many articles for American Artist Magazine, Ideas, Step-by-step Graphics, etc.
He has also written many comedy albums (often in association with Earle Doud, creator of the First Family series) including Everything You Wanted to Know About the Godfather – But Don’t Ask! Nick’s special projects include audio dramas recorded for American Cancer Society, and comedy for industrials, political campaigns, and celebrity award dinners.
Nick has written for syndicated comic strips and TV animation, his favorite being episodes for The Pink Panther written with his son Chris, an English teacher.
He served as head writer for National Cartoonist Society Annual Sports Night presentations for over ten years with his dear friend, the much honored sports cartoonist Bill Gallo and has over fifty appearances on TV and radio including: The Today Show, 60 Minutes, Larry King, Howard Stern, Robert Klein, NPR.
Angelo Torres began his career in the early 1950s, assisting his studio mate Al Williamson on EC titles such as ‘Valor’ together with Frank Frazetta and Roy Krenkel (known as the “Fleagle Gang”). He also contributed to the Atlas mystery and western titles in the late 1950s. For Gilberton, he contributed to ‘Classics Illustrated’, among others, and for Feature Comics, he was present in Sick during the 1960s.
Tom Richmond is a freelance humorous illustrator and cartoonist, and current president of the National Cartoonists Society. His work has appeared in countless national magazines, newspapers, books, computer games, comic books, advertising and in animations for film and television. He is a member of “The Usual Gang of Idiots” as a major contributor to MAD Magazine as well as the animated MAD show on the Cartoon Network. He recently received the prestigious Rueben Award for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year” from the National Cartoonists Society. He works from a studio in his home near Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit tomrichmond.com.
About the NCS
The National Cartoonists Society is the world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. The NCS was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops. They found that they enjoyed each other’s company and decided to get together on a regular basis. Today, the NCS membership roster includes over 500 of the world’s major cartoonists, working in many branches of the profession, including newspaper comic strips and panels, comic books, editorial cartoons, animation, gag cartoons, greeting cards, advertising, magazine and book illustration and more. Membership is limited to established professional cartoonists, with a few exceptions of outstanding persons in affiliated fields. The NCS is not a guild or union, although they have joined forces from time to time to fight for member’s rights, and regularly use their talents to help worthwhile causes. Visit www.reuben.org.