SKETCHY CHARACTERS DEPT.
SKETCHY CHARACTERS DEPT.
DIARY OF A WALKING DEAD KID
By Jeff Kinney and Robert Kirkman
Random Death Publishing, $11.95
The Walking Dead! Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Two massively popular cartoon titles, each with sales in the millions, but also two totally separate audiences. One series is a grisly exploration of existential horror, about an emotionally shattered hero just trying to survive another day with the terrible knowledge that his own family might turn on him at any moment. And the other one’s about zombies.
Each title has reached the pinnacle of success for any comic book creator. They’ve been turned into a TV show and a movie franchise, so rabid fans don’t ever have to waste their time reading the original source material ever again. Ugh, PAPER.
But the publishing houses aren’t giving up that easy. And if they’ve hit a marketing ceiling, there’s still one way to juice additional interest in their flagship titles: combine them! However, this particular crossover faces daunting creative challenges. On the one hand, you’ve got a grade school zitcom drawn on a blind monkey’s Etch-A-Sketch that thinks seat assignments and sleepovers are akin to Shakespearean drama. On the other severed hand, you’ve got a repetitive conveyor belt of necrocannibalistic gore, with a more detached tolerance for head trauma than the NFL. How can such disparate genres be integrated into one satisfying work? Can two one-note projects harmonize into a symphony?
The answer is yes. These two series are actually a perfect fit. Who among us hasn’t had an annoying sibling, and wanted to bite through their carotid artery? Diary of a Walking Dead Kid manages to tap into the latent homicidal rage that school and family are all about, and turn it into a charming, nightmarish, warmly funny ordeal of suffering that schizophrenics of all ages can identify with.
When the story begins, Greg Heffley wakes up to discover that he’s been transported to the blood-soaked suburbs of post-zombie Atlanta. How is this possible, you ask? Oh, shut up. You never wondered before how Greg could have 90% of his body weight concentrated in his head, but NOW you’re getting meticulous about realistic details and airtight logic?
At first, Greg’s happy with the switch because the weird kids have all been eaten, the zombified bullies can now be outrun, and it’s okay to put an axe into your least favorite teacher’s face. (Even more so if they’re a zombie.) As Greg’s pals get eaten one by one, he befriends neighborhood newcomer Carl Grimes. Carl’s the type of kid Greg’s never seen before. Hardened. Resilient. Youngest NRA President ever. He’s the most dangerous 13-year-old killing machine to appear in kids’ literature since Pippi Longstocking.
If there’s a problem with this savage zombie crossover, it’s that all of your favorite Wimpy Kid characters are dead by the end of it, including Skinny Male with Buck Teeth, Skinny Male with Five Hair Lines, Stocky Male with Buck Teeth, Skinny Male with Six Hair Lines and Prettiest Girl in School Who Looks Exactly Like Skinny Male with Five Hair Lines Except With a Wig. That leaves our hero Greg all alone, facing doom in a pitiless world, babbling his disjointed internal thoughts to nobody. In other words, like every Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.
Yesterday, Lance Armstrong finally came clean and admitted to being a lying, cheating, drug-using weasel. After years of steadfast denials, what prompted this sudden act of truthfulness? Some say it was the overwhelming evidence compiled against him. We say the tipping point for Lance clearly came after he appeared in the piece below as one of 2012's "20 Dumbest People, Events and Things" in MAD #519 — on sale now!
Today's artist spotlight is on Hermann Mejia! Check out this amazing piece of art he did for "Spider-Man Tweets While Watching The Avengers" from our current issue, then spend some time at Hermann's personal website here!
To read this article (written by Desmond Devlin), pick up MAD #516, on sale now at newsstands AND on your iPad! But don't stop there: subscribe to MAD today! Get the print edition here and the iPad version here!
Yesterday, DC Entertainment announced that they’ll be expanding on the classic series Watchmen
with seven inter-connected prequel mini-series. Some of the industry’s biggest names are involved, yet one name was conspicuously absent — ours! We correct this hurtful oversight by bringing you our Watchmen parody, created years before the DCE announcement was even made!
Click each image to make it Dr. Manhattan-sized.
Over the years, MAD did a lot of takeoffs on “The Family Circus”. Keane always enjoyed them and laughed along with us.
Here’s just a small sampling. Thanks for the inspiration, Bil.
Come meet “The Usual Gang of Idiots!” MAD Editor John Ficarra will lead a MAD panel discussion (and potential melee) featuring the legendary Fold-In artist Al Jaffee, Spy vs. Spy writer/artist Peter Kuper, writer Desmond Devlin, art director Sam Viviano and the writer/producer of the MAD show on Cartoon Network, Kevin Shinick! It's on Sunday, October 16 at 12:15 at the Javits Center in New York City.
For directions, tickets and other info, click here.
One unlucky attendee to the panel will go home with a copy of the brand spanking new MAD Fold-In Collection, compliments of Chronicle Books! (No backsies!)
Come see for yourself why other comic conventions who have hosted MAD panels have all said the same thing: “Never again!”
2011 marks the 30th anniversary of MTV’s debut! However, in all of the hullabaloo, America has overlooked an equally-important milestone — the 5th anniversary of MAD printing this article!
If you’re too cheap to buy a ticket to the Green Lantern movie opening today, here’s a sneak peek at the first two pages of our Green Lantern satire from MAD #510. We’re just praying you’re not too cheap to go out and buy the issue!