Hunger Games Mad header

The Hunger Games may be one of the biggest franchises in the world, but leave it to MAD Magazine to really boil it down. It’s just a movie about a world where kids kill each other over food. Sure, there’s more to it, but in the latest issue of the iconic publication, there’s a beautiful two page skewering of the franchise, specifically its latest theatrical incarnation The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and we’re proud to exclusively debut the image. Check it out below, along with some thoughts on the spread from MAD editor John Ficarra.

First up, here’s the two page spread which is in issue #526. Click to blow it up.

MAD Magazine Hunger Gam#F28

And here’s the cover:

MAD Magazine 526 LEGO Cover

Along with the debut, we asked MAD editor John Ficarra about the spread. He was happy to make fun of those questions:

Can you tell me about the idea behind this spoof and the timing?

The idea was to do a sharp, biting and hilarious satire of Catching Fire that our readers would enjoy. In the end, we weren’t successful in carrying that idea out, but we had the best of intentions and that should really count for something! As far as the timing goes, we were careful that the spoof would appear after the movie came out. We considered releasing the spoof several years ago, but the movie hadn’t been made yet – and in fact, Jennifer Lawrence was still in middle school –  so we decided to bide our time.

Who drew it and how long did it take?

The spoof was drawn by Tom Richmond and written by Desmond Devlin. I’m not really sure how long it took, but Tom always puts an extraordinary amount of work into his illustrations. I know that he definitely went without sleep while he was working on the piece – which is really saying something, since staying awake while watching Catching Fire is next to impossible.

Have you guys found the Hunger Games to be a particularly ripe place for parody?

Oddly enough, a movie about children murdering one another just isn’t that inherently funny.  Still, we’ve found plenty worth mocking. But, it’s pretty grim, and there’s still two more of these movies we’ll have to spoof! Hopefully in the next movie there will pie-fight or something to lighten the mood a little.

Besides this, what else can fans find in this new issue?

          Our fans aren’t that smart – even with the table of contents, we can never be sure of how much they’ll be able to find in any given issue. Still, the brainier ones will find Sergio Aragonés’s A MAD Look at Gravity, American Girl dolls based on HBO’s Girls, Planet Tad, The Fundalini Pages, the Fold-In, the MAD Strip Club, Spy vs. Spy and a bunch more. But again, our expectations for MAD readers are decidedly low.

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