(Above: Arnold Roth's wonderful color drawing commemorating the event. The drawing adorned our goody bag and a t-shirt.)
OK, I've had a couple of days to detox .... The Reubens are, in a word, surreal. Oh sure, you'll meet a bunch of fellow cartoonists, drink, hear old cartoon war stories, drink, put on a tux, drink, hear Dan Piraro sing, drink ... but, really, the Reubens are, in the end, surreal.
Missed all of the Friday afternoon events due to LaGuardia being fogged in. I call Mark Anderson, who's already at the Reubens. "I'm on the CTA train to the city. About 25 minutes away now."
Mark says it's break time at the Reubens and he's having a scone at Starbucks and Hilary Price and Jay Kennedy are there. I think I said something like, "Behave yourself, Anderson!" He laughs maniacally.
When I finally walked into the hotel lobby, I see Nick Meglin. "You're just getting in NOW?!" he asks. I growl something about fog and feel pissed. I feel like I have those cartoon steam lines over my head.
Finally met my cartoony brother Mark Anderson. We've been calling each other for years, but never met. We go to the cocktail party together.
SURREAL MOMENT: Met Mike Luckovich and his family. Mike's a real regular guy and a cartoonist who I admire. I remember that his family attended the annual Bunny Bash in 2005. There's a traditional photo taken of the attendees. Mike's family's in the photo, but Mike isn't. He was upstairs, in the Hoest studio, bent over John Reiner's drawing board meeting a pressing deadline. This is how you win 2 Pulitzers (not to mention a Reuben)! Hard work!
And Mike Luckovich thanked me for sending the congratulations on your Pulitzer e-mail that I sent a couple of months ago! He was such a nice guy; proving that the bigger you are, the nicer you are!
Saw a lot of my friends and colleagues at the party and following karaoke fest. Great to see my friend Tony Murphy made it. Chatted with Rina Piccolo and Brendan Burford, Carla Ventresca and Henry Beckett, Mort Drucker, John Reiner, Bunny Hoest, Frank and Barbara Springer, Stan and Pauline Goldberg, Don and Suzanne Orehek, Doug and Pam Bratton, Dave Coverly, Mell Lazarus, Andy Eng, Bill Gallo, and so many more.
Breakfast with Bunny Hoest, Stan Goldberg, Irwin Hasen, Sandra Bell Lundy and Mark Szorady.
Finally met Kevin McVey who had organized a couple of NCS visits to VA hospitals in association with the USO.
The General Meeting covered all sorts of things like the budget, the enrollment, the Milt Gross Fund and other internal matters of import. In other words, it wasn't too sexy. But I think it's interesting. Mort Walker spoke about the progress of the cartoon museum. The same guy who designed the DC Holocaust Museum will design the new cartoon museum, to be housed in the Empire State Building.
The afternoon sessions were in swing by 12:30.Dick Locher spoke, then Everett Peck. Mark Anderson covers this in his blog for Days 2 & 3, and Day 1. I will say that Everett Peck, who is an illustrator and has put together a number of cartoon series, said he tried to complete a painting a day. I'm lucky to do a couple of cartoons a day. Maybe he can paint and drive and do errands all at the same time. Hmm.
The Reubens per se started after a cocktail reception that night and went on for a while. Again, I lean on Mark for a descrip.
I went to Mark's to meet the family and we all had some great food and went to see X3. A nice day!
Checked out early. The hotel clerk gives me the bill and asks the old perfunctory wheeze: "Is there anything else I can do for you?"
"Yeah. Ha ha. I'd love a cup of coffee."
The guy coolly hands me a slip of paper good for anything on the Starbucks menu, located just across the lobby and open for business. Ahh!
Train to Midway, long walk to the gate. The only other cartoonist on the plane is Jules Feiffer. This is my OTHER SURREAL MOMENT as I chat with him about the weekend and meet his wife and daughters. His wife asks where she can see my cartoons. Everyone at the Reubens got the LAUGHTER THE BEST MEDICINE book with some of my cartoons in it. She passes around the book, pointing out a cat cartoon of mine to them.
One of the daughters was in the movie THE SQUID AND THE WHALE. This is the second cartoony event that I've been to where an actor from THE SQUID AND THE WHALE has appeared. The first one was the Rocketship signing that I blogged about earlier this month. I have no idea what this means.