Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, John Buscema

A 1975 photo of John Buscema from his Wikipedia page. 

Marvel Comics artist John Buscema was born on this day in 1927. He died on January 10, 2002.

Here's a remembrance of John and John Romita, Sr.

John Buscema was a curmudgeon. It's not just my opinion, but the opinion of a number of his friends and colleagues who knew him.

I'm not saying he was a bad guy -- not at all. The man was a lovable curmudgeon.

But, a curmudgeon nonetheless. The guy was a typical New Yorker. He loved to complain.

I was fortunate to be a member of the Berndt Toast Gang -- the legendary group of Long Island cartoonists, beginning in 2001. John began attending the Gang's monthly lunches because his friend, John Romita, bugged him to come along with him.

The exchanges were something like:

"Come on. You'll have a good time."

"No, I won't"

"Yes, you will."


And so on.

Most of the time John Buscema would come, and sit with John Romita. Many other cartoonists would be there: Stan Goldberg, Creig Flessel, Tom Gill, Joe Giella, Don Orehek, Al Scaduto, Lee Ames, Mort Drucker, John Reiner, Bunny Hoest and others. Much good food, much shop talk. It was, always, a good time had by all.

But having a good time is hard especially if you are not used to it.

At least that's my take on what John B. would tell John R. as they went out to the parking lot after the lunch.

"Did you have a good time?" John Romita would ask his friend and colleague as they trudged out of the Thatched Cottage banquet facility in Centerport, Long Island.

John would maybe make a sound in the back of his throat or shrug his shoulders.

They would continue walking for a moment.

"John," said John Buscema, "Do you know what's wrong the Berndt Toast Gang lunch?"

Romita was a bit exasperated at this point, knowing that a complaint would be forthcoming.

"No, John, what's wrong with it?"

"It's too damn short."

No comments: