Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Society of Illustrators Gallery Show: Berndt Toast Gang 50th Anniversary

I am honored to announce that I am one of the cartoonists whose work will be on display for The Berndt Toast Gang show at the Society of Illustrators from January 5, 2015 to February 27, 2015. 

The Berndt Toast Gang is the Long Island chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. The chapter was founded when a group of cartoonist friends got together in Huntington, NY in 1966.

I was chair of the group for about five years, from 2002 to 2007.

The group grew and changed, with many members. Just a few names off the top of my head: Sandy Kossin, Bill Ligante, Don Orehek, Creig Flessel, John Buscema, Stan Goldberg, Frank Springer, Joe Giella, Joe Edwards, Al Scaduto, Mort Drucker, Bunny Hoest, John Reiner, Dan Danglo, Sy Barry, Steve Duquette, Tom Gill, Ernie Colon, Art Cumings, Tony D'Amato, Bill Kresse, Valerie Costantino, Arnie Levin, Marv Levy, John Romita and many more. In the beginning days, Rube Goldberg would drop in. And I am sure I am omitting a chunk of names here.

My good friend Adrian Sinnott is the current chair and the organizer of this anniversary gallery show.

Here is the background on the Berndt Toast Gang, which I originally wrote and is now part of a Wikipedia entry:

"The Berndt Toast Gang, named in honor of Walter Berndt, is a group of Long Island cartoonists who meet on the last Thursday of each month. As explained by cartoonist Lee Ames:
"When the Long Island group, Creig Flessel, Bill Lignante, Frank Springer, Al Micale and I got together to work for Hanna Barbera in the 1960s, we decided to have a Finnegan's Bar lunch every last Thursday of the month. During that period, Creig brought Walter Berndt to join us. We fell in love with the cigar-smoking old-timer (look who's talking!), as he did with us. After a couple of years he passed away and left us grieving. Thereafter, whenever we convened on Thursdays, we'd raise a toast to Walter's memory. On one such, my big mouth opened and uttered, 'Fellas, it's time for the Berndt toast!' I wasn't trying to be cute at the time, but I'm not displeased that it stuck and we became the Berndt Toast Gang, one of the largest branches of the National Cartoonists Society."

The show is in honor of Jeff Fisher.

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