Friday, June 01, 2007

Berndt Toast Gang Meeting May 31, 2007

Above: a gag cartoon on display at the Long Island Museum's Levittown exhibit: "The O'Banions are attending classes. Whom shall I say called?" No name or publication date that I could make out. When I was first born, my folks rented an old barracks, long since torn down, so this cartoon caught my eye!

I started the day driving out to Stonybrook. Stan Goldberg, Bunny Hoest & myself will be giving a talk about cartooning on Sunday, June 10th at 2pm at the Long Island Museum. After awful traffic on the LIE and only getting lost twice, I got to the museum and saw the room we're using. It'll be fine. I poked around the museum. There are three ZIPPY comic strips and an original Hirschfeld that are part of the "Living the America Dream: Levittown and the Suburban Dream" exhibit. And there's eve n a mock up of a typical Levittown suburban living room where you can sit, watch a nicely remastered I LOVE LUCY episode and page through old magazines. The first thing I turned to in a 1951 issue of Better Homes and Gardens was an ad for Kleenex with Little Lulu and Alvin by Marge.

Above: 3 ZIPPY originals (cartoonist Bill Griffiths was raised in Levittown and has brought it up from time to time in the strip), detail from a magazine ad for Levittown, a Hirschfeld original of William Levitt, the man behind Levittown. Next to the signature, there's a "2 + 1." Mr. Hirschfeld hid Mr. Levitt's wife's name twice in the drawing, and there is one Nina.

Steve Duquette, Don Orehek. Did you notice that in this month's Playboy there are not one but two Don Orehek cartoons? (Photo by John Pennisi)

After a quick coffee, I arrived at the restaurant fully expecting a handful of cartoonists to show up for this month's Berndt Toast Gang get together. After all, it's Memorial Day week and a lot of people are traveling. Well, I was wrong. Maybe people are traveling, but cartoonists aren't! We had over 30 cartoonists, loved ones and friends show up for lunch on this sunny, hot last day in May.

We began with a traditional "Berndt Toast" to a cartoonist. This May, we toasted Bill Woggon, who was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1911. After a stint as a art director for a department store, he joined his older brother Elmer Woggon, assisting on the lettering and other chores for Elmer's BIG CHIEF WAHOO strip. Bill's work caught the eye of an MLJ editor and was asked to create one pager fillers for the ARCHIE comics. In the 1940s, Bill Woggon created KATY KEENE. KATY became so popular, she received her own title in 1949. KK was known for its reader participation. Fashion-obsessed fans could mail in clothing designs, and Woggon would incorporate their designs into the KK comic book stories, complete with a credit to the fan designer.

He passed away on March 2, 2003, at the age of 92.

Adrian Sinnott with his daughter Dottie.

It's rare that NCS Book Illustration Award nominee Adrian can make it to the lunch since he's one of the busiest illustrators I know.

Al Scaduto, Claire Adelman (Photo by John Pennisi)

Bill Crouch has written a great profile of Al, and like a fool I did not make note of where it appeared. If anyone sees it on the Web, let me know.

California-based Disney character designer Stephen Silver's book was passed around. Stephen was kind enough to autograph a copy of this, shown on his Web page. I brought it along for show and tell, and it elicited a lot of oohs and aahs.

Emilio Squeglio, Joe Giella, Al Scaduto

Bill Kresse played the harmonica and we all sang Happy Birthday to Simmy Barry, Rhoda Danglo and Emilio Squeglio.

Art Cumings, Joe Giella

I can see Art's cartoons in Playboy, and Joe's in my Daily News every day, drawing MARY WORTH.

Adrian Sinnott, Al Scaduto, Mike Lynch

The stuff in the background makes it look like we're on a Star Trek set or something!

It was great to see Ernie Colon, once again joining us for lunch. We also welcomed guests Phil Bubbeo and Dan Perico to the festivities. Thank you to John Pennisi for sharing some of his photos!

Next month: the annual Bunny Hoest party!

1 comment:

Mark Anderson said...

Damn you and your pics of fun cartoonist get-togethers! Now I REALLY want to come out there!