Monday, December 08, 2008

Northern New England Cartoonists Holiday Party December 6, 2008

When I lived in Brooklyn, NY, I was spoiled. There were cartoonists in every borough, as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island ....

I found out was that there are many cartoonists here in the northeastern US. The comics community is very active, despite the cold and snow! And so I thought I would put together a gathering of cartoonists. I picked out the restaurant, priced the menu and spread the word.

I hope that those who were able to attend enjoyed the event.

Above: a card that I drew up for holiday party goody bad insertion.

This past Saturday, on a cold and cloudy New England afternoon, about 20 cartoonists and their friends and loved ones got together at a local pub for the first Northern New England Cartoonists Holiday Party in Rochester, NH.

Above: Rochester Times News Editor John Nolan (who was named "Columnist of the Year" by the New Hampshire Press Association last month) chats with Peter Noonan, THE HIPPO newspaper's resident cartoonist. Peter drew the cover of this week's edition of THE HIPPO.

Above: some sketches from the participants of the party.

About 90 minutes into the party, Peter, having eaten his appetizers, salad, Irish stew & dessert, announced to the room at large that he wanted to draw. A piece of Bristol Board and a Pigma Micron pen was produced. Peter is "still working on his Obama" caricature. He drew Obama, as well as a little guy pulling Obama's ear. He began drawing our State governor John Lynch (no relation), and someone started talking about Jimmy Carter, causing the pen to move in Jimmy Carter lines rather than John Lynch lines.

Above: journalist Amy Miller, gag cartoonist for Playboy and The New Yorker Bill Woodman, cartoonist John Klossner, Mike Lynch, NON SEQUITOR cartoonist and children's book creator Wiley Miller.

Amy & John, Bill and Wiley all drove in from Maine to be with us.

Above: a sketch by Wiley Miller, drawn at the party.

Wiley, John and Bill talked about all those last minute cartoonists; guys who, through the years, have flown last minute flights to the syndicates (this is back in pre-Internet days), inking on the plane; arriving at the syndicate, still inking in the lobby. I remembered a story that Jack Davis told about his wife Deena driving Jack into NYC, with Jack in the back seat, furiously erasing his pencils from his Mad Magazine originals, minutes before deadline.

Above: The couple behind the syndicated OFF THE MARK newspaper cartoon panel Lynn (the brains) & Mark Parisi (the funny).

I was talking to Mark Parisi about Christmas cartoon gags. I'm bad about Christmas. New gag ideas are hard to come by and I groan just thinking about even trying to come up with anything new. How many times do we see a cartoon with Rudolph getting his red nose from his drinking problem or Santa's elves threatening to unionize and go on strike and so on. Having to be fresh all the time is the challenge of a good cartoonist.

Above: Brian Cogdanone of Corbett Features, John Bradley, Patricia Hurd listen to Mark Parisi. Not in the shot, but at the table there out of range: Barry Corbett (also of Corbett Features, natch!) & cartoonist/author Peaco Todd.

Barry and Brian pointed out that under the clear plastic table pads were that day's newspaper funnies section. Mel Flanagan's Pub put them there just for us. Very nice of them! Barry and Brian went around before people got seated, reading all of them. Once a funnies fan, always a funnies fan.

Above: the New Hampshire contingent (minus me, of course): THE HIPPO newspaper's cartoonist Peter Noonan, Marek Bennett of MIMI'S DONUTS, SIX CHIX and FAIR GAME syndicated cartoonist Stephanie Piro and Denise Bennett.

Marek was awarded the prestigious Xeric Award this past Spring, which is why he looks happy. Either that, or Stephanie is pinching him.

Above: Juana Medina, RISD design major who won the first King Features' Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship this year, Mike Lynch and Stephanie Piro. Juana and her friend Pablo drove all the way from Providence, RI to be part of the evening. She's a terrific cartoonist.

Above: a cartoon of Little Red Riding Hood naively walking to grandma's house, drawn by Juana Medina. Since we are all wearing red in the above photo, her drawing of LRR came to mind.

By the way, the Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship is accepting submissions for 2009. Deadline is February 6.

Special "above and beyond the call" big XXL thanks to cartoonists Mark Anderson, Marek Bennett, Brian Cogdanone, Barry Corbett, Wiley Miller, Stephanie Piro, John Nolan, and Mark Parisi for contributing their own mini-comics, books, calendars, buttons, newspapers and cards to the holiday goody bag. Everyone who attended was able to take home a wonderful bag of cartoony goodness thanks to your generosity.


raydioviz said...

Thanks for the pics! I love seeing pics of industry pros getting together -- I like to see the faces connected to the names!

Unknown said...

I thought you guys were meeting at DENNY'S! After 2 hours and a few Combo's, I left and drove back to Ohio.
Looks like you all had FUN!!!

Mark Anderson said...

Wish I coulda been there, it looks like a good time was had by all.

Linette Moore said...

Looks like fun! Sorry I missed it.

Anonymous said...

We all had a great time Mike. Thanks so much for getting it together.

Dan Reynolds said...

Looks like it was a lot of fun. That's awesome that you did that, Mike.

Daryll Collins said...

Looks like a great time was had by all.

And some great cartoonists I had the chance to get to spend time with at the last convention, John Klossner, Mark Parisi and you too, Mike!

Marek Bennett said...

Mike, thanks for putting the evening together. You are the glue beneath our wings!

But wait... Santa's elves unionizing, and reindeer at a bar... that was my next cartoon idea! Oh no...

PS. "a card that I drew up for holiday party goody bad insertion" -- I got your card, but I didn't see anything that looked like a "goody bad"! 8^)

Mike Lynch said...

Thanks for your kind words. There are always a lot of hours put in to get one of these things off the ground. I wish I could just get a big ol' bus and fill it full of food and beer and travel around the country to all you guys; then you'd just have to keep an eye out for that bus with the "Careful Nervous Cartoonist Driving" bumper sticker.

Marek, you were going to get a BAD, but Denise and Mei-Mei were so nice, we decided on a BAG for you instead.