My travels – Part 3 – Drawing on the furniture

Bo_Mels piano sm

The National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Weekend was, well, over a month ago, and I’m just now getting to posting about it. And let’s face it, this won’t be much of a post – just some bulleted items of stuff I can recall off the top of my hairless head.

• After too may years I got to see Jim Whiting (who started the local cartooning group where I first met cartoonists in a group-like setting) and Aussie Peter Broelman.

• I got to witness a bunch of friends win awards: my buddy and sometime-roommate Mark Parisi (“Off the Mark“) won for Newspaper Panel, my pal and MAD boss Sam Viviano won for Magazine Illustration and my chum Dave Coverly (“Speed Bump“) won “the big ugly.” That is, the Reuben, the award for outstanding cartoonist of the year. It’s named after cartoonist Rube Goldberg and is indeed kinda odd looking. It consists of four naked cartoon figures piled on top of one another with an ink bottle perched on the uppermost figure’s butt. (Even odder is that supposedly it’s based on a lamp Rube made.)

• I stayed up very late every night, which was even later considering I live three time zones away. I believe I lapped myself the very first day, staying up for 24 hours. Even in the best of circumstances this is not the best way to start a Rubes w-end, even more so since I had to be up in the AM every dang day for some meeting or other.

• I ate at Johnny Rockets a lot.

• And last but not least, I got to draw on furniture. Mell Lazarus (“Miss Peach,” “Momma”) and his wife Sally have a piano in their home that they got about 15 years ago. Mell didn’t like the looks of it and suggested refinishing it. Sally suggested having their cartoonist friends draw on it. And so they have. It’s a “who’s who” of the cartooning world – Schulz, Eisner, Aragones, Johnston , etc. etc. Mell asked a bunch of us who hadn’t marred it’s surface to do so, and I was honored to. It was unnerving to add a drawing to such an amazing piece…and to have nowhere to rest my hand while drawing and trying so very hard not to screw up.

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