Monday, May 30, 2011

A Cartoon Afternoon

One of the greatest rewards of being a blogger in Boston is the pile of events that you get invited to. There always seems to be something interesting, informative and just plain fun going on. A few weeks ago the Boston Center for Adult Education sent me an invite for an event called "ONE FINE SUNDAY IN THE FUNNY PAGES". They were curating a collection of over 130 cartoonists, featuring their Sunday paper cartoon panels, all of which were published on the same, exact day. I thought it might be a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. What unfolded was far more than I expected and an incredibly fun day.

"Oh my God," the woman next to me said to her husband. "Remember Nancy? How I used to love Nancy."

Many original comic panels were on display signed by the artists.

Dennis the Menace is 50 years old! Not looking bad, Dennis!

It was fun to join friends and other fans and check out all the framed panels we are used to seeing in the papers. And I swear the free lunch provided was not the only reason we went! Hot dogs, beer, wine, popcorn and Hoodsies ice cream! It was like our own little Memorial Day party.

I did not anticipate, however, that the actual artists would be on hand to meet and greet everyone! Can you imagine walking into a room filled with the people who have created all those comics that have been a staple of your Sunday morning reading since childhood? I was deliriously surprised.

Cartoonists sat at long tables and happily obliged hundreds of fans with impromptu sketches and autographs. It was really amazing.

Cartoonist Bill Morrison working on my Homer Simpson sketch.

The artists could not possibly have been more generous and people had no problem waiting patiently in line to meet them.

Marmaduke, America's favorite, mischevious mutt. Here's my sketch from Marmaduke creator Brad Anderson. Look at that amazingly angular autograph. Another thing that really impressed me about these cartoonists is that, while some of them are now octagenarians, they are all surprisingly youthful and incredibly nice people, proving once again that when you do something you truly love it pays off with a long and happy life.

Who doesn't like Homer Simpson? He's practically an American folk hero. Now I get to boast that I have an original drawn and signed by Bill Morrison

Tom Richmond of MAD Magazine gifted me with this original Alfred E. Neuman. Apparently he forgot what year it is but what the heck. As a young teen I attended a conservative, all boys private school and MAD was about as risque a publication as you could read. It was considered subversive. We loved it!

Seeing Stanley Goldberg, the cartoonist for the "Archie" series brought back a flood of memories. I vividly remember being a very young boy when, on rainy days in Ogunquit, we'd sometimes visit Tower Drug Store and, if lucky, I'd get to pick out a comic book. I always went for the Archie comics. I'd spend all afternoon reading and rereading the antics of Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica. Never did I imagine, so many years later, that I'd be shaking the very hand that drew those characters that amused me for so many hours.

Some of the kids, and even adults, had posters filled with drawings and autographs that were very cool, one-of-a-kind momentos of the event.

Zach even got his portrait done by MAD Magazine's Tom Richmond! I wish I had thought of that.

I would strongly suggest that you check out the BCAE for other quirky, unique events and classes such as this one. You will not be disapponted.

122 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116
Telephone: 617.267.4430

1 comment:

  1. So cool! I've been meaning to take a class at the BCAE, good to know there are so many interesting options.