When Friday rolled around last week, cartoonists from far and wide could be found at the check-in desk for the weekend’s festivities. Name badges were put on, goodie bags were enjoyed, and backs were slapped. It was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
Friday afternoon delivered to us three informative seminars on three very different topics. The first seminar was hosted by Andrews McMeel Publishing who brought together a panel to discuss their foray into e-book publishing. Second up was Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh’s own editorial cartoonist who shared with us his work, most notably several cartoons poking fun at Pittsburgh’s very young mayor (only 26 years old when he was elected) whom Rob depicts as an impish child. The third seminar was provided by Terri Liebenson, cartoonist of the syndicated Pajama Diaries comic strip.
In the evening, the National Cartoonists Society members descended upon The ToonSeum, Pittsburgh’s cartoon art museum. On display were original pieces of art by every Reuben winner in the NCS’ 67 year history of the awards. Of note was an original by Rube Goldberg himself, along with his Reuben Award and his original sculpt when he designed the trophy named after him. Also garnering many “ooooohs” and “aaaaahs” was an original daily Calvin & Hobbs strip that Bill Watterson had hand colored and signed to Charles Schulz. Rare stuff indeed!
As the evening wound to a close, cartoonists gathered once again in the lobby of the historic William Penn Hotel where the gentle jazz strings of the piano scored our conversations long into dreamland territory. I enjoyed chats with Tundra cartoonist Chad Carpenter, his associate Bill Kellogg, Archie artist Stan Goldberg, new acquaintance Ainsley Olsen and Los Angeles pal David Folkman (Hogan’s Alley Magazine).
With Saturday and Sunday still to come, more images from the 2013 Reuben weekend will be on their way!