Sunday is always the last day of events for the National Cartoonists Society’s (NCS) Reuben convention held every Memorial Day weekend. It is usually a little more relaxed than the day before since Saturday’s activities always spill over into the wee hours of Sunday morning. So, a bit of sleeping in is usually how most of the cartoonists start their Reuben Sunday. However, things started rolling by noon when Pittsburgh’s ToonSeum, managed by Joe Wos, hosted their first Comic Arts Festival!
The street was blocked off for the day as art vendors, restaurants, and even a roller derby vendor (yes, roller derby) sold their wares. Some of the NCS’ more well known cartoonists were scheduled throughout the afternoon signing autographs for fans, and they hosted a panel discussion of women in the comics that included Cathy Guisewite (Cathy), Lynn Johnston (For Better or For Worse), Terri Liebenson (Pajama Diaries), and Hilary Price (Rhymes With Orange).
Sunday afternoon offered some time for sightseeing. My pal Andy Heckathorne and I decided to walk over to a museum honoring one of Pittsburgh’s natives – some guy named Andy Warhol. To get there, you had to follow the yellow steel bridge. Follow, follow, follow, follow. Follow the yellow steel bridge.
Once at the museum, we bumped into many colleagues from the Reubens. I’d show you photos of them all next to Warhol paintings, but no photography was allowed which is ironic since Warhol’s work depended heavily on the photography of others.
At the end of the day, there was one final bash to close out the Reuben convention. With a theme of the 1920s, we retreated to a lower level ballroom where we were served prime rib, salmon, vegetables, and the like set to the strains of a band made up of local Pittsburghian cartoonists. Roughly half of the attendees came dressed in 1920s attire while the music being played was not exactly period. Many of the costumed folks retreated down the hall to a genuine speakeasy still intact from the days of Prohibition. It was a fun last night of socializing with colleagues, and was a great way to cap off a terrific weekend!
The next day, Memorial Day itself, many cartoonists scattered to the wind with our thoughts already on getting back together next year in San Diego! But just because we left the hotel Monday morning didn’t mean the party was over! I kept seeing cartoonists in the airport such as those in this final parting shot….