Just two weeks ago, I was attending the National Cartoonists Society’s annual Reuben Awards convention held in Memphis, Tennessee this year. Our first day at the convention was spent at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital touring the facility, then drawing for the sick kids. What a special day that was.
As we split into tour groups of 5 people each, I was a part of a very special group because it included the legendary Paul Coker, Jr. I’ve known Paul for about a dozen years or so, but probably haven’t seen him in person in about that time since we live several states away from each other. What a treat to spend a chunk of the day with him and his wife Rosemary.
For those of you unfamiliar with Paul’s name, he has drawn for MAD Magazine for many decades, and has had a great career illustrating books, posters, comic strips, and even designed for animation. Ever heard of a little TV Christmas special called Frosty the Snowman? Yep, he did the character designs. We were drawing for the kids with Paul sitting one table away from me. While I was drawing for a child, the father of that child looked past me over at Paul and said, “Whoa, now THAT’S a good Frosty!” I then let him know that Paul was THE Frosty guy, and suddenly my Mickey Mouse meant nothing to him.
I don’t blame him, because it is an honor to get a Paul Coker original. It is even a greater honor to BECOME a Paul Coker original!! That day Paul told me that he drew me into his latest MAD assignment!
Well, just this past week, Paul’s latest assignment for MAD hit the newsstand! It is a funny two pager written by Kenny Keil showing what special perks folks get for the latest high priced Disneyland season pass. When it came time to poke fun at Disney animation artists, Paul put me into the hot seat, and I LOVE it!
If you’d like to see the whole article illustrated by Paul, it is in the issue of MAD in comic shops and newsstands NOW. To wet your whistle, here it is real small.