Two Things To Mention

#1: I spent this past weekend volunteering at the 2013 Festival of Cartoon Art at OSU’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.


From the Cartoon Library’s website:

The Festival of Cartoon Art, held triennially since 1983, features two days of lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions, receptions and other special events. It attracts an international audience including cartoonists, comics scholars, fans, collectors and students…The Festival is a place where cartoon enthusiasts and creators come together, exchange ideas, and share their passion for comics and cartoons. Since 1983, the nation’s leading cartoonists have spoken at the Festival, including Lynda Barry, Milton Caniff, Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, Ben Katchor, Patrick Oliphant, Jeff Smith, Art Spiegelman, Garry Trudeau and Bill Watterson, just to name a few.

I had a great time. Here were my highlights:

  • I attended the grand opening of the Cartoon Library in its new space in Sullivant Hall. The place looks terrific. There are beautiful galleries full of original art from amazing cartoonist throughout the last one hundred  years. If you ever have the opportunity to spend some time in Columbus I strongly suggest walking around OSU and visiting both the main library and the Cartoon Library.
  • I attended a session with speaker Stephen Pastis, the creator of the syndicated comic strip Pearls Before Swine. He was hilarious. I loved his stories, especially the ones where he talked about specific strips that got him in trouble. Here he is signing books afterwards:


  • I met, sat next to and may have even slightly bonded with Jean Schulz, the widow of Charles Schulz and President of the Board of Directors at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. I’m optimistic I may have made enough of an impression that there’s now a three percent chance I’m on her Christmas card list.
  • I attended a screening of the documentary Stripped, introduced by filmmakers Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder, followed by a panel discussion with featured artists Patrick McDonnell, Hilary Price, and Dylan Meconis. The film was pretty good. The discussion afterwards was interesting. Here’s a picture that solidifies me as an expert photographer:


  • I met, shared some laughs and had conversations with Brian Basset, the creator and artist behind the syndicated comic strip Adam@home and Red and Rover. He and his wife Bobbi were really cool to hang out with. I’m sure if I showed up unexpectedly on their doorstep late one night they would be willing to take the time to open the door and point me in the direction of a nearby hotel.

Based on this list, one might wonder when I found time to volunteer and do stuff that benefited the Cartoon Library. Well, I did, so hush up and keep your hands to yourself.

#2: The second episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson that my wife and I were in the audience for back on Labor Day aired last night. Honestly, now that I’ve watched it again after two months, it actually wasn’t a very entertaining show. Craig’s bit about pre-recording this episode months in advance and wearing the same tie was funny, but only because I had been there and was in on the joke. And while it wasn’t apparent at the time, after seeing it now it really feels to me like he really didn’t give a whole lot of crap about doing a good show. Regardless, I’m happy to report that my experience of being there hasn’t changed.

– Ben

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