So last Friday I went downtown and hung out with some Chicagoland cartoonists for a few hours, and I gotta tell ya, it felt good.

There were some folks I didn’t get the chance to really sit down and talk to, but I got into some good (and funny) discussions with Compu-toon‘s Charles Boyce, Sue Cargill of Commie Dog, and illustrators Brian Diskin & Neil Shapiro.

Most everyone brought a small portfolio to pass around, and Pat brought his copy of his new book, What Would Satan Do? and cell phone pics of his daughter.

So often being a cartoonist means working in your own little bubble. It’s a funny bubble, and it’s really comfortable, but a bubble nonetheless, so it was nice to be able to commiserate and goof around in some other bubbles for a while. Hopefully this will become more of a regular event!

New Panel Is Pure Bliss

You know what’s weird, I’m not a big comics reader anymore.

Maybe it’s the whole stay-at-home dad lack-of-free-time thing, or maybe it’s being too involved in my own cartoon work, but I just can’t find the time anymore except for a cherished few, and even those are more and more occasional lately.

But during a rare perusing of the paper the other day, I noticed a new panel in the Trib by New Yorker cartoonist (and illustrator of my son’s perennial favorite Diary of a Worm) Harry Bliss!

His page is a tad sparse, and the captions read more like filenames (I’m assuming some sort of web snafu), but it’s great to see this level of art and humor in a daily panel! Hats off to Tribune Media Services for getting Bliss on board!

Check it out, and write your editors and demand Bliss! (And while you’re at it, demand Spot the Frog too!)

People With No Lives Open Hong Kong Disneyland

This from a Disney press release regarding the new Hong Kong Disneyland’s opening:

Derrick Johnson was so elated when he beat thousands of people to become the second person to charge into the brand new Hong Kong Disneyland that he dropped to his knees, raised his arms and bowed to worship the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

O… K…

Robert Sher, from New York City, and Thomas Taffinder, from Orlando, Calif., came armed with sophisticated audio visual gear and a mental map of the park memorized from a virtual Internet tour.

I can just see these two quizzing each other… “OK, Tom, is Space Mountain east or northeast of the Software Pirates of the Caribbean?”

What keeps these grown-ups hooked on to the cartoon characters? “They keep on reinventing different things, unlike Universal or Six Flags,” said Sher. “The idea of Disney doing another foreign country, with the Chinese Communist government – going for business like that is just amazing.”

Yeah, EuroDisney turned out great! (Think EuroKrustyLand…)

Dougie Robertson, a 35-year-old businessman from Edinburgh, Scotland, said his favorite thing about Disney was the cheerful workers, or “cast members” in Disney lingo. “The cast members make people smile. It takes people back to their childhood. Smiling is a big thing,” he said. “I believe in the magic.”

Pretty much what I’d expect from a grown man who continues to call himself “Dougie.”

More Mailbox!

Yes, it’s time for more Andertoons mailbox!

This is a new-ish feature where I respond to a few of the odd emails I receive on a fairly regular basis.

(Note – Names have not been included, but the quotes themselves are exactly what I received, minus the bold formatting.)

“ola senorita”

First off, if my bilingual wife is to be believed, I’m pretty sure it’s “hola” and secondly, last time I looked down there, I was pretty sure I qualified for “señor.”

“Can i make cartoons?”

You can, but you may not.

“OK, my friend is a comic, And he will give you the words and scene, And you will draw it.”

OK, whatever you want! Just please don’t hurt me!

“hello ilove tom and jerry please see me thaks”

Again with the Tom and Jerry! Yeesh!

“are u krezzy”

Must… fight… urge… to answer… as Snoop Dogg…