New York – Day Two/Three

Oh man, what a good night’s sleep will do for you…

Stayed up late talking with the Lynch mob (OK, there’s just the two of them, but that’s too much fun to ignore…) and perusing Mike’s collection of original cartoon art from more great cartoonists than you can shake a stick at. (I tried. I even brought my own stick.)

It was so nice to finally meet Mike’s lovely wife and see their apartment! And one thing’s for sure, they love books.

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I read some cartooning advice once about “read, read, read!” and now it’s easy to see why Mike comes up with so many great ideas.

Anyway, I’m eternally grateful to the Lynch’s not only for letting me stay at their place while I’m in town, but for picking me up (much later than expected) at the airport, and chaperoning a naive midwestern boy through the big apple.

7:20 – OK, on to today. Just woke up. Well, that’s not true… I woke up at 5:00 as usual, but forced myself to get a few more hours.

I’m trying to be quiet and let them sleep in as late as they’d like. I think the air conditioner is covering up my typing pretty well.

They mentioned heading out for breakfast to a local diner, and I’ll be ready. I also gotta hit an ATM soon. I thought $100 in cash would be fine for the weekend. After all, I charge almost everything any more. But you forget about cab fare and stuff like that…

So, now it’s time to close up the laptop and watch a show on the ol’ iPod.

9/17 – 10:22 AM –

OK, I’m on the plane for my ride home. I didn’t get any blogging done yesterday, having been super busy walking around Manhattan and the GNAC show, so I’m gonna get caught up here.

Mike and I had a breakfast sandwich on the subway and headed into Manhattan.

We started in Times Square:

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Wow, That’s a lot of blinking lights. I wonder if they put more out for Christmas?

I also got to see the building where the monocled folks at the New Yorker dole out steaming hot bowls of rejection weekly. There’s a big “4” on the top that makes me think Reed Richards is gonna come zipping by in the Fantasticar any moment.

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We hit the library next looking for a collection of Addams cartoons, but the lady at the desk informed us that those had been replaced by a look at the world of menswear.

Anyway, here’s some pics:

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We hit Grand Central Station too:

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We hit the first comic book store…

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and had a good look around.

There’s a lot of stuff I’d like to buy, but I’m really trying to travel light, and bulky books would only take up more room. I did, however, find a bunch of stuff to look for at Amazon.

Next came our pilgrimage to the Overlook. For those of who who might’ve forgotten, this is a bar in the city where Mike helped organize a gigantic cartoon mural. (More details here…)

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Anyway, I got to add one of my little doodles to a piece of cartoon history. Here it is:

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It took me a while to think of something to put up there. I didn’t want to do anything complicated, and this is bar-related, so it seemed to work OK.

I’m not ecstatic about the end product, but A) I don’t normally draw on a wall B) the markers were kinda smudgy, and C) the black ink didn’t dry quickly and ended up mixing with the colors.

Still, I’m not gonna beat myself up about it. It is what it is, and it’s OK. I’m just glad to be nestled quietly between Heathcliff and Popeye.

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Mike and I each had the Overlook Burger…

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…and then we played a game called “Exquisite Corpse.” What you do is fold a piece of paper and draw half of a face on one side, then you hand it over to the other person to draw the other half. (You have to give them a tiny line to show them where the face begins.)

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I was warned that it would sound stupid, but end up being a lot of fun. Right on both counts.

I laughed out loud at each one! What a hoot! Here they are for your viewing pleasure:

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The Overlook’s owner was kind enough to comp us lunch (thanks Jeff!) and we headed off to another comics store.

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This one was REALLY intimidating. There were the standard comics and statuette crap, but the amount of indie comics and graphic novel type stuff… Wow. Honestly, I just kinda wandered and looked around for a good while because I simply had no idea where to start.

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Again, a LOT of stuff I liked and wanted to buy, but I exercised an unusual amount of Anderson shopping restraint and just kept some things in mind for later.

After that some shopping for the family unit and back to Chez Lynch to prepare for the GNAC event.

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As we walked in, I was really impressed with how well everything was presented. I mean, honestly, they really took cartoon art seriously.

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I walked around the rather crowded gallery and checked out tons of great stuff. I also took a moment to sort of soak in my own place on the wall and to watch people look at my cartoons.

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It’s not often you get to anonymously watch someone read your stuff and laugh. It was a wonderful opportunity.

We all headed into the other room, and after some wonderful intros by Mike (BTW, it was suggested on the ride over that Mike introduce me with “…and Mark Anderson as The Beaver!” but he wussied out at the last second) we got down to some Q&A.

I was pleased to share the stage with Ray Billingsley, Isabella Bannerman, Sy Barry, and Jim Salicrup (And Mike, of course) and we got some really interesting questions.

Some of my favorites included:

“I have a question for the internet man: can’t people just take all of your work without paying?! How do you make any money?!”

And then…

“Everyone on the stage looks to be older; does cartooning keep you young?” ( I was tempted to answer that, yes, I was in fact 85, but some of the more historically accomplished members of the panel might not have appreciated that.)

And the big one, said in a loudish New York old lady accent:

“How come cartoons aren’t funny anymore?!”

A lot of folks came up to me afterwards to talk more, and I signed a few autographs and felt like a big man for a while longer.

I never know what to do with autographs. My first instinct is to say “Oh God, are you kidding?! I’m nobody. Honestly, Sy is right over there. That’s the one you want.”

Also, I never really know what to draw. Normally I kinda doodle a little guy saying “Thanks for asking for my autograph!” and hand it back sheepishly.

I gotta figure out something to use, but I’m paranoid that as soon as I have enough confidence to actually do that, all my markets with dry up and I’ll end up working at Home Depot or something.

Anyway, we headed back to Brooklyn, got some good diner food, talked for a good while and all hit the sack. Whew!

What an exciting, exhausting, exquisite day.

Not much to say about today this far, except that my plane is on time and I didn’t get pulled out of line this time because my laptop was suspected as a bomb.

Speaking of my laptop… I had it strapped in it’s bag to my carryon and the whole thing fell over. My my PowerBook had a slight bend to the keyboard section and a piece of aluminum case is bent out at the front. So far it keeps working fine (I’m writing this on the flight), I might have a trip to the Apple Store this week to be sure. (Drats!)

I sure hope I don’t have to buy one of those nifty new Mac laptops. Or a really nice case. (Wink wink…)

I did sweet talk my way into an emergency row seat (oh God… LEG ROOM!!!), and I treated myself to a first class upgrade for the second leg to Chicago. (More wine! And bring on the dancing girls! Ah-ha-ha-ha!)

I’m really looking forward to getting home to Margie and the kids! And I’m forever indebted to the family Lynch for putting me up, and putting up with me for a few days!

Also, thanks for Margie’s folks for helping out with the kids this weekend. I know Margie appreciated it.

And, finally, I’d like to thank my ears for getting their act together just in time so this could all happen.

(BTW, there’s more about the weekend over at Mike’s blog. Here, and here…)

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New York – Day One

1:15 – This is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and really take a minute to relax.

The limo ride over was nice, if a little talkative. My chauffeur was 80, he said, and pretty much told me jokes for the half hour ride. Nice guy, but after about five minutes I found myself faking laughs and looking at my watch.

Got to the airport and got pulled out for the full security screening. The wand, the frisk… My PowerBook was apparently testing positive for explosives, and that was pretty interesting. I was doubly nervous about any sort of security entanglements, as was as the yokel talking demonstratively with his hand, which held my laptop.

Anyway, after that things got better fast. I had a nice sandwich, sweet talked the airline folks into a little more legroom, and found a place to plug in my laptop and blog.


I’m assuming I’ll do some more on the plane, but I might just put on the ol’ iPod and chill out to a movie or some tunes. We’ll have to see…

Anyway, more later…

2:51 – Arrrgggghhhh… We had to deplane almost immediately due to some delays at JFK. And while my seat is in the bulkhead row, I’m on the side that’s sans bulkhead. Double arrrgggghhhhh…

Anyway, I’ve got my laptop, my video iPod, a few books and a nice blackberry smoothie. It’s a drag inconveniencing Mike, but there’s not much I can do.

8:40 – AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! I’m about halfway to New York now, after TWO cancelled flights and the agony of waiting through standby.

“Wang party of four – please board now or you risk losing your seats. Wang party of four – please board now or you risk losing your seats. Wang party of four – please board now or you risk losing your seats…”

I came to hate the Wangs.

I was able to grab a sandwich across the way at Starbucks and cram it into the side pocket of my laptop case. Honestly, it was pretty good, and I even remembered to take my medicine.

The “earplane” plugs seemed to work well too for the ascent, although for about 10 minutes after taking them out my ears kinda bubbled. Nothing cam out, so I ‘m OK with that.

My iPod crapped out after about and hour and a half, but I did get in an episode of Scrubs, some Futurama and an MST3k short, so I can’t complain.

I’m so cramped in my seat it’s not even funny. My elbows are crammed into my stomach so I can type.

The pilot is yapping now – he sounds about nineteen.

OK, time to go now and put my earplugs in again. We should land in about a half hour.

I’m looking forward to meeting up with Mikey and meeting his lovely Mrs., so this’ll be it for today,

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