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!
Pittsburgh's ToonSeum, a museum all about cartoon art, hosted their Comic Arts Festival on Sunday.
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).
Pittsburgh - the only place you can find Earl from "Mutts", Wonder Woman, and a roller derby girl line dancing in the street. By the way, check out the amazing hand cut woodprints by the Tugboat Printshop folks! (http://www.tugboatprintshop.com)
An airhead version of Mort Walker's famous soldier Beetle Bailey.
It was the perfect day for a street festival! So many people came that you could barely move (cough, cough).
This terrific mural painted by Brian Holderman in 2006 adorned a parking garage a block away from the street festival. Thankfully even the taggers have respected this piece by not painting over it.
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.
This is the Andy Warhol Bridge. It felt rather sturdy for something that he likely built out of silk screens. I didn't time it, but I would guess that it took about fifteen minutes to cross.
After visiting the museum, it was obvious that Warhol's success came from his hair. I am now on the path to becoming successful.
This was the view from the Andy Warhol Bridge on the way back over to the main part of the city. That bridge is the one I was standing on in Thursday's post about the ball game.
Here's another great street mural, this one in remembrance of Pittsburgh's rich history in the production of steel.
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!
Cathy Guisewite and Barbara Dale in their 1920s attire. All I can figure is that they were the bee's knees!
Dan Piraro ("Bizarro") doodling for a fellow colleague.
Mason & Mick Mastroianni ("B.C." and "Dogs of C-Kennel") were excited to meet Bill Morrison (Bongo Comics) when they found out that Bill was the artist behind "The Little Mermaid" video and poster art of urban legend fame.
Rob Harrell (illustrator), Mark Parisi ("Off the Mark"), Dave Blazek ("Loose Parts"), Chad Frye, Mark Pett ("Lucky Cow"), and Tom Gammill ("The Doozies" and "The Simpsons" writer) in one last shot at 2am after which some of us hit the hay and others went to the President's Suite where the party continued on!
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….
One last shot for the weekend in Pittsburgh's airport with MAD's Sam Viviano whose flight was delayed, and MAD's Ray Alma whose flight WAS on time, but had just turned into a zombie from the weekend's relentless activities.