Unseasonably warm weather this, the last day of November, with high, hazy clouds and a temperature of 68. We had more than three dozen cartoonists, loved ones and friends come together for our monthly luncheon of the National Cartoonists Society Long Island chapter (the "Berndt Toast Gang").
Like all our get togethers, we begin with a toast to a famous cartoonist. This time we toasted Alex Raymond, who died in a tragic car accident in Westport, CT fifty years ago.
A Reuben winner, former NCS president, and the man behind FLASH GORDON, Mr. Raymond developed what Harvey Kurtzman described as a sensual dry brush technique during the 1930s. He worked on 3 comic strips before the war: FLASH GORDON, JUNGLE JIM and SECRET AGENT X-9. After serving in the Marines in the Pacific theatre, now-Major Raymond, created RIP KIRBY. An example here.
He passed away in a sudden auto accident at the age of 46.
"During the accident which led to his untimely demise, he was said to have remarked (by the surviving passenger of the accident) on the fact that a pencil on the dashboard seemed to be floating in relation to the plummet of the vehicle." -- Wikipedia entry
Emilio Squeglio (above) brought in some real out of this world art.
"GALAXA QUEEN OF THE GALAXIES" was a proposal for a TV show that Emilio and his brother put together in 1980. Galaxa can change into anything. "She could 'metamorphisize,'" explained Emilio. The Squeglio brothers had a producer convinced and ABC was ready to greenlight the shooting of a live action pilot -- but the project got scrubbed. "We were unknowns, and they didn't want to risk the millions it would cost on a couple of unknowns."
Emilio brought in a couple of presentation paintings that he had saved. "My brother had no sense of where to place things. So, I would lay them out and he would paint the figures, the planets, the ships."
Joe Giella signed some DC Comics sets of postage stamps. Don Orehek showed me some photos of his grandkids -- all of whom are getting bigger. Look for his terrific cartoons in PLAYBOY.
Here's Adrian Sinnott and Mike Lynch. Adrian's a prolific childrens book illustrator and teacher. We were wearing the same blue shirt, as I am ever so obviously pointing out.
And here is Bunny Hoest, Lewis Methany and Art Cumings. Lewis is putting together a NYC gallery exhibit titled Cartoon Limbo. More about that when it opens in January 2007. The Long Island Museum's Lisa Cuomo joined us as well. She would like to put together a Spring 2007 exhibit showcasing some of our members' work. More anon!
Two ARCHIE artists: Joe Edwards makes a point to Stan Goldberg.
Mike Lynch, Stan Goldberg, and Joe Giella. I was trying to convince them to LAUGHTER THE BEST MEDICINE, with lots of my cartoons in it, now out in paperback for $14.95 at all the bookstores.
Not pictured: Al Scaduto sang a Neopolitan song, and Bill Kresse played his harmonica in a holiday song sing-a-long. He then surprised his wife Lorraine -- and we all joined in -- in playing (Bill) and singing (the rest of the Gang) a happy birthday tune to her. Many happy returns, Lorraine!
Another great couple of hours talking shop with cartoonists.