Monday, December 11, 2006

National Cartoonists Society Holiday Party December 9, 2006

A sea of soup and fish. Above: the way it was: The Society of Illustrators, Hotel Brevoort, May 8, 1912. By the 1939, the SI had bought its own establishment on East 63rd Street. This year, the Society graciously hosted their brother cartoonists for the 2006 NCS Holiday party -- cartoonists not having the wherewithal to buy a piece of NYC real estate back in the day.

Here, in the Society of Illustrators cloak room, hangs one of the many, many pieces of original commercial art. One every floor, in every corner, down every stairwell and hallway, you'll see the work of so many masters of illustration: Cornwall, Pyle, Christie, Rockwell, Wyeth, and more.

Just as you walk in: one of Stephanie Piro's cats welcomes everyone to the NCS Holiday party. Cocktails from 6pm to 7:30. And when is dinner? The kitty knows.

NCS President Rick Stromoski addresses the assembled cartoonists and loved ones. On the agenda: the 2007 Reuben Awards convention. Yeah, we got the inside poop.

Mike Lynch and Rina Piccolo. I think she is very angry at the left side of my head. No reason. Just indiscriminate rage.

King Features' Jay Kennedy gets an autograph from Stephanie Piro. The book is her new solo collection: MY CAT LOVES ME NAKED available in bookstores nationwide.

Irwin Hasen sings FALLING LEAVES by Johnny Mercer. Backup combo (way in the back and way too dark to see them properly): Mort Gerberg on piano and Arnie Roth on sax. Mort and Arnie continued playing for some time, and are very good musicians. As the hours went by, a number of other cartoonists had singalongs. The fact that the piano was next to the bar helped.

Trade Loeffler and his wife Annalisa enjoy Irwin's singing. In early 2007, Trade's first Zip & Bit Web comic adventure will be finishing. I look forward to the conclusion. I can never tell where the beautifully executed story will go next!

Irwin Hasen and his lovely date for the evening whose name I forgot. I'm sorry, Irwin! But she sure looks liked she enjoyed his singing.

The New Jersey contingent: Pam & Doug Bratton, Kevin McVey, Mr. & Mrs. Tom Stemmle, Dan Wetzel & his sweetie, Amber. Each and every one of them were stuck for a long time in the Holland Tunnel getting to the Upper East Side. Hey, EVERYONE wants to come to Manhattan on a Saturday night!

Papercutz' main man Jim Salicrup, humble host Mike Lynch and writer/cartoonist Marc Bilgrey.

"Guess what I just did," asked Jim. "You write about TREK on your blog, It's TREK-related." I couldn't guess. Jim told me he had just tried out for that new William Shatner game show. "They'll call me before midnight tonight." Doesn't it all sound kinda Cinderella-ish? Good luck, Jim!

Marc Bilgrey is working on a number of projects: new short stories, a new secret novel in the works, as well as keeping up a regular output of gag cartoons. Of course, I want to hate him -- but he's such a nice guy he makes it very difficult for me. Very frustrating and it makes me want to indiscriminately yell at people's heads.

Randy Jones draws in Stephanie Piro's sketchbook. She bought a blank book, and wrote "Anyone Can Draw a Cat" on its front page. She carries it with her all the time, and there are all sorts of great cats by great cartoonists, young and old, known and unknown.

Sam Gross and Stephanie Piro. It looks like they are amused by a funny comment and my guess is it's John Nolan, Stephanie's husband, proffering some rude wisecrack off-camera.

Rick Stromoski, with Mssrs. Salicup & Bilgrey in the background. Did I mention that Rick told us all this insider news about the NCS that I can't tell you about?

Cutest couple: Sina, and her beau Tony Murphy.

Here and there, are drawings and paintings. This is a detail shot from a series of tiles on the second floor wall. I took this on my way to the bathroom.

Bill Woodman, Mike Lynch, Randy Jones. Bill Woodman is one of the best gag cartoonists around. I was so pleased that he came down from Maine just to be a part of this.

The nice thing about the night was that there were cartoonists and illustrators and editors and all sorts. I got to chat with Charlie Kochman for a while. Charlie's now a Senior Editor with Harry N. Abrams Books and is responsible for (among other things) bringing Brian Fies' MOM'S CANCER to print. We chatted about Brian, and Charlie had all this insider news about Brian's new project -- NONE of which he shared with me. But it's gonna be good, he says.

Caroline Dworin, Sam Gross, Rina Piccolo, with Randy ("Look at me! Look at me!") Jones looming in background. Sam is always palling around with the ladies!

These are just a few photos from a terrific evening. This was a big event to put together. I appreciate Caroline Roth and Tom Stiglich for all their support. You guys are great. My thanks to house manager Michael Sysyn and staff of SI for making the evening a comfortable and fun one for all.

4 comments:

Mark Anderson said...

Oh man, this looks like it was so much fun... Dang! I gotta come out next year!

BrianFies said...

I have a new project? Cool!

I LOVE the Society of Illustrators building. Truly one of the highlights of any trip I've taken anywhere. It's almost too bad they have to have parties in there; all those people get in the way of gawking at the artwork.

Thanks for the report, Mike. Thanks also for the Trek items. Old Trek is so incredibly superior to anything that came later. Now if I could just convince my kids. They still think Bakula's better than Shatner. I don't know where my parenting went so wrong....

BrianFies said...

I have a new project? Cool!

I LOVE the Society of Illustrators building. Truly one of the highlights of any trip I've taken anywhere. It's almost too bad they have to have parties in there; all those people get in the way of gawking at the artwork.

Thanks for the report, Mike. Thanks also for the Trek items. Old Trek is so incredibly superior to anything that came later. Now if I could just convince my kids. They still think Bakula's better than Shatner. I don't know where my parenting went so wrong....

Rob Tornoe said...

Irwin singing Falling Leaves by Johnny Mercer? That alone must have been worth going. It's too bad Irwin didn't do a duet with Hy Eisman!

I have a video somewhere of Irwin telling those of us in his class that were awake (and video taping) how he lost his virginity.

Classic.