I had lunch with some cartooning greats in Connecticut this past Cartoonists Day: Frank Bolle, Orlando Busino (whose cover to the fondly remembered, short lived TALES CALCULATED TO DRIVE YOU BATS #10 comic is reproduced right over there on the left and is taken from this other blog), Bob Weber, Ron Goulart as well as Marshall Terpening, Walt Needham and Bob Perliss.
I thought I'd write some about the stories that were told around the table, but I'll only relate a few things since Bob Weber warned me twice: THIS BETTER NOT APPEAR ON YOUR BLOG. If you ever met Bob Weber, then you'd know that he built like a bull. And I want Bob Weber as friend. Or, at the very least, as a guy who will not beat me into an inky pulp ala Sarge beating on Beetle.
Frank Bolle showed some watercolors that he's been doing for fun. Just gorgeous work that I regret not grabbing from him and taking copious photos of to share here. I admire people who do different kinds of art. There are a lot of cartoonists who do non-cartooning art. I'm not one of them.
I mentioned I'd been watching the HAVE GUN -- WILL TRAVEL series on DVD. What a great show that was! Ron Goulart talked about when he had a lunch meeting with a friend in Hollywood. This was in the 1950s when he lived on the West Coast. The friend had the pilot script to HAVE GUN with him. He handed it to Ron and his then-writing partner. "Have Gun -- Will Travel? What kinda title is that?" asked Ron. The show had not aired yet, and was looking for writers. But Ron and his writing partner were looking to write comedy. An agent told them, "No comedy. Cowboys and Detectives -- that' s what sells. Cowboys and detectives."
At one point one of the guys was telling a story that referenced a bird, specifically a small woodpecker. I can't recall the story because of a rapid-fire quip by one of the men sitting next to me. "Charlie McCarthy had a small woodpecker," he said under his breath. I smiled at the line and then shook my head and laughed. The storyteller had not heard and continued on. But I'd lost the thread.
Orlando and Bob Weber talked about old movies. Bob remembered seeing PSYCHO with Orlando, and Orlando ruined it by saying who the murderer was. "But it was so obvious," added Orlando, laughing.
Like I said, I regret taking a few photos, but I thought maybe I wouldn't be an obnoxious photo-taker for once and just sit back and enjoy the company of these great guys.
Personal thanks to Orlando three times over: (1) for letting me know that the gang was meeting for lunch, and (2) welcoming me to crash the lunch -- as well as for (3) the very kind words about this here blog.
And also a thank you to Walt Needham who gave me a photocopy of his article "Herman Brix, Filmdom's Most Enduring Tarzan" in the latest BIG LITTLE TIMES, the bimonthly publication of the Big Little Book Collector's Club. There was also a remembrance of Johnny Hart, who was once a BLBCC member. References to BLBs were in some of his strips (above).
Above: the fate I mentioned I wish to avoid! From Mort & Greg Walker's BEETLE BAILEY. The Walkers also live in CT.