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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Memories of the Ohio State University Cartoon Festival 2010 in Stream of Consciousness Form Part 1

Thursday.
Driving to Columbus from Arlington with Mike Rhode doing all the actual driving. Using only the incremental step-by-step Google Maps directions which means we have only a vague notion of where we really are. I swear it's always foggy on this one stretch of I-68. We pull off onto a smaller road because the directions tell us to. Everything's uphill, all the way there.  Seeing a lot of the mountains of scenic southwestern Pennsylvania. Oops, tires need rebalancing. Stop at McDonald's. Pass General Braddock's Memorial marker; Mike guesses French & Indian War. A lot of towns that look like model railroad towns enlarged to livable size, some where the nicest building around is the local funeral home. Yay, West Virginia, closely followed by Yay, Ohio! And eventually Yay, Columbus, my wife's hometown! Skip through town and head right to the OSU campus Hey, there's the indomitable Chris Sparks exiting the OSU parking garage! Got to the tail end of Michael Tisserand's Herriman lecture, where he showed a photo he took of the actual Coconino County sheriff's office, bland little building with no Offisa Pupp. First of many visions of Jenny Robb (OSU Assistant Professor and Associate Curator of the Cartoon Library) ever on the wing, keeping things moving. In the registration line at the Cartoon Library Brian Walker tells me about his upcoming Garry Trudeau art book from Yale press. Time to start cleaning off the studio shelves again to make room for new stuff. Missed the Krazy Kat Kake but enjoyed the other food at the Cartoon Library reception, chatted with Columbus homeboys Nate Beeler (now of DC), who grew up romping in the wilds of the Cartoon Library and teething on Caniffs,  and Jeff Stahler, who's worked on every Festival. Met the accomplished & charming Prof. Tom Inge finally but too briefly. And here's elfin mandarin RCHarvey! All right, now we're cookin' with gas! John Read got me the last glass of wine (the birthdate stamped on some bottles of beer made them contemporaneous with the previous Festival). Established festival-long habit of standing in the exact spot most necessary for traffic flow. Goggled at the Herriman originals with Rina Piccolo & Hilary Price while getting that self conscious feeling you get when you stare at Art from inches away in public but it's Okay because it's Funny Art. Back to the hotel for check in and start bumping into people I knew or soon would. Dinner at large yet quiet sports bar across the street with Mike, Craig Fisher, Charles and Michele Hatfield, Harry Katz, Martha Kennedy and David Berona, several of whom had spoken during  the academic portion of the Festival on Thursday. We talk mostly about kittens on a Roomba. Or is that the name of a fancy drink? Memory slightly blurry. Back to the hotel, Jenny Robb flies past with Matt Groening, brief pleasantries (didn't ask him to sign anything, which seems to be his full time occupation), then up to bar on the second level of the atrium lobby, and memory gets blurrier mostly because it's late and also because, hey, there's Tom Gammill! I swear it's always foggy on the second floor bar.

15 comments:

The Bug said...

Oh THAT OSU - I assumed it was something to do with Oregon. Darn. I live in Xenia - just a hop, skip, & jump away from Columbus. Not that I would necessarily have headed over & stalked you...

Hinzi said...

Your stream of consciousness is better than some other people's prose I have read...

the cheese guy said...

Best comic weekend ever. It was awesome. Everyone I met was so delightful. I just got packed for next festival!

Potato Queen and Mulch Boy said...

oh how i would have loved to be there. is the festival opened to the great unwashed, or just you fancy cartoonist types? and YES,I68 IS always foggy. Okay, not always, but mostly. Even more fun when it's dark AND foggy AND rainy.

richardcthompson said...

Yes, it's open to everyone, which makes the mix of people more interesting. The attendance is kept below 200 or so but it seems to take a while to sell out (surprising as it's not too expensive). The only unfortunate part of the whole thing is it happens only every three years.

richardcthompson said...

And yes, it's been foggy on 68 8 out of 10 times, at least.

Mike Rhode said...

Ahhh, a fun time was had by all.

Mike Rhode said...

Oh, and we later saw Walker's Trudeau book. It's LOVELY.

David R said...

I was there on Sunday for the Spiegelman lecture and would have said hi to you if you were there and tell you how much I like Cul de Sac, but I haven't the foggiest idea what you look like. I assume you don't look exactly like your caricature. I had content myself with saying hi to Jeff Smith, who probably would have rather been left alone.

richardcthompson said...

David, sadly enough we had to leave for Arlington before Spiegelman's lecture, which I'll get to in this blow by blow account if the tedium doesn't overwhelm me. Hope it was good and I'm sorry I missed it, and missed possibly meeting you. Also sadly enough, I look a lot like my caricature, these days even more so.

Mike said...

Sorry I missed it and wish I had another chance next year, but keeping it to every three probably keeps it special. Annual events tend to become gatherings of "the usual suspects."

See you in three.

Faye said...

Questions about Shapes and Colors: Will all the daily strips be in color? And does it pick up where Children at Play leaves off?

Mike Rhode said...

So where's the followup here? I'm wondering what we did on day 2!

the cheese guy said...

Yeah Mike! Was I there? Did Richard meet anyone else? How was lunch on Friday? ARGHHHH! WHAT HAPPENED!

richardcthompson said...

Soon! I'm letting the tension dissipate.