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.