May 6th, 2008
by Terri Libenson
Normally this blog centers around the creation of a particular PD strip or strip series. But as my husband, Mike, and I gear up to go to the Reuben Awards (Oscars of cartooning) this Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans, I thought itâ€™d be fun to backtrack and share some musings on the first and only Reubens we attended in Chicago, â€™06.
With my strip barely launched â€“ it had only been syndicated for two months â€“ this event was intimidating to say the least. Surrounded by some of the greats, I relied on my outgoing husband to do much of the meeting and greeting while I stood there, open-mouthed, as he launched into conversations about the field of cartooning (mind you, heâ€™s an I.T. guy) with giants like Jerry Scott, his wife, half the King Features executives, and countless other bigwigs. Most people outside King assumed he was the cartoonist and I was along for the ride.
Barely into the weekend, I started attending the seminars alone while Mike explored downtown Chicago. This forced me to introduce myself to other cartoonists and industry folks. Normally shy under these circumstances, I started to make friends and acquaintances. By the time the big awards show was underway, we were having a grand old time. The one hiccup was my choosing a long turquoise dress which stuck out like a sore thumb among the (mostly) black-clad attendees. Luckily a few glasses of wine got me over it.
One of the fun highlights was meeting some of Lynn Johnstonâ€™s posse (also known as her professional staff) in the ladies room. They were so lovely and friendly, and invited Mike and I up to a private â€œafter partyâ€ somewhere in the depths of the luxury hotel. Unfortunately, the famed cartoonist was nowhere to be seen. But earlier, they managed to snap a quick photo of me with Ms. Johnston.
Here are a few photos from the eventâ€¦the only photos I have, in fact:
|This is a candid of myself and Mort Walker at the Friday night cocktail event. He had no idea who I was. Since this photo was taken, Iâ€™ve had the opportunity to meet him on another occasion. He now may be able to pick me out of a lineup.
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|This one of the terrible twosome was taken in our hotel room (using a camera timer) before the Reubens Award banquet.
|Hereâ€™s the infamous photo with the gracious Lynn Johnston (excuse the fuzziness). I found out later she had made this â€œcartoonâ€ dress herself. Will the talent never cease.
This year, Mike and I look forward to meeting some new faces and greeting some familiar ones. Iâ€™m sure itâ€™ll be a weekend to remember, and something to post about.
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