…and lives to tell the tale! Actually, it was my second time as a guest at Springcon, held at the Fair Grounds in St. Paul, Minnesota, and I knew what to expect: that I would be treated royally and have a great time. These folks, the Midwest Comic Book Association, are great hosts, and one of the outstanding events of the con is the big hunk o’beef lunch they feed us. I, who almost never eat meat, found myself devouring an eight ounce steak, grilled to rare perfection (Vegans, forgive me!). The fairgrounds are so cool — they are like a little village, and since the fair is closed (I guess till Summer), it’s like a ghost town. For the second year, I intended to get out there and walk around the deserted village, and for the second year, the weather prevented that. Last time, it had been tornado warnings; this time it was torrential rain, and I truly mean torrential!
Once again I saw old friends whom I only see on my rare trips to St.Paul/Minneapolis, like Diana Green, Frenchy Lunning, and Barbara Schultz, all friends from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (hitherto known as MCAD), and made new friends, chief among them long-time cartoonist Trevor Von Eeden, whose face I
could finally put to a name and turned out to be one of the nicest guys on Earth, Amy Reeder, whose work I have always admored, so it was nice to finally get to know her, and the fabulous Elizabeth Berube. I have written about Liz in all of my histories of women cartoonists. In the early 1970s she was the last and the only woman drawing for DC
comics’ romance title, and her stylish pages outshone all those cliched comics the guys were drawing. I can’t believe that we have finally met and are friends! Liz, Amy, and I had a nice comfy panel, seated on nice comfy sofas and armchairs (this is how ALL panels should be!) and here’s a photo. That’s Amy, me, and Liz.
Liz and I will be together again in August, at Coppercon, in Mesa, Arizona (August 8 – 11th) and here’s their website: http://casfs.org/cucon/
I’ll be on a panel with Liz, interviewing her and presenting a Powerpoint slideshow of her work.
Hey, guess who else I finally met at Springcon? Tyler Page, who draws our Chicagoland Detective Anegcy series! Yes, we have worked together on five books (the 6th is being drawn as I write this) and it’s the first time we had ever met! Like just about everybody else at Springcon, Tyler also teaches at MCAD, I love to peices the art he’s
done for the series, and he is a prince among men. So happy to have finally met you, Tyler!
I stayed on for one day afer Springcon, so our gracious host, Mike Frigon (who is a very cool guy and a voiceover actor — you should hear his Alec Guiness!) could show us around — “us” in this case being Liz, Trevor and yours truly. As before, I wanted to see the Mississippi. To lil ole California girl moi (and Mark Twain fan), it’s such an American icon! The weather was perfect and we got to sit in the sun and gaze at the river and the paddle wheel boats — and I even dipped my feet in the Mississippi so I could say I did.
There are some fabulous statues in the downtown St. Paul parks. Did you know Peanuts creator Charles Schulz came from St. Paul? Scattered around the city are life sized bronze statues of the Peanuts gang: Lucy, Linus, Charlie Brown with Snoopy in his lap — so of course we took a photo and here we are: Mike Frigon, moi, Liz Berube,
Trevor Von Eeden, Charlie Brown, and Snoopy.
Finally, there’s another life sized statue in St. Paul — that of St. Paul native F.Scott Fitzgerald, a writer I’ve always had a bit of a crush on. Oh, Scotty, if only we could have met, I could have kept you from drinking, and you’d have had a long happy life! Anyway, here I am hugging the guy.
WHAT’S COMING NEXT?
The San Diego comic con, that’s what! And at the same time as the con there will be a special exhibit at the Women’s History Museum of California called Wonder Women, on Paper and Off and here is the link:
The exhibit will feature a big chunk of my collection (the entire collection has NEVER been shown) of original comic art by early 20th century women cartoonists, the largest collection of its kind in the world. My collection has been shown in Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Japan, New York, and San Francisco, and finally it’s your chance to see it in San Diego. And on Thursday, July 18th, at 7 pm, we’ll have a panel discussion at the museum featuring Ramona Fradon, Mary Fleener, Carol Lay, and me. Come see us; we’ll be great!