Archive for July, 2014

Stan Sakai Auction

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

A 9"x 12" acrylic painting on canvas board of Stan Sakai's great Usagi Yojimbo.

A 9″x 12″ acrylic painting on canvas board of Stan Sakai’s great Usagi Yojimbo.

The Comic Art Professional Society benefit auctions for Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai and his wife Sharon has launched on eBay. Stan’s wife, Sharon Sakai, suffers from a debilitating illness that requires 24-hour care and medications that exceed their insurance coverage. All of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Sakais to help cover their medical expenses.

I’ve donated a piece. It’s an acrylic painting (a first for me) on canvas board of Usagi. It’s available now on eBay:

There’s just 5 days to go!

Bunny Bash 2014

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Every June, the Berndt Toast Gang (the Long Island Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society) has it’s meeting at the wonderful home of Bunny Hoest. Bunny, along with John Reiner, produce the “Lockhorns” comic strip. This year marked the 33rd “Bunny Bash.”

As always, the weather was beautiful and over 100 cartoonists and their spouses gathered for lunch and great conversation. Just some of the talent present: Mort Drucker, Sy Barry, Stan Goldberg, Mort Gerberg, Sam Gross, Bill Plympton, George Booth, Sandy Kossin, Sam Viviano, Ed Steckley, Tom Richmond and many more.

For the second time, we handed out the Berndt Toast Gang’s BTG Award. This award was created to thank the spouses for their selfless support of their husband/wife/partner. Started two years ago, the first recipient was Pauline Goldberg. the wonderful wife of the brilliant Stan Goldberg. Somehow or another, we missed last year, so this year we decided to hand out three at once.

Simmy Barry, the wife of Sy Barry (of “The Phantom” fame), Heather Steckley, wife of Ed (Manhattan NCS ChapterChair, NCS board member, illustrator extraordinaire), and Anna Richmond, wife of Tom (NCS President, MAD magazine illustrator, fantastic caricaturist and all-round good guy) were this year’s recipients. We couldn’t have gathered a more deserving group.

These days working as a cartoonist/illustrator is more challenging than ever. Without the support of our spouses most of us would probably not be able to do the work we enjoy. They are there as emotional, creative, financial, and management support. Not to mention being our best friends.

So, for an award that suits our eclectic group, they receive a framed piece of burnt toast. Really!

This year, just as I was about to grumble on how thankless being a chapter chair can be, the Berndt Toast gang surprised me with the Tim Rosenthal Award for Volunteerism! They really did a marvelous job keeping it a secret. I was floored when NCS President Tom Richmond presented it to me. As most people know, I’m rarely at a loss for words but this left me searching for the right words to thank everyone.

It’s rare in life to have so many wonderful, friendly and kind-hearted people in one group, never mind one where we are all technically “competitors.” It’s more an extended family and I’m just so thankful that they are my friends.