Archive for the ‘Berndt Toast Gang’ Category

Mell Lazarus 1927 – 2016

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Mell Lazarus, creator of the comic strips “Momma” and “Miss Peach,” Reuben award winner, former National Cartoonist Society President, novelist, playwright and great friend has passed away. Mell joined me for trips to the cartoon festivals in Rathdrum, Ireland and St. Just Le Martel in France. Mell, a born and bred New Yorker, took some light-hearted ribbing about staying at a B&B on a farm. A true professional, kind and full of humor, we’ll all miss him.

The National Cartoonists Society page has more.


The Berndt Toast Gang’s Fiftieth Anniversary!

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

We’re the Long Island Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. The Berndt Toast Gang started in 1966 when some L.I. cartoonists were working on an animation for Hanna Barbera. Named in honored of Walter Berndt, the creator of the long-running strip, “Smitty.” We’ve been raising a “Berndt Toast” to past members at every lunch since.

The Berndt Toast Gang’s 50th Anniversary exhibition is on display at the Society of Illustrators from January 5th through February 27th, 2016 in the MoCCA Gallery on the second floor. Many of the pieces have never before been displayed. Cartoonists from the Golden Age of comics through today are included. The show is dedicated to our late, great friend and colleague, Jeff Fisher.

Join us for the opening reception!

On Wednesday, January 20th, from 6-9 p.m. the Berndt Toast Gang will be at the Society of Illustrators for the opening reception of our 50th anniversary exhibition. It’s $25 and includes a buffet and live music supplied by our own, incomparable, Roberta Fabiano! There will be a cash bar available.

Click here to reserve your space!
$25 per person (if you are using a credit card with Paypal, please include an additional $1.06 for each ticket to cover their fees).


To listen to Roberta Fabiano, click here.

The Original Batmobile

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

October is Spooky Drawing month at the Berndt Taost Gang, the Long Island chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. Everyone brings in a drawing on a Halloween theme. This is mine for 2015.FirstBatMobilesml Click on the image for a larger view.

By Default: The Work of Jeffrey K. Fisher

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
Missing the Man, the Myth, the Legend.

Missing the Man, the Myth, the Legend.
Click for a larger image

My good friend and fellow Society of Illustrators/Berndt Toast Gang member, Jeff Fisher, passed away suddenly late last year. Gallery North in Setauket is hosting a posthumous one man show of his work. Come on out on Friday March 27th, from 5-7 p.m. for the opening reception. The show runs through April 17th.

Jeff’s work appeared in many books and publications. Here’s a chance to purchase an original of Jeff’s while supporting the gallery. Some of the funds raised will go towards naming the new printmaking facility in the Community Art center in honor of Jeff.

Members of the Berndt Toast Gang have also graciously donated original art for sale to help sponsor the new facility.

90 North Country Rd
Setauket, NY 11733

Tues-Sat 10 am-5pm
Sun 12pm-5pm

Je Suis Charlie

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015


Happy New Year

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

It’s a time for new beginnings! Best wishes to you for a wonderful, creative, and funny New Year.

Click for a larger version.

Jeff Fisher Tribute

Thursday, December 25th, 2014
From Left: Jeff Fisher, Joe Giella, Joe Vissichelli, and Karen Moy.

From Left: Jeff Fisher, Joe Giella, Joe Vissichelli, and Karen Moy.

My good friend and fellow Berndt Toast Gang member, Jeff Fisher passed away suddenly last month. Jeff was unforgettable, he had a presence that few could match. Not the least because he was 6′ 4.” He would still have been force to reckon with no matter how big or small he was. Jeff has left a legacy of students that both love and cherish their time with him. A big, frightening man with the kindest of hearts. His students have put together a touching tribute video:

Stan Goldberg piece in the “Box Art” Auction for East End Hospice

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Our dear friend, Stan Goldberg, donated a piece of work to the East End Hospice “Box Art” Auction each year. This year was no different. Just before Stan succumbed to the stroke, he had donated a new piece to be auctioned on September 6th. Join in the auction in memory of this great talent and to help a cause that he personally chose to support.

Silent & Live Auction, September 6 at the Ross School in East Hampton. Call East End Hospice or visit their website for details: 631-288-8400,

More details:

Article in Dan’s papers:

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.