Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Mad" Comes to Asheville, NC!

The Southeast Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society hosted three legendary creators of the classic humor magazine, Mad, on Saturday, September 26, 2009 in Asheville, North Carolina. In addition to syndicated newspaper cartoonists, Dwane Powell, Cullum Rogers, Michael Jantze and comic book artist, Andy Smith; fan favorite Mad magazine artists Jack Davis, Duck Edwing and former editor Nick Meglin were in attendance at the event which was held at the Ramada Inn on a day periodically interrupted by torrential rain.

A single day comic convention was also impacted on-site by the foul weather which resulted in fewer attendees than were hoped for, but which allowed the seventy folks who lingered for Mad's "usual gang of idiots" to be suitably charmed by the exceedingly gracious Mr. Davis, Mr. Edwing and Mr. Meglin throughout the afternoon.

I've gotta tell you how funny, warm and cool these three guys were telling wonderful stories about working with industry greats like Bill Gaines, Will Elder, John Severin, Wally Wood and Harvey Kurtzman while putting together many classic humor strips that became the very model of "antidisestablishmentarianism" for multiple generations of comic book fans.

In addition to the comic book dealers who hawked golden age to present comics, trading cards and toys, a silent auction to benefit the Mimi Paige Foundation and the Milt Gross Fund was held simultaneously to the day's programming. Items of note included original Dennis the Menace and Snuffy Smith dailies, plus a light box that had once been the property of Thomas Nast. Other comic book creators present as members of the Chapter were James Lyle, Tom Lyle and Steve Haynie, plus many other freelance illustrators.

It was an eventful day, and it's always wonderful to meet these classic artists who entertained so many of us over the years, and then also discover that they are just down to earth folks that are humble about their contributions to the medium.

Mad artist Jack Davis is pictured in the photo [above;right] alongside my brother David, who had his original Davis page from EC Comics 1950's-era series, Incredible Science Fiction, autographed. David also had a nice stack of hardback EC archives and/or Mad compendiums signed by both Mr. Davis (84 years old and still knocking artwork out of the park) and Mr. Meglin. [Sorry for the smaller size, but I had inadvertently reset the resolution and screwed the thing up.]

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