Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cartoonist Get Together

Used to be time when a small group of cartoonists in the Los Angeles area would get together about four times a year for dinner. I don't know how I managed to be included in this group but I was. Maybe because I used to call everyone and pick a time and restaurant to do it in. This particular dinner was attended by such luminaries as Floyd Norman, Don Dougherty, Jerry Eisenberg, Sergio Aragones, Leo Sullivan, Marty Murphy, Jack Mendelsohn, Fred Lucky and, I believe, Dale Hale. There might have been a couple more but I don't have photos. And this was long before digital cameras, so the pictures are dark and grainy and there's not too much I can do about it.
Floyd, Don, Jerry, Sergio and Leo after a great meal, lots of laughs and plenty of stories. We were all a little fuzzy.

I met Marty Murphy (left) when he was doing character designs for Wait Until Your Father Gets Home at Hanna-Barbera (1972-1974). Marty has done a vast number of brilliant cartoons for Playboy over the years. People often refer to his rendition of sexy, innocent-looking women as "Marty Murphy Girls" and everyone in the business knows what that means. Jack Mendelsohn (right) is probably best known for creating the comic strip Jacky's Diary (1959 - 1961). He also wrote for Mad, Panic and numerous TV series. Please check out this great interview with Jack Mendelsohn in Hogan's Alley conducted by John Province. Here's the link:

Fred Lucky was a storyboard artist on Disney's The Rescuers went on to be a story illustrator on Rocky II, The Black Hole, Rambo First Blood, Cobra, No Way Out, Joe Versus the Volcano, Newsies, The Fugitive, Free Willy, Home Alone, Jack Frost, among many others not listed here. In 1975 Fred created the comic strip The Dumplings. Here's a link to a detailed article about Fred, written by Floyd Norman for Jim Hill Media.
I think the out of focus guy in the background is Dale Hale, former assistant to Charles Schulz and at the time of this photo was doing a comic strip called Figments, which ran from 1970 - 1985.

I'm waiting to hear some verification on the date of this dinner and will update this post when I get it. All I know for sure is this was more than ten years ago.

Other dinners like this often included Mell Lazarus, Willie Ito, Frank Ridgeway, Scott Shaw, and the occasional out-of-towner.


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