All my best wishes.
Bonus Post: Walt Kelly's Christmas Card in 1954!
|A sneaky selfie of (L to R) Radtke, Heatley, Castellucci, Huizenga and me during our panel.
|Signing books under a red canopy filtering Miami sunshine.
|A fuzzy hotel lobby photo of Editor Charlie, Patrick McDonnell, Patrick's wife Karen, me, and writer/editor/designer Chip Kidd.
|Enjoying a break the next day in the Author's Lounge with cartoonists Diane Noomin, Bill Griffith, and Patrick McDonnell.
|Patrick interview by Editor Charlie on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Patrick's comic strip "Mutts," and a new Abrams book celebrating his art.
|Sunday morning breakfast I stumbled upon (and joined) writer Jim Ottaviani, Editor Charlie, Bill Griffith, and artist Leland Myrick strategizing for their upcoming panel titled "Biography: Mind Over Body."
|And here they are doing that panel! Jim and Leland have a new book on Stephen Hawking, while Bill did a book on circus sideshow performer Schlitzie, on whom his comic strip character "Zippy the Pinhead" was based. I have both books--very different but both great.
|Chip Kidd (right) interviewing cartoonist Chris Ware. If you don't know who Chris Ware is, I can't explain him to you; if you do know, I don't have to explain him to you. I asked Chip to introduce me to Chris after the talk, and Chris and I had a very nice, brief conversation.
Also, why is everyone so afraid of sitting in the front row? This isn't grade school anymore, and you came here specifically to see these people. Sit in the front row!
|Saturday morning I watched author Joyce Carol Oates be interviewed by writer/editor Chris Beha. She was brilliant and said some things that'll stick with me.
See? Sit in the front row!
|I couldn't get to the front row for Sunday morning's talk by comedy writers Adam Mansbach, Alan Zweibel and Dave Barry, who discussed and read from their new book "A Field Guide to the Jewish People." Very funny.
|You know it's true.
|We cleaned up good.
|I wasn't kidding about the whale. Comics journalist Heidi MacDonald was there and said it was the perfect time for a supervillain to smash through the roof to threaten the pampered elite of Gotham City. She was right.
|The Quill Awards' 2006 Book of the Year.
|Our view of the Quill Awards stage with, I believe, Lewis Black presenting. Note how far we are from the stage and reflect on Brian's First Rule of Award Shows.
|The view from my Miami hotel room. Nice work if you can get it.
|With Tom at last year's Comic-Con International in San Diego.
|Live Worms Gallery on Grant Ave., the LitQuake event site. A good, arty, intimate space for a book reading.
|A terrible selfie with Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago, whose current exhibitions include all the original art for the classic "Foul Play" story from "The Crypt of Terror," a landmark in comics history. Wish I'd had more time to linger because I love CAM, but traffic and time conspired against me.
|Hoofing it halfway across San Francisco has its charms. This is Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in North Beach, the Italian neighborhood that Joe DiMaggio grew up in, with landmark Coit Tower in the background.
|Cable cars lined up halfway to the stars. Well, really they were just parked there, but it sounds more romantic the other way.
|I got the the Live Worms Gallery just as a couple of band members from the Italian Heritage Day Parade happened by. I'm gonna call that instrument a tuba, which means it's probably actually a sousaphone. I always make that mistake.
|I sneaked a photo of the Live Worms space and crowd during my introduction. In the foreground in the blue cap is artist Mark Ulriksen (with his wife Leslie) who's done something like 55 "New Yorker" covers and has a great career as an illustrator/artist. I'm a fan, so it was especially nice to get to know him.
|Same scene as I walked back to my car a couple hours later. Nice little town we've got here.
|In my new studio! Press Democrat photo by John Burgess.
|Even the street lights make you feel welcome.
|A stretch of downtown Quincy . . .
|. . . where I found my name in lights! Well, my book's name. This is the local movie theater, which also doubles as an events center where I spoke on Thursday evening. It's a lovely Art Deco jewel, nothing fancy but lovingly saved and restored. They don't make 'em like this anymore.
|This is the drawing class I spoke to, with instructor Josh in the background, in just about the nicest student studio space I've seen. They're working on making their own comics with a six-panel grid I provided. Sometimes art students have the hardest time with these exercises because they think they need to draw "good," which only bogs them down. Quick and messy is the ticket!
|One of the larger groups I lectured to. This was two or three classes combined, all watching KQED's animation of "A Fire Story," which gave me a chance to sneak to the back and take this photo.
|Some of the Feather River College grounds, which surrounded a large grass quad and sprawled for quite a way in different directions. Beautiful campus!
|The back side of the library, where I spoke a couple of times.
|Dinner before my community talk with (clockwise from me) English instructor Joan, English instructor Joe, counselor Monica, English instructor and my terrific host Chris Connell, and college president Kevin Trutna. I'm not eating any nachos.
|The view from the back of the theater where, again, I took advantage of my animated video to sneak to the rear and get a photo.
|Just a couple of typical vistas on Highway 70 to and from Quincy.
|On the Feather River. Couldn't be prettier.
|In contrast, also on Highway 70, the remains of the Camp Fire stretched to the horizon.