The blog version of the Charming-Yet-Infrequent Newsletter
In this installment:
-My trip to Cuba, and who manned the pen while I was gone
-The Concerto in C-Sharpie
-Better than the First Robin of Spring
My trip to Cuba, and who manned the pen while I was gone:
So while I was in Cuba last month with a group of dynamic cartoonists, I had an
equally dynamic guest cartoonist take over my strip.
Since there is a month lag time between drawing the strips and when their appearance
in the newspaper, this coming Monday will be the BIG DEBUT.
So, who filled my sized-nine shoes? (Which happen to be a whopping size 40 by
None other than the Caldecott-winning, Emmy-winning, Oversized-Panda-At-The-Carnival-winning… Mo Willems!!
Mr. Don’t-Let-The-Pidgeon-Drive-The-Bus branched away from his characters to create
seven funny stand-alone strips, and a I pleased as punch with them.
Check Mo out here.
But wait, there’s more. Onto the Cuba trip itself…
There were six of us, and we were in Havana for the week. Wait, you say, what
about the embargo? Americans can’t go to Cuba! Fear not, we were there legally, as
part of a cultural exchange spearheaded by the dynamic Jeannie Schulz, widow of
Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz.
We mingled with talented cartoonists, toured Havana, drank Cuban rum, smoked
Cuban cigars and took in a city with a complicated rich history.
Here are some photos:
For more takes on the adventure, I’m going to ride on the blogging coat tails of
There’s also an informative (as well as critical) take on the US/Cuba embargo here.
(Fidel is no peach, so I’m sure there are more hawkish articles out there as to why the embargo should remain. Further study is up to you.)
Concerto in C-Sharpie
This fall, awesome cartoonist Dave Coverly celebrated his 15th year drawing
Speedbump by performing with the Kalamazoo Orchestra, playing the Sharpie! And
now it’s finally on YouTube!
Dave writes, “Generally, I have music on in the background when I draw. Generally, I do not have a live band behind me, 1,200 people in front of me, and 4 minutes to finish an entire cartoon.”
What’s cool for me is that I was in Michigan this summer and held the stop watch while Dave drew on copy paper to see if he could get a whole cartoon done in the time it took for the orchestra to play that piece. Very impressive.
Better than the First Robin of Spring
We can almost smell it… Spring is coming. My fluffy white cat Seltzer reminds me of Spring in several ways. First, based on the millions of tufts of hair I find all over the house, I believe he is half cat, half milkweed. (You will see that thought in cartoon form the second week of March.) And while he is fluffy and white and cute, don’t be fooled by his girly facade– if a song described him, it would be Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue.”
So when I need a Spring fix, I often think of last season’s harbinger: Seltzer walks through the cat door with dirt over one eye and twigs stuck in his fur. This is nothing unusual. What is unusual is when we brush out his belly and… off falls an earthworm. Welcome Spring!