Aw, look, it’s Andrew, and he made me a birthday strip! Even though he’s sick! We both got sick as dogs at Wondercon that year. Wondercon has felled me more than once. What can I say, it’s a germy con.
I can’t help noticing that my birthday strip is almost entirely about Andrew and his problems. What about my problems, Andrew? What about me?
The second panel is entirely true. The guy who books the nudie models at Wondercon also does pro bono legal work for the Cartoon Art Museum. He used to rent the museum every year for a private Wondercon party, attended by the models, a bunch of cartoonists who mostly do cheesecake art, and MAD magazine stalwart Sergio Aragones.
At the 2003 party, Sergio wandered out to the lobby, where I was drawing, and gave me art tips. He was really nice about the cruddiness of my drawings. Later, I checked up on the party. The men were all clustered at one end of the room, the women and Sergio at the other. Sergio Aragones is a great man.
I believe the characters behind Andrew in panel four are Lark Pien’s Long Tail Kitty and a random Sam Henderson character.
– My good friend Jason Thompson, creator of The Stiff and King of RPGs, who’s done a lot of cool Narbonic and Skin Horse art in addition to this pinup. I have no idea what Mell is carrying in that knapsack, nor do I want to know.
– Brian Kolm, a longtime Cartoon Art Museum volunteer who self-publishes comics.
– Jesse Hamm, another old friend and an amazing artist. He lives in Portland now, so I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like. Those are his characters HappyGoth, from HappyGoth, and the wicked stepmother from Bitten Apple, which he got ten pages from completing way back in the day and never finished, driving all of us nuts.
– My niece Tierney. I think she was twelve when she drew this.
– Batton Lash and Jackie Estrada, creators of the longrunning indie comic Wolff and Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre. Great people, and great recycled gerbil art.
– Jeff Plotkin, another Cartoon Art Museum regular and creator of the comic Happy Freak Show.
– The great and powerful Tom Hart, creator of Hutch Owen and my collaborator on Trunktown. Is that a Nancy? He drew me a Nancy!
– Cat Garza, who just won a much-deserved Ignatz Award for his webcomic Year of the Rat. Congratulations, Cat!
I’ve updated a bunch of the links on those images from their 2003 incarnations, so you can check out what all the artists are doing now.
I was of course enormously touched when Andrew showed this to me. I’d had no idea he was doing this. Thank you again, everyone!