Me by Rick Tulka
The Lovely Anna and I have twice been lucky enough to visit Paris, and both times we have also been fortunate enough to get to spend some time with MAD Magazine artist Rick Tulka and his wife Brenda. You would be hard pressed to find two nicer people on the planet.
Rick and Brenda have walked with us about Paris, shown us art exhibits, cathedrals, cafes and comic book shops (of course). They entertained us for dinner at their apartment on our first trip and we have met them at various Paris restaurants as well. Rick’s work has been a perfect fit for MAD for 25 years, and he is a great talent.
One thing Rick has been threatening to do when we are in Paris and which we still have not done is to go to “his cafe”. For years, he has been going to a classic French cafe called Le Select in Montparnasse near his home and sketching the patrons, waiters and passers by. Le Select is over 80 years old and has served as the hangout for such luminarties as Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Henry Miller and many others… now Rick Tulka! Next time I promised him an afternoon at the cafe, which is a throwback to the traditional Parisian cafe. It has mostly resisted many of the modern changes that have slowly altered the landscape of the institution that is French cafes.
Rick is publishing a book with many of the terrific slice of Paris life sketches, along with writing by Noel Riley Fitch due out this fall called “Paris Cafe: The Select Crowd.” It’s part history of Le Select and part a showcase of Rick’s fantastic art.
Recently CBS did a piece on the cafe, featuring a lot of Rick and his art in the process. Check it the video here (unfortunately it’s not the type you can embed) or read the text version here. Rick’s website is also well worth a look.
The book will be terrific. I hope I’ll be able to get him to sign a copy for me while we sit in Le Select someday, eating a croque monsieur and drawing those French noses.
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