I mentioned before that I am a member of the National Cartoonists Society, a 60 year old organization of professional cartoonists. The NCS also has local chapters throughout the country, and I belong to the North Central Chapter. Since the mid-west is apparently no man’s land for cartoonists, our chapter easily covers the largest geographical area: Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado. While most chapters are only one state (and in some cases one area like Long Island’s “Berndt Toast Gang”) and get togther monthly for a meal and some fun, it’s difficult to get us all together in the North Central. However we manage to do it every year for our annual meeting, which entails guest speakers, usually a cartoon art show and other events.
Recent meetings have been held in Des Moines, Omaha, Lincoln and Sioux Falls. This year’s meeting will be held here in the Twin Cities, Oct. 6-8. It’s being organized locally by St. Cloud cartoonist David Phipps and myself, and it’s shaping up to be a great event. It coincides with the Minnesota FallCon comic book convention, and the chapter will be special guests at the con, which is in the state fairgrounds on Oct. 7th and 8th. We’ll be conducting a panel there and will take turns manning the booth, signing books and such. Our guest speakers for the weekend are myself, “Ballard Street” cartoonist Jerry Van Amerongen and “The Norm” creator Michael Jantze. I’ll be doing a powerpoint presentation of a bunch of my artwork and a live demo of my PhotoShop painting technique. The speaking engagement will be at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) on Saturday Evening, Oct. 7th. We are also hosting a dinner at O’Gara’s Bar and Grill in St. Paul before the presentations. O’Gara’s is a special place for cartoonists because the building they are in used to contain the barbershop of Charles Schulz’s father, and his family’s residence as well.
There will also be a cartoon art show at MCAD featuring original art from North Central members. We’ve got some big time cartoonists in our chapter like Chris Browne (Hagar), Gary and Glenn McCoy (The Flying McCoys), Bill Amend (Foxtrot), Oliver Christianson (Hallmark’s brilliant cartoonist “Revilo”), newspaper cartoonists Paul Fell, Jeff Koterba and Tom Kerr…. the list goes on and on. I’ll have a few MAD originals in it as well. It should be a great show and it’s open to the public on October 7th and will hang for about 2 or 3 weeks. The evening of October 7th there will be an opening reception where many of the cartoonists will be on hand to meet and greet, complete with refreshments.
Why am I telling you all this? Because the event isn’t restricted to just NCS or North Central Chapter members. Anyone can come and listen to the presentations at MCAD on Saturday evening, Oct. 8th free of charge. Anyone can come to the show opening and reception also free of charge, and see the show during MCAD gallery hours while it’s up. If anyone wants to participate in the event itself (i.e. the dinner) they can register for the actual meeting via the North Central website and it’s on-line registration form. If you are a cartoonist from the mid-west, you might consider joining the North Central chapter. You do NOT have to me a member of the national organization to be a local chapter member, and it’s a great way to meet and network with pro cartoonists, even if we only meet once a year. As I mentioned, the chapter has a website, and it also has a members only blog and a great PDF newsletter done by David Phipps and Ted Goff. Visit the North Central Chapter website for more information.
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