The Lovely Anna and I are settling in here in Los Angeles for the Reuben Awards weekend, which officially gets started today. This year I have been elected to the NCS board as a vice president, so last evening we attended a dinner and get together for board members at the nearby home of cartooning legend Mell Lazarus (Momma and Miss Peach)
Mell is an amazing guy, who not only created the two long running strips listed above, but authored two successful novels, writes television scripts and plays, and is a member of Mensa. At 81 he can still out-party me.
Mell and his wife Sally have a beautiful home outside Los Angeles, and in it is one of cartooning’s most treasured artifacts… and I don’t mean Mell. I mean Mell’s piano. Many years ago Mell and Sally decided to buy a baby grand piano, and got a good deal on a small white one that needed refinishing. Instead of refinishing it, they invited cartoonists to draw on it. The result is an incredible piece of art with hundreds of cartoonist’s doodles and signatures on it in their living room:
I was honored to be asked to draw on it as well, which instantly lowered the value of the piano but Mell insisted.
Rina Piccilo (Tina’s Groove) and Dave Coverly (Speed Bump) also drew on the piano last night, so I think their¬¨‚Ä† positive contributions offset my depreciation of the piano’s value and Mell broke even.
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