I spent this past weekend in Dallas, Texas at a small comic con called the North Texas Comic Book Show. This is a quarterly event organized by a nice gentleman named Chris Latshaw. Chris invites a few artists as guests for the show, and this time he had the hare-brained idea to do a “MAD” theme and invite a bunch of The Usual Gang of Idiots to appear. Included was the following:
David DeGrand– Writer/artist on “The Fundalini Pages” feature “Ain’t Life DeGrand” and “The Strip Club” feature “Patience Man” for MAD, David has a long list of credits including working on Spongebob Comics, Heeby Jeeby Comix, KaBOOM! Studios, Walt Disney Television Animation, Harper Collins, Yuck!, Puck Comic Party, The Fort Worth Star Telegram and The Grizzly Detail.
Annie Gaines Ashton– Widow of MAD publisher Bill Gaines, former MAD editor and the First Lady of MAD!
Garth Gerhart– Writer/artist on “Bitterman” for MAD, Garth also does his own comics including the new “Beelebum: The Roommate from Hell”.
Kit Lively– Writer on a number of features in MAD, many in collaboration with artist Scott Nickel, Kit is a cartoonist and writer with many credits including foreign editions of MAD, National Lampoon, Joe Bob Briggs and others. His book of cartoons, “Dammit! I Swallowed Another One!” was recently published by Bear Manor Media.
I’m guessing Chris is still wondering what he was thinking.
You do not get a group of UGOI together without a lot of funny going on. Often there is broken crockery as well, but we avoided any major damage to the dishes or the hotel in general. Instead we just laughed ourselves silly all weekend. Mostly we spent our time getting Annie to laugh, because she has one of the greatest laughs in the history of the world, and it was a joy to hear.
Needless to say it was a great time, and it was especially fun because this group was from the “newer” Usual Gang of Idiots (Annie aside)… very funny and creative artists and writers that don’t get much attention standing in the shadows of legends like Jaffee, Sergio, Davis, Drucker, Wood, Elder, etc.
Here’s some more pics from the weekend, most courtesy of Kit’s wife Julie:
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