After the screening and a quick snack at The Warm Puppy Cafe at
Mr. Schulz's ice rink next door, we made our way to the event I was most interested in: a panel discussion by four professional cartoonists on their work and the impact of "Peanuts" on their lives. The guests were Keith Knight ("The K Chronicles"), Darrin Bell ("Candorville" and "Rudy Park"), Michael Jantze ("The Norm"), and Paige Braddock ("Jane's World"). I didn't take notes for a detailed report, but I did walk away with two or three new thoughts about the art and craft of cartooning that made it a good day for me.
I was excited to meet Darrin face-to-face. In addition to his paying job(s), Darrin operates Toontalk, one of the few places where professionals and amateurs can meet on the Web to talk about cartooning. So I wanted to thank him for doing that, he had some nice things to say about Mom's Cancer, and we had a good three-minute conversation before he had to go sign books.
I'd briefly met Keith before, at the Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco, after exchanging a couple of e-mails with him. I reintroduced myself and met Keith's wife Kerstin, who was terrific. Kerstin had a potentially cancerous health scare a while ago (I'm not divulging anything personal; Keith wrote about it in his comic), which is why I got in touch with him in the first place. Kerstin's tumor was large and serious but benign, she looks great, and while the cartoonists were put to work my wife and I enjoyed several minutes talking with her.
All in all, a couple of hours well spent.