Monday, May 31, 2010

Robots, Statues, Music

Bizarro is brought to you today by The Big Ugly.

This was an eventful weekend in my area. The National Cartoonists Society had their annual convention and awards ceremony just across the river from NYC, someplace called Jersey City. I've never been there myself, but I hear it is gorgeous.

I am told I won their biggest award, "Cartoonist of the Year" and am grateful for the honor. (Yes, I was told I was grateful for the honor, and I actually was.) The statue, which I have come to affectionately call "The Big Ugly," was designed in the early 1900s by Rube Goldberg, and is named The Reuben after him. Pictured below the blue link above is the one with Al Jaffee's name on it, from a couple of years ago.

Instead of attending this year's convention, which I've been to almost yearly since 1995, I was at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in upstate NY for a benefit concert given by Chrissie Hynde and JP Jones. It was a phenomenal experience; beautiful scenery, terrific music and good friends in a very intimate setting out on the lawn.

The musicians set up on a deck overlooking a large lawn and played songs from their new album, set to be released in August. I love Hynde's voice and JP Jones' voice blends terrifically well with it. I haven't heard the album, but if it was a good as the set we heard, you'll want to pick it up. By the way, that isn't the head of a cow/giraffe hybrid in the background, that's a costume used at the recent Veggie Pride Parade in NYC a few weeks back.

From behind the musicians you can see what an intimate gathering it was. We were only allowed 250 guests because of local ordinances (any more than that and you have to hire cops and that seriously cramps my party style, dude) but we had many hundreds more inquire about the show. We could easily have sold 500 tickets. The guitarist at left is from Liverpool and an amazing player, I was jealous, wish I could remember his name. Patrick M-something. JP is in the middle. His legs aren't actually 14 inches long, it's just the way it looks in this picture. He's actually completely normal.

Thanks so much to all the people who have been leaving "congrats" messages on my Facebook page and the comments sections of my blog posts, and to all of you who've sent emails. I can't answer them all personally, but they are all read and appreciated.

My editor at King Features and good friend, Brendan Burford, accepted the award for me. He asked me for an acceptance speech to read but I'm not one to write a lot down in those situations, so I gave him this:

"Dan Piraro would have been here tonight except that he was killed this afternoon when he lit a cigar near an open bottle of scotch while having sex with Ashley on his motorcycle. At least he died doing the four things he loved most."

Brendan said it was well received.


Mitch said...

Congrats, Dan! Be sure to let us know if you ever come out to the Toonseum in Pittsburgh. I'd love the opportunity to, I dunno, eat your heart and gain your courage.

Hmm... Maybe that was a little too forward.

Jym said...

=v= That cow outfit looks suspiciously like the one that Dirt First! used at Krustyburger, which itself looked to be based on a TIME'S UP! action, right down to the NYPD's strategy ("Take out the mother cow. The rest will follow.")

Anyway, congrats on your award. It looks disconcertingly like your "intimate gathering" link.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Dan - well deserved!

Princess Pamela said...

Congratulations Dan! A well earned award and you were in good company with your nominees. Let's hope that Stephan Pastis doesn't whine about it in his know how he can be!

monsterzero said...

so sad to hear of your passing. you will be missed.
but congratulations on the rueben! you certainly deserved it!

AhClem said...

Yay! Congrats! That was heavy competition, too!

Ray Avito said...

Jeez, the 14 inch legs thing cracked me up BIG TIME. Congratulation to you on the award.

rob said...

Major congrats! How awesome! As a fairly long time reader, I seem to remember you (at least claiming) you'd given up on the Reuben. Hey, in my experience, that does the trick more often than chance would suggest.