This very special Sunday begins not with Eggos but with brunch out at Cousin John's in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I'm having Eggs Benedict Arnold. Don't turn your back on them!
My good pal Randi was very sweet and shared her pamcakes with me. PAMCAKES! Yet another reason why Randi has great taste: she can pick a crackerjack breakfast item. Do not pour me on the pamcakes, Randi!:
Jeff then had all the kids in the audience draw a character on a supplied sheet of paper. His only instruction: "make your character either happy or angry." He then showed off a few dozen of the kids' drawings on the big screen and asked each one of the young artists to talk about their character and what was going on in the drawing. I was impressed by the skill and range of these young artists (me, I can barely hold a crayon! Well, it's more difficult with hooves). A huge number of them drew their own original creations, and some even broke up their paper into comic panels with action and story sequence. Jeff was full of praise for their work, pointing out some of the visual shorthand older comics fans take for granted: speed lines, furrowed eyebrows to express anger, posture as a function of strength or actionthese kids had the fundamentals, and all were eager and excited to talk to the crowd about their creations. I especially liked one kid who had designed a character named "Grandpa" and his various alter-egos, including "Baby Grandpa." I would so buy a comic book named "Baby Grandpa."
A Q&A session finished up the stage show, with only one rule: "kids can ask questions, adults can't." Excellent rule, as the kids came up with great questions about where Jeff got his ideas, where the Bones' names came from (Fone Bone? From Don Martin's frequently Fonebone characters), and why the stupid, stupid rat creatures have trimmed ears and tails. Jeff was fantastic with the kids: encouraging, funny, and patient.
I love Randi! She is so nice to me. Thanks for taking me to see Jeff Smith, Randi!
At last I got up to the table and got to meet the Great Man himself. He was very cheerful as I chatted with him for a moment. I believe I was the only stuffed bull he's had come out to one of his signings.
Even though he'd already signed a bajillion books so far that afternoon, he kindly signed my big Bone phone book and sketched me a quick drawing of Fone Bone and Ted the Bug. Thanks, Jeff!
When we came out of the Leonard Nimoy Thalia it was starting to snow! I was glad I'd worn my warm winter fleece hoodie:
Snowflakes were as big as canned hams by the time we reached the subway entrance. Quick, into the subway before we get turned into snowmen! And snowbulls. And snowrandis.
Coming in from the snow on a cold Sunday afternoon, there's no better treat than a steaming mug of hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows:
In fact, the only thing better than just a mug of hot cocoa is reading Bone while you sip it! Thanks for a great fun day, Jeff Smith!