I just spent five extremely busy and exciting days in Los Angeles. And I’m gonna tell you all about that in a minute. First I wanna show you this…
The new issue of MAD Magazine is now out there in the wild, waiting for you to buy it! Issue #510! And I’ve got a comic in there! My first time in MAD! A few of my cartoonist pals are in there too, right along with legends like Sergio Aragonés and Al Jaffee. It’s a gosh dang honor and I still can’t quite believe it!
Okay! Moving on: Los Angeles! What a place! I went up last Friday afternoon and was there until Tuesday afternoon. I stayed in Burbank with Natasha Allegri, one of my very best cartoonist friends. I’ve known Natasha for a long time now, literally since we were both teenagers. We both used to post little journal comics on livejournal. Now she draws comics and works on the show Adventure Time at Cartoon Network and I’m drawing comics and illustrations full-time.
When I got up there on Friday, Natasha met me at the train station. I went with her to Cartoon Network studios. I goofed around and watched cartoons and doodled while she finished up some work.
That night I tagged along to celebrate the birthdays of several people that work on various Cartoon Network shows, one of those people being Natasha. It was an absolute pleasure getting to meet and hang out with so many delightful (and talented) people! I’d attempt to list and link to all the wonderful people I met and talked to but I’d surely forget someone and would feel terrible about it later. I will say thanks to Adventure Time production assistant Patrick Seery (it was his birthday too!) and his brother Chris for driving Natasha and I to and from the festivities and thanks to the incredible John Pham for his wisdom.
Pen made me play video games with him. I’m not sure what game we were playing (I’m extremely out of the loop when it comes to video games) but we were working together to kill zombies. I wasn’t that great at it but it was awesome and fun regardless.
We then went to Griffith Park and had lunch at the Griffith Observatory, which was really cool!
A million thanks to David for playing tour guide and showing me around! Afterwards Natasha and I spent the rest of the day hanging out with Pen. We went to The Dresden (one of the bars featured in the movie Swingers) and doodled for a while. Here’s a picture of me, drawn by Pen…
After that we somehow we ended up going to see Re-Animator: The Musical, which was GREAT.
On Sunday I spent the day hanging out with my friends Zach Marcus, Becky Dreistadt and Frank Gibson. We hung out and laughed at terrible old tv shows. They also turned me on to A Town Called Panic. We watched the first 20 minutes or so of the movie and it was amazing. It’s been on my mind a lot since then. I’ll definitely be watching the rest very soon. Becky, Frank and Zach also took me on a walk around their neighborhood to Secret Headquarters and Vlad The Retailer. Both places were awesome. I picked up a few things at Secret Headquarters to read on the train back to San Diego. That evening we went to a BBQ at our friend Jamie Dee Galey’s house. I hadn’t seen Jamie in years! Thanks to Jamie and his lady Katie for a super pleasant evening and to Becky, Frank and Zach for hanging out and showing me around their ‘hood!
Monday was an extremely busy day for me! This whole trip wasn’t simply for fun. The main reason for the trip was top secret meetings. I had not one, not two, but THREE different meetings with different people to go to on Monday and then another one on Tuesday. I don’t want to reveal anything about any of the meetings quite yet but I will say that both Monday and Tuesday were very thrilling and surreal.
Monday wasn’t just meetings though! That night Natasha and I went down to Hollywood with Thaddeus Couldron (who worked on some my favorite scenes in the Spongebob Squarepants movie and is now working on an upcoming Cartoon Network show). We drank beers and talked about comics and cartoons. After my meeting on Tuesday I spent a little more time goofing off with Natasha in the Adventure Time studios before heading back down to San Diego. Here’s Natasha working on Adventure Time stuff…
One of the highlights of Tuesday was realizing that the new issue of MAD Magazine was out and then dashing out of Cartoon Network and running to a magazine shop in Burbank to see it. I bought two copies even though I knew there would be a few copies waiting for me in the mail at home.
Thanks again to Pen, David, Thaddeus, Patrick, Becky, Frank, Zach, Jamie, and Katie for either hanging out, showing me around town, feeding me, or all of the above. Extra special thanks to the delightful people that took time out of their busy schedules to meet with me (you know who you are)! And most of all a super mega double fancy THANK YOU to Natasha and her roommate Amanda Thomas (who works on Cartoon Network’s Regular Show!) for letting me sleep on their couch and stink up their apartment for five days.
Woo! This post is longer than I intended it to be. Time to go back into my drawing cave to work on MY BOOK! I really like saying that. MY BOOK.