Saturday, February 16, 2008

Vanderbilt Cartoon And Comics Symposium 1972

My freshman year at Vanderbilt, I went to a cartoon and comics symposium that was held on campus right across the field from my dorm room. Check the guest speaker list:

This was supposedly the first time Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had appeared together since Jack left Marvel. I left to go to the Friday night portion of the show.

I was super impressed just to see these guys, much less to hear them talk. Dave Berg came on and talked about Mad Magazine. Allen Saunders was older but very cool, and Stan Lee was Stan Lee. Gahan Wilson was very dry. Someone asked him if he was influenced by Charles Addams, and he looked at him a moment and said, "Yes".

Click either of the pics for much larger versions.

The next morning Garry Trudeau led off. Doonesbury was probably the hottest strip in the country then, and Garry got more questions than anyone else.

I wish I'd taken notes at the talks, cause I don't remember as much as I wish I could. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee both said nice things about each other, and Mell Lazurus drew a lot of his Miss Peach characters on a big easel.
T.K. Ryan was very quiet at first, but ended up showing off a very good sense of humor.

At the end of the talks, we all went out to Curry Field for a barbeque sandwich and questions and answers with the artists. I tried to ask an intelligent question of Garry Trudeau about the state of the Ivy League humor magazines since National Lampoon had all the talent, and he said the state of Ivy League humor was pretty sorry.

A great show, and I'm much more impressed at it now than I was at 19.


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Randolph Hoppe said...

It's great to see this flyer! Is that all of it?

- Rand HOPPE (

bobhull70 said...

neat post I have that same program and an original poster for the event signed by Jack Kirby Stan Lee was handing out some art work and I still have 3 pieces of that, a Progressive proof set of a comic book cover and a large hand ink drawer of the black widow.

J. J. said...

Wow. My father was one of the local cartoonists, John McCampbell. He had a local Comic Strip in the Tennessean called "Super Star", which parodied the Country Music industry. I BEGGED him to go to this, but I was just shy of Seven years old, and he knew better... LOL. I am very thankful for posting this. My copies had been lost sometime before 1980, and this was something I was very proud of my father for. He struggled to get syndicated until his death in 1982. Tough business, comic strips.