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Category: Comic Artists


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Some Cons

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Okay, so we’ve been to MoCCA Fest, Asbury Comic Con and Wizard Philly — all completely different. heidi_shannon

MoCCA Fest 2012 came and went so fast I never got a chance to take any pictures. Judie snapped this one of comics ace report Heidi MacDonald of The Comics Beat, a plump, long-haired version of me, and the always entertaining Shannon Wheeler of Too Much Coffee Man and The New Yorker Magazine fame. It was long couple of weeks, doing Boston Con, working on the MoCCAFEST.org site up until the last few days (I’m a volunteer), and then jamming everything into the car again and heading in NYC for the weekend. We had a great dinner with Rick Parker and Jim Salicrup (sorry, no pictures while we’re eating), and that’s all I can remember. All a blur. So when Heidi invited us to join Fred Van Lente, Ben McCool, Brian Heater, Torsten Adair, and old pal Shannon Wheeler, I was ready to kick back for an after the con pint. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much and so hard. Shannon does that too me. What a great way to end a con.


Then on May 12, Rob Bruce and I threw our own con — Asbury Park Comic Con. It was probably one of the oddest venues for a con: the rock club The Asbury Lanes, which is actually a bowling alley built in 1963 and looks like a time machine.
evan_croppedWe had special guest Evan Dorkin (pictured above), Sarah Dyer, Jamal Igle, Steve Mannion, Danny Hellman, Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey, Charles Soule, the pictures are on a disk somewhere — thanks Dad for taking those shots.

Here’s a few by Dan Mozgai: Good shot off exhibitors and fans having a great time at the first Asbury Park Comic Convention.
Screen shot 2012-06-22 at 10.47.42 AM

And just as the con was beginning, the venue, The Asbury Lanes was getting a facelift after hurricane winds at the beach mangled the iconic sign.
Screen shot 2012-06-22 at 11.01.55 AM

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Making Al Jaffee Laugh (since he did it for me so many times)

Friday, February 24th, 2012

I went up to MoCCA NY last night with Judie and Rob Bruce to hear some stories of Al Jaffee about his career and inspirations. At 91 years old, Jaffee is still one of the funniest humans on the face of the Earth. He told us how he came up with his famed Mad Magazine “Fold-In”, which was the opposite of a fold-out, which was popular in better magazines like National Geographic and Popular Science. He told stories of Hugh Hefner putting him and Will Elder in a room at the Algononquin Hotel to meet a deadline on a “Little Annie Fanny” comic for Playboy, only to find the obsessive Elder removing Jaffee’s work to constantly improve the already late artwork.

Throughout the evening, I kept thinking about my own relationship to Jaffee’s work; specifically  “Snappy Answers For Stupid Questions”. When MoCCA’s Danny Fingeroth concluded the panel discusion, MoCCA president Ellen Abramowitz began the Q&A. After a few questions, I couldn’t contain myself, and rather than ask a question, I told Jaffee and the audience a story: “Mr. Jaffee, when I was about seven years old, I was reading “Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions” while in a car with my family going from North Jersey to visit my Aunt and Uncle at the Jersey Shore for the holidays. When we arrived, My Aunt came to the door to greet us and said to me, “My Cliff, how much you’ve grown!” Seeing this as an opportunity to use one of the lines in your book I replied, “Gee, and I had my heart set on being a midget!” And that’s when my father gave me a slap across the back of my head that I have remembered to this day.” The audience bursted into laughter, but more important; I got a laugh out of Al Jaffee. My life is now complete.

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MoCCA Fest NYC and a Return to Conventions

Sunday, April 17th, 2011
Photo © 2011 Brett Unis

Photo © 2011 Brett Unis

On April 9th 2011 I was returned to my people. It had been 9 years since I appeared at a comic convention. It was in some ways everything I’d hoped it would be: the art, the fans, the camaraderie, making new friends, the pasion for the medium, and all those wonderful comics. But the best part about MoCCA Fest, was I got to spend the weekend with my old pal Jon B. Cooke. Will Eisner documentary producer and publisher of the award winning Comic Book Artist Magazine, J.B. and his brother Andy Cooke (director of Will Eisner: A Sequential Artist) kept me in stitches with equal parts of  chop-busting and comic book references.

Cliff Galbraith, publisher Jon B. Cooke and Director Andrew Cooke

Cliff Galbraith, publisher Jon B. Cooke and Director Andrew Cooke

When not outright laughing, I found myself smiling, for no particular reason, other than the fact that I was incredibly happy, and forunate to be making comics once again. While at MoCCA Fest, I ran into another old friend, Alex Simmons, who invited me to his Kids Comic Con in the Bronx. While the Bronx isn’t the most convenient place to reach from Red Bank, NJ, I nonetheless drove into northern NYC to visit with old friends and make new ones. I’m not sure what artist Rick Parker asked of us as he took this shot, but Jack Morelli (master comic letter for Marvel and Archie comics), me, Torsten Adaire (Comics Beat contributor) and Jim Salscrup (editor extraordinaire) are  enjoying the con as much as any kid at Kids Comic Con. Well worth the drive.

Photo © 2011 Rick Parker

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Will Eisner Exhibit at MoCCA

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

While taking in the inspiring art of the master, Will Eisner at MoCCA NYC, I caught up will old pal Dean Haspiel this week. We drank a lot of beer and had a lot of laughs back in the late 90’s along with fellow comic creators Nick Bertozzi and Scott Cohen.

For those unfamiliar with Dean, among his many accomplishments,he recently won an Emmy Award for his work on the intro for HBO’s “Bored To Death”. We haven’t seen each other in over 11 years, so we had a lot of stories to share.

I also ran into another old friend I hadn’t seen in years, The Beat herself, Heidi MacDonald. I wasted no time telling her that I visit her comics news site every single day, and you should too. It’s over at comicsbeat.com. While it covers all things comics, it does have a certain NYC perspective that I find to be the most informative and entertaining of its kind. You may find me weighing in on an occasional debate under the name CitizenCliff.

Be sure to get yourself over to Will Eisner’s New York: From The Spirit to the Modern Graphic Novel. March 1- June 30th 2011 at The Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art at 584 Broadway in NYC. The show is curated by comic legends Denis Kitchen and Danny Fingeroth. for more info, check out MoCCA’s site.

I’ve also got some video –More to come.

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Cartoonists Once Wore a Suit and Tie To Make Funny Pages

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Strange but true and documented here in this promotional short film of Chicago Tribune comic artists churning out the daily strips on site and not at their home studios. Ahhhh…. simpler times.

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