Chester Derrick’s Cameo

Despite Chester’s initial skepticism
concerning the merits of online dating,
his experiment proved successful
beyond his wildest dreams.

The drawing above was done for a benefit auction that’s raising money for Japanese disaster relief, the auction being scheduled on June 4 by OSO ORO.

The guy in jeans and leather is Chester Derrick, a character you’ll otherwise find in The Complete Wendel. Chester is the randy director of a gay theatre troupe in my Wendel series; hence the resemblance in name (though not in appearance) to Doric Wilson, the pioneering gay playwright and a major force (along with Mark Finley and Barry Childs) behind the LGBT play producing group TOSOS, created in 1974 and revived in 2002, for whose productions I’ve drawn promotional graphics several times over the years. Doric, I’m sad to say, passed away on May 7, but his plays and TOSOS will live on.

OSO ORO, meanwhile, is an affinity organization of “bears” and “bear”-lovers. True, that sounds like a club dedicated to the preservation of wildlife — and it sort of is, come to think of it, if you adopt a really broad definition of wild. But on a more everyday plane, OSO ORO is a safe haven, in a world of gym-bunnies, for "bears" of the human variety, bear being gay slang for bulky guys with abundant body hair.

My Homo Radio Broadcast

I was treated to stimulating conversation about Stuck Rubber Baby, The Complete Wendel, and all things gay during my May 1 visit to Homo Radio, the LGBT-themed radio show broadcast every Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM by WRPI in Troy, NY.

My hosts and interviewers were Dr. Ray Werking (above left) and Joe Laux (above right). These snapshots of our sparkling repartee in action were taken by David Liebig.

In Boston

Here’s a snapshot (taken by my friend Bob Wolff) of me doing my April 29 reading at Calamus Bookstore in Boston.

And Greater Boston isn’t done with me yet! While at the moment it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to get there in person, eight pages of my artwork will be representing me in "Between Straight Lines," the Gay Pride Month exhibit of LGBT artwork that’ll be on view from June 2-25 at the Brickbottom Gallery (1 Fitchburg Street) in nearby Somerville.

Other artists whose work will be on display are Alison Bechdel, Paige Braddock, Tim Fish, and Gina Kamentsky.

But WAIT!! There’s MORE!!!

Come mid-September I’ll be back in Boston yet again, this time as a guest at the New England Wizard World, which will be transpiring at the John B. Hines Veterans Memorial Convention Center. The dates of this comics convention are September 17-18. More on that excursion back to Beantown as the event draws nearer.

John & Jana Do Their Thing

Living just up the street from Eddie and me are writer John Seven and his wife, illustrator Jana Christy. Their creative track record includes many projects pursued separately (John is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at the North Adams Transcript, and Jana has a bunch of children’s books under her belt), but they’ve also teamed up a lot recently.

Just take a look at their online collaboration-in-progress "We Are HAPPY PUNKS! Oh, Yeah!" and you’ll see why Eddie and I are pleased to have such a cool family (they two sons are budding rockers) living a stone’s throw away.

Recently John and Jana have decided to have a fling at self publishing with their appealingly edgy picture book A Rule Is to Break: A Child’s Guide to Anarchy. They’ve been generating money for this venture in part through the Kickstarter web site, which has helped several worthy cartoonists I know get their work into print.

A visit to their Kickstarter page today tells me that John and Jana’s basic $950 fundraising goal has already been surpassed. But that doesn’t mean that a few additional pledges won’t be helpful in giving their book the launch it deserves. (Making bookbuyers aware of self-published books ain’t easy, I can tell you from personal experience, and ads cost money.) If you feel like giving A Rule Is to Break an additional boost, maybe they can get their book on an even firmer footing with a larger print run.

Main Street Stage’s Seagull

Farewell for a while to Main Street Stage, whose longtime home at 57 Main Street here in North Adams has now gone dark in the wake of the company’s final performance on May 22 of Chekhov’s The Seagull.

This was once of the best attended and best received of the MSS shows I’ve seen since moving to town, a fitting sendoff for a community theatre that has made an important contribution to North Adams during the twelve years of its existence. Hopefully The Seagull‘s afterglow will keep the old flames burning among Main Street Stage’s fans in anticipation of the company’s hoped-for relocation to a new, significantly superior performing space that seems tantalizingly within reach — if only the necessary funds can be found.

Above: Aspiring actress Nina (played by Leandra Sharron) performs an experimental stage piece composed by frustrated playwright Konstantine. (The photos were taken by the show’s set designer, Juliana von Haubrich.)

Below: Famous actress Irena (Barby Cardillo) expounds to Masha (Wendy Walraven) on the benefits of opting for youth-enhancing apparel while Dr. Dorn (Jack Sleigh) hides in a book.

Above: Konstantine (Jed Krivisky) seeks financial assistance from his self-involved mom, who besides being a famous actress is an inveterate penny-pincher.
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About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
This entry was posted in A Tip o' the Hat, Family & Friends, Life & Art, Me, Me, Me!, Pure Toontime. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Chester Derrick’s Cameo

  1. There seems to be a theme here of worthy arts projects that need money. This is the way I’d like my tax dollars to work.