Well, this evening I got to indulge in a little unabash├Ęd hero worship, and it makes now for a nice follow-up — completely unexpected, a week ago — to the immediately previous post. That same fellow Richard Thompson, about whom I’ve waxed enthusiastic here on occasion — since about a year ago — and who has on occasion done this blog the honor of a visit, mentioned on his blog yesterday that there was to be an editorial cartoonists’ talk down in the D.C. suburb of Bethesda today, and that he’d be one of the talkers. Having no other plans, I went to hear and meet him, naturally. It turns out, actually, that he’s not much of a talker. It also turns out that, in person, he’s just a great guy — as I’d always suspected he might be.

As I was waiting for my turn to meet him, a lovely woman with thick gray hair sat next to Thompson while he signed her book with a little cartoon. She was a bit star struck, I thought — looked like she might cry, almost. When he was done she leaned over & kissed him on the cheek, which he seemed to take as the perfectly natural thing. And to tell the truth, I could kind of identify with her — though as a rule I’m not so spontaneous or generous with kisses on the cheek.

My further delight, there, was to meet the prolific & innovative Kevin Kallaugher, a.k.a. Kal — formerly with the Baltimore Sun and long connected with the UK’s Economist — who was also presenting this evening. Imagine my pleasure, when I mentioned to Kal a cartoon of his that I’d clipped from The Sun a long time ago and had tacked above my desk for years, to see him visibly brighten & tell me it was one of his favorites too. Kal’s got a great site & a blog (which I should have been following before now, but haven’t been). Take a look — I swear, the man draws better even than I remembered.

Going with an old impulse that these days I don’t obey hardly at all anymore, I took along to this event a little 3 1/2 × 6 inch sketchbook, ‘just in case.’ And it happens that, as I showed up, predictably, a little late and sat in back, I was in a good position to manage a bit of a sketch of Thompson, who was on the other side of the room, also in the back (when not up front giving his talk). I don’t draw a lot these days, so it isn’t much, but I felt good enough about it to ask Thompson to sign it when I met him afterward. And I have to tell you that he pronounced it ‘damn good’ — to my eternal satisfaction.

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