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NCS Members return from USO trip to Bahrain
Several National Cartoonists Society members have returned from a USO trip to Bahrain and the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise to draw/sign cartoons for members of the US Military. The cartoonists in the group were Jeff Bacon (Broadside), Dave Coverly (Speed Bump), Jeff Keane, (The Family Circus), Rick Kirkman (co-creator of Baby Blues), Tom Richmond (MAD Magazine cartoonist and Sam Viviano (Art director of MAD Magazine).
It’s important to find the right mix of cartoonists to do one of these trips-not just having artists who’s strip or publication is pretty recognizable and well-known, but also those who are dedicated to the purpose at hand: drawing for and meeting the soldiers or sailors. It’s incredibly interesting to see these places we visit and the bases/ships we spend time on, but that should be a distant second in importance to spending time with the troops. Everyone in this group had that attitude, and while we appreciated getting to see a lot of cool things, we enjoyed our time with the sailors and airwing personnel the most. My fellow cartoonists met with and drew hundreds and hundreds of men and women who are all making great sacrifices in being away from home, friends and family, as well and being in harm’s way and doing a dangerous job all to serve our country. I know I speak for our entire group when I say it was our honor and privilege to be able to meet, talk with and draw for these brave folks, and I hope we left them with a feeling of the gratitude of our nation for their efforts … and a smile or laugh to go along with their drawing. All of them seemed so grateful for our making the long trek to be there with them, but the honor and pleasure was all ours.