Last Sunday, cartooning legends assembled at the Society of Illustrators in New York City to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Kids Right to Read program. Jeff Smith, creator of Bone and CBLDF board member, hosted the event. He welcomed CBLDF supporters and guests of honor, including Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell, Battling Boy author Paul Pope, Amelia Rules! creator Jimmy Gownley, The New Yorker cartoonists Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin, and Beanworld author and CBLDF President Larry Marder. Everyone who attended this exclusive event enjoyed an unforgettable afternoon celebrating comics and the freedom to read.
Before enjoying original artwork in the Society’s galleries, guests were treated to the premiere of Smith’s new series, Tuki Save The Humans, which Smith read to live music. Pope took attendees on a personal tour of his Battling Boy art show, currently hanging in the Society gallery, while Donnelly and Maslin were on hand to talk about the dozens of illustrations from their extensive collection on view in the Hall of Fame gallery.
Following Smith’s reading and a Q&A, guests retired to the Society’s famed dining room to enjoy an extraordinary brunch alongside these comics greats. As guests departed, they received a gift bag that included Jimmy Gownley’s new comics memoir The Dumbest Idea Ever! and an exclusive souvenir print signed by Smith. This magical afternoon raised nearly $5,000 for CBLDF’s efforts on behalf of the freedom to read!