As I continue my march toward Martha Stewart-like organizational bliss, photos of cartoonists and other interesting people from many years of travel are now at my fingertips.

And this lovely blog is just the place to publish them. Almost all my photos have never been published.

Photos are by me and copyrighted by me unless otherwise indicated. Some photos are by goodness-knows-who, taken with my camera.

Anyway, let’s start with a jaunt to Japan in 1996.

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Denys Cowan and Jeff Smith marvel at the strange resemblance between Disney’s The Lion King and Osamu Tezuka’s Kimba the White Lion while on a visit to the Tezuka Production offices in Tokyo.

“Hm! How bizarre! What could this mean?”

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Photo courtesy Tezuka Productions. I’m afraid I don’t know all the names of everyone in the shot, but pictured are, back row from left: Fred Schodt, author of Manga Manga: The World of Japanese Comics, A guy I can’t recall, Jeff Smith, Jules Feiffer, Takayuki Matsutani, President of Tezuka Productions, Denys Cowan, a very important gentleman whose name escapes me. Front row from left: I don’t know, Vijaya Iyer (Jeff Smith’s wife and the beautiful brain behind Bone), Nicole Hollander, Anita Doran AKA MOM, and me.

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Denys Cowan is a very good-looking fellow. I love this photo.

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Jeff and Vijaya in love in the gardens of a royal palace.

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Takayuki Matsutani in front of a portrait of Osamu Tezuka. Mr. Matsutani is awfully handsome and charming. (I’ve also seen his name spelled Takeyuki. I’m hedging my bets with both spellings here!)

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Jeff Smith and I speaking at a press conference. We look very polished, don’t we? Those press conferences were grueling and the reporters and editors sometimes seemed hostile (competitive?). We weren’t really prepared for the kind of reception we got, which was intense, high energy, and heavily covered by reporters following our every move.

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I still can’t remember the name of that fellow in the front, but here’s Jeff Smith, Mr. Matsutani, and Fred Schodt at the Tezuka offices. Visiting the Japanese publishers was quite educational. The DC and Marvel offices (at the time) seemed quite dainty by comparison.

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Jules Feiffer playfully fits his dainty hand into the molds of cartoon character hands in front of the Tezuka museum in Takarazuka. Papparazzi go wild. It was quite odd to be followed about by a mob of photographers. I have never been more aware of the size of my rear end in my entire life.

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Mr. Matsutani in front of a small portion of the Osamu Tezuka section at Kinokuniya Books.

I am off to Charlotte Heroes Con, and off researching a book. Bye.

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