Considering the heat wave in which we are currently embroiled, it was a surprise that so many of us braved the swelter to show up on Monday the 25th to lunch together. But there we were, gathered in the Heroes comic shop, gasping for breath and swapping stories.
L-R Greg Russell, Dave McDonald, Gerry Mooney and friend, Tom Haines, Marcus Hamilton, Gene Payne's stand-in, and Shelton Drum.
Present were the indefatigable Marcus Hamilton, Greg Russell, Dave McDonald, Tom Haines, Shelton Drum (he better be there, it's his store!) Gerry Mooney and Gene Payne. For lunch we settled on Showmar's, right across the street, and that worked out great. We were actually able to get a table big enough for the six of us at the height of a crowded lunch hour, and the general noise level still allowed for some civil conversation. Well, civil for cartoonists!
Back at the comic shop we were treated to a closeup look at the work of Greg Russell, starting with a few pieces done by Greg as an infant. He confided that he had tried cartooning while still in the womb, but that the amniotic fluid made the markers run.
Greg has had a long career in the Charlotte area in publication design and has been a Graphic Designer at Charlotte Business Journal for many years, while also staying busy with an astonishing range of book design and cartoon and illustration work, both client work and personal projects. Each piece seemed to have its own style, while holding together as a body of work.
Greg and Tom discovered not only that they both attended East Carolina University, but that while there, Greg had frequented a club that Tom owned. We then all agreed that they should buy a round of drinks as I recall.
By the time we remembered to take a group photo, Gene Payne had already left, so just imagine that that's him in the Doctor Doom mask. Actually, there is kind of a resemblance around the eyes!
Photo by a store guy.