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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Getting Ready

Work starts in earnest on the second, when term begins; but there is a lot going on this week at the college. Today I am at a departmental meeting that then breaks up 'by year' so that we can discuss things that need discussing. I've got to pick up a laptop computer and give my lesson plans to my second year colleagues Mark Mayerson, Michael Hitchcox, and Scott Caple. And I got my OHIP Canadian insurance card, which means I'm fully 'covered' in the new country's medical plan as of September 1. Which is good news...I'll probably need it. Some kind of sinus attack is making me unhappy every morning and I need a few minor tuneups before school starts. It's nice to get all your ducks in a row before the real excitement begins.
Yesterday I went on a pleasant walking tour of parts of downtown Toronto with NCS member and fellow cartoonist Patricia Storms, whom I met at the Doug Wright awards a while back. We found a good used bookstore right on Spadina avenue that had some unusual and rare Canadian cartoon books. "Mine!" Patricia said, rushing for one small book and then explaining to me that the interesting cartoons featuring a bear character were very well known in Canada. I'd never seen it so I'm afraid I can't remember the artist's name or the title of the panel cartoon. (Thanks to the readers of the blog, of whom I have at least two, for informing me about J. M. Simpkins' JASPER THE BEAR. Is this the first cartoon character to have a public park named after him? Take that, Yogi.) Not much else to say except that I'll be spending the rest of the week on my first presentation, which will be done in-class rather than in the lecture hall due to the cancellation of Monday's class for Labor Day. The big classroom goes into operation in Week 2. I was able to plan the remaining lectures around Canadian Thanksgiving, which also falls on a Monday; (October 13). It's a lot easier to do this midway through the course.
The weather has turned sharply cooler and this is in some ways a Good Thing; but I'll probably be forced to take the herb garden indoors within a week or so.


patricia said...

It's Jim Simpkins, creator of Jasper the Bear. Here's a link about Simpkins on

I yelled "Mine"? Oh dear. I am a little greedy guts, aren't I?

warren said...

Hi Nancy - love your book!

The cartoonist your friend picked up was Ron Simpkins, who wrote/drew a one-panel strip called 'Jasper the Bear' for McClean's Magazine (our version of Time) for 20 years or so. His stuff is unfortunately out of print!

More info on his recent passing here.

warren said...

Correction! It was JIM simpkins. Who's been gone a while now! But still out of print, and still dead.


Nancy said...

Thanks very much for letting me know about J.M. Simpkins. I'll keep my eyes peeled for more Jasper the Bear books. And 'Mine' is perfectly acceptable in bookhunting circles, as long as you aren't ripping the book out of some old lady's hands!