Sunday, September 29, 2013


It was the adventure that wasn't supposed to happen...but it did.

Earlier this month, while staying at the Charles M. Schulz estate the weekend of our lecture and comic book signing at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, myself and my occasional collaborator, cartoonist RAFAEL NAVARRO ("Gumby's Gang Starring Pokey," "The New Adventures of the Human Fly"), had a vague inkling of an idea of a thought that the winery of the great Oscar-winning filmmaker FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA ("The Godfather" movies, "Apocalypse Now," "The Conversation," is naming his films really necessary?) was in our midst. He mad so many terrific movies in the '70s....(back when studio movies still mattered.)

This was our second year in a row speaking at the Schulz in early Sept. And so we already felt at home at the Schulz guest house, overlooking beautiful Santa Rosa and surrounded by wine country.

A typical breakfast out on the veranda in the morning at the luxurious guest house, which we dubbed "The Getty" (because it was big and it reminded us of the Getty Center).

The weather could not be more perfect that weekend....I'll drink to that!

So on the Friday we were up there visiting (Sept. 6), we hit the winery in Geyserville, California, and stumbled onto a real adventure as we discovered that this was waaaaay more than just a winery. 

It's a good thing Raf bought a pith helmet on the drive up (in Gorman, CA of all towns...wink-wink, Raf!) His amazing discoveries began from the get-go with the unearthing of a box of vanilla Cokes (Raf's favorite) back at the guest house. 

And it only continued on the road to "Coppoland".... 

It was smooth sailing up the 101 to Geyserville...(for these people, anyway). We were blasting SEASONS IN THE ABYSS while on the road north of Santa Rosa to Geyserville...(There's nothing like a bit of Slayer on a road trip...)

...And after we drove through the golden gates and parked...

What awaited us beyond the golden gates was a veritable museum to the man included a showcase for his five Academy Awards (including the envelopes that announced them), a Tucker car representing "Tucker," and rooms devoted to "Apocalypse Now" and "Dracula." It was uncanny.

Check out the Academy Award envelope announcing Coppola's win for BEST DIRECTOR. Bravissimo!

The "Apocalypse Now" display.

From 1992's "Dracula" - prancing around in red armor

The "Apocalypse Now" surfboards

Of course, we hammed it up a little, mugging at Marlon Brando's desk from "The Godfather." (True fact: Marlon and I share the same birthdate: April 3.)

We also discovered one hell of a resort-style pool. It was kinda hard to miss, especially with the bikini-clad beauties circulating...

On Sat., Sept. 7, we returned to partake in the pool, where we frolicked and mingled with the locals (none of whom were actual locals).

 Here's Raf doing the "Apocalypse Now" thing rising out of the water. Can you believe he did this with absolutely no training from Martin Sheen?

Life was really good...

 Eff "Breaking Bad," "Game of Thrones," and all the trendy shows we were SUPPOSED to be keeping up with! :D Back at the guest house, Raf and I were watching the complete series of the "Logan's Run" TV show, which ran for not much more than a season. It was surprisingly good, and Raf had "Logan's Run" on the brain all weekend long (shout out to Don Moffat as REM!)

Our lecture took place at the Schulz Museum at 1 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 8, and Raf fulfilled one young audience member's day by sketching her favorite comic book character for her.

The signing was fun, too. We hung out with our friend KIRA BROWN, who took a bus from San Francisco to make our signing.
We capped off the weekend with a triumphant dinner on Sunday night, courtesy of Jeannie Schulz, our lovely hostess, at a delicious Santa Rosa Thai place at Railroad Square called KHOOM LANNA. She invited Kira along, and we all feasted on some upscale Thai treats.

In the Railroad Square area, there is no shortage to municipal statues of Schulz's iconic PEANUTS characters. It's quite a sight to behold.

Overall, a terrific and triumphant weekend! And a special thanks to Jeannie Schulz, Jessica Ruskin at the Schulz Museum and the rest of the staff, Kira Brown for her presence and assistance, our buddy and one of my collaborators cartoonist Marcus Collar, and Francis Ford Coppola (unbeknownst to him) for all of the hospitality during our four days whirlwind tour of Santa Rosa, Napa and Geyserville, California.

There's a lot more to report on from this trip... but my assignments beckon. Eventually, I'll post more shots from this long weekend, including our detour into Napa Valley to meet up with my main man, mad man MARCUS COLLAR, artist and collaborator on one of my upcoming comic book projects. Stay tuned, that's NOT all, folks!

1 comment:

Javier Hernandez said...

What a wild trip! And the shot of Raf's Spider-Man with the Human Fly comic...Well, what more can I say about that?!