The 2019 Lee Falk Memorial Bengali Explorers Club (LFMBEC) special guest has finally been officially announced in an email LFMBEC patron Richard Fry sent to members.
Jeff Weigel, current Sunday strip artist, will be the main guest speaker!
It's a great coup for the LFMBEC to have a current newspaper strip artist in attendance - this will be the first time since Terry Beatty spoke at the 2015 dinner.
It hasn't exactly been a huge secret that Jeff was planning to be in Sydney Australia in June 2019. In fact, he announced his desire to have original art ready to sell at the 2019 Sydney Supanova with a statement back in March 2018, when he explained that he was going to start drawing his Sunday Phantom strips on Bristol in ink. Learn more about Jeff when he spoke to us on X-Band: The Phantom Podcast #70.
It's a perfect time for Jeff to visit the "land down under", as he will have two years of drawing the Sunday Phantom behind him and approximately 40 Sunday pages for phans to pick through. He is also becoming known to non-strip readers with with his popular 2018 Christmas cover for Frew #1828, and of course Frew #1832 which features his art on the cover and one of the internal stories, Duncan Munro's Hero Complex. We're sure that many phans will be keen to have Jeff sign their copies of these books.
Jeff is looking forward to the weekend. "I’ll be at both events [LFMBEC dinner and Supanova], and I’ll have lots of original art for Sunday strips and Frew pages for sale. I’ll have some prints, too, priced for the folks not made out of money. I haven’t decide whether to take on commissions during the cons — I hate drawing in public and I want to keep my down time open so I can play tourist with my wife.
"I am certainly looking forward to meeting and thanking all the Aussie phans that have been so supportive since I came on board the strip. I’m also looking forward to picking their brains about what they'd like to see in the strip in the future. Also, I hope to pet a Drop Bear while I’m there."
Jeff's most recently completed Sunday story (186) The Rat Must Die has not been published yet but it would not be surprising if that story is also published by Frew prior to June. All this should make him a popular artist at either the Frew Booth or Artists Alley for phans to say G'day.
The popular artist hasn't mentioned whether or not he will be bringing over pre-drawn sketch covers to go with with the original artwork and prints he will have on sale. However, as you can see it's safe to say that phans will have plenty to spend on.
This will be the first time since 2015 that Australians will have been lucky enough to have an international guest visit their shores for the LFMBEC dinner, when Terry Beatty attended dinner #27. At that time he was also the Sunday Phantom strip artist. Since then we have had local creators in Bruce Mutard in 2016 and the Kid Phantom duo of Paul Mason in 2017 (Paul's speech that night here) and Andrew Constant in 2018 (Andrew's speech that night).
It is time to start planning for the year. Supanova Sydney is Friday 21 June to Sunday 23 June. Tickets and information can be found here. If you are new and want to know more about the LFMBEC and Supanova, we would suggest listening to X-Band: The Phantom Podcast #67 when we discussed with guest Jon Cookson on how to be prepared for this Mecca Weekend.
Make sure you get your time booked off with your partner (and work!), flights booked and start saving those pennies to spend up on an eventful weekend.