For a successful con you have to plan ahead. Sometimes that means sitting through one or a few panels that you had not intended on in order to secure a seat for one that you DO want. Sometimes there’s delightful surprise when you realize that you’re sitting through an unexpectedly awesome panel. That happened to me while waiting for the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary panel as I was in the room for the Jim Davis panel in which he talked about his new book The Art of Garfield.

 Not only that but Jim Davis himself was caught unaware when San Diego Comic-Con international presented him with their prestigious Inkpot Award. Comprised of an impressive list of creators that includes Steven Spielberg and Stan Lee, the Inkpot Awards are given to individuals for their contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, television, animation, and fandom services.

Davis was beside himself in giving a speech of acceptance, he literally had no idea this was going to happen. It was quite interesting to hear him talk about the path of his career and how he went from a failed comic-career attempt with Gnorm the Gnat and eventually to Garfield which would earn worldwide syndication, merchandising rights, cartoons, movies, and more.

During the Q&A someone asked simply: Why lasagna? The answer wasn’t terribly surprising. Jim Davis loves lasagna. He said over the years he’s had a lot of people tell him that their own cats love lasagna, too. Warm and spry, the comic-creator offered words of inspiration to young aspiring cartoonists encouraging them to read, read, read and gain as much education as possible. He posited that if you don’t have something smart to say that you won’t go anywhere.

If you’re interested, The Art of Jim Davis’ Garfield is currently available to pre-order.