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On Being Spotted in Public

Cartoonists are *never* spotted in public, so this story is a rare and wonderful tale to tell.

On Tuesday, for the first time, I was recognized in public by Sheldon readers.

It’s one of the quirks of being a cartoonist: you can be Gary Trudeau or Jim Davis or Bill Amend — and have millions and millions of readers — and no one knows who the heck you are. (Point-of-fact: tons of folks think Brooke McEldowney, the cartoonist behind “9 Chickweed Lane”, is a woman.)

Anyway, my wife and I were in Las Vegas these past few days on business for her work, and one afternoon I ducked away from the noisier parts of town looking for a quiet place to draw. (She and I aren’t particularly huge “Vegas” fans. I find it to be a pretty depressing place — which I’m sure is not the intended goal!) Anyway, I ducked out and found a big, quiet Barnes & Noble, ordered a giganto coffee, and got to work cartoonin’.

About 45 minutes in, I heard that very surreal phrase, “Excuse me, are you Dave Kellett?” …and looked up to find two very kind Sheldon readers staring down at me. Once I got over the initial shock of A.) being spotted, B.) being spotted in a Barnes & Noble, and C.) being spotted in a Barnes & Noble in Las Vegas…I invited them both to sit down and chat.

Turns out they’re brother and sister, are both Sheldon readers, and Gerhard is a cartoonist himself! He creates the wonderfully-drawn adventure The Far Reaches. So we ended up not only talking about Sheldon, but about comics in general, which was great fun.

So the moral of the story is this: if you want meaningful vacation moments in Vegas, you’ve got to leave The Strip, drive about 8 miles to the single bookstore in the city, and meet new people over a nice cuppa joe.

“Vegas: Come for the Endless Shrimp Cocktail, Stay for the Good Conversations.”