Wednesday, November 20, 2019


I've visited Morocco a number of times - in 2007 and again in 2013 I appeared at an animation festival in Meknes, and while there I was able to visit the historic city of Fez.  Since I've had a lovely time on my travels there, when I was recently invited to Casablanca to present a Master Class, I immediately said yes.

The event was held in a cultural organization called Uzine, where they have concerts gallery shows and films. My class had a nice crowd, not large but incredibly enthusiastic, they wouldn't stop applauding.

The Uzine had an interesting gift shop, where one could purchase graphic novels and art books by young Moroccan artists.  So I could see there's a lot of young creative cartoonists there, just looking for a way to make it in the creative world, and I encouraged them to try animation.

While there, I was able to do some sightseeing.  First I wanted to visit the historic Rick's Café, mentioned in the film "Casablanca".  To be honest, it's not the original café from the film, that was a set in Hollywood.  But someone put together a recreation of the famous fictional watering hole for tourists and fans of the film.  Unfortunately, we arrived at 3 pm and it was closed.  Too bad.

Is this where Humphrey Bogart served drinks? 
Then I went to the Atlantic Ocean - took a dip but the waves were too wild to go swimming at any depth.  Then our next stop was the giant mosque - a beautiful religious temple on the edge of the ocean.  We couldn't enter because we weren't of the Muslim faith - but what a lovely sight!

And finally we toured the famous Casbah, where I got to walk through the market and purchase some delicious pistachio sweets and oranges.  And I got my photo taken with a camel!

I'm including my latest gag cartoon - I hope you like it.  Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

--Bill P.

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