We’re the Long Island Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. The Berndt Toast Gang started in 1966 when some L.I. cartoonists were working on an animation for Hanna Barbera. Named in honor of Walter Berndt, the creator of the long-running strip, “Smitty.” We’ve been raising a “Berndt Toast” to past members at every lunch since.

This from Lee Ames (Walt Disney animator, author-illustrator of the "Draw 50" series, etc.):

When Creig Flessel, Bill Lignante, Frank Springer, Al Micale, and I got together to work for Hanna Barbera in the 1960s, we decided to have a lunch at Finnegan’s Bar the last Thursday of every month. During that period, Creig brought Walter Berndt to join us. We fell in love with the cigar-smoking old-timer (look who's talking!), as he did with us. After a couple of years he passed away and left us grieving. Thereafter, whenever we convened on Thursdays, we'd raise a toast to Walter’s memory. On one such, my big mouth opened and uttered, “Fellas, it’s time for the Berndt toast!” I wasn’t trying to be cute at the time, but I’m not displeased that it stuck and we became the Berndt Toast Gang, one of the largest branches of the National Cartoonists Society.

We are a professional organization. Most of our members are full members of the National Cartoonists Society, some are also members of the Society of Illustrators. Aspiring cartoonists and members of related fields are welcome to join us at our monthly lunch. We do hope that attendees work towards becoming members of the National Cartoonists Society.

If you are a cartoonist, illustrator, writer or from a related field and would like to join us at a monthly meeting, please e-mail Adrian C. Sinnott, our chapter chairperson. If you are an teacher and would like to have one of our members speak to your students, please click here to send an e-mail. If you represent an art-related facility that would be interested in a gallery showing of the member’s work, please click here to send us an e-mail with details of your request.

For the latest news from the Berndt Toast Gang, visit our Facebook page.

A short list of some of our members (in no particular order):
Bunny Hoest and John Reiner
(the people behind “The Lockhorns” comic strip)
Sy Barry
(The Phantom and more)
Howard Beckerman
Tony D’Adamo
(Newsday, Children's books, etc.)
Bill Plympton
Anton Emdin
(Illustrator, MAD magazine, more)
Ray Alma
(Illustrator, Storyboard artist, MAD magazine, more)
Jules Feiffer
(Illustrator, author, scriptwriter, etc.)
Arnie Levin
(The New Yorker)
Helene Parsons
Mark Saskin
Van Howell
(Illustrator and Cartoonist)
Greg Fox
(Kyle's Bed & Breakfast comic)
Andy Eng
(Caricaturist, cartoonist and designer)
Joe Vissichelli
(Caricaturist and cartoonist)
Janine Manheim
Roberta Fabiano
(World-renowned singer, musician, cartoonist)
Adrian C. Sinnott
(Children’s book illustrator)
John Pennisi
(Caricaturist and sports cartoonist)
Frances Bonnet
(Suburban Fairy Tales comics)
Jim Fern
(Comic Book Artist)
Helen Murdock-Prep
(Cartoonist, author)
Marty Macaluso
Brian Smales
In memory of our past members (in no particular order):
Sandy Kossin
Joe Giella
Don Orehek
Tony Tallarico
Steve DuQuette
Dan Danglo
Mort Drucker
Walter Berndt
Creig Flessel
Stan Goldberg
Len Marino
Lee J. Ames
Al Scaduto
Tom Gill
Art Cumings
Dave Gantz
André LeBlanc
Frank Springer
Bill Hoest
Valerie Costantino
Garret Bender
Don Heck
Jeff Fisher
Bill Seay
Joe Edwards
Emilio Squeglio
Bob Deschamps
Chuck Harriton
John Buscema
Marv Levy
Al Micale
Bob Lubbers
Susan Ely
Bill Lignante
Jim Ruth
Walter Storozuk
Bill Kresse
Harry Lampert
Sam Norkin
Jerry Jurman
John Stevens

Our members are proud to be a part of the Ink Well Foundation. The Ink Well Foundation is a 100% volunteer-run 501(c)3 non-profit organization of professional animators, illustrators, and cartoonists. The Ink Well provides free arts activities and supplies to children facing illness or challenges such as foster care, abuse and neglect. Please consider making a donation to this very worthy cause.