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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 43.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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Cartoonists Across America, Phil Ortiz 'Simpsonize' Madison
Phil Ortize "Simpsonizes" a young Madisonian Friday at Vilas Park. Click the Gallery tab to see the mural of Madison created by Phil Yeh at the event.
Credit:Amanda Lanyon-LeSage

Evan Lederer, age 3, wants to run around in the shady patch of grass and play games with his mom. His mom keeps telling him to stay still, "or the nice man can't make your picture!"

That nice man is Phil Ortiz, and he is in the process of "Simpsonizing" Evan. The end result looks just enough like Evan to be recognizable, and just enough like a Simpsons character to pass on the show. It's a great picture.

Friday, Phil Ortiz and Phil Yeh painted a mural for the Henry Vilas Zoo that featured the State Capitol, the Madison skyline and Phil Yeh's signature zeppelins.

For Yeh, the message is all about literacy. His organization, Cartoonists Across America, has been spreading the word about the power of words for 25 years. Their quarter-century-long tour ends in December.

"Kids don't read anymore, and that's a shame," says Yeh.

Also joining the Two Phils Friday was Madison artist John Kovalic, best known for the comic series Dork Tower and his design work on games like "Munchkin" and "Apples to Apples."

If you missed the Philapalooza on Friday, you still have a chance to get Simpsonized and meet two great artists. They will be signing books and sketching portraits from 1 to 4 p.m. at Westfield Comics on Madison's West side.

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