The 2004 Cartoon Festival
was organized by the Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library.
I was lucky to see the great masters alive, listen their voices and, of course, see their works.
The list of speakers was long enough, so here are just a few names:

Al Feldstein, who created, wrote, illustrated and edited comic books such as
Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, and Panic.
After EC Comics folded due to the wave of comic book censorship in the 1950s,
Feldstein was the editor of MAD Magazine from 1955 to 1984.

Joel Pett, a past president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists
and currently is a board member of the international human rights organization,
Cartoonists Rights Network.

Art Spiegelman, famous for his biographical Holocaust narrative
(received a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992.)
He published the avant-garde comics magazine RAW from 1980-1991.
After it ceased, he worked as a staff artist and writer for The New Yorker from 1993 to 2003.

Ann Telnaes, a graduate of California Institute of the Arts,
worked as an animator before turning to editorial cartooning in the early 1990s.
She won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001, and Tribune Media Syndicate
distributes her editorial cartoons internationally.
She is past vice president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins), a social and political satirist who creates
This Modern World, a weekly cartoon that appears in approximately 150 newspapers nationally.

Charles Brownstein, who was named director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
(CBLDF) in early 2002.

A few images, giving a general idea about the atmosphere:

The cream of the American cartoonists is waiting for the raffle results.

Here is the winner!

Al Feldstein speaks.

2 Feldsteins.

The long line to Art Spiegelman to sign the book.

I am really the owner of this book. Signed a day before
the other crowd recognized how Mr. Spiegelman looks like.