Highlights Of Comic-Strip Centennial Events

* May 1-5 San Francisco -- Cartoon Art Appreciation Week. The Cartoon Art Museum of California re-opens in the newly restored historic building that formerly housed the Bulletin, an early venture of William Randolph Hearst, chief patron of the comics.

* May 4 Washington -- US Postal Service unveils 20 stamp designs honoring strips from the comics' first 50 years. (Stamp sheets go on sale to the public Oct. 2).

* May 5 Washington -- Library of Congress Exhibit, ''Featuring the Funnies: 100 Years of the Comic Strip,'' opens. Current comics creators will be invited to draw their famous characters on a wall of the exhibit as part of opening-day ceremony.

Cartoonists nationwide invited to mark the centennial in their strips on this day.

America On-Line, the computer on-line service, launches a special on-line area devoted to the comic-strip centennial. Through October, AOL users will be able to access special art and text about the history of comics. On-line ''chats'' with various creators of strips are planned.

* May 26-29 Boca Raton, Fla. -- The 49th annual Reuben Awards (the ''Oscars'' of cartooning) are presented at the National Cartoonists Society's convention. Cartoonists will receive a hard-hat tour of the International Museum of Cartoon Art, now under construction. The event is hosted by ''Beetle Bailey'' creator and museum founder Mort Walker.

* Aug. 25-26 Columbus, Ohio -- Ohio State University presents ''The Festival of Cartoon Art,'' with participants to include dozens of current comic-strip artists. Underwritten by Universal Press Syndicate and presented in cooperation with the Newspaper Features Council.

* Oct. 27-Nov. 16 New York -- The Newspaper Features Council exhibits ''100 Years of Cartoon Art'' at Lever House.

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