Wall of Shame: NCS

December 30th, 2006 | Posted in Wall of Shame

Yet another installment of the Wall of Shame, where I hang prints of some of my pieces that have been signed by the subjects. I don’t really have many because I don’t go chasing after signatures, or try and mail them. I only get them if chances allow and that doesn’t happen all that much. Incidentally if you want to see the previous posts about the Wall of Shame I have created a category for them, just click the link on the blogroll on the right.

These Wall of Shame pieces are’t like the others… they were never in MAD and have nothing to do with TV shows or movies. They are, however, some pieces I am the most proud of because of the subject matter and the reason I do them.

Back in 2002 the lovely Anna and I attended our third National Cartoonist Society Reuben Awards Weekend. This one was held in Cancun, Mexico and was not as well attended as previous Reubens. The reasons are debatable but I think it was because 9/11 had just happened 8 months earlier and folks were still a little freaked out by flying, especially out of the country. Anyway it was a lot more intimate than the events had been in the past. I have written in this space before that the Reubens can be more than a little intimidating to newcomers. This is not the fault of the attending artists, who are very open and friendly (most of them), but more because everybody seems to be old friends and it’s tough to break the ice when people are hugging each other like siblings who have been away from home for too long. New members are unofficially encouraged to bring along some of their work so other members can get familiar with what they do… the traditional Sunday brunch is the time for these things to be shared. I’d done some of that the past two years, but despite my often joking to the contrary, I am not very good at blowing my own horn. Anna, on the other hand, is a first degree horn blower when it comes to me. She is fiercely proud of me, and she took it upon herself to show everybody who would take a look my work (yes, she is a true gem and I am a very lucky man indeed).

One of the people she showed my work to was NCS president Steve McGarry. Turns out Steve and his sons actually still read MAD and were familiar with my work (at least that what he said). Steve is a terrific artist and a great guy, and he asked me if I would be interested in doing some artwork for the next Reuben Weekend. No pay, of course, but just for the organization. Naturally I was thrilled. What he asked me to do was design a scene incorporating caricatures of the guests speakers for the upcoming Reubens with elements of the location in which the event would take place. I was also asked to be one of the speakers. The art was used on the official Reuben T-shirt, on the canvas bag everyone gets their goodies in, and other stuff. This was the result:

reubens2003.jpg
Clockwise from far left: Me, Hilary Price, Bill Amend, Scott Adams,
Oliver Christianson, David Silverman, Pete Doctor, James Kemsley,
Stephen Pastis and Darby Conely. Click for Closer Look!

Steve was genuinely thrilled I was doing this. He had high resolution prints made of the art, and even made custom bowling shirts with the names of the speakers and board on the back, and our names on the front pocket. The print is what you see above, and I had the artists depicted sign it for me. I have not framed it yet, as I am still hoping to track down the missing two, Pixar’s Pete Doctor and Dilbert’s Scott Adams. They were either gone by the time I got the print or I just couldn’t corral them for a signature. Steve asked me to do it again the next year. He acted as if this was a huge imposition on me, but I think we both know it was a great honor… I know I have always felt it was so. I certainly am very happy to do such a little thing for such a great organization. I get some great perks at the Reubens also, so feel I am well compensated regardless.

This is the art for the 2004:

reubens2004.jpg
Foreground from left: Mort Drucker, Patrick McDonnell,
Sandra Boynton, Jules Fieffer. Back: Mel Lazarus

And my signed and framed print on the Wall of Shame:

reubensframed.JPG

Here’s the art for the last two years… we didn’t get prints for signatures on these.

reubens2005.jpg
Clockwise outside from bottom left: Darrin Bell, Jay Stephens,
Sergio Aragones, Mark Evanier, Gahan Wilson, Scott Shaw!,
Glenn McCoy, Gary McCoy. Passenger in coach: Lal Alcaraz.
Divers from left: Ann Telnaes, Mike Luchovich, Joel Pett.

reubens2006.jpg
From the left: Stephen Silver, Everett Peck, Ralph Steadman,
Elwood Smith, Cathy Guisewite (the roastee), and Dick Locher.

Steve’s long reign as president ended and last year Soup to Nutz cartoonist Rick Stromoski took over as head honcho. Rick asked me to continue doing the art, and I am supposed to do it again this year. I will always be happy to, of course. It’s great fun and there’s nothing like seeing Garry Trudeau or Jack Davis walking around with a piece of your artwork on their T-shirt…

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