The National Cartoonists Society Reubens Awards are taking place in Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend. The awards themselves are only part of the festivities… NCS members are going to be treated to some great speakers in Ray Billingsley (Curtis), Jim Davis (Garfield), Stan Goldberg (Archie, recipient of the NCS Gold Key Award), Butch Hartmann (The Fairly Oddparents, Danny Phantom, T.U.F.F. Puppy), Mark Simon (Animatics and Storyboards, Inc.) discussion publicity and promotion and a panel of cartoonists talking about making a living in cartooning in the 21st Century including Michael Jantze (The Norm), Dave Kellett (Sheldon, Drive) and John Lotshaw (Accidental Centaurs). Plus, the awards show itself is emceed by Emmy award-winning writer, producer and cartoonist Tom Gammill (The Doozies), and are hysterically entertaining.
The Sunday event is shaping up to possibly eclipse the rest of the weekend, however.
This year, MAD Magazine will enjoy its 60th anniversary, and we have dedicated Sunday to celebrate that achievement (or crime, depending on your perspective). Thanks to some generous sponsors who specifically are supporting our MAD Sunday, we are to bring in several legendary MAD artists who were both available and willing to attend. We are still trying to drum up more sponsorship so we can bring in one or two more artists as well, so this might not be the final list you see in the image above. Before anyone asks, both Mort Drucker and Paul Coker were sadly unavailable to come… this is Memorial Day weekend after all. 🙁
So what’s going on that Sunday? MAD Art Director Sam Viviano and long-time MAD editor Nick Meglin will be giving a presentation on the history of MAD… which might sound boring but between the fact that it’s the history of MAD and those two are doing the talk, it’s bound to be a riot. Then we are going to have a panel discussion with the gentlemen listed above, and possibly a few others who will be in town for the Reubens, where lot’s of stories will be told and questions taken. That night we will be throwing a huge party called “The 60’s for 60 MAD Men Bash”, which will be a 1960’s (ala the Mad Men TV show) themed cocktail and dinner party with 60’s style Vegas entertainment and a lot of other surprises, with the MAD greats as the guests of honor (and me, but I’ll be doing the cleaning up).
It’s going to be a great time and a VERY rare chance to see some of the artists who made MAD great all together, and if we can drum up any other sponsors we’ll hopefully be adding to the list of attending MAD folks. How can you attend this gala event, you may ask? Unfortunately, in only one of three ways: either you are a member of the NCS and attend the Reuben Awards as a member, you are a family member or non-family member guest of an NCS member, or you become a major sponsor of the event. There are no public tickets going to be available… sorry.
That said, one of our sponsors is the Art Institutes: Las Vegas, and this same group of MAD Men will be doing a presentation/panel discussion similar to Sunday’s at the nearby A.I. campus on Thursday, May 24th. There is talk that might be open to the public. When plans are set for that I will post the news here.
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