Thursday, January 9th, 2014
The National Cartoonists Society is starting it’s annual call for entries for consideration for their NCS Divisional Awards recognizing excellence in professional cartooning. As always, you DO NOT have to be a member of the NCS to have your work considered for a divisional award… all that is required is that the work be eligible as detailed below.
Below you will find a list of the juries which will judge the categories, the jury chair and the address to which you will send your entry. As always, NO EMAIL SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED, with the exception of the Online Comics divisions, which allows emailed PDF submissions. Below is a short recap of several rules and guidelines, which govern the awards:
Please remember only recent work can be considered. This means work published between the dates of December 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013. Submitted work must be accompanied by verification of the date of first publication.
Please submit published tear sheets when possible and document when and where the work was published. Online Comics should provide links for verification of first publication date.
If your syndicated cartoon runs in both strip and panel format you can submit to one of those divisions, not both (your choice).
Your submissions must be submitted to their respective locations by February 15th, 2013.
Cartoonists are invited to submit their work (or the work of another professional) no later than February 15th, 2014, for consideration for one or more of the following Division Awards:
- NEWSPAPER ILLUSTRATION- Submit up to 6 samples of 2013 published work to: Sean Parkes, 16418 E. Desert Sage Drive, Unit #B, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 (email@example.com) Judging will be done by the NCS Pittsburgh Chapter.
- GAG CARTOONS- Submit up to 12 samples of 2013 published work to: Hilary Price, 221 Pine Street Suite 414, Florence MA 01062-1267 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Judging will be done by the NCS Manhattan Chapter.
- GREETING CARDS- Submit up to 6 samples of 2013 published work to: Ed Steckley, 43-07 39th Place, #3F, Sunnyside, NY 11104 (email@example.com) Judging will be done by the NCS Long Island Chapter.
- NEWSPAPER COMIC STRIPS- Submit up to 12 samples of 2013 published work to: Hilary Price, 221 Pine Street Suite 414, Florence MA 01062-1267 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Judging will be done by the NCS Southeastern US Chapter.
- NEWSPAPER PANEL CARTOONS- Submit up to 12 samples of 2013 published work to: Darrin Bell, 1923 Scott Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90020 (email@example.com) Judging will be done by the NCS North Central US Chapter.
- MAGAZINE FEATURE/MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION- Submit up to 6 samples of 2013 published work to: Tom Richmond, 3421 E. Burnsville Pkwy., Burnsville, MN 55337 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Judging will be done by the NCS New Jersey Chapter.
- BOOK ILLUSTRATION- Send up to 6 samples of 2013 published work to: John Kovaleski, 42 South Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325 (email@example.com) Judging will be done by the NCS Connecticut Chapter.
- EDITORIAL CARTOONS- Submit up to 20 samples of 2013 published work to: John Kovaleski, 42 South Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Judging will be done by the NCS Upstate New York Chapter.
- ADVERTISING and PRODUCT ILLUSTRATION- Submit up to 6 samples of 2013 published and marketed work to: John Hambrock, 7214 7th Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53143. (email@example.com) Judging will be done by the NCS Washington DC Chapter.
- COMIC BOOKS- Submit up to 3 samples of 2013 published work to: Bill Morrison, 786 Twillin Ct., Simi Valley, CA 93065 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Judging will be done by a specialty jury.
- GRAPHIC NOVELS- Submit book published in 2013 to: Bill Morrison, 786 Twillin Ct., Simi Valley, CA 93065 (email@example.com) Judging will be done by a specialty jury.
Both animation categories are accepting submissions of individual artists’ work for consideration. Submissions may be submitted by the artists themselves, or by the studios or other colleagues on the artists’ behalf. There is no charge for awards submissions.
Production designers, art directors, character designers, layout artists, background painters, character painters, and all other still art creators must submit five to ten samples of their work from a single production for each application. Samples may be physical prints or as JPEG files on a CD-R. If the samples contain work by anyone else, please include a detailed written breakdown of which art is attributed to the applicant.
Animators, storyboard artists, visual effects artists, and anyone else involved in creating moving or continuity art, please submit a reel of your work on a DVD or CD-R. (Storyboards will only be considered in animatic form.) If the samples contain work by anyone else, please include a detailed
written breakdown of which art is attributed to the applicant.
- TELEVISION ANIMATION- All entries must be work created for episodes of a television series that aired for the first time during the 2013 calendar year. Submit one or more samples as explained above to: Chad Frye, 518 E. Cypress Ave. #C, Burbank, CA 91501 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- FEATURE ANIMATION- All entries must be work created for a fully animated feature length movie released theatrically in the 2013 calendar year. Submit one or more samples as explained above to: David Folkman, NCS Los Angeles Chapter, 6171 W. Century Blvd. #160, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (email@example.com)
ON-LINE COMICS DIVISIONS
All Online Comics submissions must adhere to the following:
– Must be web only publication (any syndication in print should submit to proper print division above)
– Must have shown consistent timely publication over the course of the 2013 calendar year (weekly, bi-weekly, multiple times a week, daily, etc.)
– Creator must earn the greater part of their living directly from cartooning/comic art in order to meet the requirement that they be eligible for professional NCS membership
- ON-LINE COMICS- SHORT FORM
- Additional specific requirements:
- Can be strip, single panel, single or partial page format
- Must be mainly self-contained gag, story, or narrative in each short comic, even if also part of ongoing narrative
- Must document date of first posting/release
Submit 12 samples, submitted via mail or as PDF with bio/entry form to: Ed Steckley, 43-07 39th Place, #3F, Sunnyside, NY 11104 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Judging will be done by the NCS Chicago Chapter.
- ON-LINE COMICS- LONG FORM
- Additional specific requirements:
- Can be posted in single or multiple page format
- Must be ongoing narrative in serial form i.e. continuing comic book/graphic novel storyline
- Must document date of first posting/release of each episode/page/segment
- Minimum monthly or twelve times per year release schedule
Submit 12 samples, submitted via mail or as PDF with bio/entry form to: Tom Richmond, 3421 E. Burnsville Pkwy., Burnsville, MN 55337 (email@example.com) Judging will be done by the NCS Northern California Chapter.
Submissions should include an entry form and bio sheet.
All winners will be announced at the 68th Annual Reuben Awards Dinner in San Diego, CA, on May 24th, 2014.
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Some people seem to be confused or just terribly misinformed as to how the process that results in the three nominations for the National Cartoonists Society’s two online comics divisions work. Much of this seems to stem from a few people jumping to conclusions because this year the three nominees for “Best Online Comic: Short Form” all ended up being from Universal Uclick’s GoComics website. Said assumptions ran the gamut from the NCS jury being lazy and not looking beyond a single source of online comics, to bias in voting for “syndicated” online work rather than independent work, to accusing members of the Online Comics Committee of nominating only their cronies. All of those assumptions are completely untrue, but since when has that ever stopped anyone on the Twitters or the Facebooks? Here is the process, in detail:
Part One: The Submissions- We start out by calling for submissions from any online comics creators who meet the criteria of the division. That criteria, by the way, is pretty much the same as all the other divisions. The submissions are received by the jury chairman. Some are (bizarrely) sent in as prints, which then need to be scanned and assembled into a PDF, others are sent via email as PDFs already. No checking on the eligibility is done at this stage, all submissions are welcome.
Part Two: The Online Comics Committee- When I first started to think about the best way to set this up, it was obvious to me the biggest challenge was finding the best work out there on the web and determining if it met the necessary eligibility criteria. I knew there would never be a time where the submissions we received would give us the kind of field we were looking for. People are busy, or don’t care about awards, or don’t even know about them. The internet is so vast and there are so many comics being produced online that finding the eligible gems would be like finding needles in haystacks… unless we could tap a group of people who are very plugged in to the webcomics world to help us out. To this end I put together the Online Comics Committee. I had to avoid asking webcomics creators as that would eliminate their comics from consideration, so I concentrated on finding people who were knowledgeable about the genre but had no horse in the race. This year our committee was the same as last year:
- Bill Amend- Creator of Foxtrot
- David Allan Duncan- Professor of Sequential Art Graduate Coordinator, Savannah College of Art and Design
- Andrew Farago- Curator, Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco
- Michael Jantze- Professor of Sequential Art and Animation, Savannah College of Art and Design, Creator of The Norm
- Rick Marshall- Freelance Writer, Editor, and Producer, Time Inc., MTV News, IFC, Movies.com, Digital Trends, CBR
- Gary Tyrrell- Writer/Editor, Fleen.com
Basically the Online Comics Committee has three jobs:
- Look at the submissions we have received and make recommendations as to if they meet the eligibility requirements- This is difficult to do as it’s not like we ask for tax returns to check and see if someone is making a living with their cartooning (like that would work). It’s mostly about professionalism with the comic… does it update regularly, and on a committed schedule? Do they have a strong readership and following? What is the comic’s reputation in the online comics world? Recommendations are all we ask from the committee.
- Recommend comics that were not submitted by their creators for consideration- This is key. These folks know the webcomics world and can submit comics we’ve never heard of and may never have found on our own, but are representative of some of the great work being done online AND which they think meet the eligibility requirements.
- Recommendations on how to make this work better next time- Everyone on the committee is great about suggesting ways to both streamline the process, and obtain the best field for the jury.
Part Three: The Jury- The jury chairman takes the submissions and recommendations from the Online Committee and organizes them for presentation to the jury. This year’s jury was made up of chairman Ed Steckley (storyboard artist, freelancer), Hilary Price (Rhymes with Orange), Sean Parks (freelance illustrator), John Hambrock (The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee), Michael Jantze and towards the end, myself. Ed spends time assembling individual PDFs of the submitted comics that contain only the name of the comic, the name of the creator and the 12 comics for consideration. The jury then goes through all the submissions and conducts multiple elimination rounds to narrow the field, eventually reaching a final five. Then the final five are voted on in order of preference, using a weighted points system so a first place vote is worth more points than a second, a second more than a third. etc. In the end the top three point totals are the nominees, with one being the winner.
That’s how it works. Here are some of the comments/assumptions I’ve seen online debunked:
You didn’t bother to look past GoComics: Read above. Not only did we look far past GoComics, of 26 comics in the original field only 6 appeared on GoComics. The vast majority were independent comics. Many were recommended to the jury by a bunch of people that know the webcomics world well. i.e. the Online Comics Committee.
Your jury was biased toward syndicate online properties: Impossible, as none of the jury members were told where these comics appear. The PDF packets did not include that information. I did not know the three nominees were all from GoComics until I Googled their comic so I could provide a link on the NCS webpage. We try and create as level a playing field as we can with the submissions under consideration, and judge them on the work itself not who’s website it appears on. This year’s three nominees got the most jury votes, with no consideration other than the comic work itself.
The Nomination Committee has their own agenda and are nominating their friends: There is no “nomination committee”. The Online Comics Committee nominates no one. They make educated recommendations on if the work submitted is eligible under our criteria, and recommend other work for consideration. Do they recommend other work that they favor? OF COURSE THEY DO. That’s the point, they are supposed to think that any work they recommend is top notch, so that would be their favorites. That’s why we have six committee members. Each recommend largely different comics, and they only become one of the field of many juried by a different group of people.
This is going backwards, based on the results. Something is broken here: This mostly stems again from the idea that because all the nominees are from GoComics, the results are somehow not representational of web comics, or not “real” webcomics, or somehow the results are not valid. All three nominees met with the criteria of eligibility. They were juried on an even playing field among 23 other online comics , 20 of which were independents. These three got the most votes. I’d point out that last year this exact same process with essentially the same jury came up with these nominations:
- Matthew Inman- The Oatmeal
- Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins- Penny Arcade
- Jon Rosenberg- Scenes from a Multiverse (won)
All three independents. Same process.
If anyone want to disagree or be disappointed in the nominees because you don’t like the work or like other work much better and think the jury was a bunch of idiots, that’s your right and opinion… welcome to the world of publicly recognizing some creative works over others. Nature of the beast. But it’s incredibly unfair to be dismissive of the results simply because these three nominees happen to be GoComics comics. One person who publicly disparaged the results of the nominations admitted to me he/she had never heard of the nominees or seen their comics. . . apparently it was only because they were from GoComics that he/she thought they were terrible choices since he/she had never seen one of the nominated comics. That is unfair and a disservice to the creators of these comics. Sorry, but the jury liked these three better than the other 23, independent or not. It’s supposed to be about the work, not who publishes them in either direction. Disagree with the results based on the work, not which server they sit on.
No process is perfect. We are always looking to improve things. I’d like to add several more people to the Online Comics Committee next year so we get a broader range of recommendations for submitted work. I’d like to enlist a jury that consists of cartoonists from other walks of the industry like animation, comic books, graphic novels, etc.
I’ll be turning the comments off on this post, as I’d rather avoid the usual bile and snark that too often masquerades as ‘constructive criticism’. My email link is here. I’d love constructive suggestions.
Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
Today the National Cartoonists Society posted their annual call for submissions for the 2012 NCS Division Awards, and announced some changes to the awards field:
Advertising and Product Illustration- The former “Advertising Illustration” division has been expanded to include illustration for retail products. This would include things like cartoon art/humorous illustration for merchandise (posters, calendars, menus, apparel, etc.) as well as for retail packaging (kid’s meal boxes, toy packaging, etc.). It was always a gray area as to if that kind of work was acceptable, now it definitely is.
Animation Divisions- The TV Animation and Film Animation divisions are now more specific as to what form of work is accepted for consideration. Formerly, only examples of full animation were acceptable, regardless of what the person submitting the work actually did. Now, if you were a storyboard artist, you submit copies of the storyboards you worked on. Likewise with character designers, production artists, etc. Here are the details from the NCS website:
- Both animation categories are accepting submissions of individual artists’ work for consideration. Submissions maybe submitted by the artists themselves, or by the studios or other colleagues on the artists’ behalf. As will all divisions there is no charge for awards submissions.
- Production designers, art directors, character designers, layout artists, background painters, character painters, and all other still art creators must submit five to ten samples of their work from a single production for each application.
- Samples may be physical prints or as JPEG files on a CD-R. If the samples contain work by anyone else, please include a detailed written breakdown of which art is attributed to the applicant.
- Animators, storyboard artists, visual effects artists, and anyone else involved in creating moving or continuity art, please submit a reel of your work on a DVD or CD-R. (Storyboards will only be considered in animatic form.) If the samples contain work by anyone else, please include a detailed written breakdown of which art is attributed to the applicant.
This makes a lot more sense, as it is impossible to judge the work of a storyboard artist or a character designer from a segment of finished animation, which also involved the work of many others to achieve its final form.
Online Comics- Last year the NCS had a single division that was purposefully restricted to only daily strip formats as a way to test out their process. This year they are expanding it into two divisions, Long Form and Short Form.
Online Comics: Short Form- Unlike last year, this division includes daily strip, single panel, Sunday strip, or partial/single page formats. Short form comics should be able to stand alone as a single narrative, even if it is part of a longer storyline like an adventure strip. They can be full page comics, like a “Life in Hell”, but if so they should be single page narratives that do not serialize their storylines.
Online Comics: Long Form- These would be ongoing narratives told in full page formats. Basically an online comic book or graphic novel, where the story is fully serialized.
Like last year, the NCS will have a screening/nomination committee of independent, online comics experts that will help determine if the submitted work meet the criteria for consideration:
- Must be web only publication (any syndication/third party publication in print should submit to proper print division above)
- Must have shown consistent timely publication over the course of the 2012 calendar year (weekly, bi-weekly, multiple times a week, daily, etc.)
- Creator must earn the greater part of their living directly from cartooning/comic art in order to meet the requirement that they be eligible for professional NCS membership
Great news. The NCS is moving forward in the digital age. If your work is eligible for submission, I hope you’ll send it in.
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Every year the National Cartoonists Society gets together for a weekend of fun, seminars and speakers culminating in the Reuben Awards dinner. Known as the Oscars of cartooning, the Reuben Awards honors the “Cartoonist of the Year” with the coveted “Reuben” and also recognizes many other cartoonists for excellence in a variety of categories.
It’s that time of year again, and entries for consideration for the various divisions are due on February 6th.
It’s important to understand these awards are for excellence in professional cartooning as a whole, not for NCS members only. You do not have to be a member to be considered for a divisional award. The only criteria for entry is that the work is professionally published (i.e. not self published) in 2010. Actually they include the final month of the previous year as well, so the work must be documented as published between December 1st, 2009 and December 31st, 2010.
Here’s the rundown of the what, where and when from the National Cartoonists Society website, including links to the entry form and bio sheet:
It’s time to prepare your entry for the National Cartoonists Society
Below, you will see the list of the juries which will judge the categories, the jury chair and the address to which you will send your
Please remember only recent work can be considered. This means work published between the dates of December 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. Please submit published tear sheets when possible and document when and where the work was published. Members of the National Cartoonists Society and nonmembers may submit.
Each entry must be accompanied by a completed ENTRY FORM and a BIO SHEET.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL SUBMISSIONS TO BE PRINTED AND MAILED. NO EMAIL SUBMISSIONS PLEASE.
The winners will be announced at the 65th Annual Reuben Awards Dinner on May 28, 2011.
Cartoonists are invited to submit their work (or the work of anyone else) no later than February 6, 2011, for consideration for one or more of the following Division Awards:
Submit one or more samples in VHS or DVD format of aired or exhibited
work that was released in the year 2010 to: Rob Smith, Jr., NCS
Florida Chapter, PO Box 540103, Orlando, FL 32854-0103
Submit one or more samples in VHS or DVD format of aired or exhibited
work that was released in the year 2010 to: David Folkman, NCS Los
Angeles Chapter, 6171 W. Century Blvd. #160, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Submit 6 samples of published work to: Adrian Sinnott, NCS Long Island
Chapter, 27 East 24th Street, Huntington Station, NY 11746-3701
Submit 12 samples of published work to: Mike Edholm, NCS North Central
Chapter, 2108 Sandstone Road, Lincoln, NE 08512 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Submit 6 samples of published work to: Ron Evry, NCS DC Chapter, 2880
Cedar Crest Court, Woodbridge, VA 22192-3119 (email@example.com)
NEWSPAPER COMIC STRIPS
Submit 12 samples of published work to: Polly Keener, NCS Great Lakes
Chapter, 400 W. Fairlawn Blvd., Akron, OH 44313-4510
NEWSPAPER PANEL CARTOONS
Submit 12 samples of published work to: Doug Bratton, NCS Metro
Chapter, 17 Crestmont Drive, Dover, NJ 07801 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MAGAZINE FEATURE/MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION
Submit 6 samples of published work to: Patricia Storms, NCS Canadian
Chapter, 65 Bernice Crescent, Toronto, Ontario CANADA M6N 1W7
Send up to 6 samples of published work to: Jack Pittman, NCS Southeast
Chapter, 1740 Brooks Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27607-6618
Submit 12-20 samples of published work to: Brian Walker, NCS
Connecticut Chapter, 34 Old Forge Rd., Wilton, CT 06897-3707
Submit 4 samples of published and marketed work to: Graham Nolan, NCS
Upstate NY Chapter, 162 Godfrey Terrace, East Aurora, NY 14052
Submit 3 samples of published work to: David Coulson, NCS Pennsylvania
Chapter, 6425 Wilkins Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Submit book published in 2010 to: Mike Lynch, NCS National
Representative, 61 Nutes Road, Milton, NH 03851-4800
Once again: Each entry must be accompanied by a completed ENTRY FORM
and a BIO SHEET. ALL SUBMISSIONS TO BE PRINTED AND MAILED. NO EMAIL
The submission deadline is February 6, 2010.