Saturday, May 25th, 2013
As I expected, I have been so swamped running the NCS Reubens I’ve been unable to update the blog. My apologies. Expect a full report next week, and a list of the winners of the Divisional Awards and the Reuben for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year tomorrow.
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Clicky to embiggen…
I once again abused the faces of the guest speakers/special guests of the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Awards Weekend in the annual NCS Reuben brochure. This year the event will be held in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA. The scene above is of one of their famous “inclines”, a kind of cable car/train that goes up the steep side of the surrounding bluffs and gives you a commanding view of the picturesque three rivers valley. The caricatured speakers/special guests are all depicting either famous Pittsburgh natives or representing movies that were filmed in Pittsburgh. Here’s a key:
- Mo Willems in “The Silence of the Lambs” (filmed in Pittsburgh)- Speaker, Children’s book author/illustrator, animator, Multiple Caldecot, Emmy and Geisel winner.
- Brad Anderson as Andy Warhol- Milton Caniff Recipient/Speaker, Creator of the syndicated comic strip “Marmaduke”
- Drew Friedman as Frank Gorshin: Speaker, Illustrator/cartoonist for MAD, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, National Lampoon, TIME, etc.
- Terri Libenson as Mary Cassatt- Speaker, Creator of the syndicated comic strip “The Pajama Diaries”
- Joe Wos as Mr. Rogers- Curator of Pittsburgh’s cartoon and comic art museum The Toonseum
- Rob Rogers as Ben Roethlisberger- Speaker, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist
- Jason Chatfield as Gene Kelly- Reuben Awards emcee and writer/artist on syndicated comic strip “Ginger Meggs”
- Lee Salem in “The Dark Knight Rises” (filmed in Pittsburgh)- Recipient of the NCS Silver T-Square
Thursday, February 21st, 2013
The National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year” is arguably the top honor a professional cartoonist can receive. The NCS first gave out the honor in 1946 to Milton Caniff, and in the 67 intervening years some of the greatest cartoonists in the history of the art form have received “The Reuben” (with the exception of a stumble last year, when they gave it to this clown.)
This year’s nominees for the 2012 Reuben Award for “Cartoonist of the Year” were just announced by the NCS. They are:
From the NCS Website:
Brian Crane is the creator of Pickles, a daily comic strip syndicated by the Washington Post Writer’s Group. Soon after Pickles’ debut in 1990, Brian “retired” as an art director for an advertising agency in Reno, Nevada, to devote his full attention to his comic strip. Although he often used cartoon figures in ads he designed, Pickles is his first syndicated comic strip. In 1995 and 2001, Pickles was nominated for Best Newspaper Comic Strip by the National Cartoonists Society, winning the coveted award in 2001. Pickles has topped comics polls across the nation again and again, and it appears in over 800 newspapers around the world. Brian lives near Reno with his wife, Diana. He’s the proud father of seven and grandfather of 11. This is his third nomination for the Reuben. Visit the Pickles website.
Rick Kirkman is the co-creator of the daily comic strip, Baby Blues, syndicated by King Features Syndicate. Prior to Baby Blues, Rick was a freelance humorous illustrator for national advertising and magazine clients. He and partner Jerry Scott initially based Baby Blues on Rick’s family. Creators Syndicate released the strip January 7, 1990. It now has 1200 newspaper clients in over 900 cities worldwide. The strip has been published in over 30 anthologies in the U.S., and many more in other languages, and became a TV series on the WB network. Baby Blues won Best Newspaper Comic Strip from the National Cartoonists Society in 1995. Rick lives with his wife, Sukey, in Arizona with a bunch of cats and dogs, and the kids are grown and having adventures of their own. You can visit the Baby Blues website here.
Stephan Pastis is the creator of the daily comic strip Pearls Before Swine, syndicated by Universal Uclick. Stephan practiced law in the San Fransisco Bay area before following his love of cartooning and eventually seeing syndication with Pearls. Launched in newspapers beginning December 31, 2001, the daily strip currently appears in 650 newspapers worldwide. The National Cartoonists Society awarded Pearls Before Swine the Best Newspaper Comic Strip in 2003 and in 2006. Stephan also recently released an interactive app called Only the Pearls. Stephan lives in northern California with his wife Staci and their two children. This is his fifth nomination for the Reuben award. Visit Stephan’s blog and the Pearls Before Swine website.
The official ballots have been issued to all full members of the National Cartoonists Society for voting to determine the winner. Congratulations to the nominees!
The winner of the 2012 “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year” will be announced on May 25th at the annual NCS Reuben Awards dinner in Pittsburgh, PA.
My hearty congratulations to three very deserving cartoonists!
Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
From the NCS Website:
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.
NEW THIS YEAR:
- There are now two divisions for Online Comics, Short Form and Long Form. See below for details.
- The Advertising Illustration division has been expanded to Advertising and Product Illustration, which will include not only cartooning for advertising but also for retail products like posters, toy/product packaging, etc.
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, 2011 and December 31, 2012.
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 6, 2013.
List of Juries and Submission Addresses:
Cartoonists are invited to submit their work (or the work of another professional) no later than February 6, 2013, for consideration for one or more of the following Division Awards:
- NEWSPAPER ILLUSTRATION- Submit up to 6 samples of 2012 published work to: Todd Clark, NCS Great Northwest Chapter, P.O. Box 8264-2264, Boise, ID 83707-2264 (TCtoonz@yahoo.com)
- GAG CARTOONS- Submit up to 12 samples of 2012 published work to: Brian Walker, NCS Connecticut Chapter, 34 Old Forge Rd, Wilton, CT 06897 (email@example.com)
- GREETING CARDS- Submit up to 6 samples of 2012 published work to: Tom Stemmle, NCS New Jersey Chapter, 184 Richards Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- NEWSPAPER COMIC STRIPS- Submit up to 12 samples of 2012 published work to: Polly Keener, NCS Great Lakes Chapter, 400 W. Fairlawn Blvd., Akron, OH 44313-4510 (email@example.com)
- NEWSPAPER PANEL CARTOONS- Submit up to 12 samples of 2012 published work to: Andrew Farago, NCS Northern California Chapter, 2923 King Street, Berkeley, CA, 94703 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- MAGAZINE FEATURE/MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION- Submit up to 6 samples of 2012 published work to: Mark Parisi, NCS New England Chapter, 16 Slayton Rd., Melrose, MA 02176 (email@example.com)
- BOOK ILLUSTRATION- Send up to 6 samples of 2012 published work to: Graham Nolan, NCS Upstate New York Chapter, 162 Godfrey Ter, East Aurora, NY, 14052 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- EDITORIAL CARTOONS- Submit up to 20 samples of 2012 published work to: Mike Cope, NCS Canadian Chapter, 46 Church Street, Stoney Creek, ON, L8E 2X8, CANADA (email@example.com) NOTE: Allow for extra delivery time to this jury from the U.S.
- ADVERTISING and PRODUCT ILLUSTRATION- Submit up to 6 samples of 2012 published and marketed work to: Doug Bratton, 17 Crestmont Drive, Dover, NJ, 07801 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- COMIC BOOKS- Submit up to 3 samples of 2012 published work to: Bill Morrison, 786 Twillin Ct., Simi Valley, CA 93065 (email@example.com)
- GRAPHIC NOVELS- Submit graphic novel published in 2012 to: James Strum, P.O. Box 125, White River Jct., VT, 05001 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- ANIMATION DIVISIONS
- 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.
- TELEVISION ANIMATION- All entries must be work created for episodes of a television series that aired for the first time during the 2012 calendar year. Submit one or more samples as explained above to: Chad Frye, 518 E. Cypress Ave. #C, Burbank, CA 91501 (email@example.com)
- FEATURE ANIMATION- All entries must be work created for a fully animated feature length movie released theatrically in the 2012 calendar year. Submit one or more samples as explained above to: David Folkman, NCS Los Angeles Chapter, 3625 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 287, Westlake Village CA 91362 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- ON-LINE COMICS DIVISIONS- All Online Comics submissions must adhere to the following:
- 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
- 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 of each submitted comic
- Submit 12 samples, submitted via mail or as PDF with bio/entry form to: Ed Steckley, NCS National Representative, 43-07 39th Place, Apt. 3-F Sunnyside, NY 11104 (email@example.com)
- 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 release schedule
- Submit 12 samples, submitted via mail or as PDF with bio/entry form to: Tom Richmond, NCS President, 3421 East Burnsville Pkwy, Burnsville, MN 55337 (firstname.lastname@example.org
Submissions should include an entry form and bio sheet.
All winners will be announced at the 67th Annual Reuben Awards Dinner in Pittsburgh, PA, on May 25th, 2013.
Friday, May 25th, 2012
Artwork by Ed Steckley
The 66th Annual NCS Reuben Awards Weekend kicks off today in sunny Henderson Nevada! The illustration above was done by my pal, illustrator extraordinaire Ed Steckley, and is the official 2012 Reuben image that will appear on all the T-shirts, the fabulous Reuben Journal, programs, etc. Great job by Ed on what is never an easy thing to pull off (spoken from experience). Actual humans depicted clockwise from left to right (staring at 10 o’clock) Silver T-Square recipient Steve McGarry, Reuben award nominee me!, NCS Gold Key recipient Stan Goldberg, Reuben award nominees Brian Crane and Stephan Pastis. Plus a ton of cartoon characters.
Here’s a rundown on the weekend’s events:
Today’s speakers: Mark Simon on generating free publicity and marketing; Dave Kellett, Michael Jantze and John Lotshaw on cartooning income in the 21st Century; Butch Hartman on his animation work at Nickelodeon and Ray Billingsley on his distinguished career in cartooning and his syndicated strip Curtis. All followed by the traditional Welcome party.
Tomorrow we have a breakfast and the usual fiery business meeting, followed by two more outstanding presentations: Gold Key recipient Stan Goldberg on his incredible career in comics with Timely, Marvel, Archie and more. Followed by the incomparable Jim Davis on Garfield in the internet age. The evening is, of course, the big awards show emceed by Tom Gammill.
Sunday we are having a MAD day, with a presentation and panel on 60 years of MAD, moderated by long-time MAD editor Nick Meglin, and featuring Sergio Aragonés, Jack Davis, Don “Duck” Edwing, Al Jaffee, Sam Viviano, Ray Alma and myself. That evening we celebrate 60 years of MAD with a themed 1960′s “MAD Men” party. Karaoke will ensue.
I usually tweet the results of the Reuben awards as they happen, but this year I will be a bit busy running the event, so be sure and follow Tall Tale Radio’s Tom Racine for live twitter coverage of the winners.
See you on the other side!!!
Thursday, March 29th, 2012
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.
Friday, February 24th, 2012
Fellow caricaturist Rick Wright asked in the comments on yesterday’s blog post about my 2012 Reuben artwork if I used a 3D program to do the Las Vegas sign in the background, and I got a couple of emails asking how I handled that (one accused me of photomontaging it!). So, I thought I’d post the pencil roughs and inks for a little behind the scenes look:
Clicky to embiggen
Above is the the rough concept sketch. Typically I only take a rough stab at the caricature at this point because I am just working out the composition and general concept. However I did do a fairly tight sketch of the sign in the slight worm’s eye perspective I intended. I had moved John’s header text/graphics over to the right and wanted to use that space on the left for the NCS logo on top of the sign. This sketch was also for “position only” purposes for John , so I didn’t bother drawing in all the characters quite yet… I just knew where I would fit them in.
Unfortunately I didn’t scan in the final pencil sketch before I did the inks, so I don;t have that to show. Here is the final inked version. Note I enlarged the logo on the sign and altered the perspective a touch:
Clicky to embiggen
I inked mostly with a dip pen, but I did break out a brush for the blacks in the suits, etc.
Here is how I handled the sign…
With the lines on their own layer, I painted the background:
Then I painted the sign. Sorry for the big jump in steps, but I flattened all the sign color and lettering into one layer and didn’t have it to separate out for this little demonstration. I did my usual process of painting in flat, base colors first, then selecting the individual colors with the wand tool and painting the shadows/highlights in. I usually avoid the airbrush tool in PhotoShop, but in this case I wanted the smooth, gradated look. The hand lettered “Fabulous” I isolated on the inked layer and then colored the linked lines a flat blue, then added some shadow along the top of them to match that cast by the protruding “drum” objects. Finally I found a font that closely resembled the one in the real Las Vegas sign, and did the lettering using the text tool in the appropriate colors. Then I rasterized the text, and used the transform>distort feature to create the right perspective look to the lettering, which I did using the eyeball method:
I debated whether or not to do the neon-tubing like in the real sign, which I was afraid would be too much. I ended up compromising by doing it on the sign letters but not on the NCS logo, which I thought would make that too busy and hard to see. The tubing was easy. I did the letters by painting in the tubes using a flat, light gray, and then selecting them and creating the darker gradated edges with an “inner shadow” layer filter:
Lastly, I created the circular tubes the same way, but added the connections to the surface of the sign as well:
Fun little illustration, and I’m glad so many people got a kick out of it.
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
Clicky to Embiggen
The official brochures and registration info for the National Cartoonists Society’s 2012 Reuben Awards should be landing in member’s mailboxes starting today, so I thought I’d post the artwork I did for this year’s brochure. This image depicts the 2012 guest speakers, special award winners and our nutty emcee. Here’s the list of unlucky models: Top: Tom Gammill (The Doozies, TV writer and producer, Reubens emcee). Second row from left: Steve McGarry (Badlands, Trivquiz, Biographic, Kid City, NCS Silver T-Square recipient), Mark Simon (animator, storyboard artist, entrepreneur), Alfred E. Neuman (idiot), John Lotshaw (Accidental Centaurs), Dave Kellett (Sheldon, Drive), Michael Jantze (The Norm, Jantze Studios, SCAD). Bottom row from left: Ray Billingsley (Curtis), Butch Hartman (Fairly Oddparents, Danny Phanton, T.U.F.F. Puppy), Jim Davis (Garfield) and Stan Goldberg (Archie, recipient of the NCS Gold Key Award). Assorted characters related to those depicted abound.
This is NOT the official Reuben Awards image. That one is being done by illustrator Ed Steckley this year, and will be featured on the T-shirt, program and other fun stuff. Ed had to wait until the “Cartoonist of the Year” nominees were announced, and I didn’t want to that long to get the brochure printed and mailed. This one might be printed on the other side of the t-shirt, unless I am lynched by the subjects demanding retribution for my mangling their faces.
Headline design by John Kovaleski. No one will lynch him for that… it looks good.
Monday, May 23rd, 2011
This weekend is the 65th Annual National Cartoonists Society Reuben Weekend, being held this year in Boston, MA. I am off to the event early on Wednesday to help with some preliminary preparations and some NCS Board stuff, as I have been serving as one of the vice presidents for two years. I am sure it will be a great time as usual. It’s always fun to get together with some of the world’s most talented cartoonists, get to know everybody better, talk a little shop, stammer a bit when running into some cartooning legend I have admired for years, compliment people on the work they’ve done I have enjoyed this year, and in general feel like a part of the family.
This year’s Reubens have two significant points for me:
First, I am once again nominated for a divisional award in the Magazine Illustration/Magazine Feature category. This is a huge honor, but as this will be my eighth nomination in this division and so far I have actually won zero times, I am betting heavily on one of the other two to take home the hardware. It would be nice to win this year, as I will not be submitting work for consideration the next two years because of significant point number two.
Second, I will be taking office as the 34th president of the NCS, taking over for Jeff Keane who has done a great job leading the organization for the last four years (that’s two terms).
I was somewhat reluctant to take on this responsibility, which I am told made me the perfect candidate. It will be a lot of work for what I recently found out is absolutely no pay (funny, that was not disclosed to me until it was too late!), but after some thought I decided to accept the nomination for two reasons:
One- it is a great honor. This organization has and has had members who have been no less than those who have defined the art of cartooning for over half a century. To have been nominated and ultimately elected by a group of people whom I greatly admire and respect is a tremendous honor, and I hope I can come close to living up to expectations.
Two- The NCS has done a lot for me. I’ve made lifelong friendships, met many of my heroes, gotten invaluable advice and guidance from many individuals I greatly respect and admire, been honored with several nominations and a few awards, and made some networking connections that have helped me in my career. I look at my time serving in office as giving back to an organization that has given much to me.
I’m looking forward to serving the NCS as president for the next two years. Hopefully any movement to impeach me gets tied up long enough for me to duck out gracefully.
Thursday, March 17th, 2011
The nominees for this year’s National Cartoonists Society’s Divisional Awards have been officially announced. They are:
- Dave Filoni – Supervising Director / Production Designer, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”
- Dan Krall – Art Director, “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated”
- Scott Wills – Art Director, “Sym-Bionic Titan”
- Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders, Directors, “How to Train Your Dragon”
- Glen Keane, Animation Director, “Tangled”
- Nicolas Marlet, Character Designer, “How to Train Your Dragon”
- Sean Kelly
- Michael McParlane
- Dave Whamond
- Bob Eckstein
- Zachary Kanin
- Gary McCoy
- Jim Benton
- Dan Collins
- Teresa Roberts Logan
NEWSPAPER COMIC STRIPS
- Brian Bassett “Red and Rover”
- Jeff Parker and Steve Kelley “Dustin”
- Richard Thompson “Cul de Sac”
NEWSPAPER PANEL CARTOONS
- Doug Bratton “Pop Culture Therapy”
- Chad Carpenter- “Tundra”
- Glenn McCoy “Flying McCoys”
MAGAZINE FEATURE/MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION
- Lou Brooks
- Anton Emdin
- Tom Richmond
- Sandra Boynton “Amazing Cows”
- Jared Lee “The 3 Wise Guys”
- Mike Lester “The Butt Book”
- Bob Gorrell
- Mike Lester
- Gary Varvel
- Anton Emdin
- Jack Pittman
- Dave Whamond
- Stan Sakai “Usagi Yojimbo”
- Chris Samnee “Thor the Mighty Avenger”
- Jill Thompson “Beasts of Burden”
- Darwyn Cooke- “The Outfit”
- Joyce Farmer “Special Exits”
- James Sturm- “Market Day”
They join the previously announced nominees for the Reuben Award for ‘Cartoonist of the Year”:
- Glen Keane
- Stephan Pastis
- Richard Thompson
in being honored at the 65th annual Reuben Awards, held this year in Boston, MA on Memorial Day weekend. Winners will be announced at the annual Reuben dinner.
Congratulations to all the nominees!
EDIT- I am always deeply honored if I receive a nomination for one of these divisions, as I have for Magazine Illustration/Magazine Feature this year. Thanks to the NCS Canadian Chapter for the honor!