2011 NCS Cartoonist of the Year Nominations Announced

February 17th, 2012 | Posted in News

From the NCS Website:

NCS membership nomination voting has been tabulated, and the nominees for the 2011 Reuben Award for “Cartoonist of the Year” are:

  • Brian Crane

  • Stephan Pastis

  • Tom Richmond

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 10. Visit the Pickles website.

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. Visit Stephan’s blog and the Pearls Before Swine website.

Tom Richmond is a freelance humorous illustrator, cartoonist and caricaturist. In 1985, Tom got his start as an artist drawing caricatures at a theme park between college semesters. His work has appeared in hundreds of national magazines, newspapers, books, computer games, comic books, advertisements and in animations for film and television. He is best known as one of the “Usual Gang of Idiots” as a major contributor to MAD Magazine. He also contributes to the MAD animated show on the Cartoon Network, and is the author of The Mad Art of Caricature!, a book on how to draw caricatures. He lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife Anna. They have four children. Visit Tom’s blog and 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 2011 “Cartoonist of the Year” will be announced on May 26th at the annual NCS Reuben Awards dinner in Las Vegas, NV.

As the current president of the NCS, I received the results of the nomination voting from the accounting firm that handles the tabulation earlier this week. When I saw my name as one of the top three . . . to say I was stunned would be an understatement. This is as big an honor as it gets in my profession, but my being the sitting president makes this a little awkward. The nominations are conducted by secret ballot by all full members of the NCS and independently counted, so the results are the results and there is nothing anyone can really say about it. It is still sinking in, and I am deeply honored by the nomination.

On the plus side, I saved the NCS some money not having to make a third long-distance call to congratulate anyone after I called Stephan and Brian, so there is that. On the minus side, I have been informed that the results of the final balloting of the three nominees, and subsequently the winner, will not be revealed to me until the envelope is opened at the Reuben Awards dinner. That means the one thing I was looking forward to as being president, being the ONLY ONE who knew who had won the Reuben, will be denied me. However I don’t have to worry about being nervous as my odds of actually winning, given the other company, are somewhere in the same ballpark as the 106-loss Houston Astros winning the 2012 World Series. I am perfectly okay with that . . . I am not being falsely gracious when I say being nominated is enough of an honor in itself.

My congratulations to Stephan and Brian, and good luck. Be grateful it’s a secret ballot vote of the membership, and not an arm-wrestling match. 😛


  1. jimh says:

    Congratulations on your nomination Tom!

  2. Congratulations Tom! It’s a well-deserved honor.

  3. Frank Pryor says:

    That is an incredible honor just to be nominated and certainly well deserved! I’ll be pulling for you!

  4. Congratulations!

  5. joe voss says:

    Congratulations, Tom. I knew that someday you would amount to something.

    Your father in law Joe

  6. Anton Emdin says:

    Congrats, Tom! Great news.

  7. Mark Engblom says:

    Congrats, buddy! Don’t worry….we don’t suspect you of any tomfoolery. (heh)

  8. George Cook says:

    Congratulations, Tom!!

  9. Tom says:

    Thanks, everybody!

  10. Congrats Tom! But its not a surprise for me (your nomination), not because youre the president of the commitee but for all your mix of funny arts spread on mixed channels. You didn’t create a cartoon or a specific character but you played many jokes with real people, doing a great artwork exagerating subtle characteristics maintaining the personality. You know how its hard to achieve it. Great job!

  11. Bucky says:

    Tom, a massive, huge, big ‘o humongous CONGRATULATIONS to you! I am so happy for you and glad you have gotten this kind of recognition. Next weekend your drinks are on….uh…uh…we’ll figure that out later. Congrats, my friend!

  12. David Lubin says:

    Wow, Congrats Tom! Love Pearls Before Swine, but pulling for you to win. But why is it the 2011 award and not 2012!

    • Tom says:

      Because it is meant to honor work done in 2011.

      • David Lubin says:

        Ah, granted, the work the previous year, but any award shows are called by the year they are shown. The 2012 Grammys for music in 2011 and the 2012 Emmys for TV shows in 2011, and the 2012 Academy Awards for movies in 2011. But Best of Luck, you’re certainly deserving enough to win!

      • Mark Engblom says:

        Kinda like taxes. 😉

  13. Rolfe says:

    Awkward… but very cool.

    Congrats, Tom.


  14. Lee Fortuna says:

    Congrats to a great cartoonist with a heart!

  15. jailerjoe says:

    I’ll help count any hanging chads. Congratulations and good luck!

  16. Bernard says:

    Congrats Tom! Not sure of the criteria for the Rueben but the time n availabity you offer yourself to the present n future students of the trade are certainly very noteworthy.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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