Jan Eliot Stone Soup daily, April 1, 1998
Lincoln Peirce Big Nate daily, August 20, 2009
Herblock (Herbert Block) Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 1956 “For the first couple of weeks, anyhow” Editorial cartoon for NEA Service, 1938
Will Eisner Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 1998 The Spirit splash page, Harvey Comics, 1966
Â©2015 The New Yorker
Roy Crane Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 1950 Panels from the April 13, 1941 Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy Sunday page
Max Allan Collins, a mystery about the murder of a less-thanscrupulous comic book publisher and the effort “to find a killer among cartoonists, wives, mistresses, and minions of a different sort of ‘syndicate’ — suspects with motives that are anything but superheroic.”
Richard Felton Outcault
Artwork ©2016 Richard Thompson
creator of The Yellow Kid and Buster Brown, in an Editor & Publisher article titled “The End of Comics” — in January, 1909.
Such things can really pick you up on a bad day, like when you’ve forgotten how to draw. On a really bad day all you can think is, “Boy is he wrong.” Richard Thompson, creator of Cul de Sac, about Bill Watterson’s glowing forward to Thompson’s first collection of strips.
They look very attractive to my men. James Thurber,
on why he drew such odd-looking women, as related by Charles Saxon in his collection Honesty is One of the Better Policies (Viking, 1984). Artwork ©2016 Yoko Ono Lennon
from the 1940’s-era novel A Killing in Comics (Berkley, 2007), by
Artwork ©2016 Rosemary Thurber
No new men in this field have appeared to startle the editors or the public. It seems only natural at the rate comics have been turned out for the last decade that the supply of ideas should become exhausted. Also the public.
Her smile remained but had lessened its voltage; her eyes traveled from face to face. “Some of you . . . certainly one of you . . . have already guessed. The business of this meeting is not comics. It’s murder.”
He loved the intricate, scratchy technique of Ronald Searle, whose sadistic St. Trinian’s schoolgirls were modeled on Searle’s guards as a Japanese prisoner of war in Burma. And … he became a devotee of James Thurber, both the writings for The New Yorker and the cartoons, whose surreally wavering lines were a product of Thurber’s own nearblindness. John later said that he began consciously “Thurberising” his drawings from about the age of fifteen. — From John Lennon The Life by Philip Norman (ecco, 2008), on Lennon’s artistic influence.
Artwork ©2016 Tundracomics.com
I never wanted to get a real job in my life, and cartooning seemed to be the easiest avenue to do such a thing.
Chad Carpenter, creator of Tundra, a Silver Reuben category winner for best panel, on realizing that he now works more than ever.
I was taking this writing course, and I was getting straight A’s. The teacher asked me one day, “I’d like for you to come home and have dinner with me and my wife.” … We talked about writing all through dinner, the great writers that we were. After dinner, he shoved his chair back, and he says, “I guess you’d like to write the great American novel.” I said, “No sir … I want to write the great American comic strip.” And you never saw such a look on a guy’s face. He was like I’d hit him with a brick.
Beetle Bailey ©2016 King Features Syndicate
Mort Walker, in an online interview with Bob Andelman at mrmedia.com.
— from the book Poor Little Rich Boy, a biography of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, editor of the Chicago Tribune for 45 years.
Artwork ©2016 Wimpy Kid Inc.
I don’t even think I’m the most influential person in my own house. Jeff Kinney,
author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series of books, on garnering a spot on Time Magazine’s 2009 list of “The World’s Most Influential People” (ranked 52).
most of which weren’t really publishable… so I was just out to sea. And that was just terrifying because every joke you write, at that point you think, “Oh my gosh, what if I only had 327 jokes? What if I was born with 327 jokes in my head and I just wrote the 326th?”
Dan Piraro, on becoming syndicated, in an interview at cecilvortex.com
Words were written out phonetically. I learned to quack in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and German. Clarence Nash, the voice of Donald Duck, on dubbing the character’s voice in foreign languages.
One time I tried to get up a series for a strip, but found that after the third or fourth daily strip, I gave it up because I found it boring and oppressive. I thought that this was something I wanted to do all my life, and I actually discovered when trying to put together something myself that I hated it.
Jules Feiffer, in an online interview with Michael Lorah at newsarama.com.
Artwork ©2016 Jules Feiffer
When I first got syndicated I had written maybe 200 cartoons,
Dick Tracy ©2016 Tribune Content Agency LLC
One day the Colonel asked Chester Gould, creator of Dick Tracy, if he would do a special Tracy cartoon for use in a Tribune promotion. Gould drew the feature. A few days later the Colonel asked Gould to walk with him to the Tribune garage. Part of the building had been walled off with paper. Through the flimsy partition burst a Rolls Royce. “It’s yours,” the Colonel said.
President Steve McGarry firstname.lastname@example.org THE NATIONAL CARTOON!ST Art Director Frank Pauer NATIONAL CARTOONISTS SOCIETY BOARD Honorary Chairman Mort Walker President Bill Morrison First Vice President Jason Chatfield Second Vice President Hilary Price Third Vice President Darrin Bell Secretary John Kovaleski Treasurer John Hambrock Membership Chairman Sean Parkes email@example.com National Representative Ed Steckley firstname.lastname@example.org NATIONAL CARTOONISTS SOCIETY COMMITTEES The Cartoon!st Frank Pauer Ethics Steve McGarry Education Rob Smith Jr. Greeting Card Contracts Carla Ventresca For general inquires about the NCS and the NCSF email: email@example.com The National Cartoon!st is published by the National Cartoonists Society, P.O. Box 592927, Orlando, FL 32859-2927. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the NCSF. Contents ©2016 National Cartoonists Society Foundation, except where other copyrights are designated. All artwork contained herein is ©2016 by the respective artist and/or syndicate, studio or other copyright holder.
The National Cartoonists Society website: www.reuben.org
NATIONAL CARTOONISTS SOCIETY FOUNDATION
“Cartooning for Kids” visits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital More than 60 cartoonists draw for patients and their families
Original Art Auctions
One-of-a-kind treasures from National Cartoonists Society members up for sale
Drawing Caricatures with Tom Richmond
Caricaturing women, by the celebrated MAD Magazine cartoonist
Just Between Friends Sandra Bell-Lundy on the road to syndication
Daryll Collins Sketchbook A few scribbles for your perusal
We Asked 50 Cartoonists the Same 10 Questions Here’s what they had to say
ii PORTFOLIO 6 COMIC SCRIPTED 46 NCS ARCHIVES 52 FROM THE COLLECTION OF … 56 THE NATIONAL CARTOONISTS SOCIETY 62 DO YOU CARTOON? Cover Artwork ©2016 Tom Richmond
No matter who you are, cartoons have impacted your life at some point. It might have been the favorite storybook your parent read to you when you were small, the comic strip first discovered when you started to explore the Sunday funnies, or the cartoon video you watched over and over again. Was it the comic book you loved as a teen or the animated show that gave you the memes and catchphrases you shared with your classmates? It’s the birthday card you treasure, the editorial cartoon you share on social media, the animated DVD that your own child insists you constantly watch together. To be able to make your livelihood doing something you love is one of life’s great gifts and, by that measure, the members of the National Cartoonists Society are fortunate people indeed. We get to conjure the worlds of our imagination, populate them with the characters we create, and share these visions with the world at large. Cartooning is such an accessible art form. We can communicate our ideas with a few strokes of our pen, speaking a universal language … and hopefully, our work will somehow resonate with someone somewhere. All too often, though, it is all too easy to lose sight of how lucky we are to work in our chosen profession. Mired in deadlines, grappling with concepts, the magic becomes mundane. It’s just a job … a reasonably cool one, perhaps … but just a job. Until something happens that reminds you just what a privilege it is to do this for a living.. This past Memorial Day weekend, more than 60 NCS cartoonists, armed with goodie bags overflowing with books and toys and crayons, gathered at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis to draw for the patients and their families. For more than three hours, we sat and sketched and chatted with some 250 kids and it was a humbling, moving and truly rewarding experience. To be able to bring a little happiness and pleasure to these kids and take their minds off their health battles for a little while, just by using meager gifts and talents we all too often take for granted, served to remind every one of us how lucky we are to do what we do. Warm regards, Steve McGarry, President, National Cartoonists Society Foundation
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THE NATIONAL CARTOONISTS SOCIETY WEBSITE: www.reuben.org
Julia proudly displays the art she received from Daryl Cagle. Patrick (Mutts) McDonnell adds a drawing to Zachary’s sketchbook.
“Cartooning for Kids” visits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital On Thursday, May 26, armed with goodie bags overflowing with toys, books, comics, coloring books and crayons, some 120 NCS members and guests — including more than 60 renowned cartoonists — visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to tour the hospital and draw for the patients. Photographer Molly Stromoski was there to capture some very special memories.
Robb (Jumpstart) Armstrong Maria (Half Full) Scrivan
Jan (Stone Soup) Eliot with Madison Jeff (Jumble) Knurek draws along with Cyra. Rick (Baby Blues) Kirkman does a sketch for Chyna.
Hilary (Rhymes With Orange) Price Bill (Tank McNamara) Hinds sketches and chats with Decorian.
Rick (Soup to Nutz) Stromoski John (Snuffy Smith) Rose adds a drawing to Jerehmilâ€™s sketchbook.
Jeff (The Family Circus) Keane autographs a poster.
Guy (Nancy) Gilchrist
Illustrator Luke McGarry trades drawings with Alex.
Animation artist Chad Frye
Sandra (Between Friends) Bell-Lundy with Julia Jason (Ginger Meggs) Chatfield caricatures Dakota.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presented a proclamation to Steve McGarry and Bill Morrison that declared Thursday, May 26 as National Cartoonists Day in Memphis.
Following the signing event at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the cartoonists split into two groups to attend two events designed to raise funds for St. Jude. The first group headed over to a restaurant on the world-famous Beale Street to dine on BBQ and create special pieces of original art to be sold in the hospital gift store as one-of-a kind souvenirs. Among those attending were Bill Hinds (Tank McNamara, Buzz Beamer), Brian Walker (Beetle Bailey) editorial cartoonist Daryl Cagle and authors Rob Harrell (Life of Zarf) and Eddie Pittman (Red’s Planet). Meanwhile, a second group of cartoonists attended a Fundraising Gala on the St. Jude campus where they sold sketches and caricatures, stage a live improv show and even received a Proclamation from Mayor Jim Strickland declaring that Thursday, May 26 was officially National Cartoonists Day in Memphis!
B.J. and Bruce Higdon
Photos by DAVID FOLKMAN and MOLLY STROMOSKI
Hi lary Price
Original art auctions to offer up one-of-a-kind treasures NCS President If you’re reading this issue of The National Cartoon!st, I’ll go out on a limb and say you’re probably a fan of cartooning, a professional cartoonist, or both. And if my knack for perceiving the obvious is as sharp as I think it is, I’d say you’re probably also a collector of original comic and cartoon art. You may not be a major comic art connoisseur with piles of originals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in a super secret, impenetrable, climate-controlled vault, but chances are good that you have at least a couple of nice original examples of ink or paint on paper hanging on the walls of your home or office. I’m going to go a little further out on my sturdy limb and state that it’s almost impossible to love comics and cartoons and not have a desire to own a piece of original comic art, would you agree? When you love a certain character, comic strip, animated film or TV show — or just the work of a specific cartoonist in general — there’s something about seeing the actual physical artwork that fascinates you, draws you in, and makes you want to empty your wallet in order to possess it. As a cartoonist and fan, I’m no exception. I’ve been squirrelling away original comic and cartoon art for the better part of three decades now, and although the banks that hold my mortgage and car payment notes prevent me from buying big-ticket art pieces, every so often I manage to find the necessary funds to purchase something affordable and wonderful that I truly love. Back in the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s, the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society facilitated my collector mania by occasionally holding a live art auction to benefit the NCS’s philanthropic Milt Gross Fund. These gatherings were held at the beautiful mid-century ranch home of Mell and Sally Lazarus and were attended by a who’s-who of Southern California car-
toonists and collectors. None other than El Maestro, Sergio Aragonés, served as the auctioneer and man was he good at it! I often ended up buying art that I didn’t even know I wanted until Sergio told me I did! In 2005, the National Cartoonists Society Foundation was founded and as the charitable arm of the NCS it continues the great work that was done by the Milt Gross Fund. In 2010 the NCSF held a big internet auction to specifically benefit the family of a cartoonist who was experiencing tragic times, and recently during the Reuben Awards Weekend in Memphis, Tenn., the NCSF organized a massive gala fundraiser for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which included a silent art auction. For that event, I was tasked with soliciting and collecting original art works to auction and, as is usual for me, I made the process as multilayered as possible. I had already been soliciting Memphisthemed art from our members for the purpose of decorating the tables for the Reuben Awards banquet, and when the St. Jude fundraiser began to take shape I suggested to NCSF President Steve McGarry that we ask the table art contributors to donate their original art and auction it off to benefit St. Jude. Not knowing how many pieces would actually come in, we also asked the cartoonists who would be attending the gala for published originals. In addition I went to cartoonists outside the NCS membership roster to see what I could get. The response was
By Bill Morrison
Patrick McDonnell Mike Peters
Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott
14 THENATIONALCARTOON!ST Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman
Greg and Mort Walker Ann Telnaes
These two pages: some of the one-of-a-kind pieces of original art up for auction to benefit St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital. The Heritage Auction sale will run from July 31-August 7; see See ha.com/121632.
These two pages: more collectible art to benefit St. Judeâ€™s. The Heritage Auction sale will run from July 31-August 7; see See ha.com/121632.
Rick Stromoski Bill Holbrook
Ray Billingsley overwhelming and as the donations poured in we soon realized that we had way more pieces than could be successfully auctioned for one event. The decision was made to limit the silent auction items at the St. Jude event to only the Memphis-themed pieces and to auction the rest at a later date. Concurrent to the plans for the St. Jude fundraiser, we had also been soliciting original art for a fundraiser to benefit the NCSF and replenish its coffers as we did in the old days of the Milt Gross Fund. That effort was sidetracked a bit due to the more urgent needs of the St. Jude event, but I’m happy to announce that it’s back on the rails! Here’s where you as cartooning fan and art collector come in! Start saving your lunch money because we’ll be mounting two major auctions in the next few months. The first will be part two of the St. Jude benefit. The NCSF has partnered with Heritage Auctions, the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer, and they will be offering several wonderful original pieces as a special sale that will run from July 31 to August 7. The direct link to the sale is www.ha.com/121632 and you will also be able to access it
through Heritage’s main comics.ha.com page. Then, quickly on the heels of the St. Jude auction we’ll be holding our NCSF fundraiser on eBay. If there were a way to get Sergio Aragonés inside the internet to be our auctioneer, believe me we’d do it! Details on starting dates and previews of the lots will be available on the NCS website (reuben.org) and the National Cartoonists Society Facebook page starting in August! This is the very definition of a win-win-win! You’ll be able to own some incredible original comic and cartoon art, while at the same time helping the great folks at St. Jude in their ongoing battle against childhood cancer, and the efforts of the NCS Foundation to advance the ideals and standards of the cartooning profession, to stimulate and encourage aspiring cartoonists through scholarships and educational programs, and to provide financial assistance to cartoonists and their families in times of hardship. So get those checkbooks in shape, and in the meantime here’s a tease on these pages with a few of the terrific original cartoons and comic pages we’ll be offering!
Luke McGarry Bill Morrison
These two pages: some of the incredible pieces of art to be offered up on eBay as part of a National Cartoonists Society Foundation fundraiser. See reuben.org in mid-August for details. THENATIONALCARTOON!ST
I think it’s a myth that women, particularly beautiful women, are harder to draw than men.
Dr wing Caric tures ............................ ..
One of the most common problems I hear about from other caricaturists is that ............................ .. women are harder to draw than men. Many struggle to make their caricatures of women look ............................ .. feminine, and often feel their female subjects look like “drag queens.” ............................ .. I think it’s a myth that women, particularly beautiful women, are harder to caricature than men. Women have the same sets of features that men have, but the need to differentiate the masculine from the feminine forces the caricaturist to modify his or her approach (in most cases) to the different sexes. That doesn’t mean it’s more difficult to draw one sex than it is to draw the other, but you do have to keep the masculine/feminine difference in mind if you want to avoid the “drag queen” look that sometimes results in a caricature of a woman. Superficially, there are a lot of facial elements that identify a given subject as male or female. Thick eyelashes, full red lips, soft complexion, high cheekbones, more curved and thinner eyebrows — these are feature descriptions that are traditionally “feminine.”. You may notice these items have one thing in common: they are all features that women traditionally use makeup to accentuate or to create. If women don’t have them in abundance naturally many use makeup to create them or to accentuate what they do possess. Take your cues from what makeup artists do to see what kinds of features say “female” (and conversely what to avoid on a male caricature to prevent them from looking
a female’s is more rounded and shorter. In fact the male chin is generally larger in every dimension. Big, square jaws inevitably read as masculine and small, narrow and pointier ones read as feminine. Features themselves are also different, often as a result of the skull variance but sometimes of their own accord. Female noses, for example, are generally less angular and the tip is smaller and Spencer Grammer has a small softer. They have nose, small chin and wide face a tendency to be that says “female.” pointier, narrower and vertically shorter (closer to the eyes) than a man’s nose. So, what does all this mean in terms of a caricature? Since caricature is all about exaggeration, it makes sense that if you want a subject to be more feminine you should downplay the things that make a face masculine and play up those things that make it feminine. Sounds like distortion, or the exaggeration of features based not on the what the subject’s face demands but on some other preconceived notion (which I constantly preach against), doesn’t it? Some rules to drawing faces need to apply in order for the end result to be read as what it is intended to be read as. Drawing kids has certain rules you cannot break (or must break with only the most demanding of reasons) if you expect your caricature to look like a kid and not some weirdly deformed adult. Same thing with women. While it’s true that some women’s faces will bend and even break some of these “rules,” knowing the general rules will allow the observer to look for them and understand their meaning. If you are drawing a women with an enormous square jaw you can hardly ignore it, but you can look for the other typical female attributes you can then play up to balance things — or you can just exaggerate that enormous jaw and know your caricature is going to end up looking like Jay Leno in a wig. Hey, if the SUBJECT looks like Jay Leno in a wig you can’t do much about that. At least you know WHY the caricature doesn’t look feminine. You break the rules at your own risk, but you do have to break them when the situation calls for it.
All arwork ©2015 Tom Richmond
feminine). If I am drawing a man who happens to have thick, long eyelashes (many do) I will play that DOWN in many cases to accentuate the masculine in the drawing. These are only superficial things, though. The real differences between men and women’s faces lay under the skin, with the bones and the skull. This is the basis of the “drag queen” look: the human eye and brain is able to differentiate between a male and female face based on difference and indicators that are more than surface features. Hence a drawing of a face with lots of female makeup level features on the surface but with the structure and other aspects of a typical male face looks like a man wearing makeup. Skeletal differences between the sexes are well documented. It’s not just the different chromosomes that are behind it, either. The high levels of testosterone at puberty help enlarge the bones of males, while the high levels of progesterone also help develop male characteristics like greater height and a narrower pelvic bone. The differences also extend to the skull, which is actually the second easiest part of the skeleton forensic scientists can use to determine the probable sex of a skeleton, the pelvis being the first (learned that on NCIS!). In fact the mandible (jaw bone) alone gives examiners a 90 percent accuracy in determining the sex of a skeletal subject. The female skull is generally smaller and lighter than the male’s. Elements like the brow ridge and mandible are usually less pronounced. The female skull tends to be wider than the male’s which leads to a general softness of features, more prominent cheekbones and a less prominent jaw line. The areas above the eye sockets in men tend to be more blunt while the brow itself is more pronounced, but in women that same area is sharper (thus the purpose of “eye shadow”) while the brow protrudes less. The jaw is actually a key element to the masculine/ feminine definition of a subject, and represents the most dynamic differences between the faces of the sexes. The combination of the wider skull, the less developed mandible Jackie O‘s features are classic and the propensity feminine. of the female chin (mental protuberance) to be smaller and more pointed as opposed to a man’s wider and more square one makes the female jaw distinct from the male jaw. The upper (top part of the) chin is wider and higher vertically while
Some examples of breaking the rules:
Madonna has some masculine features but the cheekbones and wide face shape balance them.
This Lena Headley looks distinctly masculine… too many harsh angles, but that’s how her face is. While the nose on Scarlett Johansson is not very feminine, the other features compensate… cheekbones, lips, eyes, eyebrows. Chin is bigger but jaw still small.
So, what are the rules for making a caricature of a woman look feminine? The obvious thing is stay away from making the jaw, brow ridge and chin bigger or more pronounced in a woman’s caricature — and if possible even make these elements a little smaller. When possible play up those features that makeup is meant to enhance, like the sharper areas in the corners of the brows (eyeshadow), higher and more curved eyebrows (shaped eyebrows), fuller lips especially the upper lip (lipstick), longer thicker eyelashes (mascara and eyeliner), higher more pronounced cheekbones (blush or rouge), less prominent nose (powder or base that used to avoid highlights that show the edges and draw attention). Personally I always strive to make a woman’s face SOFTER than a man’s. I try to stay away from harsh,
angular lines and features in a woman’s caricature and use softer, more rounded lines and forms to define the face. I try to use fewer lines and elements that define edg 0es of features. With a linear style of drawing, In general the more lines you use in the face the more masculine (and older) the subject looks. If I want my subject Despite the “walleyes” this to look more feminine, drawing shows the exaggeration I will seek to define the and understatement of the eyes, features with are few lines nose and mouth to accentuate as possible. It’s an old trick the femininity of the subject. of filmmakers to use softer light and slightly out of focus (or vaseline-smeared lensed) camera on close ups of women to create a dreamy and sultry look to them… it eliminates the hard edges of features. The ultimate feminine face? This caricature of Marilyn Monroe (BELOW) hardly has Any lines inside the face. It’s all softness and suggested features. Caricaturing a subject is, as always, defined by the demands the subject’s features and persona require of the artist. However that does not mean the caricaturist cannot approach a subject a little differently, and look for specific things they might expect to see, based on things like the age or sex of the subject. Understanding human perceptions and what’s behind them with respect to things like male versus female faces only brings another source of observational power to the artist.
Here are some other examples of caricatures of women:
Fergie has a hard jaw, large brow and wide chin for a woman.
A somewhat hard chin but doe eyes and cheekbones make this drawing of Winona Ryder look distinctly feminine.
Another classic feminine face: Audrey Hepburn. Soft curves and understated features dominate this sketch of Lucille Ball.
n n n You can learn a lot more about drawing caricatures from Tom’s best-selling instruction book The Mad Art of Caricature! – A Serious Guide to Drawing Funny Faces, available directly from the author at www.tomrichmond.com, or wherever art instruction books are sold.
Kim Basinger has the eyes, brows, smallish nose, lips and chin of the textbook female type.
©2016 E.C. Publications, Inc.
Tom Richmond ..................................................................................... A humorous illustrator, cartoonist and caricaturist, Tom began his career as a caricaturist at a theme park in 1985 at age 18 while studying art in St. Paul, Minn. He now works as a freelancer for a great variety of clients including Scholastic, Sports Illustrated for Kids, GQ, National Geographic World, Time Digital, Penthouse, Marvel Comics, The Cartoon Network, WB Animation, and many, many more. He designed the character “Achmed Jr.” for superstar comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, for whom he also does product illustration. His art and character designs have been featured on the animated MAD TV show as well as in several feature films and commercials. He is best known as one of the “Usual Gang of Idiots” at MAD Magazine,
where his caricatures and illustrations have been featured in film and TV parodies and feature articles regularly since 2000. His work has been honored with several awards, including twice being named “Caricaturist of the Year” by the International Society of Caricature Artists, and with NCS Silver Reubens for Advertising Illustration in 2003, 2006 and 2007 as well as for Newspaper Illustration in 2011. In 2012, he received what is arguably cartooning’s highest honor: the Reuben Award for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year” from the National Cartoonists Society. Tom served two terms as president of the NCS. He works from a studio in his home near Minneapolis, Minn. Follow Tom on Twitter @art4mad
I drew this cartoon of myself and my friends when I was about 16. I know that because I recognize the clothes â€” and the hair styles. Iâ€™m the third from the left. You gotta start somewhere.
Just Between Friends
By Sandra Bell-Lundy Between Friends is loosely based on the women I grew up with. I used to draw cartoons of the above four when I wanted to lampoon some crisis or embarrassment that had happened to one of us. Eventually, when I decided I wanted to give syndication a serious shot, I began to develop a feature based on those cartoons. I was in my twenties when I started writing the strip that most closely resembles Between Friends today, and I had added a couple of characters to this foursome. My first attempts featured five women characters. I had sent out submission packages to King Features, Tribune Media, Universal Press, United, and I think to the Los An-
geles Times Syndicate, too. I received form letters from everyone except King and Universal. Lee Salem sent me a personal note thanking me but saying he just didn’t think it was for them. An editor at King sent me a note saying they felt that five characters were too many to deal with and that I should take it down to three — and really develop those characters. To have the personal replies and to actually be given some direction was pretty exciting stuff, and I was more than willing to work on the suggestions given to me. However, in the midst of this — just to complicate things — I received an actual contract from a much smaller syndicate. The syndicate’s letterhead was a poor photocopy and the letter contained spelling errors. The enclosed contract was terrible, even to my inexperienced eyes. Signing it meant that they owned me lock, stock and barrel forever. Period. The editor/president had also enclosed a cheque for $50 and told me they had sold one of my sample cartoons to a singles’ networking newsletter. Actually, it was more like a personal ad catalogue. I guess that was supposed to entice me, and while I was impressed with the money I was embarrassed by the venue in which my work was published. Today, I wouldn’t give that contract a second glance. But at the time I didn’t know if I was passing up the only opportunity I would ever have to have my work syndicated. I did take the contract to a lawyer who advised me to ask for a few amendments and send it back to see what the response would be. In the end, I just decided to pass on the contract, work on the strip and continue to hold out for an opportunity to work with one of the major syndicates. It was going to be a long wait. APPROACHING THE TORONTO STAR In my other life (pre-husband, children) I sold ad space for a local magazine. One evening, I met a local real estate sales person who was one of the top-selling agents in our region. We were talking about sales and in the course of our conversation I asked him
what he did to become so successful. ing this moronic episode of mine to a He told me that when he first started friend over coffee. She wondered why in real estate he was completely green I didn’t go to my local newspaper, the as to how things were done. He had St. Catharines Standard. Now this may no idea what the protocols were for be a possibility. She told me her boynetworking for contacts and finding friend’s father works at the Standard. clients. He was ignorant, motivated Even more interesting. She called the and started at ground zero, and told boyfriend, the boyfriend talked to me that, in his enthusiasm, he went Dad, and Dad talked to the managing out and did everything he wasn’t supeditor, Murray Thomson. posed to do. Apparently, that worked I then made an appointment to see very well for him. Murray Thomson. I think this is probI had developed my strip and was ably more along the lines of the way ready to get myself published. Full of things should be done. bravado, I looked at the editorial page Still, if I hadn’t done the thing I of the Toronto Star, found the name of wasn’t supposed to do, would I have the managing editor and, after taking gotten to this step? a deep breath, I called him. Amazingly, I got him on the phone, and asked if APPROACHING THE ST. CATHERINES he would be interested in publishing STANDARD some of my cartoons. Bear in mind, this was not a followThe first time I met with Murray up call. I hadn’t sent any cartoons Thomson I took samples of my strip, to the man. I don’t know what the Just Between Friends, as well as some heck I was thinking. God only knows, editorial cartoons I had drawn. because I didn’t. Mr. Thomson called the editorial There was a pause. The Managing page editor into the room to show him Editor of the Toronto Star tentatively my cartoons. The editor looked them asked me, “Have we spoken before?” over and put them down on the desk. I felt this hollow feeling in my chest, “We can buy all kinds of political a hot flush welling up at the base of cartoons from the syndicates,” he told my neck. I have the first inkling that, me. He was obviously unimpressed. In perhaps, I have gone about this all fact, it was easy to see that he thought wrong. they stunk. “But we’ll pay you $25 for “No,” I answered. My bravado had local editorial cartoons.” dissipated. OK, so they stunk, “You mean you’re just but at least this offer He was obviously calling me up out of the vindicated my efforts unimpressed. In fact, blue?” a little. it was easy to see The flush rose to my “I’m not that familthat he thought they cheeks. iar with local politics,” “Yes.” I told him. Truth was, I stunk. “But we’ll pay There is a pause of couldn’t think of anyyou $25 for local about 20 seconds. Twenty thing more boring. editorial cartoons.” seconds of silence on the “Well, maybe you phone is a very long time. should be,” he said. The flush engulfed me. Ouch. Sheesh. I just wanted to draw “Well,” he said, “I don’t know if cartoons — I didn’t want to hang out you’re really serious about this, but at Council Chamber meetings. if you are I think you’re setting your Mr. Thomson turned his attention sights a little high to be approaching back to my strips. He took his time Canada’s largest newspaper.” reading them and smiled periodically. What could I say? I thanked him for It was harder to sit there in silence his time and hung up. while he read my work in front of me Idiot. Me, not him. All things conthan it was to listen to the editorial sidered, the editor was very courteous editor’s rebuke. He seemed to like to me. In fact, I’m not so sure I would them. And I felt this sense of relief — have had his patience if the roles had or something like that — because my been reversed. strip is where my heart is. Fast-forward a little: I was bemoanWe chat for a while. We talked about
was going to start them in September. It took Murray Thomson four years to say yes, but the important thing to me during that time was that he never said no. I will always be grateful to him for his kind ways and interest. I consider him an instrumental part of my success. In the next six months, I sold my strip to several other newspapers and by September 1990, Just Between Friends appears in the St. Catharines Standard, the Hamilton and the Burlington Spectator, the Brantford Expositor and two local weeklies. The strip looks like the samples at left. WORKING WITH JAY KENNEDY
the characters, about the lettering. He said to keep in touch and send him more work. I am elated. Shortly after this meeting, I called to follow up. Mr. Thomson told me he had shown the strips around the newsroom and the feedback he got was that the characters were too neurotic — or words to that effect. “I’ll change them,” I said immediately. And he said, “No.” He told me I had to be true to myself. And he said to keep in touch and send him more work. So I knew the strip needed work but I didn’t exactly know how to improve it. I needed to change the women, but I needed to keep them the same. This goes on for four years. I put my strip away for months at a time. I go back to it. Now and then I sent strips to Mr. Thomson; he always seemed interested to read them and chat with me. One day at work, I was frustrated with the job, with the strip getting nowhere — everything. During my lunch hour, I jumped in my car and drove downtown. I walked up to Mr. Thomson’s office and asked to speak to him. Out of the blue, middle of a busy day — no appointment. We talked for maybe 20 minutes. I couldn’t tell you what we talked about, other
than it had to do with my strip. I thanked him for his time and I went back to work. And it hit me that I had a lot of nerve to just show up at his office like that. And yet, he was willing to take the time to talk to me in that calm and congenial manner of his. I feel very good knowing that he takes me and my cartoons seriously. In the midst of this four-year period, I met Tim. This was one of the times I got distracted from doing the strip, and it got put on the shelf. About two years go by and one day after we are married, I was griping about the fact that I was getting nowhere with my strip. He just looked at me and said, “Well, you’re not doing anything about it.” He was right. I took the strip out again and I go back to Mr. Thomson. I told him he can publish them for free — I just want my work in print. He said no. If they were to publish them, they would pay me. He sat there reading them and I could tell he was thinking something over. He was trying to come to a decision — I could see it. He said, very slowly, “I think we’re going to print these.” Or something like that. I just remember that he said my strip was going to be on the comics page of the Just Between Friends and that I let out this long breath (apparently I had been holding it) and thanked him. It was January, and he
By 1992, I was beginning to wonder if I was beating a dead horse with my comic strip idea. I had managed to sell my strip to those southern Ontario dailies. Just Between Friends also appeared in a few weekly papers as well. All in all, I was making about $100 per week. I had given up my effort to sell to other papers. Between creating a daily strip and working full-time, I found it difficult to keep up with the business of selling my feature. More than a time factor, though, was the fact that it was hard to take the constant rejection. I sent out what I decided was going to be my last submission package to the major syndicates. If this package didn’t get a positive response, I was going to try a different tactic and see if I could get a book collection published. Two weeks later, my husband and I came home and I saw the message button flashing on our answering machine. It was Jay Kennedy. Comics editor of King Features. He wanted me to call him. I grabbed my husband and started yelling, “Do you know who that is? It’s Jay Kennedy! It’s King Features!!” I drank a glass of water and walked up and down the stairs about six times to burn off some energy. And then I called. Karen Moy answered. I told her who I was and she said Jay was waiting for my call. He told me he liked my strip, that
he had shown it to Joe D’Angelo (President of King at the time) and that Joe liked it. He said he remembered seeing my strip before, but thought that changing one of the characters to a married woman made the strip better. He did his best to engage me in conversation, but I really didn’t know what to say until he said King wanted to offer me a development contract. “How soon can you have it in the mail?” I asked. My development contract covered an eight-month period of time. Jay and I were to work on my feature together and if I could address the concerns they had by the end of the eight months, King Features would pick up my option for syndication. A few weeks after I signed the development contract with King, I received a letter from an editor at Universal Press. It read: Dear Ms. Lundy: Thanks for sending Just Between Friends. For the past month your strip has been wending its way through the editorial department. We liked the writing and the interaction between the women. As one editor said: There’s a kind of Bob Newhart show quality to this: It’s not uproariously funny, but you keep watching it anyhow. Several people mentioned that the
husband is a bit stereotypical and doesn’t seem to have any friends. Also, Susan, Laura and Maeve need to have stronger voices and should be more distinct. Perhaps you have done some strips that address these concerns. In any case, we’d like to see another three dozen samples or so. When it rains, it pours. DEVELOPING THE STRIP Sandra often writes her strips in short continuities in such a way that her jokes are funny but only in the context of the series... The real power of Sandra’s work is her ability to concisely encapsulate experiences the reader has had, adding a twinge of humor to events that at the time may not have seemed all that funny. Between Friends is more about an upbeat reflection on the readers’ lives than it is about belly laughs. The above is an excerpt of an outline Jay Kennedy had prepared to introduce my strip to editors and sales people at King Features. It was surreal for me to read this. It was the first time I had seen an analysis of what someone thought my strip was — more than the simple descriptive that it was a comic about three women friends and the interaction between them.
All of a sudden, I was working with someone who was interested in talking about cartoon noses and lettering and how to draw hands and line weight and what was awkward about certain drawings and what I could do to improve them. Many times I had asked people, “How do these comics look? Do they look professional?” And I’d always get the same answer: “They look great.” I hated hearing that because I knew they didn’t look great. Working with Jay was such a pleasure, not only for his insight and knowledge of the medium but for his pleasant ways, his patience and yes, for his directness. He didn’t beat around the bush — he got to the point and I very much appreciated that. Jay was insightful, knowledgeable and always a gentleman. I consider myself fortunate to be one of the cartoonists who had the privilege of working with him. During my development period we focused mainly on my artwork. Jay’s biggest issue — although, by no means the only one — was that my women characters didn’t look distinctive enough. Maeve is a much more beautiful and sexy woman today than she was in my early strips. I used to draw her with a big jaw line which was distinctive but not very feminine. The fact that she is a divorcee and a character who frequently has romantic escapades really called for a more attractive rendering. As Jay pointed out in the sample, jewelry
was one way to help distinguish her: She always wears large, gold hoop earrings today, which is in contrast to Susan’s (a plainer, less fashionable character) nondescript, little round button earrings. Also, notice Helen in the strip with Maeve. Helen is Maeve’s assistant at the office. I really enjoy Helen’s character — she’s a direct, no-nonsense person with Maeve as well as with her two teenaged kids. While Helen was a very slim character in these early strips, she evolved into a heavier woman. I like the fact that she is heavy but still stylishly dressed with a variety of accessories and long eyelashes. She’s confident and beautiful but not stereotypically model-thin. A big problem I seemed to have was not drawing my characters in a consistent style. Jay frequently pointed out hair and nose and neck length discrepancies. Of course, one of the biggest changes in the look of my characters
was that of Laura, who had long hair, was very blasé and smoked. She was the least developed character of my three women. I just never seemed to get a fix on her. One day, Jay called me and said the sales people had suggested that I feature Helen more often as she was an African-American woman and it would help make my strip more diverse. I tossed the idea back that perhaps I should just drop Laura altogether and replace her with a new AfricanAmerican character since I didn’t really feel that she had a strong connection in the strip anyway. Jay was so excited about the idea that I swear he almost dropped the phone in haste to get back to his meeting with this proposal. I have this visual in my mind and I get a little chuckle whenever I think of it. Jay’s comment that Maeve was “generic looking” was also made regarding Susan. He mentioned that they basically had round heads with two dots for eyes.
In my early strips I also had a little girl who was a recurring character. She was an obnoxious papergirl who belonged to a union, “Papergirls United.” Jay didn’t like her and she disappeared. I kind of liked her, but in hindsight she didn’t really bring anything to the premise of the strip. Another thing that was addressed art-wise was my lettering. I tended to write my words slanting upwards to the right. I still have the inclination to do this today even though I line the top third of each panel as a guide. I’m conscious of it but it seems to be some kind of ingrown habit. There are many little things that Jay suggested to me to improve the strip visually, like black and white contrasts, making images larger to fill the frame, feathering hair to look more realistic — and I think it’s obvious that these changes improved the appearance of the strip and the characters. There is one thing that’s different about my women characters between
then and now that Jay did not suggest to me, and I take sole credit for this particular improvement. What is it, you wonder? Underwire. ACCEPTED The race isn’t always to the swiftest, but to those who keep on running. In August of 1993, my husband surprised me with a gift. It was a solid birch wood secretary desk that we had been admiring for some time but felt was a financial extravagance we couldn’t afford. Unbeknownst to me, he had been making payments on it for months. When I asked him why he had done it, he told me that he thought I needed something nice to happen. It had been a long year of struggle for us. We had been trying to begin a family but things had not been working out for us. And it was coming close to the end of my development period with King Features and I was anxious as to what their deci-
sion would be regarding picking up the strip. Tim was concerned about me being turned down and having to deal with another major disappointment. Not more than a few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. I can’t tell you how happy I was. Shortly after this, I got a call from Jerry Craft (Mama’s Boyz) who was working for King Features at the time. It was about 5 p.m. and Jerry called to ask me a question about coloring my work. He wanted to know what type of coloring I preferred — pastel or bold — or something like that. After talking about the coloring issue he said, “Oh yes, and congratulations.” I had no idea what he was talking about. The comment was totally out of context with anything we had been discussing, and in my confusion, rather than just asking him what he meant, I simply said, “Thanks” and we both hung up. All night long, the conversation between Tim and me repeated itself over and over:
“Does that mean they’re going to syndicate you?” “I don’t know. What else could it mean?” “It must mean they’re picking up the strip.” “Do you think it means they’re picking it up?” “I don’t know. What else could it mean?” It was a long night. The next morning Jay called. He very calmly told me that Just Between Friends was the next strip King was taking out to syndicate. I told him that was great news. Then we got down to what we needed to begin working on. I had done it. After all those years of rejection and striving and wondering if I was wasting my time, I had finally succeeded. In February of 1994, Between Friends launched in 31 newspapers across North America. Six weeks later, my son was born. And nearly 22 years, two kids and 175 papers later, I’m still going. Life is pretty good.
DARYLL COLLINS At one point in my career I was cartooning full-time at Gibson Greeting Cards as well as taking on a full complement of free-lance projects. It was at this time, not surprisingly, when I stopped keeping a sketchbook. For the most part, all my drawing centered around the projects I was currently working on and little else. When I had some free time, the last thing I had in mind was drawing in a sketchbook. That continued to be the case until I attended a Stephen Silver presentation at a NCS Reuben Weekend in Chicago. First, I was blown away by his talent and, secondarily, by his dedication to experimentation and improvement. Here was an established pro that continued to make a real effort to try different techniques, tools and approaches. His schedule was jampacked with a variety of animation projects, along with raising a family and all that entails. Yet he made time to draw in his sketchbooks on a daily basis. I went out that very day and bought several sketchbooks from Dick Blick’s. And ever since I’ve continued to make an effort to sit down each day and sketch. It’s really been beneficial as I think it’s improved and diversified my approach to my free-lance work. Here are a few scribbles for your perusal…
I think if I could draw cartoon monsters all day I’d be one content cat.
Mystery Date for Boys: Remember that game for girls back in the 60’s? This features a variety of ladies that may be waiting for you when you open the door to your Mystery Date.
Remember when you were a little kid, sick with the flu or somethin’, and you asked your mom to bring home some comics for you from the drug store? This is the kinda stuff moms tend to pick out. Along with a Casper and a Classics Illustrated.
“Excuse me — apparently I’m in the wrong comic panel.”
In one of my sketchbooks I’ve started a section called “Superhero or Supervillain of the Day.” I try and come up with a new character each day.
2 13 4 The drawing tool(s) I can’t live
thing I could change about
… One thing the NCS doesn’t end held … I am the most
50 We asked*
56 10 9 78 cartoonists
without … Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … If there’s one my style — or how I work — it’s … Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are
know about me is that … I’m currently reading … I’d love to see the Reuben Weekcreative … If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … I’d like to be remembered for …
questions. Here’s what they
had to say
*So, OK, OK — 13 of them didn’t exactly respond. You know who you are.
Sean Parkes nnnn
Fountain Hills, Arizona
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is the Wacom Cintiq all the way. I bought mine online in 2005 without ever even trying one and have never looked back! On the rare occasion that I draw something on paper and make a mistake, instead of reaching for an eraser, I’ll spend a good ten seconds desperately clicking on an imaginary “undo” button before I realize what’s actually going on. Sheesh! Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … music. Currently, it’s in the form of the latest self-help audio book on time management. I’m on No. 7 and counting. If this one doesn’t work, I’m going to get an audio book on “How to Stop Listening to Audio Books on Time Management!” If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … my time management. I’m a late-night college crammer and have seen many sunsets turn into sunrises in order to meet my clients’ needs. I’ve never missed a single deadline in 14 years though — just a lot of sleep. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Jim Davis, for inspiring me. As a kid I used to tape the Garfield specials off of the TV and sit for hours, pushing play, then pause, drawing the entire episodes frame by frame; Stephen King. His work ethic and sheer ability to constantly produce the daily amount of work that he does is unparalleled. He’s a writing machine; and George Lucas, for building an entire Empire from a single dream. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I work in my SpongeBob SquarePants boxer shorts. Hey, I live in the Arizona desert and it’s 120 degrees out here during the summer! Thank goodness my clients don’t have webcams. I’m currently reading … Time Management for Dummies by Claire Evans and it’s wasting a lot of my time. I wish it were on audio book. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held …
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Peter Guren nnnn
Kirtland Hills, Ohio
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is my light table. (I can’t even sign a check without it.) Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … nothing, except for an occasional NPR radio station (but only if they’re interviewing a cartoonist). If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … speed. I draw slowly. I do one Sunday and one daily and it still takes me a whole week. (Don’t ask me for an autograph unless you’ve brought a book.) Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Mike Luckovich, who is consistently funny in both artwork and content. I’m always telling Debbie, “Hey, did you see Mike’s Newsweek.” (I get Newsweek for the cartoons.); Mike Peters. Every time I’m in public and I’m supposed to act like a cartoonist, I think, “What would Mikepeters do?” (Yes, that’s one word.); and Jack Davis. I taught myself cartooning by copying Jack from MAD magazine (but I still can’t do the hands). One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … on April 23, 1990, I spent a whole day with Sparky while he created a Sunday Peanuts right before my eyes — a true “day in the life.” (Yes, I have the original.) I’m currently reading … Marley and Me. (What else? I do a cartoon about a dog.) I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in any warm climate. (I’m not picky. I go there for the cartoonists.) I am the most creative … anytime before noon. (After noon my brain turns into a pumpkin.) If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … persistence. (I’d still be working at American Greetings.) I’d like to be remembered for … making people smile (hence the profession).
in Germany during Oktoberfest. Danke! I am the most creative … at 2:30 in the morning, working on a tight deadline with Led Zeppelin playing in the background. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … never get too comfortable or lazy in this business. Always push and try to improve yourself by drawing and/or writing on a daily basis. I’d like to be remembered for … expecting little. Giving much. And being grateful for everything I have been blessed with in this life.
Bob Englehart nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are Photoshop, Micron markers and scotch. I write off my liquor bills as art supplies. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … the YES Network and WFAN (New York City sports talk) or Comedy Central. I hate TV news and watch as little as possible. I have nothing on when I’m writing — don’t try to picture it. If there’s one thing I could change about my
Isabella Bannerman nnnn
Hastings on Hudson, New York
Chad Carpenter nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is my .5 mechanical pencil. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … NPR radio. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … to have a better grasp of perspective. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … my husband Jim for his evil sense of humor, my friend Molly who is such a great mom to her three kids, and Al Gore for telling the uncomfortable truth. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I wear fuzzy slippers a lot. I’m currently reading … Fruits Basket, a manga graphic novel. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in Washington, D.C. I am the most creative … between 10 a.m. and noon. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … not to answer the phone when I’m trying to write cartoons. I’d like to be remembered for … being a very peaceful person (not a chance!).
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … include a Pigma Micron 08 pen, Strathmore Bristol board, and one-half bottle of wine. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … History Channel, Columbo and Hawaii Five-O reruns, flannel boxers. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I’d invent a time machine, travel back to the 70’s, push a young Jim Davis down a well, change my name to “Jim Davis,” develop a brilliantly funny cat comic strip, and swim in my money bin full of cash. (Sorry Jim.) Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … many more than three, but here are some of my favorites: Mike Peters, Mort Walker and Jim Davis. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I have a small strawberry birthmark on my left cheek. I’m currently reading … at a 3rd grade level. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … here in my hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, because there just hasn’t been enough publicity here lately. I am the most creative … when I don’t have a pen or pencil handy. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … never get locked in a phone booth with a horny porcupine. I’d like to be remembered for … making people laugh, leaving the world a better place, and my cranberry glazed meatloaf.
had just one style of rendering my cartoons but I have about 16. But then again, I’m like a one-man syndicate — a different style cartoon every day of the week. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … my dad for killing the Nazis in WWII, Sully the “Miracle On The Hudson” airline pilot and Mort Walker, who I’m certain looks exactly like God. style — or how I work — it’s … that I wish I
One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me
is that … I’m not circumsized. I’m currently reading … When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in Middletown, Conn., as long as I didn’t have to do any work. I am the most creative … in the morning. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … how to make carbon paper out of tracing paper, rubber cement thinner and a graphite stick. I’d like to be remembered for … picking up my socks.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . East Aurora, New York . . The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … . are my Strathmore 500 Bristol, a good Hunt . . 102 and some Black Magic india ink. . . Music, TV — if I have something on while . drawing, it’s usually … music, either on my . computer or on the radio. (I need to get a . TV in my studio.) If I’m mellow, I’ll put on . Sinatra, if I need to get the blood going, it’s . . AC/DC! . . If there’s one thing I could change about . my style — or how I work — it’s … that . time is money. I wish I could work faster. . . Three people I admire — in cartooning . . or not — are … Roy Crane (incredible in. novator); Joe Kubert (incredible artist and . businessman); and Pope John Paul II (just . incredible). . . One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me . is that … I’m Batman. . . . I’m currently reading … Iwo Jima: World . War II Veterans Remember the Greatest . Battle of the Pacific, by Larry Smith. . . I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held . … in Key West. . . . I am the most creative … in the morning, . or if I wake up in the middle of the night. . . If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … . don’t try to please others — do things your . way. . . I’d like to be remembered for … I have yet . to create what I want to be remembered for. .
Graham Nolan nnnn
Mark Szorady nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is an easy one to answer: the computer. It draws, writes, balances my checkbook, runs my business, sets up Web sites, controls e-commerce and more. Whereas the drawing table used to be the center of an artist’s studio, it’s now the computer. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … my internet radio. Specifically, the Sangean WFR-20, which I highly recommend. Just hook it up to a wireless router, register on reciva.com, and
you have access to more than 15,000 radio stations from around the world. It’s like shortwave radio on steroids. There’s no static and no interference — it’s pure sound. And best of all, no subscriptions like satellite radio. As I write, I’m listening to an all-Beatles channel broadcast out of Russia. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … I’d dump my non-photo blue pencils and go to a softer lead pencil and do much more erasing on the original inked art. I’d also go back to a dip pen and ink method. But because I’m drawing five features and wearing all the hats of georgetoon.com, I need to streamline the process as much as possible.
Brian Crane nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are the ones I really need: a mechanical pencil with 0.5mm 2B lead, a kneaded eraser, a pen with a Hunt 22B nib for drawing, and another with a Speedball B6 nib for lettering, a pad of Strathmore 2-ply vellum finish Bristol, a scanner and Photoshop. Oh, and a can of Diet Pepsi. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … music or TV, often something I’ve recorded on DVR from the day before. If there’s one thing I could change about
my style — or how I work — it’s … that I would like a looser drawing style, but that’s probably not gonna happen. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … hard to say. There are so many people I admire, cartoonists and otherwise,
Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … cannot be narrowed down to three. Sorry. It’d be unfair to the rest. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I can’t narrow down things to three or less. I’m currently reading … The Completely Mad Don Martin. My sister-in-law came across a copy and grabbed it for me. She’s also picked up some other nice, rare cartoon books that have been good additions to my collection. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … by a tall blonde in stiletto heels and a strapless gown. I am the most creative … when I’m creating. Duh! If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … don’t ever try to narrow things down to three or less. You’ll only end up offending numbers four, five and so on. I’d like to be remembered for … three things. No, wait ...
that I would rather not mention any than risk leaving one out. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I was once arrested in Montevideo, Uruguay, on suspicion of being a CIA spy. True story! I’m currently reading … George Washington, A Life, by Willard Sterne Randall. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. I am the most creative … when I’m behind on my deadlines. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … that I haven’t learned much. I’d like to be remembered for … being that old cartoonist who just wouldn’t die.
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Stephanie Piro nnnn
Farmington, New Hampshire
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is my 1970’s era Koh-I-Noor Artpen. I am a fountain pen fanatic and have used this one for ages. I recently realized that I was using the wrong ink, after more than 20 years. When I bought my pens they came with the ink I thought I had to use. They clogged and refused to work, and I just assumed this was normal. Now I’m using a fountain pen ink and have not had a single problem. I also bought a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, and have had fun playing around with that. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … I can’t write with anything on — I’m too easily distracted. If I’m drawing, and feel like having something on, I put on something silly like “What Not To Wear,” or C-Span or CNN so I can listen to the news. When I’m scanning or cleaning up my work, I sometimes listen to CDs, or online radio. If it’s CDs, I listen to David Francey or Geoff Berner, two Canadian singers I love, folkie music along those lines or show music like Phantom of the Opera or Les Miz. If it’s the radio, I like to hear whatever is new and different and surprising in the way of rock. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … my style is what it is, I guess. I’m happy with it. It’s been called minimalist. I think this means I don’t like to draw backgrounds and little frilly details. I love to draw characters and write dialogue. If I could make the art more detailed, that might be one thing I’d change. Plus just having more hours in the week when I can concentrate on work. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Edward Gorey, who had a profound influence on my love of pen and ink. He was true to himself, writing his quirky dark little stories with unhappy endings, and found an audience despite that. Lynda Barry, who is just a fabulous cartoonist and writer. Her characters are spunky, funny and sometimes heartbreaking. She has a great style and she is also an amazing painter and writer. Stephenie Meyer, who wrote the “Twilight” series of books based on a dream she had. These are young adult books, but there is something wildly addictive about them, especially to women of all ages.
One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I am a part-time librarian! Three nights a week and Saturdays I do programming at the local library. I run a cartoon club for kids, a writer’s group for adults, a book club for adults, and I started a group for parents of gifted kids. I search for authors to come and speak and then do all the promotion. I run the annual poetry competition and then host the awards ceremony. I’ve also run very successful teen programs, and am currently helping put together a teen advisory board. I also do lots of art, from the “sick sign” to a series of promotions I did for Banned Book week. I’m currently reading … Let’s Spend the Night Together by Pamela des Barres, a book of her interviews with famous groupies; The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton, a city girl who moved to Wyoming by herself, raised a coyote and wrote a blog about it that became this wonderful book; and Garden Spells by Sara Addison Allen. A captivating little fantasy. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in New York again, maybe? It’s such a great walking city and open all night, what more can you ask for? I’m from NY (and once a NYer, always a NYer!) so I may be biased. I am the most creative … on Sundays. Sunday is when I read the paper, get ideas and write. I then draw everything up throughout the week. I also draw most of my “Chix” cartoons on Sundays. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … you can always save a cartoon. I don’t pencil, so if I make a mistake or am not happy with the end result, I cut out what I like, paste it up and redraw. I can clean everything up once it is scanned. If you looked at my originals they can look like patchwork quilts, but in print they end up looking pretty good! I’d like to be remembered for …being a good mom. I’d like to say I’d like my work to have an impact and be remembered, but the best thing I’ve ever done in my life is my wonderful daughter, Nico. She is an amazing person — smart, funny, talented, always happy, great company and now a married person with her own husband. Having her in the world makes me happier than anything!
Lincoln Peirce nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is my most indispensable tool — a homemade wooden template my brother made for me about 18 years ago. The format in Big Nate is always the same: four identically-sized panels. The template allows me to quickly trace the panel outlines before I start drawing. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … never TV. Always radio. I love listening to my beloved Red Sox. If there’s not a game on I choose from among stations on satellite radio. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … well, of course I wish it were easier to come up with ideas. But mostly I wish I could draw better. I have never been able to draw very well. But I’m improving. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … can I name more than three? Some of my heroes among cartoonists past are Cliff Sterrett, E.C. Segar and Sparky. Among colleagues still hard at work I’m a huge admirer of Ben Katchor, Tom Toles, Richard Thompson, Chris Ware and Darby Conley. Outside the cartooning realm I find much to admire about a host of good people — chief among them my family and friends. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I host a radio show once a week devoted to vintage country music. I’m currently reading … My Ears Are Bent, by Joseph Mitchell; A Good-Natured Riot, by Charles K. Wolfe; and A Little History of the World, by E.H. Gombrich. Plus, I’m doing a lot of crossword puzzles. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … it’s more or less a moot point, because I can almost never afford to attend. But if it were ever in New York City again I would be thrilled to be there. I am the most creative … person in my office at the moment. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … never pass up a good opportunity to keep your mouth shut. I’d like to be remembered for … I never think about that. I just concentrate on taking each day as it comes.
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Clive Collins nnnn
Hadleigh, Essex, UK
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are, in order of importance to me, Pilot Drawing pen, Speedball ink pen, lightbox and my Apple Mac G3 with Photoshop. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … gentle music CDs — Enya, “Why hello there. We’re the Pilgrim lawyers.” David Gray, Travelling Wilburys, Benny Goodman and a countless horde of I’d like to be remembered for … unless you others. Anything that doesn’t get me strung are a giant in the profession (and I know out and having to pay to much intense the ones that I consider giants, and I am attention. No news programs (I don’t do not among them) then it’s unlikely you will topical work). be remembered, unless it’s by your closest friends. The public moves on to the cartoons If there’s one thing I could change about that fill the space previously occupied by my style — or how I work — it’s … that I’d you. It’s like taking your hand from a bucketbe faster. ful of water, and seeing how long the hole remains unfilled. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Steve Bell (Brit cartoonist), the Coen Brothers (does that count as one?), and Nick Park, animator. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I think my life is an open book — I imagine you know all there is to know about me. My life is a small thing, but my own. I’m currently reading … Churchill’s Wizards by Nicholas Rankin, about wartime camouflage and deception from 19141945, and John Betjeman – a Life by A.N. Wilson. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … for tedious medical reasons I can’t get to anywhere that is beyond a rail link to Britain, so Pan-Atlantic travel is out. It’s my loss. I am the most creative … first thing in the morning, and I’d work at night if possible. The afternoon is a waste of time. Maybe I was a bat in a previous life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … when a magazine or newspaper takes a gag of mine, it’s never the one I think is the best.
Bill Holbrook nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … includes tracing vellum over my pencil sketches and inking with a No. 0 Rapidograph pen and an Osmiroid cartridge pen. I scan them at 600 dpi and apply the shading with Photoshop. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … music. I don’t have a TV in my studio and I definitely keep our computers in other parts of the house. If I had an internet connection in my studio I wouldn’t get anything done. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I always wish I could be funnier. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Charles Schulz, Walt Kelly and Jack Davis. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I’m married to the mystery novelist Dr. Teri Holbrook, Ph.D., who is also a Professor
Don Orehek nnnn
Port Washington, New York
Murray Olderman nnnn
Rancho Mirage, California
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … include a 107 crow quill, 0.5 Uni-ball, Southworth 20 lb. for roughs and Strathmore vellum for finishes.
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … include a Winsor & Newton Series 7 No. 3 brush, 935 Prismacolor black pencil and coquille board that you can’t get any more.
Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … classical music radio (WQXR in New York).
Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … swing music from the Big Band era — preferably Artie Shaw.
If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … nothing. (You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.)
If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … having someone behind me with a hammer to hit me over the head when I’m done with a drawing.
Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Brant Parker (Wizard of Id), Eldon Dedini (satyrs) and Brian Crane (Pickles).
“What do you mean, your place or mine …what about right here?”
One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … art was on both sides of my family. I’m currently reading … The Laughter of Kings, by Elizabeth Peters. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held …
Seattle, Washington. I am the most creative … in the morning and doing girly gags for Playboy. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … how to do caricatures. I’d like to be remembered for … drawing sexy girls.
Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … the late Willard Mullin, Barack Obama, and the late Herblock. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … unlike most cartoonists, I can spell and punctuate and am a stickler for grammar. I’m currently reading … any worthwhile nonfiction book I can get from the library without paying for it. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in an ideal oasis like the Palm Springs area (Coachella Valley) in early spring. I am the most creative … when I’m dreaming in that twilight zone between sleep and being awake. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … that I’ve generally sold myself short.
of Global Literacy at Georgia State University. She’s great for proofreading my strips!
comic strips single-handedly, I pretty much have to be creative 24/7.
I’m currently reading … The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … never miss deadlines.
I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … here in Atlanta.
I’d like to be remembered for … the quality of my work, not necessarily the quantity. That, and being a pioneer (through all three of my strips) in bringing strips into the realm of cyberspace.
I am the most creative … doing three daily
I’d like to be remembered for … having the perseverance to try to improve myself as both a writer and artist.
Doug Cushman nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are my crow quill 107 pen tips. Getting harder to find, too.
illustration) and travels around Europe and India, people say that now I’ve finally made it.
Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … internet radio. Lately I’m listening to jazz from the ’20s and ’30s and, of course, Delta blues, with the occasional foray — with my CDs — into Mark Knopfler, Clapton, Led Zeppelin and Loreena McKennitt.
I’m currently reading … Wilkie Collins and Joseph Campbell. Also some French graphic novels, including The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar and Adele Blanc Sec by Jacques Tardi.
If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I wish I could stop losing my kneaded eraser. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Walt Kelly, Son House and my dad, who moved us out of Springfield, Ohio, to Connecticut against the wishes of my grandparents (his parents). One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … my proudest moment in cartooning (so far) is the wine label I designed for a real French Burgundy winemaker here in France. Even after some 120-plus authored and illustrated books, awards (including a Reuben for book
I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in Paris, so I could finally attend one a little easier. I am the most creative … at my local café. The cacophony of clinking glasses and white noise of French speaking patrons (my French is still pretty poor so I don’t understand everything said at the table next to me) makes a wonderful background for writing and sketching. The last three or four books I’ve written have been at a round café table with a glass or two of a cheap Brouilly or café crème. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … that it doesn’t get any easier, this job. One would think that after 30-some odd years, one could relax a bit. But I’m still in there scrappin’ and pushing for the next job, the next book (happily so, I’ll admit — it beats working for a living). I’d like to be remembered for … my books, my cooking and loyal friendship. Anything except this questionnaire.
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The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are my black Col-Erase pencils and my No. 5 Micron pens. Also, food. And water. But mainly the pencils and pens. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … a lot of music while drawing. I’m sort of addicted to seeking out new, obscure bands. Love my Sirius satellite radio — possibly my best investment ever. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I’d loosen up. I love looking at other cartoonists’ loose, expressive brushwork, but that isn’t what comes out of my pen. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Walt Kelly, John Irving and Elvis Costello. One thing
the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I wear boxers. Not those boxer briefs, either. Good old-fashioned boxers. I’m currently reading … War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk. Also, the Artie Lange biography Too Fat to Fish. Yin and yang. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … honestly, anywhere. Amber and I look forward to that weekend and catching up with friends all year. I am the most creative … first thing in the morning. No question. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … to save your file. Frequently. I’d like to be remembered for … I’d like to be remembered!
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are Google searches. Regular drawing tools are pencils, Pigma pens, Photoshop and the big Wacom. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … anything except rap or Chinese opera. Don’t laugh, but I like Latino rock. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I would have made it much simpler — not so many details or shading. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Richard Thompson, Jules Feiffer and The Six Chix — I know that’s more than three. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … what exactly DO they know about me? I’m currently reading … Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard by Kiran Desai.
Ron Hill nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are good old pencils, brushes and ink. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … blues or guitar rock: Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, Al Stewart, The Who, The Rolling Stones — that kind of stuff. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … to be able to draw women as easily as I draw men. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Frank Frazetta and Ray Bradbury, creative guys who seem to “live the life they love, and love the life they live.” And Glen Somerville, my fifth-grade teacher. He helped a geeky kid find a way to profit his drawings. Since I have been teaching for seven years now, I realize how hard the teaching profession is, but also how important, and I find
I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … any weekend except Memorial Day weekend.
“My act’s starting to wear thin? No problem, ma’am — I’ll just come up with some new material!”
myself modeling his teaching styles. He writes letters to the editor still to this day in the paper I draw for; very cool.
One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … like Charlie Brown, I have a pen pal. His name is Ashok Dongre, and he is a freelance cartoonist, political artist and graphic designer who lives in Mumbai, India. He first wrote to me more than ten years ago to comment on my Web site and to say that we have the same last name: Dongre in his language means “from the hills.” I am inspired by his ability to work in worse economic and political turmoil than we have here by remaining cheerful and upbeat. Recently he has said how excited they are for our new president, and passed on these words of advice regarding the world economy: a guru said that the man who learns to dance in the rain will not be afraid of the storm. I’m currently reading … too much at once: mainly alternating between John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman and the science fiction novels of Philip K. Dick. I just finished The Man in the High Castle and I am working on Martian Time-Slip.
I am the most creative … after lots of coffee. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … that the Debbie Meyer Green Bags really work. I’d like to be remembered for … my magazine gag cartoons.
I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … sigh... in Cleveland, the birthplace of Superman, The Born Loser, Calvin and Hobbes, Funky Winkerbean, Ziggy, Flo and Friends — but don’t get me started, dammit. I am the most creative … procrastinator. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … that I will always come up with something before the deadline. I’d like to be remembered for … always trying to be fair.
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are Speedball B-5 1/2 point, Higgins India ink and Bic White-out. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … oldies on the radio. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … nothing. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … my wife, Martha; my late mother, Virginia; and Dwight Eisenhower. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I’m a member of Mensa. I’m currently reading … the Bible and John Standford’s Dark of the Night. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in Dallas in June. I am the most creative … when I work at it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … that learning never ceases. I’d like to be remembered for … for being a good Christian husband and father (and person).
Carla Ventresca nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … was my box of No. 512 nib pens. Now it’s my Wacom. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … podcasts. If I listen to enough of them maybe I’ll learn how to cook. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I’d learn how to draw chins and kneecaps. Oh wait — you said one thing. Chins. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Patrick McDonnell, Sofia Coppola, and nurses. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … there’s a character named after me in
a Dan Brown novel. I’m currently reading … the same Newsweek from three months ago. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … someplace that’s not 90 percent humidity in the middle of May! I am the most creative … after a good night’s sleep and a perfect cup of coffee. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … never put a cat in the same room as an open bottle of ink. I’d like to be remembered for … a scholarship fund for needy kids who want to get into this crazy business.
Michael McParlane nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is single malt Aquarelle Arches, one cube. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … PJs. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … wearing PJs. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — include … anyone with a Medal of Honor. Ronald Searle, Ralph Steadman, Thomas Rowlandson, let’s see... who do I have to suck up to... Amy Lago, Brendan Burford. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I’m shy and introverted. I’m currently reading … the instructions for building my daughter’s Victorian doll house. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in Winnipeg, Manitoba, gateway to the flat places. I am the most creative … person I know. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … never enough to learn one thing. I’d like to be remembered for … contributing to this questionnaire.
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Ron Ferdinand nnnn
Pine Bush, New York
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are 5.6 graphite leads 2B in a homemade leadholder, Pitt Artist pen brush point, Zig Millenium Marker .08, Strathmore 2-ply plate finish. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … oldies, lite jazz or DVD collections of old TV series like “St. Elsewhere” and “SCTV.” If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … being better able to capture the looseness of my pencils in my inking. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … in cartooning: Hank Ketcham, Marcus Hamilton and Mort Drucker. Non-cartooning: our servicemen and women. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I believe the Bible is history, not mythology. I’m currently reading … The Animated Man (A Life of Walt Disney) by Michael Barrier. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … back in ol’ New York. I am the most creative … depending on the daily circumstances. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … that life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. (John Lennon) I’d like to be remembered for … I’d like to be remembered — period!
Ray Billingsly nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is my crow quill pen. I love the texture of the line I can achieve according to the pressure I put on the point. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … a little background music. I find it hard to pick a “favorite” artist, group or instrumentalist. Every genre feeds a different aspect of my mood at the time. You should see the playlist on my ipod. If the TV is on while I’m working, it has to be something that doesn’t distract me. I enjoy English comedies, some PBS, History Detectives, WILW World, Independent Lens, classic movies, and The Mighty B. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … nothing. Freelancing early on trained me to be adept at different forms. What I might change is how I work. I’m very bohemian, highly undisciplined. I don’t have a set schedule — I’m not at the drawing board at a certain hour. But when I do begin, I dive in full-tilt! My concentration becomes so intense and centered that the day can literally slip by. I can even delay the feeling of hunger until I’m finished for the day.
He taught me panel composition, how to make a strip visually pleasing and how each panel should move a story line along smoothly. Charles Schulz was a great inspiration. We had a very good friendship. We would often speak by phone, and not only about the business but life in general. His father was a barber and my grandfather was also a barber, so we would share memories and stories. He suggested that I come up with some topic that would be unique to my strip. I developed a character to be the complete opposite of Charlie Brown — Derrick is the school bully, always giving Curtis grief. That’s why he has a round head! It was our inside gag. Then I developed the first story on what would become a series of Kwanzaa stories. It was to take me from my realm of Curtis and stretch my artistic wings. I used to wonder just why we hit it off so well, but then I stopped wondering, enjoyed the friendship, and felt blessed to have known him for as long as I did. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I did not have a good relationship with my father. He was very distant to me, and thought I was wasting my time cartooning — that it was a phase that I would grow out of. Even though I had been in print steadily since the age of 12. I did not like the man. It was not the close-knit relationship that Curtis and his dad enjoys. I’m currently reading … A Mercy by Toni Morrison. Good work!
Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … isn’t an easy one to answer. I’ve been fortunate to make a lot of good friends, and I wouldn’t want any of them to feel slighted. But, let’s see … Mort Walker is actually the first pro cartoonist I met. I think I was 16. He gave me a good talking to about the industry and how not to be intimidated, and do what I know is true. He’s still one that I listen to. He can really get on my case. Will Eisner was my instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York. The first time we met, I had already begun to make a name for myself in the industry. Will would look at my stuff and ask, “Yeah, but what else can you do?” He pushed me to do better than what I thought I could.
I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in Paris. I’ve visited several times and am always overwhelmed by the art. I am the most creative … when I can be alone or go to a park near my home, where I can look out over the water and let my mind wander. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … not to believe that everyone who smiles in my face, or shakes my hand, is necessarily a friend to be trusted. I’d like to be remembered for … my willingness to put 150 percent into a work that will stand the test of time. A work I am truly proud to put my name on. Hopefully, it will be of some inspiration to others.
Dan Martin nnnn
St. Louis, Missouri
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is a plain old Sanford 4H drawing pencil and a kneaded eraser.
I’m currently reading … Truman, by David McCullough. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in St. Louis or Washington, D.C., or Belleville, Ill., or New York City.
Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … the sound of silence when penciling. NPR or the baseball game when I’m inking.
I am the most creative … in my sleep. But I cannot remember anything when I wake up.
If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I would like to be able to draw twice as well, twice as loose, twice as fast, for twice the money.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … that the best way to tell if ink is dry is to really mash your fingers across it.
Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Dean Cornwell, A.B. Frost and Stan Musial. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is
that … I can’t afford a really good hair piece.
I’d like to be remembered for … drawing the old Post-Dispatch Weatherbird for many more years, and retiring before the newspaper industry’s wheels come off.
John Kovaleski nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are plain ol’ yellow No. 2 pencils and cheap-o Loew-Cornell brushes. But what I really can’t live without are calligraphy markers. I started using them when I did street caricatures to give me some line variation (in hopes of distracting customers from the mediocre likeness I drew of them.) Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … nothing, if I have to do some thinking. If I’m drawing, it’s music if my pianist missus is practicing; TV sometimes in the evening. Mostly it’s podcasts — NPR and pro wrestling (not a typo). If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I wish I was better with backgrounds. I seem to put in a horizontal line and call it a day. And I wish I worked faster. For someone with a simple style, I’m dang slow.
One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I own a straight jacket and know how to escape from it. I’m currently reading … Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean, by Douglas Wolk (a really great book), and a load of graphic novels for the “Graphic Novel to Film” class I’m teaching. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … somewhere closer to home so I could save money by driving instead of flying and afford to bring the wife so she can meet the “other family.” I am the most creative … in the evening. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … that you have to keep at it. I’d like to be remembered for … being a good cartoonist, storyteller and teacher. And a nice guy. And for my flowing mane of luxurious hair.
Mayfield Heights, Ohio
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … include 4x17 Bristol, a mechanical pencil, micron pens (varying thickness), Photoshop, babysitter. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … it’s usually the TV. I’d like to say it’s tuned to CNN all day, but most often it’s Comedy Central. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … to try harder not to worry about pleasing everyone. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … include my childhood art teacher. She taught me my skills, love of the craft, and creative license; My parents (for the sake of this question, I’ll morph ’em into one). They passed on the unlikely combo of humor and work ethic; and three, virtually every hardworking cartoonist out there, from comic strip/ gag artists to editorial cartoonists — I’m an admirer of many and my taste runs the gamut. There’s some self-admiration here — I’ll always be proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me
is that … I was known as “Dirty Terri” during my early greeting card years. I wrote some raunchy stuff. I’m currently reading … (simultaneously): Out of Egypt, The [New Yorker cartoons] Rejection Collection Vol. 2, and Mom, Jason’s Breathing on Me: The Solution to Sibling Bickering. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … my native utopia of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — home of Ham Fisher, anthracite coal, and some new spiffy green lampposts. I am the most creative … when I’m relaxed. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … to trust my abilities. And to stop saying “Cleveland” when asked the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” I’d like to be remembered for … being a great mom, a great cartoonist, and a kind person. Things I’d not like to be remembered for but probably will be anyway: my klutziness, my anal-retentiveness and my inability to hold my liquor.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Charles Schulz, Jim Henson, Penn and Teller (I count them as one entity).
Brian Fray nnnn
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … include my Staedtler Lumocolor permanent black fine markers, coated stock that I buy in bulk from my local print shop and Photoshop. And naturally, my high speed internet service. Well, I could live without them, I just couldn’t make a living without them. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … dead quiet — no distractions, especially when I’m writing gags. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that my style is pretty loose and I admire work that seems a bit tidier. I “I’m just sayin’ … somebody disappears, think about changing, but my work sells, so I’m not the next day we get stew!” going to mess with success. I’d also like to be less of a workaholic so I could get more done around the house. OK, that’s two things. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Bill Watterson for his amazing artwork,
Paul Jon Boscacci nnnn
San Francisco, California
Pen, pencil or Photoshop, Wacom or Strathmore — whatever: the drawing tool(s) I can’t live without . . . all of the above, plus a good drymount press. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … not TV. Music, but no (English) lyrics. I listen to Deephouse, Opera or mixes. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … nothing. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Ann Coulter, Justice Clarence Thomas, Bill Cosby and Kinky Friedman. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I have a tattoo that says “Tattoo.”
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … include my mechanical pencil, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Cintiq tablet. The tablet is a relatively new addition and it made me forget about the India ink and pro white that I used to cover myself with. Now I’m a much cleaner person — physically. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … music when I write — usually during Saturday and Sunday mornings. As for the rest of the week, I draw and try to watch TV at the same time. Please note this is incredibly difficult, unless my wife puts on that rancid HGTV (I suspect the Devil plays “Design on a Dime” in Hell regularly).
I’m currently reading … Ann Coulter. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in a Las Vegas strip joint. I am the most creative … when I’m in a Las Vegas strip joint. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … never go to a Las Vegas strip joint. I’d like to be remembered for … leaving them wanting more.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . my son John for his positive attitude and sense of purpose, and my wife Chris for putting up with me for all these years. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I hold a fourth degree black belt in Shorin-Ryu Karate. Also, I’m red-green color blind and have to be really careful when I work in color. I once sent in a cartoon and the guy had a green head. Dang, that’s also two things. Sorry, I never was good at following instructions. I’m currently reading … well, I’d like to say that I’m reading something intellectual or inspirational like Eckhart Tolle, but I’d be lying. I’m usually reading the latest James Patterson “Alex Cross” novel or something like that. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in Toronto or some other Canadian city for a change. I am the most creative … between 7 a.m. and noon. I’m a very early riser. I go downhill after that.
If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I’d love to work even faster, but that might involve illegal substances ... so I guess I’m OK for now. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Buddy Grace (one of the funniest people I know outside of an institution), Darby Conley (a cartoonist who really knows how to create lovable characters) and Scott Adams (a brilliant businessman and cartoonist). As for a cartoonist I don’t admire: Sean Parkes. He’s a mean drunk. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … my illegitimate brother, Buck Jones, tried to suffocate me with a Memory Foam pillow in 1988. I’m currently reading … a self-help manual titled Loving Too Much: A Guide to Hate. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in my hometown of San Francisco. I could host a few NCSers — with the exception of John Kovaleski. My toilet hasn’t been the same since his last visit. I am the most creative … with a cup of coffee in my hand.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … never envy anyone. Be happy with who you are and what you have.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … don’t buy Steve McGarry a Bud Light in a can. It makes him gassy and extremely agitated.
I’d like to be remembered for … being a decent man who lived his life with kindness, humor and integrity. That’s very important to me. I’d hate to think that people would say, “He was a fantastic cartoonist but a real jerk!”
I’d like to be remembered for … my new strip that I developed with the wonderful Amy Lago and the Washington Post Writers Group.
Bill Janocha nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is a No. 2 pencil — ever essential. Pens I continue to experiment with, but I use an extra-fine Sharpie for quick pieces, and regular india ink and pen nibs for standard art. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … music. Never TV. Music inspires; TV detracts. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I could ink faster using a crow quill. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Dr. Seuss, Sparky Schulz and painter Andrew Wyeth, now all gone. Can I add Johnny Hart? One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I was raised by wolves in the Black Forest. I’m currently reading … No Limits by Michael Phelps, who signed this copy to me in December. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held
I am the most creative … during the regular hours of 10-6, with evenings being family time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … that great friends and creators pass, but the industry pushes on. Other than that, I’m still experiencing life to see what else it can teach me. I’d like to be remembered for … a comic feature or film yet to be created — let’s hope the best is yet ahead!
Anne Gibbons nnnn
Bronx, New York
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … are Speedball B-6 nibs, Globe Bowl pointed mapping pens and Strathmore 2-ply Bristol. And although I came kicking and screaming into computer graphics, I now also need and love the Wacom tablet, Photoshop and Illustrator.
and I believe will continue to be — utterly spineless against corporate/government criminality. I also admire cartoonist Tom Toles, who seems to nail it every time.
Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … something I can only listen to if my drawing is far enough along that I don’t have to think. At that point I enjoy listening to radio programs archived on the internet. Sometimes radio dramas or music, more often thought-provoking political programs, programs about holistic health or interviews with authors and artists.
I’m currently reading … stacks of articles printed out from Web sites I like about politics, the economy, the mess we’re in and how to get out of it. I used to read only fiction, but that seems impossible to me these days.
If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … nothing.
I am the most creative … when I shut everything else out and just concentrate. No music, no phone calls, no nothing.
Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … former Congress member Cynthia McKinney and present Congress member Dennis Kucinich, because they’ve had the courage to tell the truth and take a stand while most of Congress has been —
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … always a challenge to shut everything out!
One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I love ocean kayaking.
I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in an inexpensive place that more members could afford to come to.
I’d like to be remembered for … telling the truth as I see it in as humorous a way as possible.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
… in Boston, Baltimore (to visit Geppi’s Entertainment Museum) or Las Vegas!
Doug Pike nnnn
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is a pencil. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … jazz or classical music. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work —
“I believe I said, ‘Sell my American Dental stock and buy me $50,000 worth of their debentures.’”
Mike Mikula nnnn
Pen, pencil or Photoshop, Wacom or Strathmore — whatever: the drawing tool(s) I can’t live without . . . all of the above. For inking, I’ve gone back to a Koh-I-Noor artpen after having used Pitt pens. I will use a brush, too, for more editorial or artistic styles. Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … silence, but on occasion music such as Chet Atkins or other guitaroriented stuff. Or if I’m just inking, I can watch TV. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … that I work in several different styles and have always been looking for ways to improve and not stay in a rut. So if there is a way to change for the better I keep an eye out for it.
Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Jeff MacNelly and Garry Trudeau (can’t you tell?) and, corny as it sounds, my dad (can’t draw a bath, though). One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I’ve been to thrice as many Grateful Dead shows as Mell Lazarus has been to Reubens. “I keep thinking we should include something in the Constitution in case the people elect a complete moron.”
I’m currently reading … several books on learning Flash CS4. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … on a lake where you can fish. I am the most creative … when a deadline is looming. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … not to run with a freshly sharpened pencil in my hand. I’d like to be remembered for … generations to come.
it’s … greater realism. Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Al Capp, Winston Churchill, the Planter’s peanuts’ guy (Mr. Peanut?).
Music, TV — if I have something on while drawing, it’s usually … frequently watching CNN, Atlanta being a company town. During Bush’s last year I was listening to “Blonde on Blonde” a disproportionate amount of the time. Could have been worse. My freshman roommate played “Desolation Row” every day for a semester. If there’s one thing I could change about my style — or how I work — it’s … the whole smash. It would be a complete tear-down. Have some fairy turn me into Richard Thompson.
Three people I admire — in cartooning or not — are … Pat Oliphant, Sam Gross and Tom Richmond. One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I’ve won 11 awards from the Ohio Associated Press Society for editorial cartoons and illustrations.
The drawing tool(s) I can’t live without … is the instantaneous access to thousands of images of every person, place or thing that has ever existed — infinitely helpful to any artist. Also, crystal meth.
I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … in Vegas. I am the most creative … after I take a dump.
One thing the NCS doesn’t know about me is that … I’m left-handed.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … never mix scotch and pineapple juice — never.
I’m currently reading … Astronomy magazine.
I’d like to be remembered for … being a good dad.
I’m currently reading … the stack of New Yorkers dating back to midsummer that I keep falling further behind on. And Confederates in the Attic, by Tony Horowitz. I’d love to see the Reuben Weekend held … hard to say. I sometimes find the venue competes with the renewing of friendships and mild hero-worship that make these weekends so memorable. Then again, you can’t beat a midnight stroll down Bourbon Street with Cagle, Coverly, Kovaleski and Parisi (did I leave someone out?). Maybe in a Zeppelin — if we tell Paul Jon it’s in Tijuana. I am the most creative … from 4 a.m. until whenever my children wake up. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s … do not become Facebook friends with Bucky Jones. I’d like to be remembered for … certainly not the answers to this questionnaire. Being the man who broke the “One Reuben Award per Lifetime” barrier, and fathering both a two-time U.S. Amateur champion and a Harvard Law Review president.
Mort Drucker Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 1987
from the 1994 Reuben Awards Dinner edition of The Cartoonist
Specialty art drawn by National Cartoonist Society members for publications issued to coincide with the Societyâ€™s annual Reuben Awards Weekend. 48
Hal Foster Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 1957
from the 1963 edition of the Reuben Awards issue of The Cartoonist
Charles Schulz Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 1955
from the April, 1998 Reuben Journal
Patrick McDonnell Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 1999
from the April, 1998 Reuben Journal
Productions, Inc. ©2016 Lynn Johnston
Lynn Johnston Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 1985 Specialty sketch, 1998
Dave Graue ©2016 James Kemsley
Unpublished specialty art drawn by cartoonists from private collections.
©2016 UFS, Inc.
From the Collection of ...
James Kemsley Specialty sketch, 2003
Specialty sketch, 1996
Â©2015 Warner Bros.
Milton Caniff Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 1946, 1971
Chalk talk drawing done at Port Columbus (OH) Naval Air Station, Oct. 7, 1954
©2016 St. Louis Post-Dispatch ©2016 Brian Basset
Brian Basset Reuben Newspaper Comic Strip Award, 2012 Presentation sketch in a copy of Minivanity – An Adam at Home Collection
©2016 Roz Chast
Specialty drawing of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Weatherbird, the oldest continually running daily cartoon in America.
Roz Chast Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 2015 1990 self-caricature drawn in a copy of Chast’s Mondo Boxo (Harper & Row, 1987)
Smokey Stover Â©2016 Tribune Content Agency LLC
Bill Holman National Cartoonists Society president, 1961-63 Smokey Stover specialty sketch, undated
The National Cartoonists Society (above)
Willard Mullin Reuben Award-winning Cartoonist of the Year, 1954
cover art from the program of the 16th annual Reuben Award Dinner, April 23, 1962
ABOUT THE NCS The National Cartoonists Society is the world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. The NCS was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops. They found that they enjoyed each other’s company and decided to get together on a regular basis. Today, the NCS membership roster includes more than 500 of the world’s major cartoonists, working in many branches of the profession, including newspaper comic strips and panels, on-line comics, comic books, editorial cartoons, animation, gag cartoons, greeting cards, advertising, magazine and book illustration and more. Membership is limited to established professional cartoonists, with a few exceptions of outstanding persons in affiliated fields. The NCS is not a guild or union, although we have joined forces from time to time to fight for member’s rights, and we regularly use our talents to help worthwhile causes.
PRIMARY PURPOSES OF THE NCS n To advance the ideals and standards of professional cartooning in its many forms. n To promote and foster a social, cultural and intellectual interchange among profes-
sional cartoonists of all types. n To stimulate and encourage interest in and acceptance of the art of cartooning by aspiring cartoonists, students and the general public.
THE HISTORY OF THE NCS The seeds for what evolved into the National Cartoonists Society were planted during the volunteer chalk talks that a number of cartoonists did during World War II for the American Theatre Wing. The Society was born at a specially convened dinner in New York in March, 1946, that saw Rube Goldberg elected as president, Russell Patterson as vice president, C.D. Russell as secretary and Milton Caniff as treasurer. A second vice president, Otto Soglow, was subsequently added. Within two weeks, the Society had 32 members: Strip cartoonists Wally Bishop (Muggs and Skeeter); Martin Branner (Winnie Winkle); Ernie Bushmiller (Nancy); Milton Caniff (Terry and the Pirates); Gus Edson (The Gumps); Ham Fisher (Joe Palooka); Harry Haenigsen (Penny); Fred Harman (Red Ryder); Jay Irving (Willie Doodle); Al Posen (Sweeney and Son); C.D. Russell (Pete the Tramp); Otto Soglow (The Little King); Jack Sparling (Clare Voyant); Ray Van Buren (Abbie an’ Slats); Dow Waling (Skeets); and Frank Willard (Moon Mullins). Panel cartoonists Dave Breger (Mister Breger); George Clark (The Neighbors); Bob Dunn (Just the Type); Jimmy Hatlo (They’ll Do It Every Time); Bill Holman (Smokey Stover); and Stan McGovern (Silly Milly). Freelance cartoonists and illustrators Abner Dean, Mischa Richter and Russell Patterson. Editorial cartoonists Rube Goldberg (New York Sun); Burris Jenkins (Journal American); C.D. Batchelor (Daily News); and Richard Q. Yardley (Baltimore Sun). Sports cartoonist Lou Hanlon and comic book cartoonists Joe Shuster and Joe Musial. By March 1947, there were 112 members in the National Cartoonists Society. At the end of 1946, Milton Caniff left Terry and The Pirates to create the adventure strip Steve Canyon, which debuted in 243 newspapers to instant acclaim. The following May, he became the first artist formally honored by the group as the “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.” The trophy was a silver cigarette box, engraved with Billy DeBeck’s Barney Google and Snuffy Smith characters. The Billy DeBeck Memorial Award
THE REUBEN AWARD for
Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year ....................... 1946 Milton Caniff Steve Canyon 1947 Al Capp Li’l Abner 1948 Chic Young Blondie 1949 Alex Raymond Rip Kirby 1950 Roy Crane Buz Sawyer 1951 Walt Kelly Pogo 1952 Hank Ketcham Dennis the Menace 1953 Mort Walker Beetle Bailey 1954 Willard Mullin Sports cartoons 1955 Charles Schulz Peanuts 1956 Herbert Block Editorial Cartoons 1957 Hal Foster Prince Valiant 1958 Frank King Gasoline Alley
1959 Chester Gould Dick Tracy
continued until 1953. The following year, the Reuben Award was introduced. In 1948, Caniff was elected NCS President. Rube Goldberg was named Honorary President and Al Capp became the second “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.” In 1949, the Society volunteered to help the Treasury Department in a drive to sell savings bonds by sending NCS members out on the road. A nationwide, seventeencity tour was undertaken by teams of ten or twelve cartoonists and a 95-foot-long traveling display. Through the Society, NCS members have continued to serve the nation in person and through their art. Teams of cartoonists have toured war zones and military installations around the world in cooperation with the USO. Others have entertained at VA hospitals. NCS members have also contributed to many U.S. government programs; their efforts have benefitted NASA, USIA, the Treasury Department Savings Bond division and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. Other beneficiaries have been the Boy Scouts of America, the American Red Cross and the United Nations. The tradition of lending our talents to worthy causes continues to this day. In 2001, for example, NCS members in the syndicated community dedicated their newspaper strips and panels to a Thanksgiving initiative that raised some $50,000 for victims of the 9/11 attacks, and members contributed a further $18,000 through the proceeds of a private auction.
1960 Ronald Searle Humorous Illustration 1961 Bill Mauldin Editorial Cartoons 1962 Dik Browne Hi and Lois 1963 Fred Lasswell Barney Google and Snuffy Smith 1964 Charles Schulz Peanuts 1965 Leonard Starr On Stage
LOCATION The official headquarters of the National Cartoonists Society are in New York City, with the Society’s business offices located in Orlando, Florida.
1966 Otto Soglow The Little King 1967 Rube Goldberg Humor in Sculpture
1970 Alfred Andriola Kerry Drake 1971 Milton Caniff Steve Canyon 1972 Pat Oliphant Editorial Cartoons
1969 Walter Berndt Smitty
1968 Johnny Hart B.C. and The Wizard of Id Pat Oliphant Editorial Cartoons
In addition, the NCS has chartered 17 regional chapters throughout the United States and one in Canada. The early 1990s saw the introduction of regional chapters within the NCS. Created to encourage a deeper participation and interaction among NCS members while furthering the aims of the Society, these chapters also afford members a more active role at the national level. The Chapter chairpersons also serve as members of the NCS Regional Council, which serves and advises the NCS Board of Directors. In addition, the position of National Representative on the NCS Board of Directors is held by a Chapter Chair who acts as a conduit between the NCS Board and the Regional Council. There are also many active Regional Chapters, including chapters in: Chicago, Connecticut, D.C., Florida, Great Lakes, Long Island, Los Angeles, New England, New Jersey, Manhattan, North Central U.S., Northern California, Orange County and Southern California, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Southeastern US, Texas, Upstate New York and Canada. New Regional Chapters are continually forming. The Regional Chapters convene on their own schedules, usually three or four times a year. They engage in a variety of social and professional activities and are always happy to receive visiting NCS members.
NCS MEMBERSHIP There are four classes of membership in The National Cartoonists Society:
1973 Dik Browne Hagar the Horrible 1974 Dick Moores Gasoline Alley
n REGULAR MEMBERS are profes-
sional cartoonists, the quality of whose work has been judged and approved by the Membership Committee. n ASSOCIATE MEMBERS are those individuals who work as professionals in the cartooning industry or whose expression of interest has been established. n HONORARY MEMBERS are cartoonists, surviving spouses or patrons of the art for whom the Society desires to express its esteem and appreciation. n RETIRED MEMBERSHIP is granted to existing members 65 years of age and older and retired.
1975 Bob Dunn They’ll Do It Every Time 1976 Ernie Bushmiller Nancy
If you are a professional cartoonist and are interested in applying for a Regular Membership or if you work in an allied field and feel you would qualify for one of the limited number of Associate Memberships, please contact: National Cartoonists Society P.O. Box 592927 Orlando, FL 32859-2927 407-994-6703 firstname.lastname@example.org
1977 Chester Gould Dick Tracy
ELIGIBILITY FOR REGULAR MEMBERSHIP Cartoonists who are currently earning a substantial part of their income from cartooning and have done so for at least the past three years; Work must be of a high professional quality and their reputation good. Application must include two letters of recommendation from NCS members, a short biographical sketch and samples of current work bearing a signature. Applications must be accompanied by a check covering one year’s dues, which will be refunded if the candidate is not accepted by the Membership Committee. A candidate is eligible for membership when accepted by a unanimous vote of the Membership Committee. If you are a professional cartoonist and are interested in applying for a Regular Membership, or work in an allied field and feel you would qualify for one of the limited number of Associate Memberships, please contact: Sean Parkes, Membership Chair 16647 E. Ashbrook Drive Unit #A Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
1978 Jeff MacNelly Editorial Cartoons 1979 Jeff MacNelly Shoe 1980 Charles Saxon The New Yorker 1981 Mell Lazarus Miss Peach 1982 Bil Keane The Family Circus 1983 Arnold Roth Humorous Illustration 1984 Brant Parker The Wizard of Id 1985 Lynn Johnston For Better or For Worse 1986 Bill Watterson Calvin and Hobbes 1987 Mort Drucker MAD Magazine
1993 Jim Borgman Editorial Cartoons 1994 Gary Larson The Far Side 1995 Garry Trudeau Doonesbury 1996 Sergio Aragonés MAD Magazine 1997 Scott Adams Dilbert 1998 Will Eisner The Spirit 1999 Patrick McDonnell Mutts 2000 Jack Davis Humorous Illustration 2001 Jerry Scott Baby Blues and Zits 2002 Matt Groening The Simpsons 2003 Greg Evans Luann 2004 Pat Brady Rose is Rose 2005 Mike Luckovich Editorial Cartoons
The National Cartoonists Society’s officers and Board of Directors are elected by secret ballot of the entire membership. The Board meets twice a year and a general business meeting is held annually during the NCS Reuben Awards Weekend. There are several standing committees, including Ethics, Social Media, Education and Publicity. These committees function as clearing houses for information pertinent to the rights of cartoonist members, help to air grievances and post warnings about any dubious practices of the firms with which cartoonists do business. The NCS, however, is neither a guild, nor a union.
OTHER NCS ACTIVITIES AND FUNCTIONS The Cartoon!st, the official newsletter of the National Cartoonists Society and distributed only to NCS members, covers the professional and personal activities of the NCS membership. It also contains general information of interest to the professional cartoonist, such as copyright laws, new publications, preservation of comic art, upcoming regional and national shows, events and conventions. The National Cartoonists Society sponsors special cartoonrelated excursions abroad. Recent destinations have included Canada, England, Ireland, Italy and Australia. The NCS and its Regional Chapters have also organized cartoon auctions for charity, art shows, educational seminars and golf and tennis tournaments. The National Cartoonists Society maintains relationships with other organizations for professionals in cartooning and various other fields of communication, both domestic and foreign. It works especially close with newspaper and publishing groups. The NCS also often provides introductions for American cartoonists traveling abroad. Through the National Cartoonists Society, members have served the nation in person and through their art. Teams of cartoonists have toured war zones and military installations all over the world in cooperation with the USO. Others have entertained regularly at VA hospitals in various parts of the country. NCS members also contribute tirelessly to certain US government programs; their efforts have benefitted such agencies as NASA, USIA, the Treasury Department Savings Bond division and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. Other beneficiaries of members’ talents have been the Boy Scouts of America, The American Red Cross and the United Nations. In 2001, the NCS organized the Thanks & Giving Tribute in the nation’s newspapers, syndicated cartoonists raising some $50,000 for the September 11 fund. The National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Awards Weekend is a gala annual
1992 Cathy Guisewite Cathy
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE NCS
1991 Mike Peters Mother Goose and Grimm
event, which takes place at a locale selected by the President, Board and the NCS Foundation. There, during the black-tie Reuben Award Dinner, the prestigious Reuben Award (a statuette designed by and named after the NCS’s first president, Rube Goldberg) is presented to the NCS’s Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. Cartoonists in various professional divisions are also honored with special plaques for excellence. These “Silver Reuben” awards are voted on by the general membership by secret ballot). Members and their families have enjoyed the annual get-together at recent locations such as: Washington, D.C.; New York, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Pasadena, California; Scottsdale, Arizona; Boca Raton, Florida; Toronto, Canada; Cancun, Mexico; Hollywood, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Boston, Massachusetts; Las Vegas, Nevada; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California and even on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.
THE NCS FOUNDATION The National Cartoonists Society Foundation is the charitable arm of the National Cartoonists Society. The Foundation was formed in 2005 to continue the charitable and educational works that have been a hallmark of the NCS since its inception in 1946. The National Cartoonists Society Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charity that works in tandem with the NCS to advance the ideals and standards of the cartooning profession, to stimulate and encourage aspiring cartoonists through scholarships and educational programs, and to provide financial assistance to cartoonists and their families in times of hardship, through its Milt Gross Fund. The Foundation also encourages the active involvement and participation of NCS members in the charitable and educational projects undertaken by the Foundation, thereby utilizing the Society’s greatest assets and strengths. The NCS has a treasured tradition of members donating their expertise and talents to good causes in person and through their art.
2006 Bill Amend FoxTrot 2007 Al Jaffee MAD Magazine 2008 Dave Coverly Speed Bump 2009 Dan Pirarro Bizarro 2010 Richard Thompson Cul de Sac 2011 Tom Richmond MAD Magazine 2012 Brian Crane Pickles Rick Kirkman Baby Blues 2013 Wiley Miller Non Sequitur 2014 Roz Chast The New Yorker 2015 Michael Ramirez Editorial Cartoons
........................................................................................................................................................................................... National Cartoonists Society, Inc. P.O. Box 592927 Orlando, FL 32859-2927 Phone: 407-994-6703 Fax: 407-442-0786 For further information, visit the NCS website at: www.reuben.org
“Do You Cartoon?” The Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship is here to help In these tough financial times, no one looks forward to taking on student debt. Now in its eighth year, the annual Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship aims to make that burden a bit lighter for those college students with an eye on a career in cartooning. To that end, the scholarship awards $5,000 annually to a rising Junior or Senior. (Applicants do not have to be art majors to be eligible.) But it’s more than just money that’s provided — it’s also an opportunity to meet professional cartoonists at the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award Weekend. The National Cartoonists Society Foundation has helped students from the College for Creative Studies, Ringling College of Art & Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, Savannah College of Art and Design, and UCLA. The most recent recipient is Tex Minos, an animation major at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada. The first winner of the Jay Kennedy Scholarship was Juana Medina, who now teaches at the Corcoran College of Art & Design. She has just turned in her illustrations for a children’s book called Smick, written by Doreen Cronin (Click, Clack, Moo; Duck for
President), which will come out this year. Juana has also signed a multi-book deal with Candlewick Press, for “a series loosely based on my childhood adventures, in my native Bogotá, Colombia, with my sidekick and dog-friend, Lucas.” The first of these books should be out in the Fall of 2016. (Juana also designed the promotional art for this year’s scholarship.) Chris Houghton, the second scholarship recipient, is currently a Storyboard Director on an upcoming Nickelodeon show called “Bad Seeds,” that premiered in early 2015. He has had similar duties on the animated TV shows “Wander Over Yonder,” “Gravity Falls,” and “Fanboy and Chum Chum.” In addition, Chris has done work for Adventure Time comics, Simpsons comics, MAD Magazine and his own creation for Image Comics, Reed Gunther. Last year’s recipient was Derek Desierto, an animation major at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada. Other recipients include Diana Huh, a storyboard revisionist for the
©2016 Derek Desierto ©2016 Juana Medina
©2016 Chris Houghton
©2016 Diana Huh
Titmouse Inc./Netflix show “Turbo FAST”; Charlotte Mao, who works at Launchpad Toys in San Francisco, a mobile gaming company that develops educational children’s apps; and Renee Faundo, a character animation major at the California Institute of the Arts. The Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of the late King Features editor, and funded by an initial $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation/King Features Syndicate as well as additional generous donations from Jerry Scott, Jim Borgman, Patrick McDonnell and many other prominent cartoonists.
` Charlotte Mao
For more information, visit cartoonistfoundation.org
©2016 Renee Faundo
Charlotte Mao Renee Faundo
Read it online at www.reuben.org
The NCS goes cruising! Jack DAVIS dreams es Tom RICHMOND caricatur Mark FIORE animates
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TY NAL CART OONI STS SOCIE A PUBL ICATI ON OF THE NATIO Vol. 1, No. 2
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I Ever Met
THENA TIONA LCART OON!S
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THE NATIONAL CARTOONISTS SOCIETY
The FREE digital magazine from the National Cartoonists Society, celebrating the best in cartooning, past and present! In depth features and...
Published on Jul 15, 2016
The FREE digital magazine from the National Cartoonists Society, celebrating the best in cartooning, past and present! In depth features and...