This past weekend (May 22-24, 2015) was the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards weekend. This year I was lucky that NCS came to Washington, DC -- as I did not have to travel far. I had been to my first Reubens two years ago in Pittsburgh (2013 recap here) and it really is such a blast -- it's also known as "the Oscars of Cartooning" to many.
I helped to provide copies of Magic Bullet for the attendee goody bags. Most people received issue #9, which is the western themed issue I edited with a cover by Nick Galifianakis. I saved a few extra copies in my garage for about 8 months since I knew Nick was going to be a speaker. Magic Bullet is Washington, DC's comics anthology in a large publication newspaper format.
Friday kicked off with buses taking us from the host hotel to the Library of Congress for The King Features Syndicates 100th Anniversary Panel moderated by Brendan Burford. The event was free and open to the general public. Panelists included Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Brian Walker (Hi and Lois), Jeff Keane (The Family Circus), Hilary Price (Rhymes with Orange), Ray Billingsley (Curtis), and editorial cartoonist and Mother Goose and Grimm creator Mike Peters.
Mother Goose and Grimm was an influence to me growing up and I remember watching the animated TV show, Grimmy. Mike Peters was very magnifying and I can't believe he is 71 years old. Seriously. He has more energy and youth than most people my age.
Throughout the weekend there were presentations by Mark Anderson, Juana Medina, Doug Mahnke, Nick Galifianakis, Brian Crane, Mort Drucker, Ann Telnaes, a "History of the NCS" panel and film, and more.
Jason Chatfield and Tom Gammill created a great film that introduced The Reuben Awards -- a spoof called "Alpha House of Cartoons" (references Alpha House and House of Cards -- both DC infused TV shows).
This year, since I did not have to travel far or pay for a hotel, I decided to design a dress and create custom fabric featuring characters from my comic strip, Curls. There is a seamstress I've met thru exhibiting at several comic conventions and I inquired with her about making the dress for me. Above you will see my original sketch for the dress and fabric pattern I designed. Gina from Super Sox Shop brought it to life. I'm really glad to have produced a fun dress like this and thankful for Gina's talents. I'd like to wear it to a few more events -- maybe NYCC this year, but we'll see!
Roz Chast won the Cartoonist of the Year Award. Unfortunately, she had other obligations already booked for the night and could not appear, but we did watch a per-recorded video of her acceptance speech. She is the third woman to win the award since 1946 (Cathy Guisewite won in 1992 and Lynn Johnston won in 1985). Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!
The weekend ended with a "Haunted Farewell Party" as the Omni Shoreham Hotel is rumored to be haunted with spooks. I dressed as Morticia Addams -- Teresa Roberts Logan (dressed as Grandmama Addams) helped to make black shreds on my dress. Originally we tried to get a gang together to do "The John Quincy Addams Family" and ended up with a complete group of misfits -- and that's the way we like it too.
Thanks to Tom Richmond, who has been president for the past four years. He and his wife Anna have strengthened NCS and I really appreciate what they have contributed to the organization.
Also thank you to Michael Cavna for writing this excellent piece about this year's Reuben Awards as well has taking the photo above to capture the moment of Michelle Mahnke, Jean Schulz, and I.Jean Schulz, Michelle Mahnke & @CarolynBelefski meet @ DC #Reubens. @Snoopy @PeanutsMovie #ReubensWeekend pic.twitter.com/1p1zJSGZbY— Michael Cavna (@comicriffs) May 23, 2015
And thank you to Martha and Sara from the Library of Congress for hosting the Friday morning event.
Hanging out with cartoonists for a weekend is always a great time and I was glad to see increased participation from DC area cartoonists. I hope to attend the Reubens in the future again.
Many more photos are up on the Curls Studio Facebook page. Check them out here and give us a "Like."