The National Cartoonists Society Foundation (NCSF) has announced that this year’s winner of the 2009 Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship is Chris Houghton, a junior at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan where he studies illustration. Houghton was chosen from among 120 applicants for the award, which includes a $5,000 scholarship and a trip to the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award weekend in Los Angeles in May. The scholarship applicants submitted up to five examples of their work along with an entry form that included short essays on their current and future plans in cartooning. Entries were judged by a jury of eight professional cartoonist who are members of the board of directors of the National Cartoonists Society Foundation.
Houghton’s studies at the College for Creative Studies have included character design for animation and writing and illustrating his own comics. He has also submitted gag cartoons and spot illustrations for the school’s student magazine. Aside from his class work, Houghton has also dabbled in freelancing including working on T-Shirt and logo designs and drawing caricatures at events.
Last summer he illustrated a 130 page NASCAR coloring book and is currently doing illustration and concept art for a children’s video game company. He would like to do magazine illustration and work in animation.
The Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship is an annual award established in memory of Jay Kennedy, the late King Features comics editor, from an initial from the Hearst Foundation/King Features Syndicate and additional generous donations from other prominent cartoonist. It is administered by the National Cartoonists Society Foundation. The scholarship is awarded to a college student in the United States, Canada or Mexico that will be in their Junior or Senior year of college during the following academic year, selected by a panel of professional cartoonists.
Houghton will receive his award and meet the professional cartoonists who selected him at the National Cartoonists Society’s Annual Reuben Awards banquet in Los Angeles on May 22nd.