How a panel was nominated for comic strip award

I read this morning Pooch Cafe creator Paul Gilligan asking how a panel feature (Non Sequitur) was allowed to be nominated for NCS division award for best comic strip:

One eyebrow raiser, though: one of the comic strip nominations this year went to Wiley Miller for Non Sequitur. For those who don?t know, Non Sequitur is a well-decorated comic panel that is also available altered to fit comic strip proportions. Due to some loophole Wiley is able then to enter his comic panel in both the comic panel and the comic strip categories. He is a douche bag for doing so. And tsk tsk to the chapter in charge of the comic strip category this year for condoning this duel entry and demeriting the whole process.

Despite the strong tone above, Paul does praise Wiley, “And nothing against Wiley?s work itself, I actually quite like it.”

Because Non Sequitur is sometimes a panel, sometimes a strip with reoccurring characters, I emailed Wiley for a response. He writes:

I submitted two weeks of dailies featuring Danae. Non Sequitur is now a hybrid feature, where the continuing character, dialogue driven, 4-panel cartoons actually outnumber the single panel cartoons. I entered both comic strip and panel divisions this year, each with different material. Frankly, I was shocked to be nominated.

Aside from being a pioneer in 4-color separation coloring on Sundays, offering a vertical format for Sundays, offering the strip as both a horizontal panel and a normal upright one… Wiley’s now able to submit his work as a comic strip AND a panel. Let this be a lesson to you all. Don’t go up against the Wiley – he’s already thought things through much more than you have.

94 thoughts on “How a panel was nominated for comic strip award

  1. I’m throwing down the gauntlet — I’m going to start drawing my comic on a Mobius strip in the 4th dimension. The ball is now in your court, Wiley…

  2. I will let some of the NCS board members explain how entries in each divisional award category are judged if they care to, but as an officer of the NCS chapter that actually did the comic strip category judging, I can tell you that no “politics” were involved, as some pinhead on the Pooch Cafe board charges.

    If you visit that board, and are a member of the NCS, you’ll note that none of the postings come from actual NCS members, because we all know and understand how the judging process works. Their bitching just shows how uninformed they are about an awards system used by the NCS to honor ALL working cartoonists, not just fellow club members.

    Finally, for everyone’s information… if “politics” were involved as charged, Wiley Miller, who hasn’t even been an NCS member for years, would probably never be allowed to enter either the strip or the panel divisions. Why? Because Wiley and I were in a fairly nasty disagreement with some members of the NCS board about 10 years ago which led to his choice to leave the group. That difference of opinion ran its course years ago and we’ve all gotten on with the business of being fellow cartoonists and enjoying our commonality.

    I’m glad Alan brought this to everyone’s attention, but it’s basically a tempest in a teapot brought on by a cartoonist who shouldn’t be whining about not being a Reuben finalist and a bunch of fanboys who know nothing about the NCS judging process. Sorry to be going on so, but stuff like this just makes me tired and annoyed.

  3. “Non Sequitur is sometimes a panel, sometimes a strip with reoccurring characters …”

    Not just sometimes a strip, but more specifically, a predictable every-other-week schedule with respect to the Danae storyline.

    No one would question whether Fox Trot is still a comic strip, and it’s (unfortunately) only being published once a week.

    The title of this article is a little misleading, but obviously serves a purpose. Still, it would be accurate as, “HOW A COMIC STRIP WAS NOMINATED FOR COMIC STRIP AWARD.”

  4. Wiley’s doing something innovative, and people are angry? Bah. Stick it to ’em, Wiley. I like the panels better than the strips, but that doesn’t mean he’s not doing something cool. They’re just mad that they didn’t think of it first.

  5. Yes, Non Sequitur has some strips and yes, it has some panels. The issue is not in the judging of this by the NCS. The issue is that Wiley entered two categories with the one property.

    In a highly competitive field, I think that it is a little ungentlemanly. He didn’t expect two nominations, but because of his strategy another deserving cartoonist has been excluded. I would hope that that is something he does feel a little bad about.

  6. Quite a few “comic strips” often change the number of panels.
    I use to love the Pogo, Terry and the Pirates, and other one panel Holiday strips. There is not a thing wrong in entering more than one category. Look how many motion pictures win Oscars in several categories. Why not Comics? My congratulations go to Wiley Miller. Love his strip. I think Paul Gilligan is coming very close to “demeriting the whole process”. Wonder what Mike Peters or others who occasionally use one panel would think of this.

  7. Unless another award opens up for “best sometimes-panel-sometimes-comic strip”, I think it’s well within Wiley’s right to be nominated for both awards.

  8. Actually, Wiley didn’t win the Reuben. He hasn’t even been nominated for the Reuben. He won the panel category award three times and the strip category award once before. I know both Paul and Wiley and I really don’t think that Paul meant anything really accusatory with his post and certainly wasn’t suggesting politics, he’s a sweetheart and a funny guy and a fabulously talented cartoonist. And Wiley deserves to be nominated for the Reuben. Way overdue.

  9. Re: Paul Fell comment.
    Hi Paul. I’m the ‘pinhead’ you claim thought politics was involved in the process of selecting Non-Sequitur over Pooch Cafe. You need to read my post on the Pooch Cafe again without your obvious bias. Here is what I wrote on the Pooch Cafe website: “Nationalized health care just passed in this country and a majority of people didn?t want it to. Sometimes things happen that shouldn?t, just like Pooch Cafe not being nominated for the Ruebens this year. I believe many people feel the same way about their representatives as you do about the Non Sequitur nomination. Even in this instance, the comics imitate real life.” Paul Gilligan joked about Mr. Wiley “He is a douche bag for doing so”, hence my same way comment. How you can mistake this comment for believing I thought politics was involved in the selection is beyond me. In fact, I even clarified this further with this posting: “it wasn?t a political comment, it was a metaphor pertaining to the Ruebens not nominating Pooch Cafe but finding a way to nominate Non Sequitor. People in charge, no matter the situation, find loopholes for their actions. These two situations just happened to occur at the same time, hence the comparison.”
    Everyone at Pooch Cafe blog has a good time sharing stories and knowing each other. There is no bad talk about anyone or other strips. The comments are funny and thoughtful. Paul Gilligan is a very warm individual who shares his time and knowledge with his readers. He jokingly laughs at himself and other comics, always giving praise to fellow cartoonists. He opens to the readers like no other person I know. You can even buy original strips from him.
    Mr. Fell, I am disappointed that you, as a judge, attempted to clarify your selection by painting the cartoonist, the strip, and it’s readers with the broad stroke of a negative brush. I invite you back to the Pooch Cafe website to read ALL the postings. If you do, I’m sure your conclusions will have a different outcome than negativity.

  10. Bob:

    When you start to think negatively of me, go back and read Mark Tatulli’s description of what a nice guy I REALLY am. Of course Mark usually writes that stuff about his fellow cartoonists in a blatant attempt to cadge free drinks during the Reuben weekend.

    I owe ya, Mark.

  11. The bottom line on this teapot tempest is Wiley entered different content into different categories,

    Also, since NS is a hybrid comic, the work he entered was from a yearly total of what was only half of what his competitors had to choose from.

  12. Being another of the judges for this division from this particular chapter, all I can say is that Wiley submitted tear sheets from published newspapers of a strip that featured multiple panels in a comic strip format with publication dates that fell within the Dec 1, 2008 to Dec. 31st, 2009 criteria for valid entry. Thus he met all the necessary criteria for consideration for this divisional award. Other formats that his strip may or may not have additionally been published in is therefore immaterial.

  13. While the language is harsh, I think his point has some merit.

    My personal issue with the whole process is that cartoonists are selecting their own cartoons to be nominated instead of a more objective selection process. I’ve not sat down and come up with how to do it, but it could involve sales, where cartoons are seen, etc….

    I’m an not a member of the NCS for this very reason. I would feel strange nominating my own work. I think there are a number of cartoonists whose work had a better year than some who have won on any given year.

    On the face of it, it just seems the system has an ingrown toenail.

  14. “My personal issue with the whole process is that cartoonists are selecting their own cartoons to be nominated instead of a more objective selection process. I?ve not sat down and come up with how to do it, but it could involve sales, where cartoons are seen, etc?.”

    Dan… I’m not clear on your point. Do you feel that someone else should select the best work from a cartoonist and submit it? Most cartoon competitions ask the cartoonist to submit what HE thinks is his best work for consideration. Other individuals actually COULD submit a packet in nomination of a cartoonist, but I’ve never heard of that happening.

    The NCS divisional awards mean a lot to those who enter because they are not based on fan numbers, or sales, or circulation figures. They are recognition of outstanding work from fellow PROFESSIONAL cartoonists, and for that reason they are much sought after.

    Non-NCS members have no say in the rules and procedures for our divisional awards criteria, nor should they.

    The Academy Awards is judged by the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences, not the public. That’s where the People’s Choice Awards come in. Someone should institute a People’s Choice Awards competition for cartoons. We cartoonists could then sit back and let you, the public, decide which features are their favorites. Perhaps you should consider spearheading such a movement. I could, but then I would feel strange nominating my own work…

  15. Paul, I don’t think negatively of you at all, just disappointed as I stated. Let’s see, you used the terms pinhead, bitching, uninformed, whining, and fanboys. Pretty harsh words for people you don’t know.
    If I follow your logic, people should never have an opinion about something if they aren’t a member. Grammy awards, no opinion on the nominees as I’m not a member of the recording academy. Acadamy awards, no opinion on the nominees as I’m not a member of the actors guild. Government decisions, no opinion as I’m not a member of Congress. See where that road takes you? It would make for a dull, uninteresting world.
    You will never see a relief pitcher nominated for baseball MVP or a return specialist or field goal kicker nominated for football MVP. Even though they may be fantastic at their trade, it isn’t the same as the player who is on the field the whole game.
    Finally, everyone should be happy for the people who go to these cartoon websites. We are the ones pressing our local papers to keep the comics and not drop them. That in turn allows cartoonist to continue making a living at the trade they love to do and are so good at. To insult us is like biting your nose to spite your face.
    Paul, I have no personal beef with you. I’m sure we would become good friends while quaffing a beer or two. Tom, thanks for the input. And for the record, I like Wiley’s work. I’m glad he is breaking some of the barriers that confront cartoonists as they struggle to find space in today’s declining papers.

  16. The way it’s set up, as I understand, is that cartoonists are choosing what they want to send in for a small group of cartoonists to choose as winners in whatever category.

    I actually like your idea, Paul, of the “People Choice”. In fact, I think that’s a FANtastic idea. Have cartoonists, NCS members and non NCS members (all professional, though) send in work for the various categories. The cartoons get posted on a web site and there can only be ONE vote from each John and Joan Q. Public. Along with each cartoonists entry(s) is a blurb about where the cartoon appeared. Perhaps the weight could be voted in such a way as to include points for other elements concerning the cartoon. For example, a cartoon featured in the Reader’s Digest which will be seen by millions gets a number of more points than a cartoon having been published in smaller market like, say “The New Yorker Magazine.” This is just a general idea that would need more hammering out, but I think it would be a great way to do it. It seems more objective.

    I’m glad I have actually never even entered any of my work in the present process because if I had, then my comments might be construed by some (not that they won’t anyway) as sour grapes. They’re not. As a matter of fact, I’ve already commented to one person (he knows who he is) that I would not ever enter my own work into this award process as it presently stands. That’s nothing more than a personal choice.

    I certainly agree a lot of the best artists, many my own personal favorites, have won in this contest, and deservedly so. I just would like to see a John and Joan Q. Public version, or maybe even a hybrid of the existing process and the public version.

    Also, I think the “committee” should seek out great artists work who don’t submit their own work. There are a lot of them.
    When this doesn’t happen, it gives the impression of a closed boy network. You don’t have to be an NCS member to submit so why not have a committee who seeks out non submitting artists.

    Wouldn’t every feel their award was more meaningful if someone else choose their work …work that was published across the country and was seen by millions as opposed to JUST submitting your own material?

  17. “Also, I think the ?committee? should seek out great artists work who don?t submit their own work. There are a lot of them.
    When this doesn?t happen, it gives the impression of a closed boy network. You don?t have to be an NCS member to submit so why not have a committee who seeks out non submitting artists.”

    Chapters are allowed and in fact encouraged to do just that. It is up to the chapter. I know in the past our chapter has gone out and found work from cartoonists who have not submitted their own, both cartoonists who are and are not NCS members, and included them for consideration. I’ve seen cartoonists’ whose work is submitted in this way receive nominations and also win divisional awards.

  18. NS is both, so no reason it shouldn’t be entered in both. I think it takes a lot of talent to do either a strip well or to do a panel well, but to do both well is difficult. I think Wiley does both formats extremely well. This is a lot to do about nothing.

    My 2¢

  19. to Tom Richmond…

    I’ll preface my remarks by saying, I have never sought a NCS award or submitted my own work, etc, etc., but if what you say is true…

    (“I know in the past our chapter has gone out and found work from cartoonists who have not submitted their own, both cartoonists who are and are not NCS members, and included them for consideration.”)

    Then, I wonder why no one has ever submitted my work? (I’m speaking particularly of MY work because I know it hasn’t ever been selected and I don’t have firsthand knowledge of other cartoonists whose work was selected w/o submitting).

    Let’s look at the magazine division as an example…

    My work has been featured in the largest subscription based magazine in the country more times than any other cartoonist (RD’s words, not mine) in the magazine’s history. My work has never been selected and submitted by any group for the magazine category. Is there any place more highly visible than someone having their work constantly for years in a magazine like the Reader’s Digest. I think this is a good illustration to what I’m saying about how this process as it is seems to have blinders on it. Again, I’m just stating my case as an example. I DO NOT want nor do I need an award from NCS so don’t nominate me. I won’t accept with the process as it is. I just think my case (and I’m sure there are others) that are a perfect example of why there’s holes in this process.

    I could also make a strong case for what I said above using my greeting cards as an example. If you’ve ever looked at a greeting card display in the last 15 years, you’ve seen my work. Yet, again, nada on the being selected and submitted by any group for the greeting card category.

    Sure, some of you are reading this and thinking, “Reynolds just wants an award.” Well, you’d be fooling yourself. I REALLY don’t. And if anyone decided to test this notion by trying to throw me a bone, I’ll tell you upfront ….forget it. I DON’T want it. Believe it or not, I just believe that a broader, more inclusive method should be considered to engage a lot of great artists who are not part of the in group but are professional artists.

  20. To Dan Reynolds…

    Well, let’s take your magazine illustration division as an example.

    In the last 9 years since I have been a member, the award has gone twice to artists who were not NCS members and did not submit their own work… Peter de Seve in 2000 and Hermann Mejia in 2003. I don’t have a list of nominees for each year, but I can think of at a few others nominated for the award who were also not members and did not submit their own work, Steve Brodner (twice), Ralph Steadman and at least one other who was french but I sadly cannot recall his name.

    Even supposing that there were no others whose work was not self-submitted (and that’s a big supposition) then at least 6 of the last 27 nominations went to non-members whose work was submitted by others. That’s 22%. Nobody knows the percentage of actual considered entries that fit that description.

    I’d submit that is not a bad percentage considering chapters are not REQUIRED to go out and find work for consideration, but only encouraged to.

    As for why your work has never been submitted… how would you know it has not?? Maybe it’s been submitted every single year, but you’ve just never been nominated… along with thousands of other magazine cartoonist/illustrators who do nationally published work that have not be nominated for a NCS divisional award. It’ a big field.

  21. Looks like I opened a little can of worms with my comments about this. I?ve not properly met Wiley (I think we shook hands once), but I?m sure he?s a nice chap, and is undeniably talented and dedicated to his craft. I do keep one eyebrow raised by his double-category entering, though perhaps Alex Hallatt?s adjective ?ungentlemanly? would have been more tactful than the one I chose.

    The subject was being discussed among some comic strippers, and I thought I?d bring it out in the open on my blog. It is of course difficult to raise a point in a situation like this without it seeming like sour grapes, but I think shooting myself in the foot with this call out shows that I don?t consider getting nominations a high priority. I?m aware Wiley?s comic is in a gray area, Mark Tatulli (thanks for the nice comments, btw, Mark, which I think were meant for me, but we can both buy him a drink to be sure, Mr. Fell) and I had a discussion about how you would draw the lines between what was a strip and what was a panel, and it can be murky. And it seems Non Sequitur has moved even closer to the middle over the years.

    But since the NCS awards are more about us cartoonists simply appreciating each other than anything else, I just thought a better play would to select and submit to one comic category or the other rather than attempting to get both, and give those who work hard in their respective category their chance to enjoy the fun of a nomination ribbon pinned to their name tag on Reuben evening. However, the decision may have not been so cut and dry from the vantage point of Wiley or the judges. For those who feel differently, I humbly acquiesce.

  22. guy endore-kaiser

    Since you didn’t actually read my whole post, based on your response, let me pull out the part you missed.

    “Again, I?m just stating my case as an example. I DO NOT want nor do I need an award from NCS so don?t nominate me. I won?t accept with the process as it is.”

    If you did read my whole post, and still responded the way you did, my apologies. You must have meant to be obnoxious.

    To Tom…

    First, I’m reiterating my point above where I said,

    “Again, I?m just stating my case as an example. I DO NOT want nor do I need an award from NCS so don?t nominate me. I won?t accept with the process as it is.”

    Secondly, if EVERYTHING you said is true, and I’m not doubting it is, you just STRENGTHENED my point…how can a committee, a serious committee like this overlook that many years of being at the top of the game with the largest subscriber based magazine WITHOUT a nomination, at the very least??? Maybe I’m off my rocker here, but it seems sort of logical that a person’s work who has been at the top in the top market for so long would have

    Again, (and frankly, I don’t care if you or anyone else believes me…I DON’T WANT an award…My discussion here is NOT about me. It’s just that I can only use myself as an example because I am familiar with what I’ve done as a professional cartoonist. Would you like me to name others that SHOULD have been nominated or won by way of being selected by the NCS. I can. It’s just not my place to name these individuals. I’m using my work as a representative example of what’s not being done. Look at these other cartoonists that have out distanced their competition and who are not and have not been recognized.

    I understand why some would respond by trying to say I’m trying to get an award IF I hadn’t EXPLICITLY stated I don’t want one, but I did from the start. So, anyone who wants to make it about that is just someone who wants to get start fires when there is no need. Please don’t waste your or anyone else’s time with that sort of thing.

  23. Oh,
    I’d like to see someone address the ideas I spoke about further above when I was seconding the idea of another poster who posed the notion about a kind of People’s Choice for cartoonist’s work.

    No one commented on that.

  24. I see. You don’t want an nomination and couldn’t care less about one but you are wondering how in the hell your incredible work has never been nominated before which is obviously a travesty and completely supports your point that these awrds are invalid because had they been valid you would obviously have gotten a nomination before if not an award… but you repeat you DON’T WANT an award…. you’re just saying…

    Got it.

    I’m just going to slowly back away now…. easy… eaaaaasy…

  25. Without question, Dan, you are off your rocker. You and R.C. Harvey should definitely hang out.

  26. Paul,

    Personally, I think your strip is one of the best around and does a better job than 90% of the other current strips in doing what I thought a comic strip was supposed to do in the first place – be funny and make people laugh. It should have been nominated for the big prize a long time ago.

    And from the perspective of a dreaming wanna-be who is obviously not a professional cartoonist(heck I don’t even have a half baked web comic to sell t-shits with) you might have opened up that can, but I think you put it to rest in very professional, classy way.

  27. Tom

    I can see you just can’t help yourself. You have some need to insist on making this a personal matter even though I’ve been explicitly clear of my intent.
    That’s too bad. In essence, you’re calling me a liar. Good job, Tom.


    I’m not sure why you’re jumping on as well, and I don’t know who HC Harvey is.

    I was honestly trying to make a point here. I’m not sure why people are being nasty. I’m not sure if either of you two are NCS members, but if you are I hope this is not how they normally conduct business.

  28. Dan,
    My dad used to quote a saying to me that a lotta folks here in South Carolina are familiar with…….’it’s a poor dog that won’t wag his own tail’. Roughly translated, it means you have to be willing sometimes to brag on yourself…..and sometimes, to even take a chance to enter contests. I, myself, LOVE competition. I love to see how I stack up to others in my chosen field. I am a ferocious competitor……and sadly, not a gracious loser. (Never wanted to learn how to lose with style and grace….winning is much more fun). I have a wall full of awards ( 8 to be exact ). Only once in all of these wins did I enter myself. I am proud of myself for winning these…..not because I think I am the best….but because on those days or in those contests…..I was the best. 7 0f the 8 are S.C Press Association awards. The lone oddball is the Region 3 Mark of Excellence award I won this year. That is the only contest I ever took a chance and entered myself. I can tell you, it’s an odd, extremely gratifying feeling of accomplishment to know that mine were the best toons submitted by toonists in several states. I am now entered into the National level of competition for the MOE. If I am fortunate enough to win that… better believe I will have some serious sense of pride and accomplishment. If I had never taken that chance and entered, I’d NEVER have been able to experience this feeling. You can’t bemoan the fact that you’ve never won any awards if you haven’t even taken the chance on yourself. You say you don’t want any awards and yet seem to be indignant that you’ve never won. Who’s really to blame? You, my friend. You obviously have wondered how you stack up against your peers….and yet, you never take a chance. ARE you as good or better? Who knows? Maybe. My dad had one other saying I’d like to leave you with… ponder if you will… goes……’if you don’t ask the question, the answer will always be NO’. If I’d never asked that first editor to take a look at my toons and to run them in the paper, I’d never have done anything. I have a wall full of momentos that scream out in honor of my dad……’thank you for teaching me to draw….thanks for teaching me to be competitive….thanks for instilling in me the will to win…..thanks for teaching me to take chances. I draw editorial toons because I love it….not for the awards. The awards are a bonus….a reward for being a world champion tail-wagger! Take a chance, Dan… just might discover that you ARE the best…..and maybe even a pretty good tail-wagger.

  29. Dan,

    I read your whole post.

    It was an invitation for people to be incredulous that you haven’t been nominated for any awards yet.

    But nobody’s incredulous.

    Take from that what you will.


  30. Mike
    While I appreciate the sentiment….

    I don’t think you and everyone else who’s posting is understanding. I DON’T WANT AN AWARD. I DON’T NEED AN AWARD. IF YOU MAIL ME ONE, PUT IT IN AN SASE because I’m mailing it back.

    My chiming in here is NOT about what I Dan Reynolds, can get. I’m commenting on the process and using me ONLY as an example for others who would be/are deserving but have never have received a mention.

    This is the third or fourth time, I’ve said this. I could draw a picture. Is it so inconceivable that a person on the outside of this, who’s in the same business, could convey his opinion on this process w/o PERSONALLY wanting anything?

    I REALLY don’t.

    Okay, now that I’ve cleared that up. I only have one more thing to say….and that’s everything I just said in this post. Please read it again and refer back to it when questioning my intent.

  31. Guy…

    You seem to be a mean spirited person. Why you would speak to someone you don’t even know the way you do is sad. You can believe anything you want about why I do what I do. You don’t even know me.

  32. Cry me a river, Dan.

    You wrote a couple of the douchiest posts of the year, and now that people are pointing out how douchy they were, you’re retreating to the sympathy thing. What a boring, predictable tack to take.

    “My chiming in here is NOT about what I Dan Reynolds, can get. I?m commenting on the process and using me ONLY as an example for others who would be/are deserving but have never have received a mention.”

    So what you’re saying is that you’re a good example of someone who deserves an award but hasn’t gotten it? Tell me how I’m misreading that.

  33. I commend Alan Gardner for his patience when stuff like this starts its inevitable downhill slide.

    Do keep an eye on the topics and postings,though, Alan. A lot of formerly good cartoonist boards have withered on the vine due to professional cartoonists getting damn tired of getting into endless chicken and egg discussions with non-cartoonists who only visit to argue and complain from the safety of their home keyboards.

    How many times in this post have several of us tried to explain how the Reuben divisional awards work only to be told over and over again that we are dead wrong. I’m expecting that at any minute Sarah Palin will be chiming in to add her expert opinion.

    I’m tired.

  34. If I am “piling on,” Dan, it is because your conceit is so out of porportion that it is verging on the burlesque. Consequently, it is almost required that I mock you.

  35. I’ve told you already. You’ve DECIDED on your own what you think I am saying instead of taking me at my word. I know my intent. I’ve told you as much. You not only believe I’m saying something I’m not, but you have voiced and characterized me as being ingenuous.

    I know what’s in my heart. I also know, from your words, you believe you know what’s in my head better than I do.

    There’s no reason to try and continue a discussion with individuals who are berating and who are telling me what they think I mean instead of actually reading my posts. It makes no sense to read INTO posts.

    I was VERY clear as to my meaning and intent. For some reason, individuals who don’t know me from Adam, have decided to twist what I’m saying.

    Good luck to you.

  36. Dan, the first rule of cartooning is don’t take yourself too seriously. We do what we do primarily to please ourselves first, and then the hope is that we can also please others at the same time. Nobody is entitled to success, critically or financially.

    What I’m gleening from your posts is, while you don’t seek awards or even want them, you believe you are entitled to awards or at least a nomination because you deserve them given that you are “at the top of the game with the largest subscriber based magazine” and I assume you are talking about yourself when you write that you feel a person “at the top of the market for so long” should be thus acknowledged even thought you don’t want it.

    Is that right? Does anyone else on this board get a different impression from Dan’s posts?

  37. I meant to write “gleaning”. Gad, I’m such a boob. Now you know why I do a strip with no dialog

  38. Cut Dan some slack.

    He has accepted being the never-nominated Susan Lucci of cartooning.

  39. Just for the record, I DO WANT an award. I DO want and I DO need an award from NCS, so feel free to nominate me. I WILL accept with the process as it is. Again, I DO WANT an award.
    IF YOU MAIL ME ONE, I will keep it!

    jus’ sayin’.

    I will post this several more times just in case I haven’t made myself clear.

  40. “…you have voiced and characterized me as being ingenuous.”

    I promise you, we haven’t.

  41. “Someone should institute a People?s Choice Awards competition for cartoons. We cartoonists could then sit back and let you, the public, decide which features are their favorites.”

    There was one — the Squiddies — in which comic fans nominated their favorites in a variety of categories, then voted on the nominees.

    The awards began in the mid-1980s and ended in 2005 with the 2004 awards.

    In which Non Sequitur was nominated as best comic strip of the year, and Wiley was nominated as best political cartoonist.

  42. Guy
    I think you’ve shown what kind of a person you are on these posts. I don’t need to elaborate. I tried to talk substantively about a topic using my work as an example, and STARTED out stating I don’t want an award, then proceeded to tell my opinion about how I thought the process could be improved, and you tried to turn it into a personal issue for some reason.
    It seems were not allowed to voice our opinion about issues on this board. On the other hand, personal attacks seem to by okay.
    I’m not sure why this is okay, but it goes on.

  43. Do submitting tearsheets make a difference in the judging process (as opposed to regular computer printouts)? Do you think judges are swayed if they realize your comics are actually printed in publications?

    I don’t want an award either, which is why I’m willing to fly to Jersey this May to watch myself not accept one.

  44. Dan,

    Yes, Guy has shown that he’s the kind of person who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

    You can’t possibly believe that your argument has no conceit to it, or that repeating over and over again that you don’t want an award somehow erases that.

    You’ve stated pretty clearly that you believe the NCS has a bias against the work of non-members. Despite examples Tom has given you to prove the contrary, you think your own work is so good that its lack of a nomination suggests that he must be wrong.

    Whether you really want to win one or not, there’s no getting around the underlying premise of your argument. You’re basically saying the NCS division awards are bulls**t because you have never been spontaneously nominated for one. In fact, you’re saying your work is so good that you shouldn’t even have to enter to have it recognized.

    If that’s not conceit, I don’t know what is.

  45. So much drama. I don’t get it. My take:

    1. NCS is a private, fraternal organization that can give awards to anyone it wants for anything it wants. The fact that the award committees appear to be diligent and serious about their jobs, even to the point of considering the work of non-NCS members, is icing on the cake.

    2. Anyone who doesn’t want Wiley’s work to be nominated for best strip should do a better strip and submit it.

    3. Anyone who doesn’t want Wiley’s work to be nominated for best panel should do a better panel and submit it.

    4. I’ve got no more problem with Wiley’s work being considered in two categories than I have with the movie “Up” being nominated for an Oscar as both Best Picture and Best Animated Feature. It fits both.

    5. If Dan wants his work considered, he should submit it. If I take him at his word that he doesn’t, then what’s his beef? As Tom said, it’s possible his work was considered and didn’t make the short list. He’d never know.

    6. Life’s too short. It’s just comics. Anybody who can make a buck drawing funny pictures is already luckier than 99.9% of the people on the planet. Some perspective may be in order.

  46. Ted
    I’m setting up flogging post right next to me for you.

    I’ve now got to the point of actually laughing at your responses. (Not yours Ted). Instead of actually considering that the NCS can do something they do with some improvement, NCS members (some) are trying to redirect the issue CONSTANTLY to what they THINK I want.

    While I won’t believe it so, because I know some wonderful cartoonists in the NCS and some who have won awards and deservedly so, some of those on this board are sounding like they belong to the NCS (National Cult Society) where people have to follow some script..”The NCS is never wrong.
    “\The PATH is straight. We must follow THE Path. The Path knows all. People who veer from the Path must be piled on, pummeled, and paraded.”

    This is PATHetic.

  47. I’m not a member of NCS. I think the Reubens are BS, not because of Dan’s complaint, but because they so often seem to come out of left field. As in: “who?” (Which is true about all cartooning awards, except when I win.)

    I don’t agree or disagree with Dan’s complaint. I could go either way on whether contest judges ought to reach beyond entries to judge an award category.


    This thread is weird.

    Dan’s complaint, valid or invalid, ought to be judged and argued about or ignored on its own merits. Accusing him of secretly harboring sour grapes is sophistry. No one here knows whether he cares about winning this or any other award. Not everyone cares about awards. Why not take him at face value and discuss the merit or lack thereof of his criticism?

    As you were.

  48. No matter how loonie someone’s argument is, there will aways be someone to agree. Even Don Quixote had his Sancho.

  49. I think Dan never went Trick or Treating but complained that nobody gave him any candy.

    But I really just wanted to say that Wiley Miller’s work is incredibly cool and deserves the recognition.

  50. Ted
    All I can say is you and I have never met, we don’t know each other and yet, somehow, you have actually managed, despite all the gobbledy gook going on in these threads, to grasp what I’ve been saying. My apologies ahead of time if I’m also accused of lying about this and as a result you are tagged as a cartooning communist.

    Thank you for taking me at my word. After what transpired here, I feel sorry for anyone who has to go through the criminal justice system because, if this board is any indication of how it works, people are DEFINITELY guilty until found innocent.

    It seems it was a waste of my time to even suggest NCS look at this thing or, at the very least, to have a decent conversation about it.

    It would seem as indicated above that most here would just like to throw spit balls, stick “kick me” signs on people’s backs, and pile on from afar.

  51. Dan, I like your work. When you said “if you?ve looked at a greeting card display over the past 15 years, you?ve seen my work” ? that?s true. Walk into any Papyrus store across the country, and you?ll see a few Dan Reynolds cards on the shelves. I?ve even bought a few of your cards over the years. So, generally speaking, I?m in your corner. Except in this case.

    What you don?t seem to realize is that people reacted the way they did because of the *tone* of your posts, which come off as extremely arrogant. I think you brought up an interesting topic for discussion but did it in a clumsy way.

    It?s off-putting when someone goes on and on about how great they are. It makes most people uncomfortable, to say the least. You could?ve brought up this topic without the bragging ? especially suggesting that the NCS must have ?blinders? on because they haven?t recognized your work. How can that *not* be taken as arrogance? I?m sure that wasn?t your intent–that you didn?t mean it to be all about you–but that sure is how it comes off.

    When you use yourself as an example of unrecognized greatness, you are opening yourself up for ridicule, “spitballs,” etc. And you close the door on the chance for a good discussion on the topic. (Although I have to give huge props to Tom Richmond for making a valiant effort.)

    All that said, I’ll still buy your cards if I see ones I like. That won’t change.

  52. I once killed a weasel with a stick.

    Can I be the American League Hank Aaron Award winner this year?


  53. I’ve been the recipient of many Dan Reynolds cards over the years, even from my wife. People must think “hey, you do comics, you’ll like this”. And all I feel is jealousy that Dan Reynolds has so many damn cards out there.

    It’s not an award Dan, but it’s validation. (Plus, I think Scott Hilburn is ripping you off).

  54. Sorry, you read it that way, Scott. I can promise you that was not my intent, but then again, it doesn’t matter what my intentions are, for the most part, with this group.

    I felt I needed to give an example of work that could be, but wasn’t ever given noticed. If you feel that mentioning my work as an example is bragging on myself, I guess your welcome to that opinion. I assure you that was not my intent. i felt I needed to give a concrete example of what I meant. This is what I did. If I just made my statement vaguely, without example, I don’t feel I could have made my point succinctly. I could have used some other example of cartoonists who feel the same way, but I did not feel it was my right to bring someone else’s name into the discussion. If I had, folks would have surely given me a hard time for doing so.
    Again, if some want to paint me with a certain brush, be my guest. I, frankly, don’t give a rat’s buttocks what people who call or infer I’m a liar think. I stand by my example of using my work’s accomplishments (for the reason I gave above), and without naming names, I include a number of other cartoonists whose work definitely deserves, more than many, to, at some point, have been given a nod, but hasn’t.

    The fact that these cartoonists have never been given the time of day as regards to the NCS is not just an oversight. In my opinion, it’s a result of the NCS being more of a closed system than an open vehicle to promote what’s best in the world of cartooning.

    This whole discussion began as a result of what Paul Gilligan said,
    “some loophole Wiley is able then to enter his comic panel in both the comic panel and the comic strip categories. He is a douche bag for doing so. And tsk tsk to the chapter in charge of the comic strip category this year for condoning this duel entry and demeriting the whole process.”

    I don’t condone calling Wiley a “douche bag”. That’s over the top. I do think the point that the NCS is allowing the same person to enter into BOTH of these categories is wrong. This goes to my point…that the NCS spends too much time promoting it’s “in” members and not enough time giving a realistic representation to cartoonists who have made certain impacts in the cartoon business.

  55. Rodd,
    You need to converse with Guy more. You work together, right? According to his posts, I’m evil incarnate.
    That’s not a nice thing to say about Scott Hilburn especially considering what people around here think about me.

    Okay…I’m signing off this posting bit. I’ve wasted WAY too much time on this, admittedly so.

  56. Err … as has been pointed out, Wiley isn’t an NCS member. So Dan’s notion that the NCS is promoting “it’s in members” holds no water whatsoever.

    Unless I’m missing something, Dan appears to be complaining about an awards process that he hasn’t bothered to research and has never entered, which is run by an organization of which he is not a member and has very little knowledge.

  57. Just out of curiosity, I looked at this year’s nominees at http://www.reuben org … and as I thought, it appears that the majority of this year’s nominees are not members of the NCS. (The full roster of NCS members is published on the site for all to see.)

    I’m also fairly certain that a good proportion of those nominees will not have submitted for consideration … particularly in the two animation categories, books, comic books, etc.

  58. According to the front page of Dan’s website, he’s “one of America?s favorite cartoonists”

    Also according to Dan’s website, “His cartoons have appeared on HBO’s, The Sopranos,” which no doubt has him P.O’d that he hasn’t won an Emmy.

  59. @ Mark: No no – it just means that the Emmys aren’t serious and have no credibility.

    Dan, I know you’re not looking for an award; I accept that fully and completely. Saying that an award system lacks merit because they’ve (apparently, no one knows for sure) never selected you personally really is hubris, and there’s really no way around it. Again, like Tom said, how do you know for an absolute fact that you’ve never been included even once in the selection process? From Tom (with my apologies for lifting his words):

    “As for why your work has never been submitted? how would you know it has not?? Maybe it?s been submitted every single year, but you?ve just never been nominated? ”

    I don’t know what’s wrong with that and how it would bolster your argument. Seems clear enough to me, but I’m just a regular Joe.

    As to Mr Miller, I don’t have a horse in this race and I guess I can see why Paul might feel it’s less than gentlemanly, but I don’t agree. Good luck to Mr. Miller and all the nominees.

    A question for Mr. Miller: as a nominee, are you planning on going to the Reuben Awards weekend?

  60. Mark
    Not sure what your problem is with me.

    You said…according to Dan?s website, ?His cartoons have appeared on HBO?s, The Sopranos,? which no doubt has him P.O?d that he hasn?t won an Emmy.

    My work DID appear on the Sopranos. If you have the first episode, I believe it was, of the 2002 season, go to the last part of the episode. I never watched the show, but was contacted by the producers and asked if they could use my work because the character …a mother of one of the younger characters..I don’t even know their names because I never watched the show…was a Reader’s Digest fan. The son of this mother, in the episode, had killed someone and come to his mother’s apartment. He had a $20 bill that he had taken from the person he killed. At the end of the episode, he put that $20 bill on the refrigerator. For a minute or two or so, they focus on the bill in a close up with my cartoon all around the bill..

    I think making the Emmy comment is being rude. How is it people come on this board and are so rude to people? Would you walk into a room and having never met me or someone else you decide to slam, and not knowing me or them from Adam, start making comments like that?

    My work has also been on the Discovery Channel’s Science Channel as well. If there’s a category for that, I’m also not interested.

    We are in agreement about one thing, I’m NOT going to be nominated for anything and that’s a good thing because I don’t want to be …this is a good thing. Though you keep jumping over my point that I DON’T WANT TO BE NOMINATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My point for writing is how can you call your nominating process objective in any way when your magazine category, AS ONE EXAMPLE, has never nominated a cartoonist whose work has appeared more times in the LARGEST pubilically subscribed to magazine in the country? No one can answer that. The reason is because there IS a problem in the way the NCS goes about it’s selection process. I’m sorry if my pointing this out is disruptive to some who have never been nominated, who have been nominated and don’t like the fact that there may be some who were actually more deserving of the award.
    I AM in a position to point out this flaw and that’s what I’m doing. So go out there and actually find those artists in all of your categories that MOST fit in with the concept of achievement. Perhaps the NCS may have done just that in many categories, but since they’ve not in the magazine category for a number of years, I think it’s fair to assume there are other oversights.
    Is it bold to drag this into the light. Perhaps. Perhaps not. I have nothing to gain because I don’t want a darn award. I have nothing to lose because I’m not a member. I’m offering my OPINION on this matter because sometimes, believe it or not, a person on the outside can see things a little clearer.

    The NCS can reject my opinion. It’s just my opinion. They can even reject my intent. I can’t control what people think of me. But I really am trying to interject a notion here that it is possible that the NCS could take a look at the process they use to include some who have been long overlooked (whether the submit, don’t submit, whatever).

    Despite the obvious disdain some individuals express on this board for me, and I’m not sure why because I don’t really know anyone here, I’m not as you seem to imagine me. I apologize if anything I’ve said has upset you.

  61. Lord knows, I know all about how tone can piss people off more than content. But we’re cartoonists: people who work in pictures and words.


    Which means we ought to be able to focus on the content of a post rather than obsess over its tone.

    Dan’s point, which I don’t have an opinion about, still hasn’t been discussed after 73 posts.

    Can someone who knows about the NCS process please answer it so I can go back to baiting Scott Kurtz?

    P.S. Scott–I haven’t heard from SDCC. Have you?

  62. Dan, if your last diatribe can be turned into a one-man show, complete with heavy emotional moments (as emphasized by your liberal use of all caps), dare I say it?

    I smell a Tony award for you, my friend!

  63. >>>>Can someone who knows about the NCS process please answer it so I can go back to baiting Scott Kurtz?

    As awards chairman for the NCS for a number of years I’ll take a crack at it.

    The NCS chapter jury system is so far the most efficient system the organization has come up with. It is based on other artist’s organizations awards and in many other ways it is more Democratic.

    The awards are NOT based on how many cartoons you sell and to WHAT markets you sell them in. A New Yorker cartoonist or a Readers Digest cartoonist gets no more consideration than a cartoonist whose work appeared in a lesser known publication. It is the WORK and artistic abilities of the cartoonist that is judged, NOT the magazine it appeared in.

    The judging of the work submitted is based solely on it’s artistic merit not it’s circulation numbers as Dan suggested.

    Dan’s lack of nominations or winning of awards (Awards he doesn’t want, I get it…) may have more to do with several things:

    1. The aesthetic tastes of the juries. Let’s say someone submitted Dan’s work to a jury on his behalf in the past and he neither was given a nomination or an award. It could be that the jury felt it didn’t warrant one. Surprising, yes, but it does happen.

    2. The lack of his work being submitted for consideration. If Dan doesn’t submit his work or no one else does on his behalf, how can the jury even be aware of it? I know, we should all be aware of work of the most popular cartoonist in america but sometimes these things slip through the cracks.

    3. Given the fact that Dan has, in the past, been vocal that HE DOES NOT SEEK NOR WANT an NCS award.

    Perhaps a chairman or jury member was aware of this fact and just doesn’t consider Dan because of it. If that’s the case, the NCS has just taken him at his word, just as the Academy of Arts and Sciences never nominated George C Scott again once he made his feelings clear refusing the Oscar for Patton. They jury probably felt, hey, Dan deserves this award but he already told us he doesn’t want it…you stupid idiots, why would you want to embarrass America’s favorite cartoonist by making him refuse the NCS magazine division award? Have you no sense of decency?

    As for Dan’s input into improving the NCS awards process, I’ve seen nothing he suggested as either being practical or original….but then again he really doesn’t care and has made that quite clear in his previous 15 posts in this thread on the subject. Now will you all just leave him alone?

  64. Dan’s point was addressed directly and politely by NCS members in posts #16, #19, #24 and others. Counterpoints were offered as well as examples that the NCS has nominated plenty of non-members who didn’t submit their own work over the years. Examples that suggest his assumptions about their nominating process are inaccurate.

    People only became unkind after Dan insisted his own lack of a nomination (for an award HE DOES NOT WANT!!!!) flew in the face of those examples. There must be something wrong with the system if no one has ever nominated him, or other cartoonists like him that he refuses to name … because it’s not his place to name someone he thinks has been woefully overlooked for an award other than himself … which he’s only using AS AN EXAMPLE!!! HE DOESN’T WANT AN AWARD!!! Stop saying that he does! You don’t know him!

    Dan continues to ignore the good points that have been made in favor of playing the victim, so I think he’s getting about as good as he deserves at this point.

  65. @Scott: Thanks.

    @Norm: #19 comes close. But there hasn’t been a discussion about whether award judges OUGHT to look beyond entries.

  66. Dan, for what it’s worth, the guy who won the Greeting Card Division award last year did not enter his own work and was not a member of the NCS. For what it’s worth.

  67. “My point for writing is how can you call your nominating process objective in any way when your magazine category, AS ONE EXAMPLE, has never nominated a cartoonist whose work has appeared more times in the LARGEST pubilically subscribed to magazine in the country? No one can answer that.”

    I believe I can answer it.

    There hasn’t been a SINGLE year when the majority of people who vote for that category think Reynolds Unwrapped is one of the THREE best magazine comics of the YEAR.

    Also, and maybe this will come as a shock to you, no one has ever called the nominating process objective. They’re judging art. Of course it is subjective. Did you not realize that?

  68. @Ted: I don’t know that that discussion needs to happen. According to a few here who are in the know, the NCS does look beyond entries, so unless someone thinks they shouldn’t, what’s the point?

    I thought Brian Fies put it best in his post #51.

    “NCS is a private, fraternal organization that can give awards to anyone it wants for anything it wants. The fact that the award committees appear to be diligent and serious about their jobs, even to the point of considering the work of non-NCS members, is icing on the cake.”

  69. Dan, I really like your work. I’m just wondering why you care about all of this.

    I haven’t heard of an award that wasn’t accused of being rigged or full of a bunch of insiders appreciating only each other.

    Unless, of course, somebody wins the award. Then they stop saying that.

  70. One thing for sure I have gleaned from reading almost every post, except Ted’s and maybe another, and that is you are all absolutely positive my motive for ever speaking up about this is I have a hidden, well, I guess you would say an unhidden desire to have been nominated, won, etc a Reuben.
    After 82 posts, even as thick as I may be, I’m speaking to the wrong group.
    Ted probably makes my point more succinctly than I have,

    Stephen makes a great point as well…

    “I haven?t heard of an award that wasn?t accused of being rigged or full of a bunch of insiders appreciating only each other.”

    Guy’s right, too, point out is is totally subjective. The best point is also Guy’s when he says…

    “Also, and maybe this will come as a shock to you, no one has ever called the nominating process objective.”

    You got me there. I think this is the essence of my angst with this whole thing.

    Lastly, Steve, you asked, “I?m just wondering why you care about all of this. ”

    Me, too, Steve. Me, too.

  71. @Teddy Rallcats and Scott “So Not Sexy it Hurtz” Kurtz,

    Are you implying that the both of you will be at the San Diego Comics Convention? If so, I think the two of you may have the perfect opportunity to save newspaper comics and elevate webcomics.

    How? By sitting on a panel together where a discussion about newspapers versus webcomics devolves to the point where the two of you end up in an impromptu sumo wrestling match. It would be an entirely fake WWF-style brawl, of course, but national news media would be all over it and the two of you would experience a major traffic explosion.

    And since it would happen at a comics convention, you’d have a variety of implements within reach to use as weapons. Folding chairs, folding tables, microphone stands, nerds, etc.

    For guaranteed media-attention, one of you should continuously shout “KILL THE BILL, and read newspaper comics and Reader’s Digest cartoons!” while the other dons a sumo-wrestler’s diaper-thong fashioned from a t-shirt. (You see how I did that? I slipped a plug in there for a webcomic. I should charge cash money for this advice.)

    Anyways, just an idea.

    @Dan “THE MAN” Reynolds,

    I’m pretty sure everyone here is joking. I mean, come on, we’re just a pack of philistines.

  72. Wanderlei Silva

    If I haven’t forgotten my days in Latin class, your last name means “Forest”, and I’m not so sure about the first name, but could it mean, “Wandering”? Perhaps your name means “Wanderer in the forest”? Just an educated guess. Am I close?

    As for your comment above, if by “joking”, you mean “making snide remarks and inferring (which is a nice way of putting it) I’m a liar while piling on…then, yes, I guess I would agree with you.

    There are nice ways of disagreeing with people and caring on a conversation. What went on above in many instances was the antithesis of that…but that’s okay. What’s most important for me is knowing why I put forth what I did. Just because people want to try and twist it by saying I am just mad because I didn’t get an award is silly and meaningless because it has nothing to do with the truth.

  73. What web/toon debate debacle?
    Is one more legit than the other?

    Please elaborate….

  74. This has been hilarious to follow. You people are funny even without the cartoon to go with it. I was in way back in the good old days….#11 and #17

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