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Predictions to the Reuben Award weekend winners

Hogan’s Alley has posted their annual prediction on who will win the big Reuben Award and division awards tomorrow night. I’ve listed their predicted winners here – but go over to his google group to understand his arguement.

Comic Book Division Award: Paul Pope (“Strange Adventures”)
Editorial Cartoon Award: John Sherffius
Gag Cartoon Division Award: Dave Whamond
Animation Feature Division Award: Ronnie Del Carmen (“Up”)
Television Animation Division Award: Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”)
Newspaper Illustration Award: Bob Rich
Newspaper Panel Award: Tony Carillo (“F-Minus”)
Graphic Novel Award: Seth (“George Sprott”)
Greeting Card Award: Glenn Mccoy
Advertising Ilustration Award: Mort Gerberg
Newspaper Strip Division Award: Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman (“Zits”)

And the big one, The Reuben Award is predicted to go to: Dan Piraro (“Bizarro”)

I’ll be posting the actual winners as I learn about them – hopefully in real-time or early Sunday morning.

Community Comments

#1 David Reddick
@ 11:02 am

I know this is the WRONG thing to say here, but as usual, I read this listing of the awards and I have GOT to point out this very shameful FACT:

The NCS recognizes this category:
Television Animation Division Award: Seth MacFarlane (?Family Guy?)

You know… Seth MacFarlane, who gets paid 100 million a year now for Family guy… but…

There are a plethora of FANTASTIC WEBCOMICS, yes, the term WEBCOMICS, you know, those comics published exclusively on the web, on ipads, on ipods… that yes, are DISTINCTLY NOT the same as newspaper comics, and yet…


It sounds a little pathetic to beg for it, but as somone who always has, and still does hold the National Cartoonist’s Society, an amalgam of some of my heroes, the best and brightest, etc. out there, it would be nice to not feel l ike the trailer trash cousin Randy from Nat’l Lampoons Vacation movies lookin’ out my broken window at a 100 million dollar man get his ass kissed by a good ol’ boy club.

There, I said it. I will be barred from the NCS forever, but F*** it.

#2 David Reddick
@ 11:14 am

I want to point out that I have been invited to join the NCS by some awesome guys. I do not think the NCS is a bad organization, and I don’t harbor ill-will in any way towards them. I just do NOT get the absence of a growing, viable market for cartoonists that deserves recognition for the hard work and dedication to craft as I see out there. I think it shows a lack of understanding, of not being “up with the times,” and I consider it a form of snobbery towards what MIGHT be percieved as a low-to-none income form of comics. But, LOL… I want to know why? Is it an income thing? Because I was unaware that income level had a THING to do with quality or deservedness towards recognition towards this beloved craft. That being said, I know plenty of newspaper cartoonisst who are not making jack on their newspaper comics, which is shameful in itself, but another conversation. I am asking the question, blatantly: WHY?
Man. I gotta lay off the caffiene and gangsta rap music during lunch.

#3 Tony Piro
@ 11:26 am

Thanks David! I’m glad you were the one to bring this up.

#4 George
@ 11:42 am

I agree with David’s points. I believe that webcomics should be included in some form or manner into the NCS awards. Some may argue the validity of webcomics, but I feel that we are a growing, formidable force in the industry regardless of income.

I believe that webcomics are comparable to the independent comic companies in the ’80’s. It was generally felt that if you weren’t published by Marvel or DC, then you weren’t a “real” comic book company. But many companies emerged during that era that were respected, sought after, and copied eventually by the “Big Two”.

We webcartoonists are now the independent companies of the future and we should be recognized. There may be a plethora of low-quality work out there on the internet, but the same can be said of any industry or medium.

Not every movie will win an Oscar, but the cream does rise to the top, and there are quite a few webcomics that are exceptional and noteworthy. If only they were granted the recognition they deserve.

#5 dan reynolds
@ 11:42 am

Congratulations to all those who have not yet won their award, but are predicted to win. The actual and real winning of your award is awaited with fainted breath.

For those that are predicted to win, but don’t, I send you my condolences. What were these prognosticators thinking about?

For those prognosticators who make correct predictions, I tip my hat to you and your ability to foresee the future. There’s a place for you in the snow belt region of snowy upstate NY as a weatherman.

For those prognosticators who make incorrect predictions, you can probably find a position as a weatherman in sunny South California.

#6 Tom Racine
@ 11:52 am

Can of worms, meet David. David, Can of Worms. :)

From what I understand, one of the NCS requirements is and always has been income from your work…used, I’m sure, as a barometer between the pro and the talented amateur. I don’t know if those lines are as distinct as they used to be…not quite as, pardon the obvious cartooning pun, black and white as they were. That seems to be the letter of the law…but it would be nice for them to think about looking beyond that to the SPIRIT of the law, and find a way to embrace the growing webcomic forces out there. (It brings up the whole “webcartoonist” label vs. just “cartoonist,” but that’s a whole other diatribe waiting to happen.)

One just has to look at the NCS website to see that they’re not quite up with the times on a technology level. It would be nice to see them start to take steps to update their image and embrace new blood. It’s a time of majorly diminishing returns in the comics/cartooning world on some levels, and new doors and playing fields opening up on others. Seems like there’s a fine line between “the death of newspapers” and the “limitless potential of the web” that we’re all navigating. But certainly, there are at least a few dozen webcartoonists out there legitimately making the vast majority of their living on their craft…time to be building bridges, not playing turf wars as the Good Ship Newsprint slowly takes on water.

#7 Kelly McNutt
@ 12:00 pm

David R: “I want to point out that I have been invited to join the NCS by some awesome guys. I do not think the NCS is a bad organization, and I don?t harbor ill-will in any way towards them.”

David, why don’t you join then? Become the spearhead that drives change! I’m not being sarcastic, either. What an opportunity! Become part of the NCS and you will be that new blood, no?

#8 Tom Heintjes
@ 12:11 pm

Jeeziz, guys…I was only making predictions based on hunches and awareness of the predilections of NCS voters. I didn’t mean it to lead to another round of criticism abou the NCS! For those interested, here’s a breakdown of the rationales I used in each category prediction:

#9 Mike Cope
@ 12:26 pm

Having just recently been accepted as an NCS member, I wish that I could be in Jersey this year, but had to choose between the Reubens and OSU’s festival. And so, cyber-congratulations to all the nominees and award winners … No matter the outcomes, keep up the great work you all do!!

Regarding the annual can of worms (whose “Opener of the Year Award” goes to Dave Reddick), I think Kelly McNutt makes an excellent point.

For me, being a member of the NCS is about formally acknowledging that what I currently do, as a cartoonist, is based on the inspiration and knowledge that so many past and present NCS members have given me from the time that I was first enchanted by the newspaper funnies as a young boy. As technology continues to change the way we work and do business, I think it’s very important for “younger” cartoonists, like myself, to never forget their profession’s history.

Most importantly, I truly believe in the Primary Purposes of the NCS (at right). And I know that from the first cartooning workshops that I ran for kids back in 1998, above all other personal gains, it’s been about helping to encourage interest in cartooning, and (hopefully) inspiring the next generation of cartoonists.

It has nothing to do with be nominated for, or winning, awards. If any webcartoonist has been extended an invitation to join, I highly recommend that you seriously consider becoming a member — especially if you’re like me, and sincerely feel blessed to be able to call yourself a professional cartoonist.

It would certainly be nice to know that I’m not to only “new kid” on the block :)

#10 Mike Witmer
@ 12:44 pm

I agree with Kelly. If you’ve been invited, you SHOULD join and make a case for all of us hard-working cartoonists who hawk their work on the web.

#11 dan reynolds
@ 2:08 pm

@ Tom Racine

As little as I evidently know about the Reuben Awards, I can assure you it’s not a money thing. Trust me on that one.

#12 Ruben Moreno
@ 3:21 pm

Dave, you really should take this as an opportunity to spearhead change. It’s already been said quite well by the fine folks before me, but you do have a chance to help make a difference for the webcomics community. One (or a few) voices are a start, at the very least.

Any new form / medium / delivery channel will meet its share of apathy and/or elitism from the established players. I don’t mean to speak for the “old guard” — hell, they might even be offended by that terminology; I might be, if I were in their shoes — but cartooning itself has taken ages to establish itself as a legitimate art, even though it’s been around forever. It’s still in the process of establishing itself as a legitimate art — as far as the fine art snobs are concerned.

So it’s no surprise that even within cartooning itself, the same sort of stratification is likely to occur. This is the same thing we’ve seen time and time again in other fields. The new boys (in our case, webcomic artists) have to take a few licks before they can be considered “part of the tribe.” Until then, they will largely be ignored, but that’s the way of things. Eventually, the process will give way to the new generation as the old one “dies out” — literally or figuratively.

However: Voices for change will always speed up the process. I’d say, join ’em and speak up. They might not listen to you at first, but over time, as more webcomickers join, that voice will get stronger.

#13 Garey Mckee
@ 3:50 pm

Sigh. Here we go again.

#14 Tom Racine
@ 3:52 pm

Once more into the breach, dear friends!

#15 Stephen Beals
@ 4:23 pm

I always kind of compared it to movies. If I’m an independent that’s a hit at the film festival, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be up for an Oscar. Why? Because I’m not associated with a major distributor.

And if I’m making 10k a year from a comic strip syndicated by United Media I could be up for a Reuben, but not if I’m a financially successful web cartoonist.

No matter what field you’re in, established businesses distributing your work somehow always legitimizes your efforts as far as awards are concerned, even if you’re a successful independent.

It’s a bit stupid, which is one of the many reasons awards are a bit stupid. Lots of great people, highly revered, never received awards.

That said, most of the comics I love are indeed from a syndicate and the people up for awards this year are ones I consistently read and enjoy. I’m happy for them, but it doesn’t increase my enjoyment of their comics. The actual work is the reward. If people read their strip, that always trumps a statue or (ugh) a ceremony.

#16 Ruben Moreno
@ 10:34 pm

Well, right. In the end, a lot of this may honestly be tangential to what each individual is trying to accomplish. Do awards like this matter that much? Each person’s answer will be different… and that’s okay.

I guess the question at the end of the day is whether lack of recognition for webcomics in areas such as these will hinder webcomic artists’ ability to be successful. An award can do a lot to focus attention on a worthy creator, and it might seem like a shame to “waste” an award on someone who is already rollin’ in the dough… but then again, that person worked hard to get to where he or she is, so the award is the icing on the cake, not the recipe for it.

That being said, I do think it’d be nice to see webcomics as a category in these sorts of proceedings.

Aaaaaaaaaand shuttin’ up now. ;-)

#17 Jim Lavery
@ 9:28 am

My understanding is that you need to be a professional–i.e. money earning–cartoonist to be a member, but you don’t need to be a professional (i.e. paid) to win an award. Do I have that right?

If so, then earning has nothing to do with the exclusion of web comics as an award category.

#18 David Reddick
@ 10:48 am

I’m thankful this remained civil and not a crazed debate. I was just unhappily pointing out something that seriously bugs me.
You do have to earn at least half your income professionally as a cartoonist to be a member. But you don’t even have to be a member to win an award.
So… Case in point.

#19 Mike Cope
@ 12:41 pm

@Jim Lavery: No, I don’t think that’s right. You’re correct that non-members are eligible for award nominations, but one still needs to qualify for membership — i.e., be a professional cartoonist.

A perfect example from this year would be Wiley Miller.

Unfortunately, the best people to clear this up are understandably busy this weekend, but judging by the entire history of Reuben and Division Award winners, I think it’s safe to say that the awards are meant to celebrate professional achievements in cartooning.

But most importantly, as others have mentioned before when this issue has come up, public forums like The Daily Cartoonist are not the best place for these types of concerns to be raised or addressed.

The best thing that any professional webcartoonist could probably do is apply for membership and help educate others.

#20 Mike Cope
@ 12:43 pm

@David Reddick: So are you going to reconsider applying for membership?

As I wrote in my original reply, it would certainly be nice to know that I?m not to only ?new kid? on the block :)

#21 Ted Rall
@ 4:11 pm

@David: Ultimately, whether or not joining NCS makes sense for you is probably a combination of personal feelings (are these people I want to spend time with?) and business concerns (would this help my career?).

But I agree with those who think you should join them. Starting with the bad blood between Scott and NCS, there is a big gap between online-only cartoonists and NCS. Someone has to be first. Why not you?

It wasn’t nearly as daunting, but I nevertheless found membership in the AAEC a little awkward when I joined in 1994. I was the first alt weekly cartoonist to join, and I worried that I wouldn’t fit in. To the contrary, everyone was incredibly welcoming and friendly even though I probably didn’t deserve it. I have found it both professionally and personally rewarding, and now there are dozens of alt weekly cartoonists in AAEC who evidently feel the same way.

In my small way, my joining the AAEC helped legitimize what the media had previously considered a marginal art genre. You might be able to do the same in this case.

#22 David Reddick
@ 6:26 pm

@Ted and the others – That’s excellent advice and I concur on the AAEC… I too joined the AAEC back in the 90’s when I was an editorial cartoonist for a daily newspaper… I felt a little awkward as I was a new kid on the block, but when I joined I was welcomed very much and found the relationships I forged very rewarding and inspiring.

As I mentioned, a few cartoonists in the NCS whom I admire greatly invited me in some months back. If I were to still be welcome, I think I’d like to join, given everyone’s excellent advice and thoughts here.

As someone who actually makes 75% of my 100% income from cartooning in actual print work, I feel webcomics deserve legitimizing among peers who might not otherwise be exposed to them, or at least exposed to the best we have to offer, and while there are plenty of others far more qualified than I, I am laying the gauntlet down and I accept this challenge. :-)

Thanks everyone, that this was kept civil. I worried about it when I “threw” the gauntlet down on the subject, and while a public forum may NOT have been the best place, it was the only place I could think of that all my peers, print, web, animation and cave walls, congregate to hear me roar, and who would respond in kind to discuss it. ;-)

#23 David Reddick
@ 6:27 pm

Mike – We’ll bring cookies. They GOTTA like new guys who bring cookies. I mean, they’re CARTOONISTS!

#24 Mike Cope
@ 6:53 pm

Dave, I’m so glad you’re reconsidering joining the NCS — your work is really top notch! While you’re thinking about it, maybe also consider attending OSU’s 2010 Festival of Cartoon Art in October. This will be my first time attending, and it would be great to meet you there.

You may already know this, but Dave Kellett is one of the speakers this year, and he’ll be discussing webcomics. A number of NCS members usually attend, so I’m looking forward finally meeting some really nice folks I’ve had online discussions with over the years.

Anyways, I’d better start baking … You’re not allergic to Peanuts, are you??? ;)

#25 Tom Richmond
@ 3:25 pm

For the record. nobody get’s “invited” to join the NCS. If you are waiting for the NCS to come to your studio with trumpets blaring on bended knee to invite you into their hallowed ranks, you are in for a long wait.

It’s simple. You apply for membership, as ask two members in good standing to sponsor you. Then your application and work is reviewed by the membership committee. If you meet the qualifications for membership, which are:

“Cartoonists who are currently earning the major 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.”- From the NCS website.

then you are approved as a member and are one hence forth unless you stop paying your dues.

Also for the record, there are “web” cartoonists who are members. I personally sponsored my pal Lar deSouza and Ryan Sohmer (“Least I Could Do”) as members, and they were accepted in due order. All they had to do was demonstrate they met the requirements for professional membership.

It’s that simple.

#26 David Reddick
@ 10:45 am

Thanks, Tom, for the “simple” clarification. I’m aware of that. I was contacted by 2 cartoonists essentially “inviting me” to “apply”, and I am well aware that the NCS itself does not “invite” cartoonists, and yes, I make 100% of my income from cartooning, for the past 10+ years. No need to get upset.

#27 Tom Richmond
@ 7:46 pm

David- Misinformation is something all always put my cape and cowl on to combat… although if you think that response was me upset then you don’t know what upset is. Perhaps you have a deep seeded fear of quotation marks…

#28 David Reddick
@ 8:00 pm

I confess, I do have a latent fear of quotation marks… I find by over-using them I conquer my fear!
Well, I’ll hand it to you that you were just setting the record straight. Can’t fault a guy for that.
P.S. Congrats on the award – well done!

#29 Tom Richmond
@ 8:25 pm

Thanks, and also for the record I hope you’ll apply and become an NCS member, and we’ll meet at a Reubens sometime. Meeting new members and getting to know them and their work is second (and a close one) only to seeing old friends at the Reubens.

#30 David Reddick
@ 9:43 pm

Thanks, Tom. Absolutely. I look forward to hopefully chatting over a few beers at some point! ;-)

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