See All Topics

Home / Section: Awards

Dan Piraro wins 2010 NCS Cartoonist of the Year

The 2010 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year has been awarded to Bizarro creator Dan Piraro. Dan’s panel Bizarro has been in syndication since 1986. He has been a nominee for the big prize several times before. In fact, when the list of nominees leaked this year, I asked Dan for a response. He responded:

I don’t put much stock in rumors, myself, but if this one is true, I think it is the 7th or 8th year in a row, so I’m running out of reactions. It’s always an honor to be nominated by one’s peers, of course, and both Pastis and Thompson are worthy adversaries, to be sure. I’m a fan of both of theirs (which isn’t always the case with fellow nominees ? shhhh!) so I’ll be happy with whomever has to take the Big Ugly home and find a way to decorate around it. Trudeau still holds the record for most nominations without a win, somewhere around 13, so I’m in good company either way. : )

Contratulations to Dan for taking home the big prize tonight!

Community Comments

#1 Bob Weber Jr.
@ 11:34 pm

Congratulations, Dan!! And congrats to the other nominees, Richard and Stephan!

#2 Stephen Beals
@ 12:11 am

Dan Piraro’s been one of my favorite cartoonists for a long time.

I remember a collection he did a looong time ago that allowed you to flip the pages and see an animated Dan hit himself in the head in the lower right-hand corner. If that isn’t genius, I don’t know what is.

#3 mike beckom
@ 7:12 am

just another in a long list of disappointments from the ‘judges’ this year. I’m not sure what’s going on with contest judges this year…..seems their tastes run the spectrum from sad to just plain hard to figure out. Bizarro is one of the least liked strips that run in my local paper. In fact, whenever there is a poll taken to decide which strip or strips to remove/replace…..that is one contest Bizarro DOES win. Given a choice between Bizarro and Pearls before Swine……hands down…..PBS. So many other strips out there that are soooooo much better. Note to the judges in most cartoon contests this year……you as a group rate a monumental FAIL this year!

#4 Larry Levine
@ 7:25 am

Congratulations, Dan!!!

#5 Jeff Stanson
@ 8:45 am

The Reubens have always been about sharing the win. The nominations have always seemed to be more about “okay, who hasn’t won it yet” than about true merit over a year’s body of work. I see the award as more of an effort of camaraderie than an effort of “judgemanship.”

#6 Karyl Miller
@ 12:05 pm

Love love love Dan and Bizazrro! He deserves it!

#7 Jonathan Mahood
@ 12:24 pm

Congrats to Dan! Well deserved!

#8 Stephen Beals
@ 2:06 pm


I’m in total disagreement with you about Bizarro (it’s been in my paper since he was with Chronicle Features, so a very long time), but I also love Pearls Before Swine. My favorite is actually Cul de Sac, so I love all three. They’re very different comics from each other. To pit them against each other in any sort of comparison and declare a “best” is ultimately silly.

It boils down to just a fun thing to do for many people. Why worry about it and why insult a body of work that few people can match? That, too, is silly.

#9 dan reynolds
@ 3:37 pm

Congrats Dan. Someone predicted earlier in the week you’d win, too, and you did.

How do they do it?!

I always liked Dan’s work. This is well deserved.

#10 Ted Rall
@ 4:02 pm

Dan is a wonderful person but, more than that, he is a great cartoonist. Even though these congrats threads can get dull and repetitive, well, congrats!

#11 Steve Greenberg
@ 11:40 pm

FINALLY!!! Well deserved and long overdue.

#12 Dave Stephens
@ 2:04 am

Consistent and stellar draftsmanship coupled with a rich and unique brand of humor aged to a fine vintage for around 25 years, Dan Piraro richly deserves this award. Way to go, Dan!

Oh, and Alan – there’s just TWO ‘R’s’ in Piraro (unless Wikipedia is wrong, which is entirely possible).

#13 mike beckom
@ 6:04 am

@ Stephen,
I was not trying to personally insult Dan or his toons. Merely stating my opinion. My opinion is that the judges who have offered their choices and awarded prizes this year have, as a group, failed miserably. It puts me in mind of the election where George W beat Al Gore. The voice of the people wasn’t heard(popular vote among the people)….only the voice of a select few(electoral voters). Of course, any time you have a group of folks gathered together to judge anything, there will be some weird and unexplainable decisions……(insert that crap tv show…American Idol, here). That is the reason for my disgust. The weird and unexplainable decisions. As I stated…..Bizarro is one of the least liked, least read strips in my local paper. For it to win a major award for being judged to be the best…..sorry…but it’s just plain weird and unexplainable.

#14 rick stromoski
@ 7:07 am

>>>The voice of the people wasn?t heard(popular vote among the people)

The Reuben Award is given to the recipient by a vote of one’s peers.

What you think, Mike Beckom, is irrelevent.

#15 Ted Rall
@ 12:26 pm

Actually, Mike, Al Gore won the electoral vote as well. It always annoys me when people don’t understand how and why Election 2000 was stolen. It boils down to the Supreme Court: they never should have agreed to hear the case because, as a federal body, they don’t have jurisdiction over elections, which are run by the 50 states. In election disputes the relevant state supreme court is the highest court. When the Florida Supreme Court ordered a recount, it should have been allowed to continue. As studies later revealed, Gore carried Florida, and thus the electoral college, by some 20,000+ votes.

Back to Dan. Congrats! I’ve always loved “Bizarro.”

#16 Tom Stemmle
@ 2:11 pm

Congratulations Dan!
So (insert a high number) is the charm! Wow! If that isn’t Bizarro, I don’t know what is!

So glad you finally grabbed the bronze on your Silver

#17 Stephen Beals
@ 3:22 pm

@Ted, Well described. I happened to be in Florida during that time and I think I’m still suffering from PTSD. I never thought I’d hear the Reuben Award compared to it.

@Mike, It’s not the People’s Choice award. As Rick said, he was voted on by his peers. There are a few cartoonists I just assume that we can all hold hands over and consider “great”. Dan’s one of those. Are you really trying to not insult him? He has a big, scary looking award to defend himself with now.

#18 Bill Kellogg
@ 9:12 pm

Congratulations to Dan and all the other award winners; and nominees too. What a great experience to be able to talk to all those talented cartoonists including some true cartooning legends!

#19 Neal Skorpen
@ 9:49 pm

Congratulations Dan!

#20 Stephanie McMillan
@ 12:27 pm

Dan, congratulations!! “Bizarro” is great!

#21 Steve Skelton
@ 1:06 pm

Congrats, Dan! I also enjoyed your interview recently on Tall Tale Radio. Keep up the wonderful work!

#22 Rich Diesslin
@ 5:42 pm


#23 Mark McComas
@ 10:23 am

Kudos, Dan, You are a twisted genius who has helped found a whole genre of gag cartoons (that’s a good thing!). And how much kismet was involved in the title of the strip–it rhymes! Cool. I know that sounds stupid, but the marketing boys at the syndicate must have really taken off on it!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.