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Tom Richmond explains how Medal of Honor differs from Caniff award

Outgoing National Cartoonist Society President Tom Richmond explains the difference between the new Medal of Honor and the Caniff award – both are lifetime achievement awards. At issue is the Caniff is the only lifetime achievement award, but if the cartoonist has already won a Reuben, the Caniff is not a possibility. What to do?

Tom’s explains:

The NCS board discussed this issue. We saw two possible solutions to the problem. One would be to change the by-laws and allow anyone to be eligible to be awarded the Caniff, including any past Reuben winner. After much thought this was voted down. The spirit of the Caniff is not something we wanted to change. If a cartoonist never won a Reuben and is honored with a Caniff, that is something unique and special. We didn?t want to take that away.

The second solution was to create a new award. One that is different visually and physically, but is a sister award to the Caniff?an NCS Lifetime Achievement Award for past winners of the Reuben. The result was the NCS Medal of Honor. This is awarded by unanimous vote of the NCS board ?in recognition of a long and distinguished career of continued excellence in cartooning that has set the highest of standards and inspiration?. In the pantheon of those awarded an NCS Lifetime Achievement Award, both the recipients of the Caniff and those of the Medal of Honor will be listed together. In the future, any cartoonist recognized by the board for a Lifetime Achievement award will be awarded the Caniff if they have never won a Reuben, and the Medal of Honor if they have won the Reuben. Recipients of the Caniff, having already been awarded a Lifetime Achievement award, cannot then get a Medal of Honor. Medal of Honor recipients cannot get a Caniff as they are past Reuben winners. You get one or the other.

Community Comments

#1 Clay Jones
@ 2:33 pm

That’s more confusing than the title situation in boxing.

#2 Tom Richmond
@ 3:48 pm

Yes, monumentally confusing. One goes to a cartoonist who has never won the Reuben, and one goes to a cartoonist who has won the Reuben. I can’t imagine how the NCS will ever be able to keep that straight.

#3 Alan Gardner
@ 12:10 pm

Call the new award the Silver Caniff? :)

#4 John Lotshaw
@ 4:48 am

How about the Gold Steckley?

#5 Joel Tieg
@ 11:53 pm

What difference does it make? None of the awards of the NCS even appear here:,_medals_and_awards

I wonder who the next Railroader of the Year will be!!

#6 Darrin Bell
@ 11:39 pm

“What difference does it make? None of the awards of the NCS even appear here:,_medals_and_awards

…They do now.

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