The NCS wants your Village Green

The National Cartoonists Society is wanting to expand its Reuben Awards
weekend into a full blown public festival for the host city.

As they explain:
For the past few months, we’ve been exploring the feasibility of staging a free Comic Arts Festival, based on the kind of event that is so popular in Europe in places like Angouleme in France, Lucca in Italy, etc. We’re not talking about a Comic Con, which is invariably staged in a Convention Center and charges admission. We’re looking at a Festival where an entire town center would be the venue, with local businesses encouraged to join in the celebration of comics and cartoon art and as many as events as possible would be free to the public.

Our idea was that we could stage a Festival around a Reuben weekend. We would keep the essential core … the Reuben Awards dinner, the welcome party, the chance to spend time with friends and peers in a private setting … but expand the rest of the program into a more ambitious vehicle. The seminars would be open to the public, for example – so that instead of speaking to 100 NCS peers, the presenters would be talking to comic pros and fans alike on a much larger scale. One of the most popular events at the Reubens is when we do a mass signing for the public. So our idea is that we would stage multiple events throughout the weekend. In addition to NCS members, the Festival would feature cartoonists from all walks of the profession.

They continue:
Rather than just attend the Reubens, this will be an opportunity for every NCS member to appear at a major Comic Arts Festival if they wish. It’s a chance to promote the artform and the profession … which is one of the reasons the NCS exists … but also promote your own career at the same time. In addition, it’s a way of promoting the NCS to other professionals and introducing the vast talent pool of the NCS to new audiences.

Our idea is that all NCS artists will be offered free table space all weekend if they want to do signings, sell their wares, etc … and we will stage as many panels and seminars as humanly possible.

One hurdle is funding. The European festivals rely on council and arts grants. That is obviously not an option in the States. The NCSF has a tradition of supporting various festivals, so we would make a contribution to our own program and then endeavor to solicit grants from other arts foundations and corporate partners.

Finishing up with:
The NCS was a wonderful institution in the 20th century. Our feeling is that if this works, by presenting the Society as the hub of this Festival, it will underscore how relevant we are to the profession in the 21st century. And candidly, the worst that can happen is that we will have staged an unforgettable Reubens in a wonderful location.

Naturally too late for this year, they are aiming for 2019, but
this major expansion of their signature Weekend can only happen
“if there is significant support from the membership”.

One thought on “The NCS wants your Village Green

  1. I am really hoping to attend the Reubens next year in 2019 so this is exciting news! Comicpalooza here in Houston is always that same weekend, so I would love to toss my home town into the hat for the host city. Thin about it, the biggest comic con in Texas is going on that same weekend for everyone to cross promote at! I know the promoter and can get this all hooked up… Plus then I can guarantee I will attend the Reubens in 2019! lol…

    Just a thought. Plus the Mexican Food and BBQ are out of this world in the Houston area… 🙂

    Davy Jones
    Creator of Charmy’s Army

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