The OCR and the OCW and the NCS(Fest)

Cartoonist Steve McGarry says that whenever he runs into people who insist they have no interest in the world of cartoons he likes to prove them wrong.

“I don’t care who you are,” says McGarry, the president of the National Cartoonists Society Foundation, which will debut the inaugural NCS Fest in Huntington Beach this weekend. “I can pinpoint exactly in your life where cartoons changed your life.”

Maybe you learned to read from the comic strips in the morning newspaper, McGarry says. Maybe you got up early for the Saturday morning cartoons.

If you’ve ever seen a superhero movie, odds are it and your favorite characters were born in a stroke of inspiration from a cartoonist’s pen.

The Valentine’s Day card you sent your sweetheart? A cartoon surely graced it at least a time or two in the past.

“It’s just a celebration of the art,” he says of the events there that are typically funded by the cities and towns in which they’re located. “You take it to the streets and it’s free as much as possible.”

The foundation he helped start during his term as NCS president from 2001 to 2005 could help back the event, McGarry decided, and if the festival was held at the same time as the Reuben Awards — the cartoonists’ equivalent of the Oscars — there’d be scores of prominent cartoonists in town.

“For that weekend, 300 to 400 coming in under their own steam,” he says, meant that they could wrangle the cartoonists “into being part of this, too.”

The Orange County Register endorses the entire weekend’s Cartoon Festival.


While the OC Weekly highlights one high point out of many.

Picture This!, the only “Live Animated Comedy Show” is honored to be making our long awaited #OC debut for the National Cartoonist Society Festival 2019!!!

We are officially unofficially opening the festival with a special #FREE show on WEDNESDAY 5/15 8:30p at the Old Crow Smokehouse (21022 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648)

COMEDY BY: Nicholas Rutherford (Adult Swim, The Unicorn) Barbara Gray (Comedy Central) Jason Chatfield (NCS, The New Yorker) Paul Danke & Brodie Reed!

ANIMATION BY: Mike Hollingsworth, Mike L. Mayfield, Luke McGarry, Jason Chatfield (yes, drawing AND performing!) Rick Stromoski & Gemma Corell!

What I can only describe as a twist on the old Chalk Talk shows.

It’s tonight! As that May 17-19 NCSFest weekend continues to expand.