The 76th Annual Reubens Award Schedule

Well, I might take a train
I might take a plane
But if I have to walk
I’m going just the same
I’m going to Kansas City
Kansas City, here I come

Everything you need to know about
the 76th annual Reuben Awards Weekend in Kansas City, MO
on Thursday 15th & Friday 16th September, 2022.


Thursday, September 15th

We kick off with a celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month spotlighting the legendary career of award-winning cartoonist LALO ALCARAZ, creator of the first nationally syndicated Latino political strip, “La Cucaracha.” The 2022 recipient of the Herblock prize, Alcaraz, who is Mexican-American, is also a writer, producer, and cultural consultant for film, television, and animation, working on projects at Fox and the Cartoon Network and as a cultural consultant on the Oscar-winning animated Pixar film Coco.


We’ll then Celebrate the 100th Birthday of Peanuts Creator Charles Schulz with our Silver T-Square honoree, and President & Chairman of the Charles M. Schulz Museum, JEANNIE SCHULZ, in conversation with award-winning Mutts creator PATRICK McDONNELL. The conversation will span from fond recollections of the cartoonist his friends knew as “Sparky,” to his indelible, long-lasting influence on both the cartooning industry and the artists therein.


After we break for lunch, we will explore how to build a 360° Brand Franchise with two experts from King Features: CARLA SILVA, Global VP and GM, Consumer Product Licensing, and CYNTHIA GRAHAM-TAPPAN, VP, Distribution & Sales. The presentation will walk through taking iconic brands from their origin story to a multi-generational franchise in merchandising and entertainment. Settle in to learn how to launch and build a brand, diving into the recent success of Popeye and The Cuphead Show as examples.


Next up is How to be a Cartoonipreneur, a presentation from NCS President and New Yorker cartoonist JASON CHATFIELD with Marketoonist founder TOM FISHBURNE.  “When I grow up, I want to be a cartoonist and spend all my time trying to run a business,” said no one ever. But, with the established markets for cartooning in flux, the work cartoonists do away from the drafting table is more important than ever.

In this session, Chatfield and Fishburne share some of what they’ve learned about growing a direct audience of true fans (with and without social media), the power of combinatory skills, getting paid what we’re worth, finding your ‘enough,’ and building a cartooning business fit for the 21st century.


We’ll round out our epic first day of sessions with a panel on Comics & Current Events, moderated by Editorial Director, Comics at King Features, TEA FOUGNER. The use of the comics medium to cover real-life events for news organizations, publications, or publishers (in graphic novel format) is currently at an all-time peak. We will be hearing from OLIVE BRINKER (Rae the Doe) and JULES RIVERA (Mark Trail) about how they draw from real life in their comics—Olive as a Gen Z cartoonist covering real-world topics big and small that matter to her and her friends, and Jules as a passionate environmentalist who uses Mark Trail as an educational tool for readers who want to learn more about the changing world around them.


You’ll have time to take a breather and freshen up before we take a short stroll to nearby Walnut Street for the official Reubens weekend welcome party, hosted by our friends at ANDREWS McMEEL UNIVERSAL.  Dance, drink, and sing the night away as we toast over 50 successful years of cartooning talent at AMU’s new HQ in the heart of downtown Kansas City.


Friday, September 16th

Day 2 features a jaw-dropping series of captivating speakers, beginning with award-winning cartoonist DANA SIMPSON celebrating 10 years of Phoebe and Her Unicorn with her new book and an upcoming Nickelodeon series! From the humble beginnings of winning the Amazon-sponsored Comic Strip Superstar Contest in 2009 to Andrews McMeel Syndication signing her to a development deal for the strip (originally called Heavenly Nostrils), Simpson will share the story of how the strip exploded in popularity, how she connects with her loyal army of readers, the process of creating the strip and developing the Nickelodeon series, and more!


You are not going to want to miss the following session: Mutts cartoonist PATRICK McDONNELL offers a masterclass on his distinct approach to the art of telling stories: whether in three panels, children’s picture books, graphic novels, or paintings and even in theater vs. film. He will give tribute to his cartoonist influences, including George Herriman, Charles Schulz, and Elzie Segar, and discuss his latest book collaboration with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This year McDonnell will be accepting his Elzie Segar Award, for his unique and outstanding contribution to the profession of cartooning.


The final seminar of the day will send us out on a high note, as Pulitzer and Reuben-winner ANN TELNAES hosts a conversation with this year’s Gold T-Square-honoree and creator of the hit comic strip DOONESBURY and the Amazon Series ALPHA HOUSE: the inimitable GARRY TRUDEAU. The unmissable conversation will cover his epic 50-year career in cartooning, politics, and the life of an astonishing talent.



It’s time to slip out of sweatpants and get dressed up for a Friday night like no other! Stroll down the red carpet and enjoy the pre-dinner cocktail hour before joining the NCS in honoring our nominees in the 76th Annual Reuben Awards! A parade of playful presenters will keep us in stitches and suspense as we honor cartooning’s best and brightest, including the coveted Cartoonist of the Year!

Note: As usual, the Reuben Awards Banquet is open to Registered Reuben Banquet attendees only.

Among this year’s honorees in attendance are Gold T-Square recipient and creator of Doonesbury, GARRY TRUDEAU, along with Silver T-Square recipient, JEANNIE SCHULZ. Jeannie is President and Chairman of the Charles M. Schulz Museum, and we’re so pleased to recognize Jeannie’s long-standing commitment to contributing her time, energy, expertise and support to both the National Cartoonists Society, its members, and the cartooning community at large. Also in attendance will be Mutts creator PATRICK McDONNELL, accepting his 2020 Elzie Segar Award for his unique and outstanding contributions to the profession of cartooning.


For complete details on all the above plus information on registration and discounted hotel rates
go to the National Cartoonists Society’s Kansas City 2022 page.