Summer’s Last Roundup

Some stray news items from the end of Summer 2022.

The New Improved NCS Divisional Award

Rich Powell compares his Divisional Reuben Awards of 2013 and 2022.

The new awards have a nice, burnished finish and rounded edges on the frame. I really like this look! Plus, the silver didn’t rub off on your tux!


MAD at 70 (Alfred E. Neuman at 68)

MAD Magazine reveals details of their 70th anniversary issue.

Nearly one-half of this 56-page anniversary celebration issue (issue #28) features original content, the most since the publication’s format change in 2019.

Features for this issue include:

  • A new wraparound cover by Mark Fredrickson
  • An original MAD feature from “Weird Al” Yankovic celebrating longtime MAD contributor and originator of the MAD Fold-In Al Jaffee, with art by Ed Steckley
  • A tribute to MAD Magazine from acclaimed filmmaker and comedian Jordan Peele, featuring the parody MAD cover used in his hit movie NOPE
  • “The Bathroom,” a MAD movie parody of The Batman, by longtime MAD contributors Desmond Devlin and Tom Richmond
  • A special two-page MAD Fold-In by Johnny Sampson that folds in on itself!
  • A new “Another Look at MAD” by maestro Sergio Aragonés
  • A “MAD-gical” history tour with Dick DeBartolo, MAD’s longest-contributing writer
  • An illustrated look at the classic MAD employee cruise to Bermuda by former MAD EIC John Ficarra and art director Sam Viviano

This special issue will be available at Barnes and Noble bookstores
(MAD is otherwise only available in comic book stores or via subscription).


Pat Cross Takes Up The Cross

The Daily Cartoonist reported in early August about cartoonist Patrick Cross laying down his pen and ink for a more solemn life. The National Catholic Register recently interviewed Pat.

I read that, early on, you copied sacred artworks and also read the Far Side cartoons. What appealed to you in those very different art forms?

I loved sacred art, especially in high school, and I would definitely copy it. I had a book of Michelangelo, and I would copy the Sistine Chapel particularly. And definitely I loved the Far Side, and I loved Calvin and Hobbes. I still love both of them.

How did you move from doing sacred art into drawing politically related cartoons?

… My parents, especially towards the end of high school and while I was in college, said, “You should do some political cartoons.” I really didn’t do many cartoons in college. I had started following one political cartoonist, Michael Ramirez, and I was able to meet him at the end of college. I saw what he did, and I thought, “Wow, this is amazing.”


Book Reports from Publishers Weekly

Mo Willems has the #10 book in the country with The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster!, the eighth title starring his irascible avian character. “Every Pigeon book is a reaction,” Willems told PW in an interview before his 2022 U.S. Book Show keynote. “The Pigeon finds, wants, needs, gets, can’t, has to, and, this time, will do something. That involves planning, expectations, accepting, and readjusting.” Pigeon’s new outing, Willems suggested, reflects what many readers have been experiencing in recent times: “Have your last few years been a roller coaster?”

Mo Willems makes This Week’s Bestsellers: September 19, 2022.


Coinciding with Banned Books Week 2022, held September 18-24, PEN America has issued a new report, which found that more than 2,500 book bans were issued in some 140 school districts in 32 states during the 2021-22 school year.

In a release, PEN officials said that the report shows book bans growing at an “increasingly rapid pace,” especially in terms of books featuring protagonists of color, issues of race, or LGBTQ characters.

PEN America Report Shows ‘Rapid Acceleration’ of Book Bans in Schools.


Photo Album


The National Cartoonists Society Facebook page has gathered hundreds
of photos of cartoonists from the 76th Annual Reuben Awards Banquet.