Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reubens 2007: Day Two

Continuing my story of the 2007 National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards convention.

Above: a view of the grounds & golf course from my balcony. Fancy schmancy.

The NCS members have gathered for the NCS General Meeting. This is the part of the meeting where the new cartoonists are asked to stand up while we break all their pencils.

It looked like I was studiously writing notes during this meeting, but I was in actuality drawing a kitty.

NEW YORKER cartoonist Sam Gross gave a talk. Lots of great stories about being a gag cartoonist, doing the rounds, the importance of keeping your rights, etc.

That's Sam's famous 'frog legs' cartoon on the screen. Of course, as soon as it appeared, the room burst into applause. Even though it's now at the Cartoon Bank, he still retains rights. That cartoon has generated money for many years since it first appeared in National Lampoon. If he didn't retain his rights, he would not have made the money. Simple.

I didn't know this, but The Daily Show recently used an altered version of this cartoon without permission. Sam threaten to sue and got a nice settlement. Darn thing is that the Daily Show producers shoulda known better.

One of my favorite stories about the Wednesday rounds: one time, a friend accompanied Sam to the magazines. On Wednesdays, in the 1950s-70s, cartoonists would walk from magazine to magazine, offering up new batches of roughs to the cartoon editors. Sam's friend was a painter who was interested in becoming a cartoonist.

Do you know about Canal Street? In New York, Canal is a major, busy street. Sam and friend were walking along the street, after hours of doing the rounds. The fellow was asking if he (Sam) really went from one office to another, submitting cartoons, getting rejections, picking up last week's rejections, maybe making a sale ...

"Yes," said Sam.

"Every week?"


"EVERY week?"


"EVERY WEEK?!" and then the friend spoke an vicious epithet, informed Sam he was going back to painting for a living, and hurled his portfolio full of cartoon drawings (yeah, the portfolio AND the drawings) in the air, where it arced and landed on the moving traffic on Canal Street.

Saturday night. It's time for the big event: the Reubens! A formal affair, with black tie the order of the day. R.C. Harvey pointed out that the tradition dates to back when the NCS would get together at The Plaza, and the cartoonists were all made to look like a million bucks.

Two Mikes: Mike Lynch and Mike Peters welcome you, dear reader, to the Reubens!

ARCHIE & THE LOCKHORNS: Pauline and Stan Goldberg, and Bunny Hoest, my friends and fellow Berndt Toasters!

Comics historian R.C. Harvey, cartoonist Keith Robinson, and Carl Nelson, of NEI Communications, seated at the 29th Best Table! Hmm. I was at Table 30.

Kim Mayfiled and HUMBLE STUMBLE cartoonist (and pro musician) Roy Schneider.

The lovely Christine Krauss and the lovelier Andy Eng. Andy designs cartoon toys! What do you do, Andy? "I draw cartoons and send them to China and they turn them into cool toys."

Sam and Isabelle Gross. Sam came up to me and asked if I'd take this photo. If his life is anything like mine, getting this dressed up is a rare occasion.

Mike Lynch & Sam Gross in the ol' soup and fish.

Two award winners: Book Illustration Division Award winner Mike Lester and FOXTROT'S Bill Amend, who won the Reuben Award.

Cathy Guisewite dances with her Dad.

Two Canadians: John Martz and BETWEEN FRIENDS' Sandra Bell-Lundy. Anyone who's from a country where they call their money Loonies is OK with me!

Mike Lynch tries convincing NCS Gag Cartoon Award Winner Drew Dernovich that the award is HIS HIS HIS!!! Rina tries scaring Drew by showing her dental work.

Kieran Meehan, Brendan Burford, Mike Lynch, with Rina Piccolo giving a "V for Victory" sign.

Two from Berndt Toast: Book Illustration nominee Adrian Sinnott and veteran illustrator Frank Springer.

BIZARRO cartoonist (and our Reubens emcee) Dan Piraro, Associate Curator of the OSU Cartoon Research Library Jenny Robb, and incoming NCS President and co-cartoonist of THE FAMILY CIRCUS Jeff Keane.

Lindsay Butler, her main guy F MINUS cartoonist (and NCS Division Award nominee) Tony Carillo, and there's that Keiran Meehan again!

Mike Lynch with THE FAMILY CIRCUS' Bil Keane. I sold a business cartoon about Mr. Keane last year:

"And providing graphics for my presentation is Bil Keane, of 'Family Circus' fame."

Tomorrow: Some more photos.


Reubens Photos Day One

Reubens Photos Day Three

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