The National Cartoonist Society has announced the nominees for the 2021 Cartoonist of the Year, commonly known as The Reuben Award, as well as the many divisional awards they give out each year.
Keith Knight, Edward Sorel, Bill Griffith, Hilary B. Price and Mark Tatulli are all up for the Reuben the year, with several of them being nominated in years past. Last year Curtis creator Ray Billingsley won the award.
The divisional awards cover everything from comics and graphic novels to comic strips, editorial cartoons and even greeting cards. They also nominate the cartoonist or artist, vs. the work or the entire creative team. I’ve included the nominations that are relevant to the world of comics below, but you can see the full list on the NCS website.
In case you missed any of it, here’s the lowdown …
This year’s FanDome was much shorter than last year’s, as DC opted for one day of livestreaming content rather than two. And it was better for it. The production was very tight, and I haven’t seen any issues raised about connection issues or the sorts of problems that can plague events like this.
The creator of the comic strip ‘Curtis’ is the first African-American cartoonist to win the Reuben Award.
Ray Billingsley, creator of the long-running comic strip Curtis, has won the 2021 Reuben Award. He’s the first Black man to win the award since it was first established in the 1940s.
“This has been a huge step for me, and also a momentous step for the NCS because I’m the first Black guy to win the prestigious Reuben Award, and for that I’m very grateful,” Billingsley said in his acceptance speech. “This has been a very long journey, and I have literally lived my life on a deadline.”
Billingsley started his career drawing for KIDS Magazine when he was 12. After college and an internship with Disney, he went on to work on the nationally syndicated strip Lookin’ Fine, which ran from 1980 to 1982. He has also worked in animation, advertising and for various magazines and greeting card companies. Curtis launched in 1988 at King Feature Syndicate and is still published today. You can read it on the Comic Kingdom website.
You can watch the announcement of Billingsley’s win below, which includes his acceptance speech:
This year’s event is being streamed online, and the NCS has interspersed some of the awards presentations throughout the stream. Yesterday Hellboy artist Duncan Fegredo presented the award for best comic book, which went to Walt Simonson’s Ragnarok: The Breaking of Helheim. The comic is published by IDW, which also publishes the other two nominees in the category, Usagi Yojimbo and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika.
Check out webcomics by Tom Siddell, Ariel Ries, Rosemary Mosco and more.
Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter of Facebook.
The National Cartoonist Society has announced the nominees for this year’s Reuben Award and the accompanying NCS Divisional Awards, so this week I thought I’d spotlight the six webcomics nominated in the “Online Comics – Long Form” and “Online Comics – Short Form” categories. We’ll start with the latter.
The National Cartoonist Society has trickled out the nominees for this year’s Reuben Award and the accompanying NCS Divisional Awards over the last few months, as they prepare for the big awards ceremony in October.
The divisional awards include categories that cover comic books, webcomics, political cartoons and more. I’ve included the nominations that are relevant to the world of comics, but you can find the complete nominations lists here and here.
‘Usagi Yojimbo,’ ‘They Called Us Enemy’ recognized in the NCS divisional awards.
This has been a very busy weekend for comics, from DC FanDome to the Small Press Expo and the Ignatz Awards to the National Cartoonist Society‘s virtual NCSFest, their annual event where the winner of the Reuben Award is announced (as well as other awards).
As announced during NCSFest, cartoonist Lynda Barry has won the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. The award has been presented annually since 1954 and was named for Rube Goldberg.
Plus: Bill Mantlo in need, halfway through ‘Saga,’ awards and more.
The manga community has lost two legends in April, as both Lupin III creator Monkey Punch and Lone Wolf & Cub co-creator Kazuo Koike have passed away. Both men died from pneumonia six days apart, and were once considered rivals when their respective manga ran in Weekly Manga Action magazine. They also worked together on the Secretary Bird manga mini-series that ran in the magazine in 1970.
Monkey Punch, whose real name was Kazuhito Kato, was 81 when he passed away. His most famous creation, Lupin III, started as a manga and was later adapted into six animated television series, eight animated feature films, two live-action feature films, two musicals and several video games. He passed away April 11.
In addition to Lone Wolf & Cub, Koike is also known for such titles as Lady Snowblood, Crying Freeman,Samurai Executioner and many other popular series. His work influenced many American creators, including Frank Miller, who drew covers for First Comics’ publication of the series. Koike also worked on a few western series, including a Hulk manga and an issue of X-Men Unlimited. He passed away April 17 at the age of 82.
Four of the five Reuben nominees mirror last year’s line-up, as Lynda Barry, Stephan Pastis, Hilary Price and Mark Tatulli have all been nominated again. Joining them is Brain Basset, creator of the comic strips Red and Rover and Adam @ Home. Glen Keane won the award last year.