You’d think after not snagging the Reuben last weekend in DC, I’d feel like a sad sack of potatoes. But you know what? I had a blast. I came away from the weekend energized and inspired. I met a lot of great cartoonists, stuffed my face with great food and laughed from the moment I got there until the minute I left. Here are some shots from the trip.
One of the things I did that weekend was meet a bunch of great cartoonists…then force them to stand next to me in photos so I’d have proof. That’s Dave Coulson and Nick Galifianakis with me on the left. Nick gave an inspiring talk on artistic authenticity that’s will resonate with me for a long time. On the far right, that’s the talented Eddie Pittman (Red’s Planet) who also works on Phineas and Ferb. I’d known him online, but this was the first time I ever met him in person. No, Eddie wouldn’t spill any details from the final episode of Phineas and Ferb, but he did prove to be one of the nicest people out there.
Strolling around Washington DC on the afternoon of the Reubens we came upon this “Speed Hump” sign with the odd graphic. My friend suggested it actually looked like a hole in the ground, so I fixed it in post. That oughta’ slow down them leadfoot secret service agents!
Your Reuben Nominees for Outstanding Cartoonist this year were Roz Chast (The New Yorker), Hilary Price (Rhymes With Orange) and Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine). Chast took home the trophy. Our host was, once again, Jason Chatfield — an Australian editorial/comic cartoonist and stand-up comedian.
Running joke: Tom Gammill (The Doozies) and Jeannie Schulz (wife of the late Charles Schulz) yukking it up as usual. Always a crowd-pleaser. You can see the video that opened this year’s ceremony right here.
Mort (shown here with Mad editor, Nick Meglin) also headed up a panel on cartooning earlier in the week. His advice? Love what you do and always strive to get better at what you do. Good. That’s always been my philosophy too. Maybe I’m on the right track.
I told you I wasn’t going to leave the Reubens empty-handed. NCS President and Mad Magazine Cartoonist Tom Richmond did 44 hand-drawn caricatures of the Presidents to serve as table centerpieces. These were originals, not copies. I grabbed the Warren G. Harding from our table (couldn’t resist after reading that he was known as the President with the biggest feet! Big feet! Bigfoot! And Harding wore size 14, just like me! Maybe one day I’ll be president too.). I wanted to thank Tom for the drawing personally at the closing night Haunted Party, but could only find Freddy from the Scooby Doo gang.
Ed Steckley, by the way, is the talented cartoonist who drew the poster/t-shirt/program illustration for the event. He was nice enough to include our buddy, Scout, in the lower left hand corner of the piece…right there next to Heathcliff!
I’m still not sure which cartoonist was running around the Haunted Party dressed as the Phantom of the Reubens, but I did actually see him chasing the Scooby Doo gang across the stage while the Scooby Doo theme blared from the speakers. It was one of the highlights of the evening. (Just got word from Wayno that the Phantom was Ray Alma the whole time! And he would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling kids!)
Practically a cartoon character himself, Jim Horwitz (Watson) was someone I’d previously only known from Twitter/Online. As it turns out, that was insufficient preparation for dealing with this lunatic in person. What a nut. Glad to call him my friend.
Another pair of Pittsburgh cartoonists/illustrators, my friends Dave Coulson and Michael MacParlane (Mac). I know it looks like Michael dressed up as Uncle Fester for the Haunted Party, but that’s pretty much how he looks all the time.
Three Pittsburgh cartoonists, Wayno® (WaynoVision), me and Dave Klug. We look real natural, right? Wrong. It took three separate shots stitched together to recreate this “natural” moment because none of us know how to stand still for a picture. Still, these guys made the Reubens a ton of fun and I can’t wait to hang out with them again. They said I could, but only if I get nominated again.