68th Annual Reuben Awards – Part 1

Yes, the time has come to allow all you little people to have a peek into the lofty lives of we cartoonists. Each Memorial Day weekend, the National Cartoonists Society blesses a random city with its presence. They like to choose a community that never ever has the opportunity to see a real live cartoonist, so this year they chose San Diego, California. (What’s that? The largest comic convention in the world? Each July? Really?!) Moving on…


San Diego harbor
The view from my room at the Omni. Having only been to San Diego during Comic Con, it was hard to believe that you could ever see the ground around the convention center.


Cartoonists from all over the world descended upon the Omni hotel located directly across from the convention center where Comic Con rears its nerdy head every summer. The Omni is also located directly next to the ballpark where the Padres play. In fact, they had their own ramp right from the hotel into the stadium. The Cubs were in town that weekend, and also chose our hotel to rest their weary heads where they could dream about what it might feel like to be in a World Series.


The Omni
The Omni Hotel directly next to Petco Park where the Padres play baseball. Sadly, no baseballs were hit into my room.


Things really got underway at the Reubens at 1pm on Friday, May 23rd. That is when the seminars began. I’ll let the photos tell the story…


Eddie Pittman's Red's Planet
The first speaker of the weekend was Eddie Pittman, a former Disney Feature Animation artist who recently worked on “Phineas & Ferb” and draws his own web comic “Red’s Planet.”
Chris Houghton
John Lotshaw (on R) ran the technical side of all the seminars. Here he is helping Chris Houghton (on L) set things up for his talk.
Onion & Pea with the Simpsons
Having travelled from Spain to be there, Josè Villena from the online strip “Onion & Pea” talking with Tom Gammill, cartoonist of “The Doozies” and writer for “The Simpsons” television show.
Chris Houghton
Chris Houghton, the first recipient of the Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship five years ago, spoke about his work in comics and animation.
Sam Viviano
Hector Cantú, one of the creators of the “Baldo” comic strip chatting with “MAD Magazine’s” Sam Viviano.
Lynn Johnston & Mell Lazarus
Mell Lazarus (“Momma”) chatting with Lynn Johnston (“For Better Or For Worse”).
cartoonists talking
Bill Hinds (“Tank McNamara”), Wiley Miller (“Non Sequitur”), and John Hambrock (“The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee”) chatting between seminars.
Greg Evans
The third speaker for the day was Greg Evans, creator of the comic strip “Luann”. Despite the photo, no, he did not blow lots of kisses into the audience.
Grant Geissman, Nick Meglin
Nick Meglin (former “MAD” editor), Linda Maloof, and Grant Geissman (composer for “2 1/2 Men” and author of a new book on MAD man Al Feldstein) all riveted by Greg Evans’ talk.
Darrin Bell, Mike Cope
Darrin Bell (“Rudy Park” and “Candorville”) chatting with Mike Cope who does a variety of work.
David Folkman
The most familiar view of David Folkman who is always gracious to be the official unofficial photographer of the Reubens.
Mr. Burns
Two little Mr. Burnses making their maniacal presence known at the Reubens.
Stephen Silver's family
The two little Mr. Burnses turned out to be Caiden and Macey Silver (who seem to still be feeling the effects of the masks), the children of Heidi (seen here) and Stephen Silver as Pauline Goldberg (Stan’s wife) looks on.
Mell Lazarus
Another shot of Mell Lazarus catching up with old friends.
Suzy's Zoo
Suzy Spafford was our last speaker of the day who spoke all about her world of “Suzy’s Zoo” that she has been creating for 45 years!


After Friday’s four seminars were through, it was time for the opening night party where everyone gathered by the pool at the Omni and enjoyed a buffet style dinner with friends, family and colleagues!


Brian Crane
Winner of a Reuben Award last year, Brian Crane (“Pickles” comic strip) meeting my mother, Barbara Frye.
Three Stooges
Cartoonists Sean Parkes, Stephen Silver, and Ed Steckley/Mr. Hyde.
Kovaleski & Rider
John Kovaleski examining Randy Rider’s tonsils.
Houghton & Heller
Chris Houghton with his wife and fabulous cartoonist, Kassandra Heller.
Sergio Aragonès Groo
My parents, David & Barbara Frye, having a marginal meeting with “MAD’s” Sergio Aragonès!
cartoonists talking
Nick Meglin (“MAD”), Jerry Van Amerongen (“Ballard Street” comic strip) and Charlene Aragonès.
Suzy Spafford & Bill Holbrook
Bill Holbrook (“On the Fastrack”, “Kevin & Kell” & “Safe Havens” strips) with his daughters chatting with Suzy Spafford (Suzy’s Zoo) and her husband Ray Lidstrom.
Hank Ketcham's son
Scott Ketcham who has taken over much of the writing of his father’s creation “Dennis the Menace”.
Stephan Pastis
Stephan Pastis (“Pearls Before Swine”) with Jerry Scott’s wife Kim, and daughters Abbey and Cady Lane.
Charlie's Angels
The new Charlie’s Angels: Jennifer George (Rube Goldberg’s granddaughter), Heather Steckley, and Heidi Silver.
Greg Evans’ very cheerful wife Betty sharing a laugh with my mother, Barbara.
famous cartoonists
Jerry Scott (author of “Zits” and “Baby Blues”), Stephan Pastis wearing a broken cloak of invisibility, and Dave Coverly (“Speed Bump”).


If you want to see MORE fun photos of cartoonists not drawing anything, stick around. There are more from the Reuben Awards yet to come!

Chad About Town