Some of you may have already seen this posting as it was up for a few hours last week. My apologies for the repeat. I thought I had clearance to let you all read about this, but as it turned out, we needed to make sure the nominees had all been notified before I told my tale publicly.
For those of you tuning in for the first time, it’s a riveting tale of espionage and intrigue merry-go-rounding about the secrets of the inner sanctum of cartoondom. Proceed if you dare.
On the Sunday afternoon of March 1, I was a part of a terrific group of cartooning folk who gathered at the home of Mell Lazarus (Momma comic strip artist) to judge the Feature Animation Reuben Division Award being given by the National Cartoonists Society (NCS) at their annual Reuben Awards coming in May.
Each year the NCS gives awards in various categories that include comic strips, comic books, illustration, animation, editorial cartoons – you name it! All of these awards given by peers are followed by the prestigious Reuben Award itself for Cartoonist of the Year.
While the Reuben has historically reflected many cartooning genres, this year’s nominees for the big prize happen to all come from the world of comic strips: Dan Piraro (Bizarro), Dave Coverly (Speed Bumps), and Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine).
Our local LA Chapter committee who met at Mell’s place had quite a job in front of us. With only one award for all of Feature Animation, we set out to nominate the best work from theatrically released feature films. That means we had to consider storyboard artists, development artists, directors, art directors, designers, etc. If you click here to see the history of this award, you will see that the prize has often been awarded to many directors. This year the nominees are all guys who worked in the trenches.
So, with much thought and discussion, the nominees for this year’s NCS Feature Animation Division Award are:
Clay Kaytis – Supervising Animator, Rhino from Bolt
Nicolas Marlet – Character Designer for Kung Fu Panda
James Baxter – Character Animator for Kung Fu Panda
The Reuben Awards are in a different city every year. This coming Memorial Day weekend, they will be coming to Hollywood, my backyard! Boasting seminars by Disney animator Eric Goldberg, illustrator Drew Struzan, In the Bleachers cartoonist Steve Moore, and more, this year’s event promises to be quite the cartoonists party!