Nominated for Divisional Reuben!

 Every year, the National Caroonists Society hosts it's big convention and awards ceremony, where it gives out various divisional awards in different categories of cartooning and art, the Silver Reubens.  

Photo blatantly ripped off the website.
There's 15 divisions, 3 nominees per division: Editorial Cartoons, Newspaper Illustration, Feature Animation, TV Animation, Newspaper Panels, Gag Cartoons, Advertising/Product Illustration, Greeting Cards, Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Book Illustration, Newspaper Comic Strips, and 2 online categores, short form and long form, and then the big award for Cartoonist of the Year.  (The list of nominees can be found here...)

This year, I have the honor of being nominated in the category of Advertising/Product Illustration.  This is my second nomination- the first was in 2012.  (It's also actually the second time I submitted work for these, so until I inevitably lose out on awards night, techinally I'm batting 1000!)  This nomination is a big deal, I believe bigger than in years past.  Here's why:

In the past, the NCS regional chapters would get a category to vote on.  They'd go through all the submissions, follow set guidelines for what to do to make it fair,  they'd add their own names of other artists who they thought would be good contenders to consider (wideing the submission base), and eventually they'd all meet up and sit in someones living room, deliberating and hemming and hawing about who should win.  
In the end, they'd come up with the 5 nominees for their assigned division, (5, just in case one of the top 3 ended up being ineligible), and would basically have to keep it a secret who really won.  
This process was a lot of fun- I've run a few of these pow-wows myself.  The upside was that it would help create a sense of community for the chapters, and some of the chapters would really go all out, making it their annual event.
But, in the end, generally you've only got about 8 people voting.  

With a group that small, the danger of personal bias winning out over the merit of the artwork becomes a consideration.  There was always the fear of a person being nominated not for their art, but for them personally.  Granted, no jury could consist of any person who submitted in that category, but let's be real- people know each other, people like each other, people root for each other, especially in a close knit community like the NCS.  One could never really be sure if they won based soley on the merit of their artwork, or that a bunch of their friends were in on the voting.  No one wants to admit it, but that is human nature.  Being objective over subjective is much easier said than done.  Of course, being nominated is always an honor; one would always hope that the nomination came from the merit of the artwork and nothing else.  But....

This year we've done away with all that.  

For the first time, all the voting for the divisions (except for some specialty categories that require industry people to contribute) was done online, and EVERYONE in the organization, world wide, got a log-in and password and got to vote on the categories.

I'm one of the ones who helped inplement the new system, and to say the who process wasn't a big pain in the ass would be a lie.  But, the site got built, and it worked. And it's pretty cool.

So, now, being nominated means a bit more, if you ask me.  Getting a nomination now means the majority of the membership saw fit to nominate you, not just a small group, and that ain't hay.

The awards ceremony is over Memorial Day weekend.  Many congratulations to all the nominees, and an extra hearty 'way to go' to the other two in my category, one of which will inevitably be taking home the hardware!

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Me at the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning!

 The Kenosha Festival of Cartooning has been an annual event in Wisconsin for a few years now.  
Their speakers have ranged from top comic strip artists, illustrators, cartoonists, all sorts of cartoon related folks.  
This year they've chose to add me to the roster, which hopefuly won't start a downward spiral of more bad decisions by the committee.  
I kid, of course- Anne Hambrock, who runs this thing, does a fantastic job of lining up speakers, events and everythign else that's involved, as well as getting the funds to do the whole thing.  Frankly, I have no idea how she does it, but she does it!

Also taking the stage during the 3 day event are Mark Tutulli, who does the strips Lio and Heart of the City, Bill Morrison, from the Simpsons and Bongo Comics, Jan 'Stone Soup' Eliot, and cartoonist Mark Anderson.  All the info on the speakers can be found here....

For me, I'll be focusing on my advertising illustration career, and will be dropping a few nuggets about the project I'm currently working on with Abrams books, which I hope to announce in the near future.  No spoilers!

See you in Kenosha!

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Stan Goldberg, 1932-2014

 The web is blowing up with tributes to Stan today, but it would be remiss of me to not include my own, as Stan was a wonderful friend to me and Heather, and welcomed us to the NCS, and New York City, with grace and admiration.

Stan was a Marvel guy, and freelanced from early in his career all though the 60s, primarily as a comics colorist.  It was Stan who came up with the color designs for Spiderman, the Hulk and the Fantastic Four, much of it uncredited, as was the MO at the time.
His eventual road to being the main Archie artist started under Dan DeCarlo at Marvel, working on their humor, teen and 'career girl' titles.  According to Wikipedia, Kathy the Teenage Torpedo lead to Millie the Model (where he unknowingly collaborated with Al Jaffee, long before they became friends), which led to the romantic comedy series, Pastsy Walker, which he would eventually co-plot with Stan Lee.
In the early 70s, after he'd stopped freelancing for Marvel, he began his long association with Archie comics.  Archie was already a 'thing' by this time, but the house style the preceeded him was a natural fit for Stan, and for almost 40 years, was the 'main man' as it were, at Archie Comics and its various iterations.

In 2010, IDW released a 160 page hardcover collection, Archie: The Best of Stan Goldberg, with a new cover by Stan.

In 2012, he was presented with the National Cartoonists Society's Gold Key Award, entering him into the NCS Hall of Fame.

On a more personal note, when Heather and I moved to NYC in 2006, Stan and Pauline were a part of a group of artists out here called the Berndt Toast Gang, who welcomed us out with open arms.  They were always there to check up on us, and made our transition to the big city as much of an easy one as could possibly be.  
Stan was one of my biggest cheerleaders.

This loss is huge, and it's repercussions will ring for a long time to come.  For now, our thoughts are with Pauline and the family, and of course, with our memories of Stan.

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Kenosha Festival of Cartooning opening June 6-Spet 27.

 From the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning blog:

It is with great excitement that we announce the opening of the first gallery show of comic art for the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning 2014!!
The show opens Saturday, June 7th 2014 and will run until Saturday September 27th 2014 at the Kenosha Public Museum. 5500 1st Avenue Kenosha WI. (click the link for museum hours)

We are tremendously excited to be able to offer comic fans in the greater Milwaukee and Chicago area the opportunity to see, not only original comic artwork from some of the most popular cartoonists working today, but a glimpse of the genius of iconic artists from Comic Books, Newspaper Comics, and MAD Magazine from years gone by. (Be sure to scroll through the whole list - it's a great line-up!!)

Featured will be the work of festival guest speakers:
Jeff Keane (Family Circus)
Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate)
Todd Clark (Lola)
Scott Stantis (Prickly City, Editorial Cartoons)
Terri Libenson (The Pajama Diaries)
Rick Stromoski (Soup To Nutz)
Denis Kitchen (Kitchen Sink Press and Underground Comic Artist)

Also featured will be work by living artists with ties to Wisconsin:
Tom Richmond (MAD Magazine)
Ed Steckley (Humorous Illustrator)
Joe Martin (Mr. Boffo, Willy and Ethel, Porterfield, Cats With Hands)
John Hambrock (Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee)
Phil Hands (Editorial Cartoons)
Dan Pavelich (Just Say Uncle and Kenosha County)
And historic artists with ties to Wisconsin (On Loan From The George Hagenauer Collection):
Carl Anderson (Henry)
Ham Fisher (Joe Palooka)
Mike Grell (Jon Sable)
Frank O King (Gasoline Alley)
Steve Rude (Nexus)
Sidney Smith (The Gumps)
Erwin Hess (Big Little Book - Roy Rodgers)
Trina Robbins (Last Human)
Jules Feiffer (Hold Up)
AND iconic comic book artists: (On Loan From The George Hagenauer Collection)
Frank Frazetta (Planet - Comic Book Interior)
Jack Kirby (Human Torch)
Joe Kubert (Hawkman, Tarzan)
Frank Robbins (Johhny Hazard)
Jerry Robinson (Green Hornet)
Joe Shuster (Superman)
Joe Simon (Phantom)
Bill Sienkewicz (Hulk)

As well as MAD magazine's:
Sergio Aragones (Groo) (On Loan From The George Hagenauer Collection)
Dave Berg
Jack Davis
Mort Drucker
Will Elder
Wally Wood
And FINALLY Newspaper greats from days gone by: (On Loan From The George Hagenauer Collection)
Ernie Bushmiller (Nancy)
Gus Arriola (Gordo)
Milton Caniff (Steve Canyon, Terry and the Pirates)
Roy Crane (Captain Easy)
Billy DeBeck (Barney Google and Snuffy Smith)
Bud Fisher (Mutt and Jeff)
Hal Foster (Prince Valiant)
Chester Gould (Dick Tracy)
Harold Gray (Little Orphan Annie)
George Herriman (Krazy Kat)
Walt Kelly (Pogo)
Winsor McKay (Buster Brown)
George McManus (Bringing Up Father)
Virgil Partch (Big George)
Chic Young (Blondie)

A huge thank you to Comic Collector George Hagenauer who gave us access to his overwhelming collection of magnificent comic art!! And to Gina Radandt and Rachel Klees Anderson of the Kenosha Public Museum for not only having the vision to mount this show but who drove to Madison with Festival Director Anne Morse Hambrock to personally pick up the artwork. Thanks also for their countless hours of cataloging, framing and hanging this show!!!

This is a super cool event, despite my inclusion in the show.  I did something new just for this event, but won't throw it up (*ahem*) here until after the show opens.  

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