This past weekend I drove all the way to Omaha for the semi-annual meeting of the North Central Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. In terms of square miles our chapter is by far the largest covering almost a third of the U.S. Our meeting locations rotate throughout the Midwest and almost always involve a long drive. Professional cartoonists are a really fun bunch to hang around so it makes for a refreshing mini-vacation.
In between eating, drinking, and talking shop we took time to judge the winner of the “gag cartoon” category of the 2011 Reuben Awards. The Reubens are the most prestigious honor in American cartooning and will be awarded at a black-tie gathering later this year in Boston. There were a lot of very funny entries this year. If you can make your fellow cartoonists laugh you know you are doing something right.
This year turnout was lower than usual. Maybe judging the Reuben awards on the same weekend as the Oscars amounted to just too much artistic competition for one weekend. Seriously, a few of the “regulars” faced circumstances beyond their control but we look forward to seeing everyone at our fall gathering—right here in Minneapolis!