The beautiful 62nd Annual Reuben Awards
poster illustrated by Tom Richmond.
It took my wife Karen & I three months to get to New Orleans from Alaska by ferry - Next time I think we'll fly.
I was really excited when I saw this building! I had no idea that they had a Disneyland in New Orleans! Karen ruined it when she informed me this was actually just a cathedral.
Karen & I on our first day at the Reuben Awards in New Orleans. You can already see me starting to get shiny & sweaty - Who would have ever thought that Louisiana would be hot in the summer - go figure.
Me and two of my favorite cartoonists in the world - Lynn Johnston of "For Better or For Worse" & Mike Peters of "Mother Goose & Grimm"
My buddy Mike Arnold - He's done work for lots of things including MAD MAGAZINE, CRACKED & NICKELODEON just to name a few. See the wet stain on his shirt? He's a sloppy eater - it smelled like gumbo.
Mason Mastroianni - Grandson of Johnny Hart and following in his Grandpa's footsteps as cartoonist of "B.C."
Me, Stan Goldberg (Archie Comics artist) and his absolutely fantastic wife Pauline, pictured here in one of New Orleans' oldest restaurants - I can't remember the name of it - something French-sounding I think - That really narrows it down. Stan & Pauline are two of the main reasons Karen & I are so thankful we joined the National Cartoonist Society.
Everyone knows "Jeffy" the little kid from "Family Circus" - This is the actual Jeffy (Jeff Keane) - He's grown up a bit over the years. He's also the current president of the National Cartoonists Society. You don't want to know what he did to get all those beads - trust me.
The wonderfully funny Mel Lazarus and I. Mel is best known for his wonderful comic strips "Miss Peach" and "Momma" not to mention tolerating brown-nosing young cartoonists telling him how wonderful he is.
Karen & "Popeye" cartoonist Hy Eisman - It took three of us to break his grip off Karen - The man eats his spinach.
Karen & Stephen Silver (Character designer for "Kim Possible") This guy is not only talented and good-looking, but probably rich as well... ya gotta hate people like that - Ha! Just kidding. Or so my therapist tells me.
This is the sketch Stephen did for our daughter, Sarah. It makes my crummy little doodles look pretty pathetic. Oh well - It'll fetch a nice little chunk of change on eBay - Sorry Sarah.
Egil Lyder of Egmont and Peter Grannby of Bulls Press - These gentlemen are currently assembling two Tundra books to be published in German - They're going to make me the David Hasselhoff of the cartoon world!
Stan Goldberg doing a sketch of Archie & the Gang for Sarah - What a spoiled little kid.
I caught my cartooning idol Mike Peters doodling with my wife - It's a good thing I'm used to humiliation.
Mike's wife, Marian with Karen. Much like Karen (and most cartoonist's wives), Marian is instrumental in making sure her husband remembers to put his pants on before leaving the house.
The night of the big Reuben Awards Ceremony! Karen made the wise move of being seen with Stan as much as possible instead of me .
Mike Arnold again with his better half, Nina Davenport. Mike's still a sloppy eater, but the tuxedo jacket hides the stains better.
Mike Peters was the M.C. for the evening. I have a lot more photos of him during this time but this is the only one even slightly in focus - The man never stops flailing around!
You just don't see stuff like this at the Academy Awards.
Karen took this photo of me right after they called my name as the winner of the "Newspaper Panel of the Year" Reuben Award. Okay, so it's a bit blurry, sorta like a 1970's sasquatch photo, but hey, it's really me. Notice Cathy Guisewite (of the comic strip "Cathy") getting the heck off the stage as soon as she presented me with the award. I guess she didn't like to see a grown man cry - not to mention collapse on the stage in the fetal position and mutter "You like me! You really really like me!" (Somewhat obscure Sally Field reference from the 1990 Academy Awards - Google it).
After I stood back up, I gave my well-rehearsed acceptance speech - I'll never forget what I said:
"Blbblr -blfrtry ret yurp. Blorrble bibble gloob hlordvbg jubbli bwaggle." I think that's about when I passed out.
Karen was so incredibly sweet, supportive and proud of me - It almost made me feel guilty for wondering how much I could get for this plaque at the nearest pawn shop.
But seriously, when I got home I tied a rope to that thing (the plaque, not Karen) and have been proudly wearing it as a necklace ever since. This is a photo which has nothing to do with the Reuben awards...but I didn't know where else to put it. It's a photo of the citation I was awarded by the Alaska State Legislature as "ALASKA'S CARTOON LAUREATE". What's that, you say? I guess it's like "POET LAUREATE" but a little funnier and not quite as pretentious.Note the crowd of people in the background - unfortunately they're not there to see me - they're waiting for an appearance of our Governor and recent V.P. candidate Sarah Palin - Once again she upstaged me! I'll be posting more photos of the Reubens on here soon, so feel free to come back and check every now and then.