Every year the National Cartoonists Society holds its annual Reuben Awards weekend where member cartoonists of all kinds gather to drink, hug, compare surgical scars and cholesterol medications, and give each other awards. This year’s event was held in Boston over the Memorial Day holiday and I was there.
The highlight of the Reuben Weekend is the formal dinner where several division awards are given (Best Comic Strip, Best Graphic Novel, Best Television and Feature Animation, etc.). But the Big Award is called the Reuben and it is bestowed upon the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, voted by peer members of the organization. The Reuben is a once in a lifetime award and is the highest honor of the NCS. This year’s Reuben winner was Richard Thompson, a brilliant cartoonist, swell guy, and creator of the comic strip Cul de Sac.
One of the coolest things to happen during the Boston weekend is that a bunch of us got a rare tour of the Harvard Lampoon building. Doozies cartoonist, famous TV comedy writer and former Lampoon staff member Tom Gammill somehow sneaked Cathy Guisewite, Jerry Van Amerongen, Rick Kirkman, Greg Evans, Bill Amend and me by the guard hounds for a behind-the-scenes look. Of course, pictures weren’t allowed inside, but I did manage to snap this one quick shot of the building with my iPhone as were getting off the subway.
The photo really doesn’t do it justice… it’s much nicer than it looks. Ringed by the craggy granite mountains that surround Harvard, the Lampoon Building dominates the tiny campus below and adds real credibility and class to the school. You should see it.