Amend, Coverly, and Piraro Are Finalists for Top Cartoonist

By: Dave Astor

The creators of “FoxTrot,” “Speed Bump,” and “Bizarro” are this year’s nominees for the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award as cartoonist of the year.

Bill Amend does the “FoxTrot” comic strip for Universal Press Syndicate, Dave Coverly does the “Speed Bump” comic panel for Creators Syndicate, and Dan Piraro does the “Bizarro” comic panel for King Features Syndicate.

The winner will be named May 26 — during the May 25-28 Reuben weekend in Orlando, Fla. At the awards dinner, winners will also be named in 12 categories.

Nominees for best comic strip cartoonist are Bill Griffith (“Zippy the Pinhead”/King), Stephan Pastis (“Pearls Before Swine”/United Media), and Mark Tatulli (“Lio”/Universal).

Best comic panel finalists are Tony Carrillo (“F Minus”/United), Hilary Price (“Rhymes With Orange”/King), and Kieran Meehan. The last cartoonist is listed on the nominee roster as doing “Meehan”; E&P’s syndicate directories indicate that Meehan formerly created “Meehan Streak” for Tribune Media Services and now does “A Lawyer, A Doctor & A Cop” for King.

Editorial cartoonist nominees are Mike Lester of the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune and Cagle Cartoons, Glenn McCoy of the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat and Universal, and Mike Ramirez of Investor’s Business Daily and Copley News Service. Interestingly, all three finalists are conservatives in an editorial cartooning profession consisting mostly of liberal and centrist creators.

Nominees for newspaper illustration are Sean Kelly, Robert Sanchuk, and Laurie Triefeldt. The last finalist does the “World of Wonder” graphic feature for The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., and United.

Several nominees in non-newspaper categories have syndication connections. For instance, two of the book illustration finalists are the aforementioned Mike Lester (for “93 in My Family”) and “Non Sequitur” cartoonist Wiley Miller of Universal (for “The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil”). And one of the greeting card finalists is Carla Ventresca, who does the Creators-distributed “On a Claire Day” comic with Henry Beckett.

Also, feature animation nominees include the “Over the Hedge” movie (based on the comic of the same name by Michael Fry and T Lewis of United) and “Open Season” (which “In the Bleachers” cartoonist Steve Moore of Universal helped create).

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