Cartoon Group Names Stromoski Prez, Announces Award Nominees

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By: Dave Astor

Three syndicated creators are finalists for the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award as cartoonist of the year. Another syndicated creator has been elected incoming president of the NCS.

Rick Stromoski, who does the “Soup to Nutz” comic for Newspaper Enterprise Association as well as other cartooning, will begin a two-year term as president following the NCS’ May 27-29 Reuben Weekend in Scottsdale, Ariz. He’ll succeed Steve McGarry, who was only the third president in the 59-year history of the NCS to serve two consecutive terms.

On May 28, the winner of the Reuben honor will be announced. The three nominees are “Rose is Rose” creator Pat Brady of United Feature Syndicate, “Speed Bump” creator Dave Coverly of Creators Syndicate, and “Bizarro” creator Dan Piraro of King Features Syndicate.

This is the eighth Reuben nomination for Brady, the third consecutive for Piraro, and the first for Coverly.

Various other newspaper and non-newspaper cartoonists are also finalists in 12 division categories. Some of the categories and nominees include:

? Editorial cartoons: Jim Borgman of The Cincinnati Enquirer and King, Gary Brookins of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch and King, and Jeff Parker of Florida Today in Melbourne and Cagle Cartoons.

? Comic panels: Marcus Hamilton, “Dennis the Menace,” King; Steve Moore, “In the Bleachers,” Universal Press Syndicate; and Jeff Stahler, “Moderately Confused,” NEA.

? Comic strips: Tom Batiuk, “Funky Winkerbean,” King; Jef Mallett, “Frazz,” United; and Glenn McCoy, “The Duplex,” Universal.

Joining Stromoski on the 2005-7 NCS board of directors will be “The Family Circus” co-cartoonist Jeff Keane of King (first vice president), greeting card cartoonist Oliver Christianson (second vice president), “Rhymes With Orange” creator Hilary Price of King (third vice president), the aforementioned Dave Coverly (membership chair), “Cleats” creator/”Tank McNamara” co-creator Bill Hinds of Universal (treasurer), “Baby Blues” co-creator Rick Kirkman of King (secretary), and “Luann” creator Greg Evans of United (national representative).

The officers and nominees were announced today on the NCS’ revamped Web site. The site — designed and created by McGarry’s sons Joe and Luke — now contains the complete awards history of the NCS, biographies of most NCS members, a section honoring deceased members, advice for aspiring cartoonists, photos, movie clips, and more.

Scheduled speakers at the Reuben Weekend include Lalo Alcaraz, who does editorial cartoons and “La Cucaracha” for Universal; Darrin Bell, creator of “Candorville” for the Washington Post Writers Group and co-cartoonist for “Rudy Park” of United; Mike Luckovich, editorial cartoonist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Creators; the aforementioned Glenn McCoy, who does editorial cartoons for the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat and Universal in addition to “The Duplex”; Joel Pett, editorial cartoonist for the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and Cartoonists & Writers Syndicate/New York Times Syndicate; Ann Telnaes, editorial cartoonist for Tribune Media Services and Women’s eNews as well as contributor to the “Six Chix” comic of King; and other cartoonists from the newspaper and non-newspaper world.

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