Mort Walker to Receive National Cartoonists Society’s Gold Key Award

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By: Dave Astor

“Beetle Bailey” creator Mort Walker will receive the National Cartoonists Society’s Gold Key Award during the NCS’s May 25-28 Reuben weekend in Orlando, Fla.

“It’s our equivalent of the NCS hall of fame,” said Rick Stromoski, the organization’s president and the creator of the “Soup to Nutz” comic for United Media.

Walker is a longtime NCS member, a past president of the group, and a past winner of the Reuben Award as top cartoonist of the year. He started the “Beetle Bailey” comic in 1950, and it still runs in more than 1,800 newspapers via King Features Syndicate. Walker has also created various other comics, including “Hi and Lois.”

In addition, Walker is an author as well as the founder of what is now known as the National Cartoon Museum.

Among the previous recipients of the Gold Key are “Terry and the Pirates”/”Steve Canyon” creator Milton Caniff and editorial cartoonist Herbert Block.

Stromoski said the NCS will also award the Silver T-Square during the Reuben weekend to Joe and Luke McGarry for their work on the NCS Web site, the Reuben-night video presentation, and other volunteer services to the organization. They are the sons of Steve McGarry, the NCS’s immediate past president and a cartoonist who does features such as “KidCity” for United and “Biographic” for Universal Press Syndicate.

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