Three Cartoonists Vie For Reuben

By: Dave Astor

Three comic creators are finalists for the National Cartoonists Society’s (NCS) Reuben Award as top cartoonist of the year — including “Rose is Rose” creator Pat Brady of United Media, “Luann” creator Greg Evans of United, and “Zits”/”Baby Blues” co-creator Jerry Scott of King Features Syndicate.

The winner will be named May 25 at the Reuben weekend in Cancun, Mexico. Also that night, Jerry Robinson will receive the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. Robinson, 80, founded the Cartoonists & Writers Syndicate, drew editorial cartoons, authored many books on cartooning, created The Joker character of “Batman” fame, and is the only person to serve as president of both the NCS and Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

Speakers at the Cancun weekend will include Scott, “Baby Blues” co-creator Rick Kirkman, “Zits” co-creator and The Cincinnati Enquirer editorial cartoonist Jim Borgman, and “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau of Universal Press Syndicate, among others.

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Troy, N.Y., Newspaper Apologizes


It Ran Oliphant Priest Cartoon By Mistake

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been Page One news. Ironically, it was the demands of a front page that allowed a controversial syndicated cartoon about the scandal to slip into The Record of Troy, N.Y.

The newspaper apologized for what it said was a mistake in publishing the Pat Oliphant drawing, which showed a horde of lecherous priests chasing kids out of “St. Paedophilia’s” church in the “annual running of the altar boys.” (http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/cx/uc/20020321/po/?u)

Record Editor Lisa Robert Lewis said she planned to pull the cartoon before the March 28 editorial page went to press. “I decided it was insensitive and inappropriate and clearly shouldn’t run,” she told E&P Online. Then, Lewis was called away to deal with a problem on the front page, and failed to pull the cartoon. “It was my responsibility and my fault that this occurred,” she said.

Lewis said the paper, which has many Catholic readers, would have gotten a lot of negative response to the cartoon in any case. But the reaction increased both because Oliphant’s drawing ran the day before Good Friday and a local conservative radio host railed against it. About 250 readers contacted the paper, with only a handful liking the cartoon.

The Record, which has covered the pedophilia scandal in its news pages, ran both Page One and editorial-page apologies for the cartoon. Lewis, who also edits the editorial page, said she’s been at the paper for 26 years and felt she owed her readers a more detailed explanation than the Page One note alone.

The paper did not cancel Oliphant, who has more than 300 clients.

Universal Press Syndicate doesn’t know of any other print clients complaining about the cartoon, according to Director of Communications Kathie Kerr, though she added that The New York Times and The Washington Post Web sites declined to use it. Clients “just don’t run a cartoon if they don’t think it’s appropriate for their audience,” said Kerr. “The editorial cartoonist’s job is to view the world through a satirical eye. Their work will not please everybody.”

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Paradigm Syndicate Scales Back


Move Comes After Death Of Co-Founder

The syndicate that distributed a column by a supposed boy genius has at least temporarily scaled down some of its operations. But the reason for this relates more to last September’s death of Paradigm News President Bryce Miller than to the Justin Chapman situation.

Paradigm launched a column by Justin in 2000, when he was only 6, and the feature ran for about a year in just a few papers. Recently, Justin’s mother admitted fabricating many of her son’s achievements, including a perfect 800 math-SAT score and an off-the-charts 298 IQ. It’s not known how much of the column Justin wrote himself.

Miller, who had signed the column, was the only one of Paradigm’s three founders still active in the syndicate at the time of his death. Paradigm is reportedly still sending clients about 20 features, but is not seeking new clients until a reorganization is completed.

Cartoonist and illustrator Roy Doty told E&P Online that he and a number of other contributors have stopped sending their features to Paradigm at least for the time being. Doty, who does “Patent Nonsense” and “Sandy’s World,” helped bring creators to the syndicate when it was founded in 1998.

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Rob Rogers Cartoon Exhibit


Post-9/11 Show Running In Pittsburgh

An exhibition of post-Sept. 11 editorial cartoons by Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and United Media is running through April 27 at Pittsburgh’s Mendelson Gallery.




To see the last 10 “Syndicate World” columns, click here. Previous columns may be purchased in our paid archives. Search for “Astor” in the “Author” field.

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