NCS

NCS Awards

Each year, during the NCS Annual Reuben Awards Weekend, the Society honors the year’s outstanding achievements in all walks of the profession. The recipient of our profession’s highest honor, the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year is chosen by a secret ballot of the members.

The Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded by unanimous vote of the NCS Board of Directors, as is the Silver T-Square, an award that recognizes outstanding service to the Society and the profession.

The Reuben Award

Reuben winners Bil Keane, Sergio Aragones, Patrick McDonnell and Jim Borgman.

Reuben winners Bil Keane, Sergio Aragones, Patrick McDonnell and Jim Borgman.

The Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year is chosen by a secret ballot of the members of the National Cartoonists Society. The Reuben Award is the highest honor that the profession bestows. The award was previously called the Billy DeBeck Memorial Award, and the recipient received an engraved silver cigarette box.

The Reuben was introduced in 1954 and is named after longtime Honorary President Rube Goldberg. The statue is based on one of Goldberg’s irreverent pieces of sculpture. The eight winners who had received the “Barney,” as the Billy DeBeck Award was dubbed, subsequently received Reuben statuettes and are termed Reuben winners in the Society’s annals. As with all the NCS awards, the winner need not be a member of the Society.

1960
Ronald Searle

1961
Bill Mauldin

1968 (tied)
Pat Oliphant

1983
Arnold Roth

1985
Lynn Johnston

1986
Bill Watterson

1987
Mort Drucker

1988
Bill Watterson

1989
Jim Davis

1990
Gary Larson

1991
Mike Peters

1992
Cathy Guisewite

1993
Jim Borgman

1994
Gary Larson

1995
Garry Trudeau

1996
Sergio Aragones

1997
Scott Adams

1999
Patrick McDonnell

2000
Jack Davis

2001
Jerry Scott

2002
Matt Groening

2003
Greg Evans

2004
Pat Brady

2005
Mike Luckovich

2006
Bill Amend

2007
Al Jaffee

2008
Dave Coverly

2009
Dan Piraro

2010
Richard Thompson

2012 (tied)
Rick Kirkman

2012 (tied)
Brian Crane

2013
Wiley Miller

2014
Roz Chast

2015
Michael Ramirez

2016
Ann Telnaes

2017
Glen Keane

2018
Stephan Pastis

The Gold Key

Awarded by unanimous vote of the NCS Board of Directors, The Gold Key honors the recipient as a member of the National Cartoonists Society Hall of Fame.

2001
Arnold Roth

2005

2011
Roy Doty

2013
Bunny Hoest

2013
John Reiner

Reuben Weekends

Prior to 1983, the Reuben Awards Dinner was held in New York, usually at the Plaza Hotel. Since then, the event has expanded into a full weekend and is held in a different city each year.

Special artwork is created for the Reuben Weekends and used on T-Shirts, souvenir tote bags and the Reuben Journal.

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