Kansas City 2020

Everything you need to know about the 74th annual Reuben Awards Weekend in Kansas City, MO. June 5-7, 2020.

Kansas City 2020 | National Cartoonists Society


This year’s Reuben Awards weekend is going to be one for the history books, with wall-to-wall parties, first-class seminars from the industry’s biggest superstars, and NCSFest entertainment for professionals and public alike. The majority of the weekend’s events will take place in the Marriott Hotel Kansas City Downtown in the newly reinvigorated heart of Kansas City! This page serves to give you all the information you need on both the Reuben conference and award events … and NCSFest which will be happening at the hotel and surrounding venues!

Friday, June 5th

Registration begins at 8:00am, when you’ll receive your fabulous Reuben Weekend goody bag, T-shirt, badges, complete event schedule, and a veritable potpourri of comics paraphernalia!

Our Friday sessions begin at 10am, and feature seminars by a star-studded line-up of cartoonists covering a wide variety of topics, starting with the very talented young cartoonist, GEORGIA DUNN, shining a spotlight on her hilarious hit webcomic, BREAKING CAT NEWS, which appears on GoComics. Georgia will give us a look behind the scenes of her strip, based on her real cats Elvis, Puck, and Lupin, and share her journey as a cartoonist and book illustrator.

Once you’re fully cat-primed, you’ll be ready for our very special guest, JIM DAVIS with his exclusive NCS Reubens talk, “The Art of Funny”. A previous Reuben-winner, and creator of the most widely-syndicated comic strip in the world, GARFIELD, Jim will pull back the curtain on Paws Inc. exploring the digital transformation of cartooning properties, from streaming animated series and films to social media. The Paws Inc. team does a brilliant job of keeping the brand progressing forward to new generations and always seems to be innovating. The talk will also explore what he thinks is funny from the standpoint of art, subject and timing in comics, animation, movies and TV in 2020. This is one very special presentation not-to-be-missed!

We’ll then be treated to the SUPERSTARS OF INSTAGRAM: A contingent of the world’s most famous online cartoonists who have all created wildly-successful cartooning careers on the web in various mediums including Instagram. TEA FOUGNER will return to host a wide-ranging discussion on valuable experiences and advice with GEMMA CORRELL, NICK SELUK (Awkward Yeti), LUKE McGARRY, and LINIERS. This was by-far one of our most popular sessions at NCSFest 2019 so be sure not to miss this iteration with the latest crop of talent taking the cartooning world by storm.

We’ll round out day one of our seminars with our friends from King Features with FROM COMIC TO BRANDED FRANCHISE: taking iconic brands from an origin story of a comic to a multi-generational franchise In merchandising and entertainment, hosted by Carla Silva: Global VP and GM, Consumer Product Licensing. JIM DAVIS will make a repeat appearance to discuss his extensive experience!

You’ll have time to take a breather and freshen up before we take a short stroll to nearby Walnut street for the official Reubens weekend welcome party in concert with the 50th anniversary celebrations of our friends at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Dance, drink and sing the night away as we toast 50 successful years of cartooning talent at Andrews McMeel’s new HQ in the heart of Downtown Kansas City. As always, the night will kick into high gear with Karaoke in the newly revamped Power and Light District, which is packed with a treasure trove of amazing bars, fine-food restaurants, music, museums, theaters and artistic delights.

Kansas City 2020 | National Cartoonists Society

Saturday, June 6th


Start the big day off right with a delicious, nutritious full breakfast buffet before we sit down to the ANNUAL NCS GENERAL MEETING. All guests are welcome to enjoy the breakfast buffet but, as always, NCS members only please –no spouses or family guests for the Members’ Meeting.

Registration opens at 9:00am. Day 2 kicks into high gear with a stellar array of speakers, including a triple-barreled dose of cartooning talent featuring MARK TATULLI, MARIA SCRIVAN, and TERRI LIBENSON discussing their EVOLUTION FROM COMIC STRIPS TO BOOK PUBLISHING. These three talented cartoonists will share their multifaceted experiences with moving from traditional syndicated newspaper strips to fully-fledged successful publication properties.

Join host and For Better Or For Worse creator LYNN JOHNSTON in celebrating PATRICK McDONNELL’S journey over the past 25 years with his iconic comic strip, MUTTS and everything along the way. Patrick is this year’s Elzie Segar Award-winner for his unique and outstanding contribution to the profession of cartooning.

The final seminar of the day will send us out on a very high note, as Pulitzer and Reuben-winner, ANN TELNAES hosts a conversation with our Gold T-Square-winner and creator of the hit comic strip DOONESBURY and Amazon Series ALPHA HOUSE, the inimitable GARRY TRUDEAU. The unmissable conversation will cover his epic 50-year career in cartooning, politics and the life of an astonishing talent.

Keep your eyes peeled for our Saturday offsite NCSFest events announcements here and on our social media channels.

Kansas City 2020 | National Cartoonists Society


It’s time to get into your Sunday best for a Saturday party, stroll down the red carpet and enjoy the pre-dinner cocktail hour before joining the NCS in honoring our nominees in the 47th Annual Reuben Awards.

A parade of playful presenters will keep us in stitches and suspense as we honor cartooning’s best and brightest of 2019, including the coveted Cartoonist of the Year!

Note: As usual, the Reuben Awards Banquet is not open to the general public. Registered Reuben Banquet attendees only will be admitted.

Among this year’s honorees are Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award-Winner HY EISMAN, writer and cartoonist for Popeye and The Katzenjammer Kids, along with Silver T-Square recipient, JOHN GLYNN. John is now Chairman and Editor at Large of Andrews McMeel Syndication, and we’re so pleased to be able to recognize John’s long-standing commitment in contributing his time, energy, expertise and support to both the National Cartoonists Society and its members.

After the congratulatory back slaps and photo-ops, stick around for dancing, drinking, and general merriment into the wee hours at the Reubens after party with your 2019 winners, nominees and friends.

Sunday, June 7th

At the heart of our NCSFest program is Sunday’s GROUP PUBLIC SIGNING, where you can meet and greet the public, sign and sketch and sell your wares! It’s in the hotel ballroom, so you can bring books, prints, and art to sell, and you only have to lug them down in the elevator! This event will have good support from the local papers, so expect your fans to come with items for you to sign as well. Tables are available on a first-come-first-served basis, so get your registrations in EARLY so you don’t miss out!
(Please note: You are responsible for items that need to be shipped to the hotel for the signing event.)

NCSFest public workshops, reading sessions, exhibitions and events will take place at satellite venues around downtown Kansas City for all-ages. We’ll announce details soon but plan on joining us in spreading the cartooning joy to fans and friends alike!

Finally, join us in rounding out our jam-packed weekend out with a FAREWELL PARTY featuring our ever-popular NCS PUB QUIZ. Grab a table and test your cartooning knowledge in the most entertaining quiz on Earth.

Please check your email and for periodic updates in scheduling.

Hotel and Registration Information

Kansas City 2020 | National Cartoonists Society


200 W 12th St, Kansas City, MO 64105 | Phone: (816) 421-6800
Set in the vibrant downtown district, our elegant hotel occupies a historic building, reflecting the charm and history of Kansas City. Newly restyled with modern decor and excellent service, our hotel offers spacious, tasteful hotel rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and lovely downtown Kansas City views. Enjoy plush bedding, complimentary Wi-Fi and an array of thoughtful amenities. Dine in our restaurants, featuring contemporary American cuisine and superb cocktails. Relax in our indoor pool or our fully-equipped fitness center. When you’re ready to venture out, walk to downtown shopping, dining and entertainment, the Sprint Center, Kansas City Music Hall or the Power and Light District.


We’ve secured an exclusive NCS-member room rate of $169.00 per night plus tax. That price is good for 3 days before and after our convention dates based on hotel availability of the same room type. Make sure to reserve your room before the cut-off date of Monday, May 4th, 2020 to receive the hotel discounted rate.


Just go online to or call and mention the Group Code “National Cartoonists Society” to get the group rate. If you have any trouble booking your room, please call the NCS national office, ‭(407) 421-3454‬, and they will be more than happy to assist.

Check-in for the hotel is 3:00 PM and check-out is at 12:00 PM.


There are over 400 flights to Kansas City daily with non-stop service to 52 destinations. Marriott Kansas City Downtown is a $25 Uber ride* from Kansas City International Airport, which is about 19 miles away. Kansas City was named Travel + Leisure’s #1 most Affordable Getaway. (*Current rate at time of printing)


Marriott Kansas City Downtown offers several parking options for hotel guests’ convenience, including valet parking, daily parking and complimentary validated parking for restaurant guests.

$4.00 hourly / $20 daily

Valet Parking
$26 / Overnight (in and out privileges apply)
Onsite parking garage height clearance 6 feet, offsite garage 6 feet 6 inches. Oversized valet is $30.00 per night.


$370 for members and their relatives, $490 for business associates or non-family guests, $90 for children between the ages of 6 and 11, and there is no charge for children five and under. (Children under 12 will be admitted to all events except the Reuben Banquet.)
***Note – Registration fees will increase by $55 per registrant after Monday, May 4th, so register early!***


You will have received a brochure containing your Reubens Registration Form. Please return it with your payment and Reuben Banquet seating request. (Please do not ask to sit with other parties unless they are also requesting to be seated with you.) Dress for the Reuben Awards Banquet is formal. Black tie is not mandatory, however, it is encouraged. (Please, no sneakers, tuxedo printed T-shirts, casual pants, cabana-wear, etc.)

Vegan and vegetarian options are available on request for any food functions in conjunction with the meeting within the hotel. Please indicate any such food requirements in the “special needs” area of the registration form.

While you will find a registration form enclosed, we encourage you to register online. This enables us to electronically process both your registration fee as well as your Reuben Banquet Seating requests. It also makes the process more accurate and faster for you than filling out the hard-copy form. For more details on the online registration process, please email our Executive Director, Latisha Moore at

REGISTRATION COVERS all events, seminars and food functions unless otherwise stated.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, please contact the NCS Management office at (407) 994-6703 or by e-mail at

Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, we reserve the right to amend programming details if necessary. As per last year, a limited number of tickets will be made available for sale for some of the weekend’s conference sessions.

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