Everything you need to know about the 76th annual Reuben Awards Weekend in Kansas City, MO on Thursday 15th & Friday 16th September, 2022.
We’re so happy to be back together for our traditional Reuben Awards event this year, reuniting the NCS community and welcoming newcomers who will be experiencing the magic of the Reubens for the first time. We hope you will join us for captivating seminars from the industries’ biggest names, opportunities to celebrate achievements in cartoon arts, and of course, the legendary NCS parties that you and your peers will talk about for years to come!
In addition, we are pleased to announce the debut of a special exhibit titled “A Walk Down Memory Lane: Reubens Edition,” celebrating the diverse range of art and personal stories from the last decade of Reuben Winners. Open throughout the Reubens, this immersive and interactive exhibit is curated exclusively for the National Cartoonists Society in Kansas City. The display represents a portion of a larger exhibition that will launch with a national tour in 2023, featuring a retrospective overview of the Comics Industry in America, its impact on American culture at large, and the life stories of individual artists from the industry.
The majority of events will take place at the Marriott Hotel Kansas City Downtown, taking advantage of the vibrant downtown district of Kansas City. This page serves to give you all the information you need about the Reuben conference, awards, and events that will be happening at the hotel and surrounding venues. We can’t wait to see you!
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 and cartooning paraphernalia! Our Thursday program features seminars by a star-studded line-up of cartoonists covering a wide variety of topics:
We kick off with a celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month spotlighting the legendary career of award-winning cartoonist LALO ALCARAZ, creator of the first nationally syndicated Latino political strip, “La Cucaracha.” The 2022 recipient of the Herblock prize, Alcaraz, who is Mexican-American, is also a writer, producer, and cultural consultant for film, television, and animation, working on projects at Fox and the Cartoon Network and as a cultural consultant on the Oscar-winning animated Pixar film Coco. His various projects include a weekly satirical political and cultural radio show, Covid-awareness messaging for the State of California, and work as a writer and producer on Nickelodeon’s animated series “The Casagrandes.” Learn from Lalo’s experience and perspective as one of America’s most controversial cartoonists!
We’ll then Celebrate the 100th Birthday of Peanuts Creator Charles Schulz with our Silver T-Square honoree, and President & Chairman of the Charles M. Schulz Museum, JEANNIE SCHULZ, in conversation with award-winning Mutts creator PATRICK McDONNELL and Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Curator, JENNY ROBB. The conversation, moderated by Editorial Director of Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, ALEXIS FAJARDO will span from fond recollections of the cartoonist his friends knew as “Sparky,” to his indelible, long-lasting influence on both the cartooning industry and the artists therein.
We will then be treated to a very special appearance from JIM DAVIS (Garfield) and BRIAN WALKER (Hi & Lois, Beetle Bailey) who will be discussing the abovementioned groundbreaking cartoonist exhibition being produced by Black Ink Presents, debuting at the official Reubens Welcome Party at Andrews McMeel Universal HQ on Walnut Street, 6pm on Thursday 15th September. Brian Walker has been co-curating the exhibition, which will look to expand to share the work and process of all our talented NCS members in 2023 and beyond!
We will then explore building a 360° Brand Franchise with experts from King Features: Taking iconic brands from an origin story of a comic to a multi-generational franchise in merchandising, content distribution, and entertainment, hosted by C.J. KETTLER, President, CARLA SILVA: Global VP and GM, Consumer Product Licensing, and CYNTHIA GRAHAM-TAPPAN, VP, Distribution & Sales at King Features.
Settle in for a how-to for cartoonists re: what can you do to get your characters or personal brands in ship-shape for new opportunities, what differentiates your comic, what is your platform/agenda…diving into the recent successes of Macanudo and The CupHead Show as an example.
Next up is How to be a Cartoonipreneur, a presentation from NCS President and New Yorker cartoonist JASON CHATFIELD with Marketoonist founder TOM FISHBURNE. “When I grow up, I want to be a cartoonist and spend all my time trying to run a business,” said no one ever. But, with the established markets for cartooning in flux, the work cartoonists do away from the drafting table is more important than ever. Twenty years ago Fishburne started drawing a weekly business cartoon, marketing it with a simple email newsletter. Today, his weekly readership is in the hundreds of thousands and he’s worked with over 150 organizations like Google, Deloitte, and Unilever to bring the power of humor to the workplace. In this session, Chatfield and Fishburne share some of what they’ve learned about growing a direct audience of true fans (with and without social media), the power of combinatory skills, getting paid what we’re worth, finding your ‘enough,’ and building a cartooning business fit for the 21st century.
We’ll round out our epic first day of sessions with a panel on Comics & Current Events, moderated by Editorial Director, Comics at King Features, TEA FOUGNER. The use of the comics medium to cover real-life events for news organizations, publications, or publishers (in graphic novel format) is currently at an all-time peak. We will be hearing from OLIVE BRINKER (Rae the Doe) and JULES RIVERA (Mark Trail) about how they draw from real life in their comics—Olive as a Gen Z cartoonist covering real-world topics big and small that matter to her and her friends, and Jules as a passionate environmentalist who uses Mark Trail as an educational tool for readers who want to learn more about the changing world around them.
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, hosted by our friends at ANDREWS McMEEL UNIVERSAL. Dance, drink, and sing the night away as we toast over 50 successful years of cartooning talent at AMU’s new HQ in the heart of downtown Kansas City. At its conclusion, attendees are free to keep the party rolling, 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.
Conference Registration opens at 9:00am if you haven’t checked in yet.
We start the day with the ANNUAL NCS GENERAL MEETING. As always for the General Meeting, NCS members only please –no spouses or family guests.
Day 2 features a jaw-dropping series of captivating speakers, beginning with award-winning cartoonist DANA SIMPSON celebrating 10 years of Phoebe and Her Unicorn with her new book! From the humble beginnings of winning the Amazon-sponsored Comic Strip Superstar Contest in 2009 to Andrews McMeel Syndication signing her to a development deal for the strip (originally called Heavenly Nostrils), Simpson will share the story of how the strip exploded in popularity, how she connects with her loyal army of readers, the process of creating the strip and more!
You are not going to want to miss the following session: Mutts cartoonist PATRICK McDONNELL offers a masterclass on his distinct approach to the art of telling stories: whether in three panels, children’s picture books, graphic novels, or paintings and even in theater vs. film. He will give tribute to his cartoonist influences, including George Herriman, Charles Schulz, and Elzie Segar, and discuss his latest book collaboration with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This year McDonnell will be accepting his Elzie Segar Award, for his unique and outstanding contribution to the profession of cartooning. This session is must-see viewing for any cartoonist.
The final seminar of the day will send us out on a high note, as Pulitzer and Reuben-winner ANN TELNAES hosts a conversation with this year’s Gold T-Square-honoree and creator of the hit comic strip DOONESBURY and the 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.
It’s time to slip out of sweatpants and get dressed up for a Friday night like no other! Stroll down the red carpet and enjoy the pre-dinner cocktail hour before joining the NCS in honoring our nominees in the 76th Annual Reuben Awards! A parade of playful presenters will keep us in stitches and suspense as we honor cartooning’s best and brightest, including the coveted Cartoonist of the Year!
Note: As usual, the Reuben Awards Banquet is open to Registered Reuben Banquet attendees only.
Among this year’s honorees in attendance are Gold T-Square recipient and creator of Doonesbury, GARRY TRUDEAU, along with Silver T-Square recipient, JEANNIE SCHULZ. Jeannie is President and Chairman of the Charles M. Schulz Museum, and we’re so pleased to recognize Jeannie’s long-standing commitment to contributing her time, energy, expertise and support to both the National Cartoonists Society, its members, and the cartooning community at large. Also in attendance will be Mutts creator PATRICK McDONNELL, accepting his 2020 Elzie Segar Award for his unique and outstanding contributions to the profession of cartooning.
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 winners, nominees, and friends. We encourage you to extend your visit to Kansas City by taking advantage of our discounted hotel rates over the weekend.
Please check your email, social media channels, and nationalcartoonists.com for periodic updates.
200 W 12th St, Kansas City, MO 64105 | Phone: (816) 421-6800
Set in the vibrant downtown district, the elegant hotel occupies a historic building, reflecting the charm and history of Kansas City. Newly restyled with modern decor and excellent service, the 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 restaurants featuring contemporary American cuisine and superb cocktails. Relax in the indoor pool or 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 $179.00 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 August 25th, 2022 to receive the discounted hotel room rate.
AS WE HAVE A LIMITED BLOCK OF ROOMS ALLOCATED, BOOK EARLY SO YOU DON’T MISS OUT ON YOURS.
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 the time of publication)
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 / $24 daily
$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 September 7th, so register early!***
REGISTRATION covers all events, seminars, and food functions unless otherwise stated.
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.
Members will receive a print brochure containing a Reubens Registration Form. However, 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 any questions about the online registration process, please email our Executive Director, Latisha Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, please contact the NCS Management office at (407) 994-6703 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, we reserve the right to amend programming details if necessary.
Cancellations must be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 7th and will incur a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds can be provided after this date since we must submit final hotel guarantees. Refunds will be provided for pandemic restrictions according to federal guidelines if this leads to event cancellation.
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