Friday, July 29, 2016

Cartoonists Needed for St. Jude Event in September

For a few years now the NCS has sent cartoonists to military units and hospitals to draw for soldiers and help boost morale. Now, in that same spirit of charity and fun, the NCS is partnering with St. Jude to help bring some joy to kids who are battling cancer.

Cartoonist Steve McGarry draws with a patient named Tyler at a St. Jude event.

They kicked off that effort with a huge event at St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis during the 2016 Reuben weekend. Sixty NCS members spent the day at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital drawing for the patients and their families and handing out goodie bags crammed with t-shirts, sketchbooks, crayons, toys, comics and books. The artists then attended a special dinner where they did more art to be sold later to benefit St. Jude.

If you missed out on that, you have another opportunity to help! In September, St. Jude supporters and 61 cities across the country will participate in the Saint Jude walk/run to end childhood cancer. Last year NCS chapters participated in New York City, Connecticut, and Philadelphia, and everyone had a great time.

Different cities hold walks/runs on different weekends in September. Since our chapter covers several states, its not really practical for our chapter to organize one specific event. So we are leaving it up to individual cartoonists to participate locally in their cities. Find your local walk/run here. If you would like to volunteer your talent, time, and/or artwork, contact Kathy Fairbanks ( for details. Also, the NCS will be happy to send you all kinds of promo materials to use at one of these events, as well as goodie bags and other stuff.

(If you live in the Lincoln, NE area contact Paul Fell. He is in the process of trying to organize something.)

Help lend your talents to a worthy cause!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Details On Fall Chapter Mtg Oct. 28-29 in Sioux Falls

We're putting the final touches on plans for our fall chapter meeting in Sioux Falls, SD, site of many past successful chapter weekends, and a place that we all enjoy visiting. The meeting is open to anyone interested in cartooning and the NCS - you don't have to be a chapter member! We hope you’ll mark the dates on your calendars and we’ll look forward to seeing you in Sioux Falls… in the Fall!

DATES: Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29.

LODGING: Country Inn and Suites, downtown Sioux Falls. (605) 373-0153
We have a group room rate for $109 per night. Buffet breakfast is included. A block of ten rooms is being held until Sept. 28, so make your reservations ASAP. If those fill up before 9/28, let us know and we’ll get them to release more. Otherwise, after 9/28 room rates will be based upon availability. For reservations, call 605-373-0153. Mention National Cartoonists Society, North Central Chapter.
COST: Registration will be $40 per person for the weekend. That includes Saturday lunch at Minerva’s, a downtown Sioux Falls mainstay with a great soup and salad bar. The Saturday evening meal is also included. We’re still working on a site for that event.

Please make out checks to Ken Alvine. If you wish to pre-register, mail your payment to Ken. For a mailing address contact him at


Friday Afternoon:

For those of you who can arrive in the early afternoon on Friday, we’re planning a “Meet The Cartoonists” event at one of the area high schools. We did this a few years ago and it was a great success. We set up each cartoonist at a table and the students can rotate from table to table to visit with each cartoonist.

Friday Evening: TBA
After breakfast at the Country Inn and Suites we’ll wander up the street to the Zandbroz Bookstore in the heart of downtown. They will be having a window display of recent editorial cartoons from around the US. We’ll do another “Meet The Cartoonists” event there. If you happen to have books or other print materials to sell, bring ‘em along.

Following lunch a Minerva’s (just up the street from Zambroz) we’ll make our way to the downtown Sioux Falls public library for our afternoon session. Scheduled speakers are Paul Trap, creator of the syndicated comic strip “Thattababy”, and Richie Graham, University of Nebraska professor and author of “Government Issue”, a wonderful chronicle of how the US govt. has used cartoons for the war effort and other campaigns during the last century. We are currently working on adding at least one other speaker to the current roster.

That evening we will gather for our traditional evening dinner. Place and time to be announced.

Sunday: Breakfast at the Country Inn and Suites. Head for home.

To coincide with our chapter meeting, Zandbroz will have a window display of editorial cartoons from around the US dealing with the presidential campaign. If you would like to contribute a cartoon or two, email Paul Fell at by Oct. 1. Images must be JPEGs at 300dpi and sized to fit within an 8"x10" mat opening. Paul will print out the cartoons and mat them for us, because he's awesome that way.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Walter "Wally" J. Malins, RIP

Walter “Wally” J. Malins
April 22, 1947 — July 15, 2016

Yesterday, we received word that our very dear friend, Wally Malins, passed away. Those of you who ever attended the Disney Hometown Toonfest knew Wally. He was very much a part of the Toonfest and was always there with a smile, a handshake, and probably a cool libation for you.

I knew Wally as a generous soul. A man of kind heart and a wonderful laugh. He loved time with the cartoonists and did all he could to make us welcome.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Kaye and the family. We will miss this wonderful man. There will be from this day on, a very large space left in Marceline that will be impossible to fill.

Rest well, Wally.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

MAD Magazine Comes To Omaha

Yes, yes, the rumors are all true. MAD Magazine (well, some of it and that's more than enough) will be touching down in the metropolis of Omaha for a touch of "MADness" at The Kaneko. From the press release: 

MAD About Storytelling

Omaha, Neb. – KANEKO will host a discussion panel with the creative talents behind the long running MAD Magazine on August 12 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission and free for KANEKO Members. Tickets available at

MAD About Storytelling will include a lively and entertaining discussion panel with Sam Viviano (Art Director), Desmond Devlin (Writer), and Tom Richmond (Illustrator). This discussion panel is part of our ongoing Storytelling exhibit, which explores the creative process of storytelling.

About MAD Magazine
In circulation for over half a century, and revered as one of the most influential forms of satire and humor in American popular culture, MAD Magazine has a tradition of their own form of storytelling.

KANEKO is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to exploring and encouraging the creative process and how it impacts our lives. Established by internationally renowned sculptor Jun Kaneko and his wife, Ree, KANEKO was conceived of as “open space for your mind,” a place where thoughtful examination of others’ ideas through exhibitions and public programs leads us to new and exciting ideas of our own.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Gallery Art Show: Jerry Van Amerongen

Jean Stephen Galleries is proud to announce the first ever show and sale of the comic art of chapter member Jerry Van Amerongen:

Artist Jerry Van Amerongen looks at the world uniquely. His wry wit and surreal humor have been featured in newspapers for 36 years in The Neighborhood and Ballard Street. As author of 15 books celebrating his comics and as a two-time winner of the Best Cartoon Panel of the Year Award his success as a cartoonist is legendary. Please join us in welcoming Jerry Van Amerongen in this first ever show of his paintings and original cartoon art.

April 30-May 28, 2016
Jean Stephen Galleries
4811 Excelsior Blvd
St Louis Park, MN 55416
1/2 mile east of Hwy 100 on Excelsior Blvd.

Artist Reception
Saturday, April 30, 2016
5:00-8:00 PM
RSVP 612-338-4333

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Summer Retreat Rescheduled

Due to a scheduling conflict a new location and date are being planned for the Summer Retreat. If you've already booked your hotel, you'll need to call and cancel. Sorry for the confusion. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Summer Retreat Announced! EDIT: Rescheduling

NOTE: Sorry for the dearth in posts. Most formal announcements are now being posted to our Facebook chapter page. There's also a Facebook chapter members group where individual members are sharing their latest drawings, projects, etc. Check 'em both out! In the mean time, I'll try to do a better job of keeping this blog alive.

UPDATE: Due to a scheduling conflict a new location and date are being planned. Sorry for the confusion. Stay tuned!


Mark your calendars! The North Central Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society is planning a cartooning retreat in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Where: The Retreat At Pointer’s Ridge

When: June 17-19, 2016

Our speakers are both Omaha-area cartoonists:

Paul Trap draws the comic strip “Thattababy”, distributed by Universal Syndicate.

Ben Lane is a former Disney animator who worked on the new “Zootopia” feature. He is currently working for the Cartoon Network.

Registration is $25 per person, which will cover the cost of a catered lunch, catered dinner and beverages.

We have secured a $79 per night rate at the Days Inn Sioux Falls Airport, just off of Interstate 90. (This rate is good until May 27)

Tentative Schedule:

Friday, June 17
Check in at Days Inn S.F. Airport
7 pm - we’ll head over to a nearby restaurant for pizza and beers.
Pizza courtesy of the N. Central Chapter. Beers are on you.

Saturday, June 18
1.  Breakfast at motel.
2.  Car pool out to The Retreat At Pointer’s Ridge.
3.  We plan to spend the day and evening at the Retreat where we’ll hear from our speakers, have lunch and dinner catered in by Hy-Vee catering. Beverages (both adult and otherwise) will be available.
4.  We’d also like to have an informal session where those who are so inclined can update the group on projects that they’re working on.
5.  We’ll also have the infamous Chapter Raffle, so please bring original art, books, or other cartoon stuff that we can raffle off to help cover costs.
6.  Chapter Chair Jim Horwitz will also be giving a report on the state of the chapter and anything else that happens to fall out of his head.

Sunday, June 19
1.  Breakfast at motel.
2.  Head for home.

Updated schedule and registration form coming soon.

Hope to see you all there!

Monday, July 27, 2015

2015 Fall Meeting - Please RSVP

Our annual Fall Meeting is coming up soon. It will be taking place at The Kenosha Festival of Cartooning, Wed. Sep 17 - Fri. Sep 19th. in Kenosha, WI.

The festival is a giant 3-day celebration, and tons of good fun. This year's awesome line-up of speakers will include: Jan Elliot, Bill Morrison, Darrin Bell, Mark Tatulli, Ed Steckley and, Mark Anderson.

MEMBERS: Please take a moment to RSVP here: 

More info coming soon!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Cruise With Cartoonists!

From Tom Richmond's Blog:

This has been in the works for a while but is just getting announced today: A week long “Cruise with Cartoonists” in the Caribbean January 17th-24th, 2016, all funds raised will go to benefit the National Cartoonists Society Foundation!
If you’ve ever seen me post about the National Cartoonist’s Society Reuben Awards Weekend here and think “It would be a lot of fun to go to one of those events and get a chance to meet some big-name cartoonists”, now’s your chance to do it… but for a whole week, not just a weekend. On one of the largest and most luxurious cruise ships in the world. All around the Caribbean. With free drinks. NCS Foundation president Steve McGarry has put together a terrific lineup of guest cartoonists and event itinerary for the cruise.
Here’s what it is all about: Those who cruise with the Cartoonists group will get admission to any and all of the events planned with the guest cartoonists. These include speaking presentations, workshops and talks about breaking into and working in the business, entertainment events like the “Quick on the Draw” show, several “Meet and Draws” where you can get free autographs and sketches by all the cartoonists, cocktail parties and other fun. You’ll also have your dinner table hosted by one of the cartoonists once or more over the course of the trip. Plus, you get the free beverage package, which includes all the house wine, beer, soda, well, call and premium cocktails, and frozen drinks you can handle all week!
Here’s the speaker lineup:
  • Jim Borgman– “Zits” syndicated comic strip; Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist; 1993 Reuben Award winner
  • Lynn Johnston– “For Better or For Worse” syndicated comic strip; 1985 Reuben Award winner
  • Jeff Keane– “The Family Circus” syndicated comic strip
  • Rick Kirkman– “Baby Blues” syndicated comic strip; 2012 Reuben Award winner
  • Mike Luchovich– Two time Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist, 2005 Reuben Award winner
  • Steve McGarry– “BiographiC” and “Kid’s Town” syndicated comics; “Minions” movie story artist
  • Bill Morrison– “The Simpsons” and “Futurama” artist and art director; NCS President
  • Mike Peters– “Mother Goose and Grimm” syndicated comic strip; Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist, 1991 Reuben Award winner
  • Michael Ramirez– Two time Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist
  • Tom Richmond– uhhhhhh… moving on….
  • Jerry Scott– “Zits” and “Baby Blues” syndicated comic strips; 2001 Reuben Award winner
  • Rick Stromoski– “Soup to Nuts” syndicated comic strip; Greeting Cards
All of these cartoonists will be doing individual presentations, as well as participating in group activities like several “Meet and Draws”, hosting tables for dinner, and lounging around by the pool.
As for me, I will be doing both a presentation on my work and a 2 1/2 hour workshop on drawing caricatures… the first time I have EVER done a public workshop (and maybe the last time). I’ll also be drawing free caricatures of people at these meet and greets, hosting a table at each dinner, participating in the “Quick on the Draw” event… and lounging by the pool.
This is going to be a really fun week… and it all takes place on the giant cruise ship “Freedom of the Seas”, with port stops in Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. If you are a fan of cartooning, interested in doing it as a career, or just want to have an excuse for taking a January cruise in the Caribbean, look no further.
So how to you book this incredible trip? Just visit the NCS website or this direct page for all the details. The price includes food AND drinks for the entire week. If you book the trip under my name, you will get something extra: I will take the time on the cruise to do a pen and ink caricature of you, on your own or with your significant other. This will not be like the quick 10 minute sketches I do at the meet and greets. This will be something I spend some time on. How do you book under my name? Just select it in the dropdown box on the booking page:
That’s it. I’ll get a list of people who booked under my name, and I’ll bring my fancy pens and paper!
The best part of this is that all the proceeds go to the NCS Foundation, to help fund their programs like the “Cartooning for Kids” children’s hospital visits, the Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship, the Milt Gross Fund for cartoonists experiencing financial hardships, and other worthy endeavors.
I hope to see you on the high seas!

Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 Reubens (Thank You Tom!)

(Illustration by Ed Steckley)

The NCS just finished it's annual awards weekend where dozens of the country's top cartoonists changed out of their sweatpants into tuxedos for the most prestigious event in cartooning. This year the festivities were in Washington, DC. (I should clarify that the awards were for work that was done in 2014, but the ceremony was held in 2015). Visit the National Cartoonists Society website for a complete list of winners and nominees.

A big congrats to all the nominees, and especially the winners. Chapter member Tom Richmond won a silver Reuben Award in the category of Magazine Illustration.

Tom also deserves a standing ovation for his tireless work as the President of the National Cartoonists Society. Tom has now officially handed that responsibility over to Bill Morrison. Thank you, Tom, for all your tireless work keeping the NCS circus train rambling smoothly down the tracks.

Before handing over the mantle, Tom ended his tenure with a touch of class. Each table at the Reuben awards banquet was decorated with an original framed sketch of one of our nation's presidents, framed and displayed beautifully by Tom's wife Anna. You can read about it on Tom's blog.

Tom, we hope you enjoy some well-deserved rest!