Thursday, October 5, 2017

Recap: Chapter Mtg and Fall Cartooning Weekend 2017

This past weekend chapter members from all over the midwest gathered in Lincoln, Nebraska for our annual chapter get-together. We viewed an exhibit of comic book art by Dan Hall, listened to presentations by three speakers (John Hambrock, Tom Kerr, and a keynote by award-winning New York illustrator Steve Brodner), and engaged in the usual tomfoolery.

During out chapter meeting it was announced that at the national level the NCS is taking steps to adapt to cartooning in the 21st century. It sounds like the leadership is thinking about what it can do to offer more value to web cartoonists as well as to adjust to the changing industry landscape. That was good to hear.

Here's a few photos, submitted by chapter members Mike Edholm and Cedric Hohnstadt:

We had a great turnout considering the fact that our chapter covers nine states. Many members travelled hundreds of miles to attend.

Genevieve Randall interviewed Mike Edholm, Paul Fell, and Tom Kerr for the NET Radio show “Friday Live.”
Paul Fell, Bucky Jones, Mike Edholm, and Tom Kerr.
We viewed an exhibit by local comic book artist Bob Hall.
John Hambrock discusses his syndicated humor strip, "The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee".
Illustrator and cartoonist Tom Kerr walked us through his career and discussed his influences.
Members contributed to the doodle board which was later raffled off. 
Award-winning New York illustrator Steve Brodner discusses his work.
Illustrator Steve Brodner followed his presentation with a Q&A.

We wrapped everything up with Indian cuisine at The Oven in downtown Lincoln.
Over dinner Steve Brodner did sketches of some of the members in his sketchbook.
Everyone had a great time. Thanks to co-chairs Paul Fell and Mike Edholm for all their hard work in making it all happen!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Announcing the Annual Fall Cartooning Weekend Sept. 29-30, 2017 in Lincoln, NE

NOTE: Info about the event has also been posted on our chapter Facebook group. You can also follow our chapter on Twitter to see member tweets and general retweets of interest to cartoonists. 

It's time again for our far-flung NCS chapter to gather for our annual cartooning weekend! 

We will be inviting the public to join us at the Univeristy of Nebraska Love Library for a great lineup of speakers including John Hambrock (syndicated cartoonist, "The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee"), Tom Kerr (illustrator/cartoonist), and for the keynote, political illustrator Steve Brodner.
John Hambrock
Tom Kerr 
Steve Brodner
The weekend will also include a chapter meeting (NCS members only) and lots of socializing over meals and drinks (open to NCS members and anyone interested in joining the NCS). 

FRIDAY, Sept29:
7:00pm - Gather in bar at The Graduate hotel (formerly Holiday Inn) (google maps) to meet, greet, drink.

SATURDAY, Sept. 30:
8:00am - Breakfast at The Graduate hotel (google maps)

10:00am - Head for Love Library on UNL campus (google maps) for NCS chapter meeting. (NCS members only)

10:30am - View exhibit of new comic work by chapter member Bob Hall on second floor of library. (Open to the public).

11:00am - Lunch @ Nebraska Student Union

1:00pm - Return to Love Library for featured speakers
Tom Kerr, John Hambrock, Steve Brodner. (Open to the public).

3:00pm - Annual chapter raffle.

5:30pm - Walk from hotel to nearby restaurant (to be announced) for drinks and dinner.

Following dinner we’ll sample the offerings of some of the
drinking establishments in Lincoln’s Haymarket area.

SUNDAY, Oct. 1:
8:00am - Breakfast at The Graduate hotel (google maps)

Heading for home

A block of rooms is available for chapter members at Lincoln's newest hotel, The Graduate (formerly the downtown Holiday Inn). The hotel is a short walk to Love Library, as well as a multitude of restaurants and drinking establishments. Book before Sept. 8 and get a special room rate of $119 per night.

To make room reservations:

The Graduate
141 N. 9th. Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
Ask for the special room rate for The National Cartoonists Society.

We hope to see you there!

Follow us:
Chapter Facebook Group
Chapter Twitter feed

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Recap - Fall Chapter Mtg, Sioux Falls SD, Oct. 28-29, 2016

Another Chapter conference is in the books! Everyone had a fantastic time. Here's some pics courtesy of Mike Edholm and Cedric Hohnstadt:

Friday afternoon members met with students at a local high school.

Paul Fell chats with high school art students.

Friday evening chat after dinner at the hotel.

Chris Browne (Hagar the Horrible) adds his contribution to a giant art board that was eventually raffled off.

"Meet the Cartoonists" event at Zandbroz Variety store.

Author Richard Graham ("Government Issue") chats with cartoonist Steve Sack while Hector  Curriel looks on.

Paul Trap ("Thatababy") adds his contribution to the giant art board.

Steve Sack ponders what he will draw on the giant art board.

Cartoonist Paul Trap talks about his career and his syndicated strip "Thatababy".

Author Richard Graham discusses his latest book, "Government Issue", and the history of government use of comics for education and propaganda.

Pulitzer-Prize winning editorial cartoonist Steve Sack discusses his work.

The weekend wound down with some casual chit chat at the hotel.
A huge shoutout to Paul Fell, Mike Edholm, and Ken Alvine for working hard to make our meeting such a fun and enjoyable time!

For news and announcements about future chapter events, be sure to join the NCS North Central Chapter Facebook Group or follow us on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall 2016 Chapter Mtg - Press Release

For immediate release
Cartoonists conference scheduled for Sioux Falls
Saturday October 29th
The North Central Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society is having its annual chapter meeting in Sioux Falls Saturday Oct. 29th. All the conference activities planned are open and free to the public.       Professional  cartoonists from across the Midwest will be in attendance. These cartoonists work in the field of syndication, editorial, magazine cartooning, illustrator and others aspects of the industry.   The public will have a chance meet and greet the cartoonists and get signed cartoon art Saturday morning at Zandboz bookstore downtown Sioux Falls from 10:00 to 11:30. 
Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Downtown Public Library three nationally recognized  cartoonists will make presentations.  Steve Sack , Pulitzer Prize Winner editorial cartoonist from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Paul Trap, creator of the syndicated comic strip “Thatababy” and Richie Graham, University of Nebraska professor,  “How cartoons have been used in the war effort” will speak.  Raffle for cartoon items and art will follow the presentations.
For more detailed information about the chapter meeting, contact Ken Alvine at

(Click image below to view/download hi-res version)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sketching for St. Jude

Kelly McNutt, Phil Juliano, and Cedric Hohnstadt
Hundreds of people showed up for the St. Jude Walk/Run for childhood cancer.

Kelly McNutt draws with a young artist

Kelly McNutt and Phil Juliano pass on some cartooning secrets to the next generation.

Cedric Hohnstadt (left) and Kelly McNutt (right) draw for the kiddos.

The National Cartoonists Society partners with St. Jude by sending cartoonists to hospitals around the country to visit and draw with sick kids (more info here.) This past Saturday (Sept. 24) was the annual Minneapolis St. Jude Walk/Run for childhood cancer, held at the brand new US Bank Stadium. Local NCS members Cedric Hohnstadt (illustrator), Kelly McNutt (animator) and Phil Juliano (“Best In Show”) spent the morning drawing with kids, answering their questions, and offering a few pointers. It was a lot of fun.

St. Jude is a terrific organization that does great work, and patients are never charged for any of their services. If you want to help them in their fight against childhood cancer you can chip in a donation on their website. Even small gifts make a difference.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Report from "MAD in Omaha" Event

MAD art director Sam Viviano, writer Desmond Devlin, and illustrator Tom Richmond
MAD contributing writer Dick DeBartolo joined the panel via Skype.

From Mike Edholm:

Not since the days of the cattle drives to the stockyards of Omaha, has so much hoopla occurred in a day in the “River City” as the arrival of MAD Magazine’s art director, Sam Viviano, contributing cartoonist/illustrator, Tom Richmond, and contributing writer, Desmond Devlin.  It should be noted that fellow contributing writer, Dick DeBartolo, was also in attendance but given Dick’s magical powers to be in two places at once with a little help from Skype.

Friday night, August 12, found the KANEKO filled with MAD fans, listening, watching, and participating in a two-hour presentation called MAD about Storytelling explaining how the artists and writers at MAD approach storytelling in its legendary movie parodies, gag cartoons, and satire.  Featured in the presentation were a number of classic MAD magazine parodies from decades past right up to the present by MAD’s contributors, known affectionately as the “Usual Gang of Idiots.”  All in attendance were thrilled to meet these fun loving and creative fellows from MAD.  To the delight of the speakers, one guest announced that she had been an intern at MAD magazine.

KANEKO is a truly amazing arts, education, and performance venue in Omaha. KANEKO is a 501(c)(3), public non-profit cultural organization, exploring and encouraging the process of creativity, and how it impacts our lives. We believe that everyone can be creative; the challenge is to recognize opportunities for creative effort. As humans we need to harness and cultivate creativity in our citizens and invest in a creative society.

Established in 1998 by international artist Jun Kaneko and his wife Ree, KANEKO is headquartered in three turn-of- the-century warehouses in the Old Market District of Omaha, Nebraska. KANEKO is an institution with a vision to celebrate creativity and is committed to fostering it as the overriding mission with four major programming themes: Design, Ideas, Performance, and Innovation.  More information about The Kaneko can be found on their website at

Chapter members and guests enjoy MAD artwork in the KANEKO gallery.

Jun Kaneko and Sim Vivano

Sam Viviano and Desmond Devlin sign autographs 
NCS Chapter members dine with the MAD gang. Left to right: MAD writer Desmond Devlin, MAD art director Sam Viviano, cartoonist Paul Fell, KANEKO executive director Chris Hochstetler, cartoonist Mike Edholm, illustrator Bucky Jones, MAD illustrator Tom Richmond

Speaker Added to Chapter Mtg: Steve Sack

Our 2016 Chapter Meeting will be held October 28-29 in Sioux Falls, SD (more info here). Speakers Paul Trap (syndicated cartoonist of "Thattababy") and cartooning professor Richie Graham (author of Government Issue) will now be joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Steve Sack. Steve is the editorial cartoonist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and co-artist for the cartoon activity panel "Doodles".

The meeting is open to anyone interested in the National Cartoonists Society and/or the profession of cartooning. You do NOT have to be a chapter member to attend!

It's gonna be a fun time! Get more info and book your hotel room here. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Toonfest Art Show: Call For Submissions

The Walt Disney Hometown Toonfest is an annual festival in Marceline, MO, the town where Walt Disney spent his boyhood. It's a popular event celebrating men and women from the A-list in the world of cartooning and animation. Each year's day-long event includes a parade, guest speakers, and an art show.

This year’s Toonfest is scheduled for September 15-17, 2016. A number of NCS members have been featured speakers at past Toonfests. Terri Libenson  (“Pajama Diaries”) is one of this year’s headliners, along with editorial cartoonist Gustavo Rodriquez and Disney animators Dan Jeup and Jay Jackson.

Whether you are an official NCS member or if you are just affiliated with the group, you are invited to participate in the art show. Just email 2-3 of your cartoons to Paul Fell ( before Labor Day (Sept. 5, 2016). Images can be in PDF or JPEG format at 300 dpi. We’ll take care of getting them sized, printed, and matted for the show. After the weekend exhibit, your originals will be mailed back to you with the Toonfest paying the postage.

If you prefer to send original art (which we’d REALLY like to see) please be sure it is matted or mounted on mat board. Send it to the Toonfest office at:

Toonfest Office
207 N. Main St., USA
Marceline, MO 64658

Your participation in the 2016 Walt Disney Hometown Toonfest will be greatly appreciated.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Cartoonists Needed for St. Jude Walk/Run Events 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

Fall Chapter Mtg Oct. 28-29 in Sioux Falls - MASTER LIST of info!

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: Many of the weekend's events are free and open to the public. However, if you are a chapter member or are interested in joining the NCS and would like to join us for private events such as meals, meetings, etc. then there is a registration fee of $40 per person for the weekend. The fee will cover Friday and Saturday night meals and lunch at noon on Saturday. The Country Inn and Suites room cost includes breakfast. 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

RSVP's NEEDED: We need an approximate head count so if you are planning to attend please RSVP to Ken Alvine ( by Wednesday, Oct. 19. If you are a professional cartoonist new to the NCS you can still register/attend after that date but please let Ken know if you are planning to come.



12:00pm - Carpool leaves from Country Inn and Suites

1:30-4:30pm “Meet The Cartoonists” event at Lincoln High School. We set up cartoonists at four different tables and the students can rotate from table to table to visit with each cartoonist. We did this a few years ago and it was a huge success! Lunch provided but we need a definite head count for this event.

FRIDAY EVENING: Dinner at Country Inn & Suites.
Breakfast at the Country Inn and Suites

10:00-11:3am "Meet the Cartoonists" at Zandbroz Bookstore in the heart of downtown. If you happen to have books or other print materials to sell, bring ‘em along. Zandbroz will also have a window display of recent editorial cartoons from around the USA. If you have something to submit scroll down for info.

12:00-1:00am Lunch at Minerva’s (just up the street from Zambroz)

1:15-5:00pm Guest speaker presentations and raffle at Sioux Falls Public Library.

Time permitting, We have set aside a slot at the end of the Saturday presentations for a “Show and Tell”. We welcome members who would like to do a 10 minute mini-presentation on their latest project or endeavor. In the interest of time we have to limit this to the first 5 people who volunteer.

For the raffle, we hope you will contribute original art, recent books, or other cartoon related stuff. We’ll also raffle off a doodle board featuring drawings by those in attendance as well as a goodie bag of swag that all attendees at the NCS Reuben Weekend get.

Scheduled speakers:

• Paul Trap, creator of the syndicated comic strip “Thattababy”.

• 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. 

Steve Sack, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and co-artist of the cartoon activity panel "Doodles".

6:30pm - Traditional evening dinner at the Country Inn & Suites.

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.

Most of the weekend's events are open to the general public. We especially want to reach out to potential new members, which is anyone within our chapter region who has a serious interest in professional cartooning. Our chapter covers a wide geographic area (see map on the right). If you know any cartoonists in those states, why not send them a note and let them know about the weekend?

You can also spread the word on social media. Ken Alvine has put together a press release and a nifty flier image (below). Click to view/download a hi-res version to post on your own website or social media.

Finally, you can also invite people to follow our chapter on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date info and other cartooning goodies.