Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 27, 2017

Hey, NCS Awards Voters: Give Raina Telgemeier The Reuben Already


A tweet from Dave Kellett here indicates that National Cartoonists Society may be starting with their balloting process for the traditional late-May awards program. If that's true, I'd like to have a word in their eavesdropping vicinity (directly addressing them sounds cheeky and unsporting). The NCS' big award, the outstanding cartoonist of the year aka The Reuben, has mostly gone to newspaper strip cartoonists. That makes sense given its provenance and emphasis. The thing is, though, it's actually open for people in all expressions and some of its best winners come outside the newspaper strip realm.

With that in mind, why wouldn't you want to give one to Raina Telgemeier? She absolutely fits the profile of past winners in terms of her broad appeal and commercial reach, there is an undeniable power that her work has with her fans that is the envy of nearly everyone, and she's flat-out historically important. I guarantee people would remember that she won, too, and I don't think that's true of the last dozen or so winners.

There's probably an argument to be had that Outstanding Cartoonist Of The Year may make a harder argument of giving one to a cartoonist still best known by many for her first work, but who cares? The Oscars program gives out awards within the context of a career all the time, and I bet if we got right down to brass tacks there are several past Reuben winners not selected for their best calendar-year effort.

While we're at it, please give Jeff Smith one, too. And Chris Ware. But maybe start with Raina. You won't regret it.
posted 1:00 am PST | Permalink

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