I've been spending a lot of time trapped in graduation/awards/recognition day ceremonies this week, (with more ahead next week) and haven't been able to tend BorgBlog much lately. Doodling the backs of heads gives me something to do with my hands between clapping for the scholarship winners and the commencement speakers. I have sketchbooks filled with the backs of people's heads, dating all the way back to schoolbus rides on field trips in the sixth grade. It's a wonder I ever learned to draw faces.
Last weekend cartoonists gathered in Chicago for the National Cartoonists Society's annual Reuben Award weekend. I was awarded the Best Editorial Cartoonist division award -- truly a thrill because the juries are made up of cartoonists, not editors, and the awards tend to reflect a real appreciation for the nuances of the art and its practitioners. Ralph Steadman was the guest of honor, receiving the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. He was every bit as gonzo as anyone could have hoped. Fellow Cincinnatian and buddy C.F.Payne won a division award in Magazine Illustration, too, so it was a good night for this little burg. I have to think Chris's name will rise to the list of Reuben nominees some year soon. His work makes me want to break my knuckles and become a zookeeper. (Zits was a finalist in the Comic Strip division -- that award went to 9 Chickweed Lane by Brooke McEldowney.)
The Enquirer has given me a short break from my daily work in order to particpate in the creation of a special section that will mark my 30th anniversary here at the Enquirer this coming Tuesday. It's shaping up as a very fun section with some old unearthed cartoons and accompanying stories, caricatures and interviews with the caricatured, a big Q&A and my redrawing of the winning cartoon idea submitted by readers in a Discover Your Inner Cartoonist contest.
As a special experiment, our very talented photographer Glenn Hartong videotaped me executing the drawing through a series of stop-action shots over my shoulder and has edited together a sort of short film and interview which you'll find on our enquirer.com web site next week. (Watching me draw is like watching a turtle sink in molasses. We're about to see how good Glenn really is!)
All in all, a very different week. Thanks for your patience as I caught my breath before launching into the next 30 years.