Weekend at the Reuben Awards
Boston, Massachusetts, May 27-29, 2011

The 65th annual Reuben Awards were held in Boston over the Memorial Day weekend. It is a weekend I look forward to all year. Awards are presented in 13 divisions such as Comic Book, Greeting Card, Newspaper Illustration, Gag Cartoon, and TV Animation. It is wonderful to walk into the host hotel and see people I love. Although, there is never enough time to catch up with everyone. The Reuben was awarded to Richard Thompson, creator of Cul de Sac.


This year was very special. The Silver T-Square was awarded to our own board member, Lucy Shelton Caswell, for her work over the past 35 years building the Ohio State Cartoon Research Library, more formally known as the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

Lucy has transformed it into what many consider the premier cartoon research facility in the country. Lucy spoke about the gift of OSU alum Milton Caniff’s collection, which began it all.

Image of Mo Willems



Mo Willems (who will visit the Museum on August 28) awarded R.O. Blechman (whose name you may know from New Yorker covers) with the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. In the photo to the right, behind Mo Willems is Master of Ceremonies, Tom Gammill, and his niece and her friend who provided light-hearted entertainment throughout the evening.



Image of Stephan Pastis

Santa Rosa cartoonist Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine, was one of the three Reuben award nominees.

Image of Sergio Aragonesand Michelle Ollie

Sergio Aragones (from Mad Magazine) with Michelle Ollie.

Image of Michelle Ollie, Jean Schulz, Hilary Price, and Chari Pere



Here are just a few of the people it was wonderful to catch up with over the weekend. Michelle Ollie, from the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont; Hilary Price, creator of Rhymes with Orange(she spoke at the Museum this past March); and Chari Pere, a freelance cartoonist.


Image of Jeff Kinney


Another treat at the Reuben awards this year was getting to hear Jeff Kinney, author and illustrator of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series. I was fascinated to learn that his book narratives began as a series of small comic strip stories. He would fill up pages in his note book, with each one boxed, making the paper look almost like a map. Eventually, Jeff strung the tales together and penned his first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. I am looking forward to Jeff Kinney’s visit to the Museum on June 11.

 —Jean Schulz