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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 03/ 5/2011

IMAGE OF THE DAY: Tom Richmond talks of unveiled NCS Reubens art

By Michael Cavna

Reubens luminaries Gammill, Doty, Blechman, Keane, Pastis and Thompson. (image courtesy of TOM RICHMOND)

If Reuben-nominated cartoonists Stephan Pastis and Richard Thompson suddenly give MAD artist Tom Richmond the silent treatment, now we'll know why.

Richmond, the ever-talented caricaturist, has posted his poster art for the 2011 National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards, featuring a half-dozen honorees and nominees for May's ceremony.

"What I enjoy every time the NCS asks me to do one of these illustrations [is] getting to draw caricatures of some of the luminaries and legends of the cartooning business," Richmond told Comic Riffs on Friday. "Sadly," he jokes, "few ever speak to me again after I draw them, but I'm used to that."

More seriously, Richmond tells 'Riffs: "Like the [NCS illustration] from 2009 in New Orleans, this one needed cartoon characters as well as caricatures. A lot of cartoon characters. The challenging thing is fitting as many as I can into the confines of the print size.

"I also end up having to leave out a lot of characters I'd have liked to get in, leading to more cartoonists not talking to me."

Richmond's illustration -- which will serve as the NCS convention's T-shirt image, brochure and journal image -- caricatures not only Reuben Award "Cartoonist of the Year" nominees Pastis ("Pearls Before Swine"), Thompson ("Cul de Sac") and Disney animator Glen Keane ("Tangled"), but also ceremony emcee Tom Gammill, NCS Gold Key "hall of fame" award winner Roy Doty and the 2011 Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award recipient R.O. Blechman.

Last month, Pastis told Comic Riffs that "it's a true honor" to be nominated for cartooning's Oscar; and Thompson told us: "I'm tickled and honored to be nominated with Glen and Stephan."

On Friday, Keane said to Comic Riffs: "The Reuben Award for me has been legendary in my mind ever since I was a kid. Each year I would hear stories from my dad ['Family Circus' creator Bil Keane] as he emceed the Reuben Awards dinner. He would talk about Milton Caniff, Charlie Schulz or Mort Walker having been the winners of the highest honor given among cartoonists... And one day it was his name that was honored with the Reuben. I have never been more proud of him then on that night.

"I am humbled beyond words to have my name nominated."

The Cartoonist of the Year and all the divisional award winners will be announced May 28 at the NCS Reubens Awards in Boston.

By Michael Cavna  | March 5, 2011; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Comic conventions, General  | Tags:  Glen Keane, NCS Reuben Awards, R.O. Blechman, Richard Thompson, Roy Doty, Stephan Pastis, Tom Gammill, Tom Richmond  
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