May 6th, 2008

Reubens 2006

by Terri Libenson

Normally this blog centers around the creation of a particular PD strip or strip series. But as my husband, Mike, and I gear up to go to the Reuben Awards (Oscars of cartooning) this Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans, I thought it’d be fun to backtrack and share some musings on the first and only Reubens we attended in Chicago, ’06.

With my strip barely launched – it had only been syndicated for two months – this event was intimidating to say the least. Surrounded by some of the greats, I relied on my outgoing husband to do much of the meeting and greeting while I stood there, open-mouthed, as he launched into conversations about the field of cartooning (mind you, he’s an I.T. guy) with giants like Jerry Scott, his wife, half the King Features executives, and countless other bigwigs. Most people outside King assumed he was the cartoonist and I was along for the ride.

Barely into the weekend, I started attending the seminars alone while Mike explored downtown Chicago. This forced me to introduce myself to other cartoonists and industry folks. Normally shy under these circumstances, I started to make friends and acquaintances. By the time the big awards show was underway, we were having a grand old time. The one hiccup was my choosing a long turquoise dress which stuck out like a sore thumb among the (mostly) black-clad attendees. Luckily a few glasses of wine got me over it.

One of the fun highlights was meeting some of Lynn Johnston’s posse (also known as her professional staff) in the ladies room. They were so lovely and friendly, and invited Mike and I up to a private “after party” somewhere in the depths of the luxury hotel. Unfortunately, the famed cartoonist was nowhere to be seen. But earlier, they managed to snap a quick photo of me with Ms. Johnston.

Here are a few photos from the event…the only photos I have, in fact:

This is a candid of myself and Mort Walker at the Friday night cocktail event. He had no idea who I was. Since this photo was taken, I’ve had the opportunity to meet him on another occasion. He now may be able to pick me out of a lineup.


This one of the terrible twosome was taken in our hotel room (using a camera timer) before the Reubens Award banquet.

Here’s the infamous photo with the gracious Lynn Johnston (excuse the fuzziness). I found out later she had made this “cartoon” dress herself. Will the talent never cease.

This year, Mike and I look forward to meeting some new faces and greeting some familiar ones. I’m sure it’ll be a weekend to remember, and something to post about.




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