One of the highlights of my year. Away from the strip in Las Vegas (which was OK by me) at an elegant resort, 166 cartoonists plus guests came to honor the best in our profession. The events, seminars and parties, were well-planned and we all had a fine time. We also talked about how the organization and attendees are changing. Each year we lose more of the grand masters and the profession and art form are rapidly evolving. Roy Doty, one of the masters, makes a distinction between those who still draw and color on paper, those that create their cartoons with a computer and those that publish on the Internet. The process, the market and the economic model are all changing. Few of us know where cartooning will be in 10 years. There is a lot of unspoken angst and fear. The golden and silver ages of the comics are drawing to an end. A new platinum age? may be ahead, but it’s clear that the tools, process, market, and income models will be different. Today’s cartoonists and the NCS will adjust or just fade away. I am betting on the former.
One immediate challenge that I’ve written about before are the division award winners that don’t show up to receive their honors. We met one nominee who had traveled from Australia because he was nominated. Nine category winners out of 14 weren’t “able to attend.” A ratio that’s getting worse. It’s a symptom of weakened prestige IMHO. Not clear about a remedy.
Below are Dave Kellet’s pug contribution to my journal, master Roy Doty, SAM at table 33, and Bill Holbrook and Bud Grace (two heroes.)