Reubens announce first ever Online Comic Strip Award nominees

The National Cartoonists’ Society — an organization that deals primarily with newspaper-style comics — have just announced their 2012 NCS Divisional Award Nominees, also known as the Reubens. That’s right people, the Reubens are not, in fact, awarded for the Best Sandwich Ever but rather for comic strips. Also they were named after Rube Goldberg, who I covered on a Know Thy History some time ago.

For the first time ever, there’s an award for Online Comic Strips. What bold choices have the judges settled on?


* Matthew Inman- The Oatmeal (
* Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins- Penny Arcade (
* Jon Rosenberg- Scenes from a Multiverse (

It’s … about one xkcd short of what you’d imagine a rather mainstream platform would select for Best On-Line Comic Strips, really. I guess I should show some Seattle pride, as Inman, Krahulik, and Holkins are from around here … but all I can really muster is a “meh.” It IS the first year, though, so maybe there will be more bold choices down the line at some point.

If the Newspaper Comic Strips category is any indication, though, don’t count on it. Zits and Pearls Before Swine are the most recent multi-award winners, with Dustin being the most recent winner. While nothing’s wrong with these strips, they’re not exactly award quality in my layman’s eyes.

Incidentally, as recently as 2004, the winner of the Newspaper Panel Award was Dennis the Menace. Ponder on that for a while.

Winners will be announced at the 66th Annual NCS Reuben Awards in Las Vegas on May 26th, 2012. Judging from the poster, I imagine the air will be thick with the pungent aroma of Old Spice.

(h/t Fleen)


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on March 26, 2012, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The Oatmeal? The OATMEAL? THE #$%*#*% OATMEAL?! Excuse me, some of us webcartoonists are actually trying to produce good, respectable work here…we’d like a little attention.

    • Looking more closely at the NCS website, I see that to join the NCS you have to get letters of recommendation from two NCS members… so basically the only people who can join are those who are either legitimately involved in existing cartooning networks (eg, writing for syndicates) or people who can “play the game.” So I guess they’re basically just handing out awards to each other.

      We need some awards that actually mean something…. there’s really nothing impresive about this lineup. Come on, Stephan Pastis is up for Cartoonist of the Year? He’s funny, yes, but he can’t draw to save his life, which I’d think ought to be a mandatory attribute in Cartoonist of the Year.

      Anyway, I’ll be adding “Reubens” to my list of awards to ignore. Shutting up now.

  2. I prefer the bold choices of the Comic Buyers Guide Fan Awards….

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