NCS Awards

Each year, during the NCS Annual Reuben Awards Weekend, the Society honors the year’s outstanding achievements in all walks of the profession. The nominees and recipient of our profession’s highest honor, the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, are chosen by a confidential ballot of the members.

The Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded by unanimous vote of the NCS Board of Directors, as is the Silver T-Square, an award that recognizes outstanding service to the Society and the profession.

The Reuben Award

NCS Awards | National Cartoonists Society

Reuben winners Ann Telnaes, Sergio Aragones, Patrick McDonnell and Ray Billingsley

The Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year is chosen by a secret ballot of the members of the National Cartoonists Society. The Reuben Award is the highest honor that the profession bestows. The award was previously called the Billy DeBeck Memorial Award, and the recipient received an engraved silver cigarette box.

The Reuben was introduced in 1954 and is named after longtime Honorary President Rube Goldberg. The statue is based on one of Goldberg’s irreverent pieces of sculpture. The eight winners who had received the “Barney,” as the Billy DeBeck Award was dubbed, subsequently received Reuben statuettes and are termed Reuben winners in the Society’s annals. As with all the NCS awards, the winner need not be a member of the Society.

The Gold Key

Awarded by unanimous vote of the NCS Board of Directors, The Gold Key honors the recipient as a member of the National Cartoonists Society Hall of Fame.

Arnold Roth

Roy Doty

Bunny Hoest

John Reiner

Mort Gerberg

Reuben Weekends

Prior to 1983, the Reuben Awards Dinner was held in New York, usually at the Plaza Hotel. Since then, the event has expanded into a full weekend and is held in a different city each year.

Special artwork is created for the Reuben Weekends and used on T-Shirts, souvenir tote bags and the Reuben Journal.

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