Kendal 14 October 2016: The National Cartoonists Society, in partnership with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced the creation of The NCS Sergio Aragonés International Award for Excellence in Comic Art. This honour, named for the famed MAD Magazine cartoonist, will be given annually to an exceptional comic artist, animator, or cartoonist at the Lakes Comic Art Festival beginning in 2017.
The NCS is known for its annual presentation of the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, the highest and most coveted award in the field of cartooning in the United States and Canada. NCS president, Bill Morrison explained, “The NCS Sergio Aragonés Award was created to reach beyond North America and recognise and honour outstanding artists who work in the cartoon and comic arts in all corners of the world. ”
NCS Foundation president, Steve McGarry made the announcement in Kendal to the attendees and guests of the Lakes Festival Friday during the festival’s opening night programme. McGarry stated, “The National Cartoonists Society has a proud 70 year tradition of honouring the best cartoon and comics artists in our profession through the annual NCS Reuben awards.
“Although artists from as far afield as the UK, Australia and the Far East have been honoured in the Reuben Awards, I’m delighted that the Society has partnered with the Lakes Festival to create this new award that’s specifically designed to celebrate outstanding international talent. It’s also very appropriate that the award will be given in the name of one of the world’s most acclaimed and beloved cartoonists, the legendary Sergio Aragonés.”
A jury comprised of Sergio Aragonés, the sitting National Cartoonists Society president, the sitting NCS Foundation president, and two principals of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival will convene annually to select a recipient. The honouree will then be invited to attend the festival as a distinguished guest and receive the award.
Julie Tait, Director of the Lakes Festival remarked “Sergio Aragonés is an icon and inspiration to cartoonists across the world and the National Cartoonists Society consists of some of the leading lights of the medium, both icons and new talent.
“Our festival aims to be truly international, to celebrate all genres of comic art and to encourage people to recognise comics as representing great art for everyone. This new award is a major new step towards our goal and we are extremely honoured and grateful to the NCS for this opportunity”.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is the only one of its kind in the UK. Celebrating the world of comic art in all its guises, it is an annual weekend festival that takes over the town of Kendal on the edge of the Lake District each October. It features a formal events programme of live draws, performances, films and presentations, a free family zone, workshops, exhibitions, a “marketplace”, windows trails and more. It is truly international with leading creators from across the world and representing all genres of comic art attending as guests. The festival recognises both pioneers and icons in the field, as well as up-and-coming talent. It appeals to existing fans and also attracts new audiences. It also commissions new work and works in partnership with international festivals and organizations, including the NCS.
The National Cartoonists Society (NCS) is an organization of professional cartoonists with regional chapters in the United States and Canada. The Society had its origins during World War II when groups of cartoonists joined together to entertain troops overseas. They enjoyed each other’s company and after the war decided to meet on a regular basis. In 1946 the NCS was born.
NCS members work in many branches of cartooning, including advertising, animation, newspaper comic strips and syndicated single-panel cartoons, comic books, editorial cartoons, gag cartoons, graphic novels, greeting cards, magazine and book illustration and web comics.
The organization’s primary purposes are “to advance the ideals and standards of professional cartooning in its many forms”, “to promote and foster a social, cultural and intellectual interchange among professional cartoonists of all types” and “to stimulate and encourage interest in and acceptance of the art of cartooning by aspiring cartoonists, students and the general public.”
Tickets for the main events at this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival are on sale now – and a special “Clash of the Toon Titans”, pitting Tintin against Asterix, will launch this year’s weekend-long celebrations in October.
The festival features comic artists from around the world, as well as performance, film, exhibitions, comic trails, workshops, master classes, live drawing and independent retailers and publishers. The events programme is bursting with opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the leading comic artists and writers from across the world – see them draw, talk about their work and bring comics to life.
The Patrons of the Festival are comic creators Boulet, Sean Phillips, Bryan Talbot, Mary Talbot and Emma Vieceli, and Stephen L. Holland, owner of the award-winning independent comic shop Page 45 in Nottingham.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is proud to be supporting the work of OCD Action. As the UK’s largest and most comprehensive OCD charity, OCD Action is able to provide accurate and up-to-date information on OCD and related conditions. The charity runs a helpline, advocacy service, support group network and forum to help people with the disorder, and also works to raise awareness in the media and campaigns to improve access to quality treatment for OCD.