Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Memorialization on Memorial Weekend

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Memorialization on Memorial Weekend

Article excerpt

Cartoonists pay tribute to 'Peanuts' in newspapers and during NCS convention, where 'Mutts' creator wins the Reuben

The National Cartoonists Society (NCS) used Memorial Day weekend to memorialize its most famous member: the late Charles "Sparky" Schulz. Schulz, the World War II veteran turned "Peanuts" creator, was awarded a posthumous NCS lifetime achievement honor during the May 27 Reuben Award ceremony attended by more than 600 people. That same day, nearly 100 syndicated cartoonists paid tribute to "Peanuts" in newspaper comic sections.

The NCS also showed a video tribute to Schulz, and various speakers at the May 26-28 convention in New York mentioned him even when talking about other topics. Finally, the winner of the Reuben as top cartoonist of the year was "Mutts" creator Patrick McDonnell, who does what was one of Schulz's favorite comics.

Here's the rundown on the "Peanuts" gallery of events:

Jeannie Schulz accepted the NCS Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her husband, who died in February at the age of 77. She recalled that Schulz greatly admired Caniff as a person and for his "Terry and the Pirates" and "Steve Canyon" comics.

Cartoonists who did the special May 27 comics paid tribute to "Peanuts" in various ways. For instance, "For Better or For Worse" creator Lynn Johnston showed Elly Patterson hugging a stuffed Snoopy, while "Close to Home" creator John McPherson showed Charlie Brown finally kicking the football. Enlarged versions of the comics were displayed at a May 28 NCS brunch hosted by United Media, which still distributes "Peanuts" reruns to more than 2,400 papers. And the comics can be viewed on the Web at

The video tribute featured comments from cartoonists, editors, and others -- including retired tennis great Billie Jean King. And speaking live prior to the video was McDonnell, who called Schulz "the greatest cartoonist who ever lived."

One funny convention comment about Schulz came from "The Family Circus" creator Bil Keane: "Sparky and I had a lot in common. We both did comics about kids and family values. He had five kids, I had five kids. He was born in 1922, I was born in 1922. He made a million dollars a week, I ... was born in 1922."

McDonnell is top dog

McDonnell won the 54th annual Reuben Award, which has been described as the "Oscar of cartooning. …

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