This year’s nominees for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year” have been announced by the National Cartoonists Society and they are Roz Chast, Stephen Pastis and Hilary Price (above.) Pastis and Price were nominees last year as well. Where there are NCS Awards given out each year, technically speaking this is “The Reuben,” a lifetime achievement award that one can win only once. The Reuben Award 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. As with all the NCS awards, the winner need not be a member of the Society. 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.

I guess it truly is The Year of the Women when TWO lady tooners are nominated in one year for the Reuben. And that’s very cool. As far as I can remember this is Chast’s first nomination, so I think a win for Pastis or Price is more likely, but all are very worthy winners. Pastis has been nominated many times in fact so maybe this is his year.

Nominations in the divisional awards will be announced in a few weeks. The awards will presented at the annual NCS meeting Memorial Day Weekend May 23rd, held this year in Washington DC.