Last year, the National Cartoonists Society launched NCSFest,“European-style festival” that was held in Huntington Beach, California. This year’s event was supposed to be in Kansas City but that got canceled along with everything else when the pandemic hit. So the organizers, led by former NCS president Steve McGarry, have put together an online  version. While it won’t be as big as last year, the NCSFest schedule includes Garfield creator Jim Davis expounding on “The Art of Funny”; Lynn Johnston (For Better or For Worse) interviewing Mutts creator Patrick O’Donnell to celebrate that strip’s 25th anniversary; a short documentary on Beetle Bailey; and Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons revealing his five picks for Desert Island Comics. There’s also a panel on “The Superstar Cartoonists of Instagram” and one featuring creators who have moved from comic strips to graphic novels. Something for everyone!

The event also includes the NCS’s Reuben Awards, with the different divisions being announced in between panels; the day will end with the announcement of the Cartoonist of the Year award, which is the Big One for the Reubens; this year’s nominees are Terri Libenson, Lynda Barry, Mark Tatulli, Raina Talgemeier, and Hilary B. Price.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. EST and will be livestreamed at The full press release is below.


We’re delighted to announce the lineup for the 2020 NCSFest — a FREE virtual festival — which takes place September 12 from 10am EDT. This year, we’re bringing the Festival to everyone, in a reimagined virtual format. For the first time, people will have the opportunity to join us—wherever in the world they may be—for a day of conversations, short films, and fantastic panels, featuring some of the most talented and influential cartoonists of our time.

Our 74th annual Divisional Reuben Award-winners will also be announced between sessions throughout the day, culminating in the announcement of our 2019 Cartoonist of the Year. This years historic slate of nominees are: Terri Libenson, Lynda Barry, Mark Tatulli, Raina Talgemeier, and Hilary B. Price

We hope that cartooning and comics fans around the world will join us for this, our first online NCSFest presentation. We were devastated to have had to cancel our Kansas City Reubens this year, and we’re making the best of a bad situation.

Specific times for sessions are not available due to latency limitations on the live stream. If/when we do any other live streaming events, we will ensure we have a better way of tracking when specific sessions will take place.

Visit for the full run down of the day.

The festival is made possible by our generous sponsors and supporters at GoComics, Comics Kingdom, The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival, Creators Syndicate, and the National Cartoonists Society Foundation.
Thank you to all of our participants, sponsors and supporters.

We look forward to seeing you all at NCSFest 2020!




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