§ “Funky Winkerbean” cartoonist Tom Batiuk has won the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Care Hall of Fame Award for his comics about the Lisa character’s battle with cancer.

§ Iranian cartoonist wins Syrian award for nothing to do with prophets or the Holocaust. The topic was “travel” and it was a very international affair.

The director of Iran’s House of Cartoon Massud Shojaei-Tabatabaii has won the First Prize of the 2nd Syria International Cartoon Contest in 2006, MNA Reported. Competing cartoonists from Armenia, Ukraine, Spain, Bosnia, Iraq, Bangladesh, India, Japan, Romania, Russia, China, Morocco, Brazil, Kuwait, Syria, Palestine, Macedonia, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, South Korea, Indonesia, and France focused on the theme of theater. The Second Prize was presented to Naji Benaji from Morocco while the Third Prize went to Tomasz Woloszyn from Poland. The jury comprised Syrian cartoonists and journalists Raed Khalil, Salwa Abbas, and Jamal Abboud as well as Palestinian cartoonists Hani Abbas and Abdoula Abo Rashed.

00370001L§ Too pressed for time to read all of Linda H. Davis’ biography of cartoon great Charles Addams? Well you’re in luck, because Liz Smith has summarized what you really need to know: What did Addams have to do with THE KENNEDYS???

Addams often socialized with the Stephen Smiths and the Peter Lawfords. At one of those overcrowded Kennedy weekends, Addams was a guest, with Arthur Schlesinger Jr. at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannisport, Mass. Schlesinger found him “a very jolly roommate.” Now he was one of several discreet men who were taking Jackie out and he was clearly smitten. “He was stunned by, captivated by Jackie,” said Nancy Holmes. Jackie adored his work. “I love Pugsley and Lurch, but my favorite is Morticia. She and I have a lot more in common than you might think,” teased Jackie. … Once Addams and Jackie stopped for dinner at the Stockton Inn, which had inspired the Lorenz Hart song, “There’s a small hotel with a wishing well.” The waiter said, “Your friend looks a lot like Jackie Kennedy.” Addams answered, “That’s right. A lot of people tell her that.”

§ James Buchanon, a writer who specializes in gay fiction, including yaoi, speaks:

“My longer works have heavy elements of romance in them,” he explains on his Web site. “Some of my stuff is Original Yaoi, also known as June, with the traditional Seme and Uke roles with all involved being Bishonen. What can I say, I love Manga and it’s fun to write.” His work has also been described as “dark fic” or “Gothic.” Buchanan explains that this is because the work has an edgy, not-quite-happy feel to it. “It follows my own reading tastes. I’m more likely to be found with A Slave’s Condition than a pretty shounen-ai manga like Gokuaru Cafe,” he adds. “Clive Barker’s homocentric horror is on my shelves and I don’t need happy endings.”

§ Just what you’ve been waiting for: a report on last weekend’s Belly Dance and Comic Book Convention. Only in the Bay Area.

“The most unique holiday festival in the Bay Area, combining comics and belly dancing in a special and entertaining way,â€? according to its organizers, offered nonstop performances and one-stop shopping for a wide range of thematic gifts for collectors and costume lovers. This year, the third annual festival went on for two days, featuring Bay Area artists and vendors, comic book creators, and Mediterranean cuisine by a local caterer.