National Cartoonists Society

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The National Cartoonists Society is an organization of professional cartoonists in the United States. It presents the NCS Awards. The Society was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops. They found that they enjoyed each other's company and decided to get together on a regular basis.[1]

Today, NCS members work in many branches of the profession, including newspaper comic strips and syndicated single-panel cartoons, comic books, editorial cartoons, animation, gag cartoons, greeting cards, advertising, magazine and book illustration. Membership is limited to established professional cartoonists, with a few exceptions of outstanding persons in affiliated fields. The NCS is not a guild or labor union.

The NCS' stated 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."[2]



The Society was organized on a Friday evening, March 1, 1946, when 26 cartoonists gathered at 7pm in the Barberry Room on East 52nd Street in Manhattan. After drinks and dinner, they voted to determine officers and a name for their new organization. Rube Goldberg was elected president with Russell Patterson as vice president, Clarence D. Russell as secretary and Milton Caniff, treasurer. Otto Soglow was later added as second vice president (“to follow the first vice president around”). From the beginning, Marge Duffy Devine was the organizing secretary handling agendas, organization and publicity.[1]

The 26 founding members came from the group of 32 members who had paid dues by March 13, including strip cartoonists Wally Bishop (Muggs and Skeeter), Martin Branner (Winnie Winkle), Ernie Bushmiller (Nancy), Milton Caniff, Gus Edson (The Gumps), Ham Fisher (Joe Palooka), Harry Haenigsen (Penny), Fred Harman (Red Ryder), Jay Irving (Willie Doodle), Al Posen (Sweeney and Son), Clarence Russell (Pete the Tramp), Otto Soglow (The Little King), Jack Sparling (Claire Voyant), Raeburn van Buren (Abbie an' Slats), Dow Walling (Skeets) and Frank Willard (Moon Mullins).[1]

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