This week, I'll be heading to our nations' capital for the annual National Cartoonists' Society Weekend!
If you're in the Washington, DC, area, we'll be hosting a special panel in celebration of King Features' 100th anniversary that is open to the public on Friday morning at 11 am.
“Cartooning and Our Culture,” will take place Friday, May 22nd at 11A.M. in the Montpelier Room of the Library of Congress’s Madison Building.
Moderated by King Features Syndicate editor Brendan Burford, the panel will feature a roster of some of today’s greatest illustrators, including Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Brian Walker (Hi and Lois), Jeff Keane (The Family Circus), Hilary Price (Rhymes with Orange), Ray Billingsley (Curtis), and Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Mike Peters (Mother Goose & Grimm).
I hope you can join us!!!
I'm also very pleased and excited for our own Hilary Price of Rhymes With Orange, who is up for not one but TWO awards at this year's NCS Awards. Hilary has been nominated for not just the best Newspaper Comic Panel award, but also the Reuben for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. Hilary was kind enough to answer some questions about her year in cartooning.
—You’ve been creating Rhymes With Orange for nearly twenty years! How do you feel your work has evolved?
I've become a better artist. You know the phrase "If you practice something every day, you will get better at it"? I am living proof of that. I look back at the beginning of the strip and cringe, but like everyone, I had to start somewhere. There are no shortcuts.
—What were some of the comics you’ve drawn over the past year that you’re proudest of?
I like the term "pleased by," better than the term "proud of," because I'm proud of myself when I get the pickle jar open, and this doesn't feel the same.
There's a little back story to every cartoon I draw-- whether I remember it coming easily or if I struggled, where I was, or who I was thinking about when I did the strip… the point is, I can't see them objectively.
But here's one that I was pleased by because a friend and I were talking about mindfulness, and how it's so easy to go down the our own well-worn thought roads, even if the facts on the ground don't warrant it.
So I try to remember to try to act like the mouse in this cartoon.
And here's one I like because when I'm not being mindful, the idea of shooting figurines out of the sky seems like a good coping device.
But to contradict what I just said only 165 words ago, I'm actually proud of this strip, because it reflects a society that has changed its views on gay and lesbian relationships, and that's cause for celebration.
—What’s your favorite thing about cartooning?
The little pleasure burst when the idea comes. It's like Freshen Up gum when you first chew and the gel squirts out. But in your brain. And less minty.
—What’s one thing you’d like to share with aspiring cartoonists today?
That there are days when the ideas just don't come, and you will feel great despair about it, and you will feel convinced that this is the end. When you feel that, go outside and walk a dog. You and the dog will both be better for it.
The ideas will come back. And so too will those terrible days. That's part of the cycle.