L to R (Bottom Row): Dave Coverly, Daryll Collins, Jim Borgman. (Top Row): Frank Pauer, Jerry Dowling, Polly Keener, Chris Payne, Craig Boldman, Steve Boreman, Jeff Stahler, Chip Bok, Bob Queen. Photo courtesy of Polly Keener.

This year's annual GLC's Reuben Awards judging took place on Saturday, March 13 at the home of newlyweds Jim Borgman and Suzanne Soled in southwest Ohio. At noon, GLC members descended upon piles of cartoons like drunken cicadas and commenced whittling down the entries in the 'Comic Strips' division.

The jury was comprised of a group of the usual suspects: Chip Bok, Craig Boldman, Jim Borgman, Daryll Collins, Dave Coverly, Polly Keener, Chris Payne and Jeff Stahler. Steve Boreman kept the proceedings moving smoothly, and Jerry Dowling, Frank Pauer and Bob Queen were on hand to fill the gap in case anyone keeled over. Also in attendance were GLC friends Bob Keener, who slipped out to catch the Treasures of the Vatican exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center, and Tad Barney, who took these photos.

The 60-deep or so stack of entries was potentially intimidating, but as work began it appeared that the judges were on reasonably similar wavelengths, and the elimination rounds proceeded at a smooth and rapid clip. A consensus was reached, and the top three choices were hermetically sealed and delivered by courier to the powers-that-be at NCS Central.

Suzanne provided an terrific, 'gotta get the recipe'-caliber chicken dish for lunch. During breaks, she and Jim conducted informal tours of the house and studio. Kids had bedrooms in the darndest places.

The operation wrapped up by 5:00 p.m., which was the target. A few of the travelers reconvened at Watson Bros., a Blue Ash burger place/pub which turned out to have pretty good ribs as well.

Thanks so much to Suzanne and Jim for their kind hospitality!


Photos courtesy of Tad Barney / The Nose

The group in action.

Suzanne, and daughter Sarah, welcome us to their lovely home.

Jerry Dowling wasn't a judge, but was useful in keeping Daryll in line.


The Borgman-Soled home: stylish, comfortable and cozy. Then they let a bunch of cartoonists in.

Boreman mocks Boldman; Keener pretends not to hear; Bok wisely stays out of it.

Polly Keener prepares to render a cruel but fair judgment.


Stahler amused; Coverly bemused; Payne confused

Frank Pauer plots, schemes, bides his time.

Jeff Stahler

Steve Boreman


Jim Borgman and Jeff Stahler, fraternal twin sons of different mothers.

Chip discovers the elusive 4-cent 1856 British Guiana he's been seeking for his stamp collection.

Dowling, Bok, Keener, Boldman, Coverly, Payne

Boldman, Bok

Rob Harrell's 'Big Top' entry gets a thorough scrutinizing.


In case you ever wondered what an out-of-body experience at an NCS meeting would be like.

A peek at Jim Borgman's studio. We all stole pens.

I know Bob Queen was here somewhere. Where did he go?


UPDATE 5/29/04:

Reuben winners were officially announced on May 29 at the 58th Annual Reuben Awards Banquet in Kansas City, MO. Our own Chris Payne snagged the Division Award for Book Illustration (see NEWS), Stephen Pastis won the Comic Strip Division Award for his strip, "Pearls Before Swine," and the 2003 Reuben went to Greg Evans ("Luann"). For the full list of Reuben Winners, visit the Official NCS website, www.reuben.org

UPDATE 3/26/04:

Reuben Nominees were officially announced on March 26. Nominees for the comic strip division are:

Comic Strips:

Brian Basset ("Red & Rover")

Glenn McCoy ("The Duplex")

Stephan Pastis ("Pearls Before Swine")

Winners will be announced at the Reuben Awards dinner in Kansas City on May 29, 2004.

The full list of nominees, all divisions, can be found at www.reuben.org.