It was wall-to-wall excitement as Cartoonists Northwest threw open the doors to the 18th Annual Toonie™ Award Banquet at Ivar’s Salmon House in Seattle on March 14, 2009. The forty-some attendees, decked out in their finest attire, buzzed with breathless anticipation of the awards ceremony, the centerpiece of the annual rite that recognizes achievement in numerous categories of the cartoon arts. (See recap below for full list of awardees).
The Toonies is about fun as much as awards. As in years past, Cartoonists Northwest made sure there was plenty of activities for everyone throughout the evening. Schmoozing was number one, followed by the cartoonist’s second-most popular activity…dinner! Hunger of another sort was satisfied via the Silent Auction. Attendees bid for original works of art and cartoon-related merchandise. Everyone received free packs of colorful Sculpey modeling clay to fashion something on the spot. From the sublime to the outrageous, the Gumbyesque results were entered into the Clay Contest. Sketchbooks were passed from table to table. The aroma of heated Sharpie pens wafted around the room.
No stellar night of awards would be complete without musical entertainment, and at the Toonies, this meant an appearance by The Amazing Martin Brothers. The all-guitar, all-cartoonist band melted what little ice remained in the room with a new hilarious parody written specially for the occasion, a ditty called “Stand By Your Hand”. Ostensibly, it was a country-and-western ode to the cartoonist’s most indispensable appendage. Double-entendre? You be the judge.
CNW FOUNDING MOTHER Maureen VanderPas and PRESIDENT Keith Curtis rocked the podium as the Madame and Master of Ceremonies. The first order of business was introduction of the CNW cabinet officers for 2009, including VICE-PRESIDENT Stephen Prescott, TREASURER Jeff Hamill, and SECRETARY Jeff Hawley.
After the delightful dinner and dessert passed into digestive history, Keith and Maureen announced the first series of recognitions, for Service Awards and Membership Certificates for 5,10, 15, 20 years and Charter Members. (See accompanying list for complete roster of names)
Roberta Gregory introduced the Special Guest Speaker, the inimitable self-publishing whirlwind Donna Barr, creator of Stinz; Desert Peach; and the popular Drawn Books series. Donna wowed the audience with a fast-paced (oh, heck, call it a blitzkrieg) talk about her work and life in the cartoon world.
Intermission was a perfect time for more schmoozing, more clay contest entries, and voting on the Best of the Northwest cartoons. The Amazing Martin Brothers hit the stage for another music interlude with comical ‘tude. The Raffle prize was then announced, with the mint condition copy of “The Original Art of Basil Wolverton” going to lucky Gabe Mintz (who also happens to be one-very-important-fourth of the Amazing Martin Brothers).
Master cartoonist Basil Wolverton was inducted posthumously into the CNW Hall of Fame. Mr. Wolverton’s granddaughter, Monica Spykerman, graciously accepted the induction award on behalf of her famous and beloved grandfather. She gave a short talk on what it was like growing up surrounded by Basil’s amazing creations. It was an inspiring personal peek into the life of one of comic-dom’s true originals, a cartooning force of nature who influenced the likes of Robert Crumb and so many other luminaries.
Complete list of award winners follows:
Each winner in the five categories below also became a nominee for the Golden Toonie for Cartoonist of the Year 2008:
Illustration – David Lasky .
Syndicated Cartoonist - Jan Eliot for “Stone Soup”.
Best Writer – Mark Monlux for “The Return of Stickman”.
Web Comic – Mark Monlux for “The Comic Critic”.
Continuing Work – Keith Curtis for the “Crater on the Moon” book series.
Ink in his Vein Award:
Kevin Boze, for creative endeavors on “The Virgin Project”.
Best of the Northwest:
Jeff Hawley, for his May 2008 cartoon.
Most of the Northwest:
Jeff Hawley, for all the times he won the monthly “Best of the NW”
Creative Clay Creation:
First Place (Tie) - Liam Austin and Bill Morse
Most Creative - Mark Monlux
Best use of Props - Monica Spykerman
Best Effort - Pat Lile
The Golden Toonie Award for Cartoonist of the Year 2008: DAVID LASKY.
In 1993, Lasky won a grant from the Xeric Foundation to self–publish his comic “Boom Boom”. Lasky's contribution to the comic book anthology “Two–Fisted Science” (written by Jim Ottaviani) chronicles the life of physicist Richard Feynman during his time with the Manhattan Project. Lasky continued to push the boundaries of traditional comics in his collaborations with Greg Stump and “Urban Hipster” (published by Alternative Comics), which was nominated in 1999 for the Harvey Award for best new series. Lasky has been nominated for numerous Ignatz Awards, and has also served on the Ignatz Award jury. He teaches cartooning with the Seattle non-profit “Art Corps”, gives “Comicstravaganza” talks at local libraries, is active in the “Zine Archive Project”, and is currently at work on a graphic novel about the Carter Family.
Five Year Membership
Scott Alan, John Brower, Bill Morse
Ten Year Membership
Judy Burnett, Ben Garrison
Twenty Year Membership
Steve Greenberg, George Jartos and Louis Scarborough, Jr.
Twenty Five Year Membership
The Great Vic Stredicke
Donna Barr as our Guest Speaker
Dawn Kravagna for her efforts at Comic Cons
Keith Curtis (President), Stephen Prescott (Vice President), Jeff Hawley (Secretary), Jeff Hamill (Treasurer), Penstuff Editor (Dick Rogers).
Keith Curtis, Jeff Hamill, Larry and Alex Lewis, Bill Morse, Dick Rogers, Vic Stredicke, Maureen VanderPas
About Cartoonists Northwest: Cartoonists Northwest is an association of professional and amateur cartoonists, animators, and illustrators who meet monthly to network, collaborate, and promote community among local artists. Established in 1981, CNW is one of Seattle’s longest-standing organizations and boasts membership of such artists as: Lynn Johnston (“For Better or For Worse”), David Horsey (Seattle PI), John Lustig (Disney and “Last Kiss”), Brian Basset (“Adam @ Home” and “Red and Rover”), Donna Barr (“The Desert Peach” and “Stinz”) and many more.