We want to extend our congratulations to Lynn Johnston, who has been awarded the National Cartoonists Society Medal of Honor at the Ruben Awards in Philadelphia on May 26th!
The Medal of Honor was created to honor past Reuben Award winners for their lifetime contributions to the cartooning profession. MAD Magazine cartoonist Mort Drucker won the first medal in 2015. Lynn won the Ruben Award in 1985, and now 33 years later the NCS has recognized her again!
Here are Lynn’s own words:
On Saturday, May 26th, I received a wonderful and surprising gift. I’ll call it a gift because as I stood before a banquet hall filled with artists I admire, I felt overwhelmed and unsure; the way you do at a surprise party. The National Cartoonist Society Medal of Honour has only been given to 4 other cartoonists: Al Jaffee, Arnold Roth, Mort Walker and Mort Drucker – all heroes; all men! That it has been given to me is truly hard to believe.
There’s a strange thing about awards. When I received the Reuben Award in 1986, I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t done enough to be “Cartoonist of the Year.” There were far too many talented people, who had been in the business longer than I had, were working as hard as I was and I needed a few more years to prove that I was one of them. Still, I treasured the funny statue that sits in my studio and affirms my commitment to comedy.
The Medal of Honour is given to someone who has already won the Reuben. It’s a lifetime achievement award and again, I’m not ready! I received the medal with irreverence, I bit it to make sure it was real and made light of it all. Sometimes, when a serious comment is required, I try to be funny instead. The serious stuff comes to me later. Now, the small polished wooden box that contains this Olympic sized medal, sits on my bookshelf and challenges me to work harder. I haven’t achieved a lifetime’s worth of work! Not yet.
I am grateful to everyone on the board of the NCS for giving me this beautiful gift. I will treasure it. And, believe with all my heart that it belongs to every one of us who draws cartoons for a living. It looks like an easy job, but it certainly is not. Cartooning is a talent, a commitment and a drive. For all of us, it’s a lifetime achievement. I am grateful for this gift and this honour and I’ll continue to work hard to deserve it.
For Better or For Worse, Vol. 2: 1983-1986 is coming this summer! And if you are going to be at the San Diego Comic-Con, make sure you stop by the IDW booth to meet Lynn!
John Glynn of Andrews McMeel with Lynn at the Ruben Awards