Festival Patrons Bryan and Mary Talbot nominated for Reuben Award

Bryan Talbot and Mary Talbot are among the 2016 NCS Divisional Award nominees for the 71st Annual US National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards.

Bryan and Mary are nominated for their project The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia, alongside Jules Feiffer (for Cousin Joseph) and Rick Geary (for Black Dahlia).

Set against the background of violence and state repression in a turbulent period of French history, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia chronicles the incredible and outrageous life of Louise Michel, the revolutionary feminist dubbed ‘The Red Virgin of Montmartre’. A utopian dreamer, notorious anarchist, teacher, orator and poet, she was decades ahead of her time. Always a radical, she fought on the barricades defending the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871 against the reactionary regime that massacred thousands of French citizens after the Commune’s defeat. Deported to a penal colony on the other side of the Earth, she took up the cause of the indigenous population against French colonial oppression.

Celebrating the utopian urge in nineteenth-century literature and politics and the origins of science fiction, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia is the third collaboration of best-selling academic and graphic novelist Mary M. Talbot with her husband, the graphic novel pioneer Bryan Talbot. Their first book together, Dotter of her Father’s Eyes, won the 2012 Costa Biography Award.

Other comic strip-related nominees include Max Sarin and Liz Fleming (for Giant Days), Gabriel Rodriguez (for Locke and Key) and Stan Sakai (for Usagi Yojimbo) in the Comic Books division;  Meredith Gran (for Octopus Pie), Kathleen Jacques (for Band by Band) and Ngozi Uzaku (for One Check Please) in the Online Comics - Long Form division; and Sarah Anderson (for Sarah's Scribbles), Ruben Bolling (for Donald and John) and Dave Kellett (for Sheldon) in the Online Comics - Short Form division.

Also nominated were newspaper strip artists Brian Crane (for Pickles), Steve Kelley and Jeff Parker (for Dustin) and Terri Libenson (for Pajama Diaries).

The full list of Reuben Award divisional nominees spanning every sector of cartooning, comics and illustration, can be found on the NCS web site.

The award was previously called the Billy DeBeck Memorial Award, and the recipient received an engraved silver cigarette box.The Reuben was introduced in 1954 and is named after longtime Honorary President Rube Goldberg. The statue is based on one of Goldberg’s irreverent pieces of sculpture. The eight winners who had received the “Barney,” as the Billy DeBeck Award was dubbed, subsequently received Reuben statuettes and are termed Reuben winners in the Society’s annals.

• The winners will be announced on 27th May 2017 at the annual NCS Reuben Awards dinner in Portland, Oregon. View all the nominees here