Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This Friday: MORE Cartoonists in The House!

Poster: NCS Canada Chapter's MORE Cartoonists in the House!
This Friday, members of our Canadian Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society (NCS) will be visiting the Ronald McDonald House Hamilton Family Room at McMaster Children's Hospital (part of Hamilton Health Sciences) to draw for the young patients and their families.

We have a great group of cartoonists from Niagara to Toronto that will be participating, so it should be plenty of fun with lots of smiles to be shared.

This will be our second time visiting the children's hospital.  Details and photos about our first visit can be read here.

Special thanks to Patricia Storms for providing the artwork for our event's poster.

For more information, including the history of, the National Cartoonists Society (NCS), visit

National Cartoonists Society (NCS) website -
Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kenosha Festival of Cartooning

Wow! It's been waaaay too long since my last blog posting. The good news is that silence usually means I'm busy.  The downside is that I sometimes miss the opportunity to share timely news.

So, before I let the silence linger any longer...

I recently had a wonderful time at the second Kenosha Festival of Cartooning.

Personally, I just love the idea of a festival whose ultimate goal is to celebrate cartooning by bringing artists and audiences together.  Add a charity auction to benefit a children's hospital and center for grieving children, and I'm completely hooked.

And so, when the festival's founder & director, Anne Morse Hambrock, asked me a few months ago if I'd be interested/available in being the official festival photographer, I was honoured to accept her invitation.  Heck, I would've been a fool to decline the opportunity to meet and hang-out with some of the top professional cartoonists in newspaper comic strips!

Although I'm a far cry from a professional photographer, being a member of the National Cartoonists Society, I saw this as a great way give back to the cartooning community and help encourage the general public's interest in cartooning.

You can find 240 photos that I took on the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning's Facebook page.

You can also find several of the same photos in chronological order with captions on the Festival's Blog (Photo Gallery 2012) .

I hope you enjoy viewing them ... I certainly enjoyed taking them!

Among the many treasured memories I returned to Canada with, I was very happy to win a Mutts original comic strip art by Patrick McDonnell at the National Cartoonist Society Foundation's charity auction. The auction raised over $10,000 for The Children's Hospitals of Wisconsin's Kenosha Clinic and Margaret Ann's Place!

Mutts original comic strip art by Patrick McDonnell.

... I enjoy the work of many cartoonists, but as my studio bookshelves will attest, there is a select group of syndicated comic strip cartoonists that, for various reasons, I consider my heroes.  Patrick McDonnell is indeed one of my heroes, and as a friend & fellow cartoonist* learned at the charity auction, there was no way I was leaving without winning this piece of art!  Once I have it professionally framed behind museum glass, it will be given a place of honour in my studio.

(*name withheld to protect the innocent!)

A warm thank you to Anne Hambrock for offering me the opportunity to help the festival.

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Camp Steel-Away Animation! Workshop [YouTube Video]

This is the fun and creative result of a cartoon animation workshop that I ran for 25 kids (ages 7+) at ArcelorMittal Dofasco's Camp Steel-Away on Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

We started the 2-hour session with a brief introduction to cartooning and animation, studying a few samples and discussing the technical aspects of how the campers would be bringing their own drawings to life. We then created a "warm-up" animation of a bouncing ball that required only 2 drawings, but still had the essence of life!

Next, we brainstormed other types of actions, like the bouncing ball, which can be looped as "cycle" animations (ex. walking, running, jumping, waving, talking, eating, swimming, etc.).  Each participant then designed their own cartoon character that they would be animating, and decided what cycle action their character would do.

Armed with their pencils, paper, and imaginations, our young aspiring animators proceeded to create their VERY FIRST cartoon character animations. Yes, most had never even attempted a flip-book before, so this was an extremely exciting experience for many! They quickly discovered and shared with one another tips & tricks on how to keep their character looking consistent (i.e., "on model") across the 5, 6, 7 ... and sometimes as many as 14 individual drawings!

As the final animations were completed, each camper took turns digitally photographing their drawings, which I then imported and compiled in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Special thanks to the Camp Steel-Away councillors for providing the colourful sequences! And an ANIMATED thanks to ALL of the campers for sharing their wonderful imaginations and enthusiasm!!

Stay Tooned!

- Mike Cope

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hamilton Public Library - Summer 2012 Cartooning for Kids Workshops Schedule (UPDATED!)

An aspiring, young cartoonist draws a giant GIANT. (Photo courtesy of The Hamilton Public Library)
Cartooning for Kids Workshops at the Hamilton Public Library.

Hey kids and parents! The following is an updated list of Hamilton Public Library branches that I'll be visiting throughout July and August for our summer cartooning workshops. These sessions are for children ages 7 and up (unless noted otherwise), and are always a ton of fun for everyone who participates.

Best part of all, they are absolutely FREE!!

We try to accommodate as many as possible (over 25 participants depending on the location), but to guarantee your spot, PLEASE REGISTER IN ADVANCE -- THESE WORKSHOPS FILL-UP FAST!!!

For availability and registration, please contact your desired library branch.

Tuesday, July 10
2:00-3:00 PM

Wednesday, July 11
10:30-11:30 AM

Monday, July 16
2:30-3:30 PM

Tuesday, July 17
2:30-3:30 PM

Wednesday, July 18
10:30-11:30 AM

Thursday, July 19
2:30-3:30 PM
Kenilworth Branch

Wednesday, July 25
2:30-3:30 PM

Thursday, July 26
2:30-3:30 PM
Thursday, August 2 (NEW!)
2:00-3:00 PM

Wednesday, August 15
10:00-11:30 AM
(Animation Workshop! Ages 9+)

Wednesday, August 22
2:15-3:15 PM

Wednesday, August 22
3:15-4:15 PM

Wednesday, August 29
2:30 PM

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cartooning at MJM Productions (Hamilton, Ontario)

Mike Cope cartooning at MJM Productions (Hamilton, Ontario).
Had lots of fun yesterday working with the fantastic folks at MJM Productions in Hamilton (Ontario) for one of their client video projects.  During the filming, one of their producers recorded a few time-lapse videos of me cartooning via their iPhone (see screenshot).

I can't share any other details until their client has given clearance on the final video production, but will do so as soon as I can.

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Thursday, June 21, 2012

CLIENT PROJECT: Star Wars Parody Animation for M7 Global Partners - Synergy 2012

A not so long time ago, I created this "Star Wars" parody animation for M7 Global Partners (M7GP) in association with my client, Ray Cruz, from E-Bytes Inc.  M7GP is a group of 7 different IT service firms who have teamed together, and the animation highlights one of their recent client case studies about South Shore Medical Center (SSMC) in Boston, MA.

The animation debuted at the M7 Synergy 2012 event that was held in May at the Ruby Skye nightclub and special events venue in San Francisco, CA.  (... I didn't attend, but it sure looks like fun!)

M7 Synergy 2011 event at Ruby Skye (San Francisco, CA).  Source: M7GP on Facebook 

I previously worked on a similar animated short for the M7 Synergy 2011 event using stock Flash animation art that my client provided from -- these elements were then customized to suit the case study's storyline.  Last year's event theme was "Superheroes," and so, we established the M7GP CEO's as a team of buff, spandex-wearing, technology-wise professionals.  A fast turnaround was required, so my creativity was challenged; however, everyone enjoyed it enough to offer me a wider involvement in this year's animation.

For Episode II, my roles included: titling & writing the animation's script (rough draft PDF link) based on the SSMC case study, creating a storyboard and video animatic, designing animatable caricatures of the M7GP CEO's as well as custom backgrounds and other art.  As mentioned, the annual Synergy events are theme-based, and so, being a lifelong "Star Wars" fan, this project was extremely fun to work on!

Rough Pencil Sketches of the M7GP CEO Caricatures
Animation Storyboard Sketches by Mike Cope
To keep the project within budget, we reused some of the original stock art, including the exterior and interior M7 Headquarters backgrounds.  Early on, I suggested we dress the M7 CEO's in Jedi robes, but their company logos needed to be clearly identifiable, so the superhero tights stayed, and I recoloured them to resemble Rebel pilot suits.

Below is the earliest video animatic that I did for this project.  This allowed me to not only visually demonstrate the script to the client, but also tweak the overall pace and scene timing before working on the finished animated scenes.  I'm a terrible voice actor, but my verbal sound effects are funny enough!

...Thankfully, we agreed in the beginning that the final voice tracks would be done by Ray!

The following is an updated video animatic that includes the finished dialogue tracks, commercial free sound effects that I found online as well as a rough music track.  You may notice a female saying "Preview" in the background, because, at the time, I hadn't purchased the rights to use the "Sci Fi Phenomenon" music track from  That was certainly taken care of for the final product.

Speaking of rights... With the animation's theme in mind, my utmost priority was to respect Lucasfilm's "Star Wars" copyrights, so as tempting as using John William's Main Title may have been, I didn't want Stormtroopers chasing me across the galaxy :)

The opening crawl text was also been added ...

And finally, here are some of the custom background designs I developed for the animation...

In the interior SSMC shot above, the four characters, purple textbook, potted plant, and computer printer are from, but I created the wheelchair and other elements in Adobe Flash... Okay, I didn't paint Starry Night :)

You may notice that there's no potted plant in the SSMC reference photo.  I added this so that something obvious could fall down when the USB flash drive robots attack.

The finished scenes were animated in Adobe Flash CS5, and I edited everything together in Adobe Premiere Pro.  The final exported video was 1080p resolution with H.264 compression.

A life-size cardboard standup was also created for this year's event ...

... The Force is strong with this one -- Or is it the steroids?

From what I've heard, my client is now interested in hiring me to create a series of these animations with more customized content for use beyond the annual synergy events.  I wonder what the next theme will be?  Perhaps we'll do a James Bond spy style? an old Spaghetti Western? or a Film Noir?

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

"ATM Banking Machines" Gag Cartoon in Reader's Digest Canada Magazine (April 2012)

ATM Banking Machines - Gag Cartoon by Mike Cope, Reader's Digest Canada Magazine - April 2012

Reader's Digest Canada Magazine - April 2012 Cover

Above is my most recent gag cartoon to be published by Reader's Digest Canada Magazine. You can find it in the As Kids See It humour department of the April 2012 issue -- both in print AND digitally via the cool iPad app! Special thanks to the wonderful RD Canada editors.

Of course, I have to extend an even specialer thanks (yes, special-er!) to my 4-year-old daughter for helping to inspire the cartoon's idea. You see, she enjoys going to the bank with me, as I usually let her help me make deposits by pressing a few of the ATM buttons. In fact, she's getting pretty good at remembering which buttons to press and when.

That said, I'm thankful that I've never let her enter my bank card's security PIN, because not only can this preschooler recognize her numbers now, she's also a bit of a chatter box.

And so, during one of our recent bank visits, I realized it's time to start distracting her when it's time to press 5-6-0-2 ...

ATM Banking Machines - Gag Cartoon by Mike Cope, Reader's Digest Canada Magazine - April 2012
Above is part of the cartoon's original rough pencil sketch of a daddy and his little girl.

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Countdown to Cartoon Judgement Day

This week, our Canadian chapter of the National Cartoonists Society (NCS) will be corralling around the submissions pictured above to judge and select the winner of the 2011 NCS Divisional Award for Newspaper Panel Cartoons.

As you can see, we have our work cut out for us.

Still, I think it's tremendously encouraging to see so many entries because each one represents a professional cartoonist working at his or her drawing board (traditional or digital), creating cartoons for audiences to enjoy.

Right now, fellow NCS chapters across the United States are preparing to judge (or have already judged!) other divisions of the NCS awards, from animation to illustration, gag cartoons to greeting cards, comic strips to comic books, and more!

The nominees for all divisions will be announced sometime in the next few weeks on the NCS website. And the winners will be recognized on May 26th at the 66th Annual NCS Reuben Awards dinner (being hosted this year in Las Vegas, NV).

As current NCS president, Tom Richmond, has described:

"The Reubens have been called 'the Oscars of cartooning,' and this is exactly what they are. It's where we celebrate and recognize professional excellence in the art form, and where we show the rest of the world what great cartooning is being done in various areas of our industry."

The most prestigious of all these awards is the Reuben Award for "Cartoonist of the Year." This year, the nominees are ...

  • Brian Crane, creator of Pickles
  • Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine
  • Tom Richmond, best known for his MAD Magazine work.

More detailed bios of each Reuben nominee can be found on the NCS website.

And so, get ready to place your bets folks! The cartoonists are getting ready to go on a roll (and have a dinner roll or two) in Las Vegas.

Special thanks to Canada Post, the United States Postal Service, and other international couriers, for their help and patience delivering all the division award entries. I can now go back to cartooning in my pyjamas.

BTW ... Tom Richmond has posted a very cool "behind the scenes" look at how he created the above Reubens poster art.

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Unsolicited Valentine" Gag Cartoon in Reader's Digest Canada Magazine (Feb. 2012)

Unsolicited Valentine - Gag Cartoon by Mike Cope, Reader's Digest Canada Magazine - February 2012

Reader's Digest Canada Magazine - February 2012 Cover

Happy Valentine's Day!

In honour of this special day, I dedicate my above gag cartoon to everyone who has ever had their heart broken (most especially all my fellow artists and dreamers out there).

Currently, my "Unsolicited Valentine" cartoon can be found in the As Kids See It humour department of the February 2012 issue of Reader's Digest Canada Magazine. The really cool part is that you can not only find this issue available at the usual bookstores and newsstands, but now, via the iBookstore from Apple's iTunes. Best of all, the February issue is absolutely FREE, so go steal yourself a kiss, I mean, copy while you can!

Here's a sneak peak of the Reader's Digest Canada app running on an iPad...

Reader's Digest Canada Magazine - February 2012 - iPad Edition

Reader's Digest Canada Magazine - February 2012 - iPad Edition - As Kids See It Cartoon Humour

Reader's Digest Canada Magazine - February 2012 - Gag Cartoon Unsolicited Valentine by Mike Cope
Gag Cartoon: "Unsolicited Valentine" in RD Canada Magazine (February 2012).

Click the above image to see more of my gag cartoons in My Selected Portfolio.

And here's my "Sweet Valentine" YouTube video of last year's cartoon being inked for your enjoyment...

Special thanks to the editors at Reader's Digest Canada.

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

COMIC: "WebVoyagers in Yukon Quest" - Published in The Canadian Reader (Feb. 2012)

Cover: The Canadian Reader, Published by LesPlan Educational ServicesThe February 2012 issue of The Canadian Reader is now available to subscribing schools across Canada.

For this month's WebVoyagers comic, I had plenty of fun illustrating an action-packed sled dog adventure. Students will follow Sasha (a german shepherd) as he travels through the family's magical laptop and joins the real-life Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race!

Teachers can find related lesson plan activities and worksheets accompanying every WebVoyagers comic in each issue of The Canadian Reader (or Nos Nouvelles en fran├žais).

Here's a sneak preview of the comic ...

WebVoyagers in Yukon Quest (Written by Vivien Bowers, Illustrated by Mike Cope)

About The Canadian Reader:
The Canadian Reader / Nos Nouvelles is a classroom-ready current events resource for students in grades 3 to 5. This publication, available in English and in French, combines current Canadian events and issues with geography to expand students' knowledge of Canada while enhancing their ability to read and understand informational text. Published eight times during the school year, each issue focuses on one of six key reading comprehension strategies – making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, summarizing, and synthesizing/transforming.

For more details please visit

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cartoonists in the House - McMaster Children's Hospital RMH Family Room Visit by NCS Canada Members

This past Friday, fellow members of the Canadian Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society (NCS) and I visited the Ronald McDonald Family Room at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. It was a truly fun, inspiring, and rewarding experience for all of us.

Planning for this event began in early November. Shortly after I accepted the acting role of Chair for our chapter, newest Canuck member, Jonathan Mahood (Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog, King Features), suggested the wonderful idea that we organize some visits to local children's hospitals, acknowledging that he was inspired by similar events held by other NCS chapters from the United States.

My first instinct was to try McMaster Children's Hospital (part of Hamilton Health Sciences) where my son was born last year. McMaster University Medical Centre has previously specialized in children's medicine, but transitioned to a kids-only ER in April 2011. And so, I contacted the friendly and amazing staff at the Ronald McDonald House Hamilton (RMHH), and they immediately loved the idea of cartoonists drawing for the kids and their families.

Currently, the official "House" that accommodates families requiring extended stays is closed for renovations (expanding from 15 rooms to 40!). Nevertheless, the Ronald McDonald Family Room that operates within the hospital is still open daily. Due to the room's size, we were limited to only 3 participating cartoonists for this first visit; however, even before the event, the RMHH staff were inquiring if we could return when the newly renovated House reopens this summer.

Participating cartoonists were Jonathan Mahood, myself, and the talented children's author & illustrator, Patricia Storms.

ABOVE: NCS Canada Members Jonathan Mahood, Mike Cope, and Patricia Storms share a smile with Marc (thanks to Mom for taking the photo!).

We didn't know how many kids to expect, since it all depended on patient medical conditions. A two hour visit was originally planned, but let's just say, time definitely flies when you're having fun.

Despite being in a hospital, the most infectious thing in the air was the positive spirit of the kids, who smiled as they watched cartoon characters come to life, and enthusiastically drew along with us if they could. As one mother observed to her sons, who were into creating superheroes and villains with Patricia, "I've never seen you guys so excited about drawing before." The secret behind that was Patricia's magical ability to draw them in.

ABOVE: Cartooning apprentices practice their magic with Patricia Storms.

ABOVE: Travis proudly shows his own cartooning talents.

For those kids who were unfortunately isolated to their rooms, we drew cartoons for their parents who stopped by to say hello. And when a bedridden boy named Anthony couldn't fit through the door, Jonathan and I spent time drawing for him out in the hall. Even though Anthony couldn't verbally communicate, there was no denying the smile on his face, as well as his mother's and social worker's.

My RMHH contact was their lovely Family Services co-ordinator, Linda Pordham, who helped promote our visit to various wards in the days leading up by posting and distributing copies of an invitation flyer I had prepared. I also contacted the local newspaper, The Hamilton Spectator, who graciously sent a photographer to snap some shots of the kids. Since closing the adult ER, McMaster University Medical Centre has faced considerable criticism, and so, it was wonderful to see a photo with the beaming smile of a young patient named Patrick, sitting on his mother's lap, filling half of page 3 in Saturday's newspaper—a wonderful reminder that both the hospital, and events such as ours, are focused on the kids.

CLICK TO ENLARGE: "Cartoon Fun" in The Hamilton Spectator (page A3, January 21, 2012).

Three artists from the National Cartoonists Society visited with children at Hamilton's Ronald McDonald House Friday to entertain them with caricatures and other requested drawings. Patrick Lelievre, 5, waits with mom Greta Sullivan as artist Mike Cope makes Patrick's request of a "really fast airplane" come to lifeRon Albertson, The Hamilton Spectator.
Jonathan later wrote to me, "It's kind of shocking how just a simple drawing can brighten up someone's face."

I think that's what makes a children's hospital visit so special. To us cartoonists, the drawings may come easy, but smiles can be difficult for kids (and their families) after being in hospital for several months. And so, plans are already underway for our NCS Canada chapter's return visit, which promises to be an even bigger success thanks to the sincere interest of our fellow members and the wonderful staff at Ronald McDonald House Hamilton.

Special thanks Linda @ RMHH for helping us plan this event. And to my cartooning friends, Jonathan and Patricia ... Can't wait to do this again with you!

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

NCS Canada Cartoonists to Visit Ronald McDonald House Family Room at McMaster Children's Hospital

Here's something I'm looking very forward to participating in ...

"Cartoonists in the House!" (Poster design by Mike Cope).

Back in the Fall, I was nominated to take on the acting role of Chair for our Canadian Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society (NCS). It's not a title that comes with any fancy dip pens or ink, but a voluntary role that I was honoured to accept ... Honestly, I'd only been a member of the group for about year, so I think I was bamboozled!

Around that same time, my good friend and talented syndicated cartoonist, Jonathan Mahood (Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog), wrote and suggested the wonderful idea that we organize some visits to local children's hospitals. I've had lots of fun cartooning for kids at local schools, libraries, and community centres for years; but visiting a children's hospital would be so special.

My first instinct was to try McMaster's Children Hospital (part of Hamilton Health Sciences), where my son was born last year.

And so, I contacted the friendly and amazing staff at the Ronald McDonald House Hamilton (RMHH), and they were very open to helping our group of professional cartoonists plan a visit to their RMH Family Room, which operates within the hospital. McMaster Hospital has previously specialized in children's medicine, but it became an exclusive children's hospital just this past year.

Currently, the official Ronald McDonald "House" (part of Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada) that accommodates families requiring extended stays is closed for renovations, as they are expanding from 15 rooms to 40! Nevertheless, the RMH Family Room within the hospital is still open daily; and so, that's where Jonathan Mahood, myself, and the very talented children's illustrator & author, Patricia Storms (Chirp Magazine, Pirate and the Penguin), will be headed next Friday.

"Open to all children (and their families)

currently receiving the wonderful care of

McMaster Children's Hospital."

The lovely Family Services Coordinator, Linda Pordham, whom I met in person yesterday while dropping off printed copies of the above poster, is going to be passing the word on to the kids, families, and medical staff. We have no idea how many kids will be willing and able to show up. It may be 3 ... It may be 30.

But the numbers don't matter. So long as our programme helps bring a few smiles to the kids' faces, then I'll consider it a success.

I can't wait!

- Mike Cope

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 NCS Divisional Awards Call for Entries (UPDATED)

From the National Cartoonists Society's official website ...

The National Cartoonists Society is starting it’s annual call for entries for consideration for their NCS Divisional Awards recognizing excellence in professional cartooning. As always, you DO NOT have to be a member of the NCS to have your work considered for a divisional award… all that is required is that the work be eligible as detailed below.

New this year is a division for Online Comic Strip… see this post for the details on this new category.

Below you will find a list of the juries which will judge the categories, the jury chair and the address to which you will send your entry. As always, NO EMAIL SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED, with the exception of Online Comics, which allows an emailed PDF submission. Below is a short recap of several rules and guidelines, which govern the awards:

Please remember only recent work can be considered. This means work published between the dates of December 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011.

Please submit published tear sheets when possible and document when and where the work was published. Online Comics should provide links for verification.

Online comic creators and their comics must adhere to the following criteria for eligibility:

  • Comic-strip format only (no single panels, long-form narrative. etc.)
  • Originally published in English or pantomime
  • Must be web only publication (any syndication in print would make it eligible for the Newspaper Comic Strip Division)
  • Must be at least a weekly
  • Must have shown consistent publication based on determined time-schedule (i.e. it being a daily, twice-a-week, weekly, etc) over the course of the 2011 calendar year
  • Creator must earn the greater part of their living directly from the strip/property in order to adhere to the NCS criteria that creators under consideration must be either full members or eligible for full membership

If your syndicated cartoon runs in both strip and panel format you can submit to one of those divisions, not both (your choice).

Your submissions must be submitted to their respective locations by February 6, 2012.

List of Juries and Submission Addresses:

Cartoonists are invited to submit their work (or the work of anyone else) no later than February 6, 2012, for consideration for one or more of the following Division Awards:

Submit one or more samples in VHS or DVD format of aired or exhibited work that was released in the year 2011 to: Chad Frye, 518 E. Cypress Ave. #C, Burbank, CA 91501 (

Submit one or more samples in VHS or DVD format of aired or exhibited work that was released in the year 20101to: David Folkman, NCS Los Angeles Chapter, 6171 W. Century Blvd. #160, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (

Submit up to 6 samples of 2011 published work to: Polly Keener, NCS Great Lakes Chapter, 400 W. Fairlawn Blvd., Akron, OH 44313-4510 (

Submit up to 12 samples of 2011 published work to: Mark Parisi, NCS New England Chapter, 16 Slayton Rd., Melrose, MA 02176 (

Submit up to 6 samples of 2011 published work to: Mike Edholm, NCS North Central Chapter, 2108 Sandstone Road, Lincoln, NE 68512 (

Submit up to 12 samples of 2011 published work to: Rob Smith, Jr., NCS Florida Chapter, PO Box 540103, Orlando, FL 32854-0103 (

Submit up to 12 samples of 2011 published work to: Mike Cope, NCS Canada Chapter, 46 Church Street, Stoney Creek, Ontario, CANADA, L8E 2X8 (

Submit up to 6 samples of 2011 published work to: Brian Walker, NCS Connecticut Chapter, 34 Forge Rd, Wilton, CT 06897 (

Send up to 6 samples of 2011 published work to: Adrian Sinnott, NCS Long Island Chapter, 27 East 24th Street, Huntington Station, NY 11746-3701 (

Submit 12-20 samples of 2011 published work to: Jack Pittman, NCS Southeast Chapter, 1740 Brooks Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27607-6618 (

Submit up to 4 samples of 2011 published and marketed work to: Tom Stemmle, NCS New Jersey Chapter, 184 Richards Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (

Submit up to 3 samples of 2011 published work to: Bill Morrison, 786 Twillin Ct., Simi Valley, CA 93065 (

Submit book(s) published in 2011 to: Mike Lynch, 61 Nutes Road, Milton, NH 03851-4800 (

Submit 12 samples, submitted via mail or as PDF with 2-4 strips per page and bio/entry form to: Ed Steckley, NCS National Representative, 43-07 39th Place, Apt. 3-F Sunnyside, NY 11104 (

Online Comics must also adhere to the following:

Once again: Each entry must be accompanied by a completed ENTRY FORM
and a BIO SHEET (click on links to download PDFs of both). ALL SUBMISSIONS (with the exception of the On-Line Comic Strip Divisions) MUST BE PRINTED AND MAILED. NO EMAIL SUBMISSIONS PLEASE.

All winners will be announced at the 66th Annual Reuben Awards Dinner at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa, Henderson, NV on May 26, 2012.

Friday, January 06, 2012

A Belated 2011 Cartoons, Comics, and Illustrations Wrap-Up

Happy Belated New Year!

Needless to say, I've been a poor social networker lately. Between my regular cartooning work, freelance projects, and a growing family ... Well, here are some highlights from the last-quarter of 2011 that I failed to mention at the time ...


The gag cartoon above was published in the October 2011 issue of Reader's Digest Canada Magazine. It's one of my personal favourites because I used to put my daughter in a front-facing baby carrier while I vacuumed the house. That is, until her legs got too long and became a health hazard to my own well-being.

In October, the WebVoyagers made their way to Churchill, Manitoba in "Ice Time For Polar Bears" (Published in The Canadian Reader by LesPlan Educational Services Ltd.). You can find larger copies of each page in My Portfolio.

October was also an interesting month for freelance projects. A fellow cartoonist, whom I've known for a few years, called me one night and explained he was wanting to relax during his retirement a little more, but had a client he didn't want to leave hanging high and dry. The client runs a PR firm in California, and so, the following is the cover of his company's 2011 Greeting Card that I illustrated ...

... As fate would have it, my relationship with this client has continued to grow, and so, I intend to share samples from other projects I've done for them in up-coming posts. To young cartoonists, I think it's important to express gratitude to those who help "find/refer" you clients. More on that in a future post!


Now, this particular gag cartoon (Published in the November 2011 issue of Reader's Digest Canada Magazine) is also a personal favourite, because it was inspired by a visit to my Grandfather. He'd been having issues with a new set of dentures not fitting (even after multiple corrections), and so, I dedicated this one to him and treated him to dinner as a thank you for the idea. With hindsight, treating someone with denture problems to food is a little insensitive!

In November, the WebVoyagers visited both Cirque Du Soleil and Canada's National Circus School in "Joining the Circus!" (Published in The Canadian Reader by LesPlan). I always enjoy illustrating these comics, but this one was especially fun to draw.

Larger copies of all 3 pages can be found in My Portfolio, as well larger samples of these Home Lab experiments that I illustrated for the November/December 2011 issues of KNOW: The Science Magazine for Curious Kids and YES Mag: The Science Magazine for Adventurous Minds ...


In December, the WebVoyagers visited Rideau Hall, the official residence of Canada's Governor General, David Johnston. In the event that His Excellency ever sees a copy of the comic, I hope he approves his caricature -- they're not really my specialty!

And finally, here's my most recent Class Acts gag cartoon, published in the December 2011 issue of Professionally Speaking Magazine by The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) ...

... I heard from a number of teachers (especially from Elementary/Public Schools) who said they could relate to this one. After all, with a ban on all pop and junk food in most schools, I figure Santa Claus isn't exactly a healthy role model :)

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope