Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jay Kennedy Scholarship

Attention all aspiring cartoonists: The National Cartoonist Society Foundation is once again calling for applicants to the Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship.

From the NCSF Website:


Jay Kennedy Scholarship

The annual Jay Kennedy Scholarship, in memory of the late King Features editor, was funded by an initial $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation/King Features Syndicate and additional generous donations from Jerry Scott, Jim Borgman, Patrick McDonnell and many other prominent cartoonists. Submissions are adjudicated by a panel of top cartoonists and an award is given to the best college cartoonist. The recipient is feted at the annual NCS Reuben Awards Convention attended by many of the world’s leading cartoonists.

Applicants must be college students in the United States, Canada or Mexico that will be in their Junior or Senior year of college during the 2010-2011 academic year. Applicants do not have to be art majors to be eligible for this scholarship.

Along with a completed entry form, applicants are required to send 8 samples of their own cartooning artwork (copies only); noting if and where the work has been published, either in print or on the web. (See application for details.) DO NOT send original artwork.


The applications will be judged by the National Cartoonists Society Foundation (NCSF) and the number of scholarships given out and their amounts will be at the discretion of the NCSF.


As usual, I've been away from the blog, too busy with clients and family life to post much, but I thought this subject deserved mention. I'm posting this partly for anyone who might be interested...and partly for a friend who asked about cartooning scholarships for his son. Hopefully he, (and anyone else with interest), can gather up his or her work and get it out in time for the deadline. It's a terrific scholarship, named after a man who had a big effect on the work of many cartoonists.

I had the honor and pleasure of working with Jay Kennedy for a little over three years. He offered me my first syndication contract, and after that, worked with me in developing a comic strip for King Features Syndicate. I got to know him over that span and afterward -- and really grew to appreciate him and his enthusiasm for cartoons.

His knowledge was fully rounded, including the history of cartoons, the inner workings of humor, dialogue, art, and even the legal ramifications of when one over-satirizes say, Britney Spears. I can say without a doubt that he helped to establish my career as a cartoonist, giving me training that was unavailable in books or any university.

I was saddened to hear about his accidental death. (He drowned after having been caught in a rip-tide, while vacationing in Costa Rica. A little-known fact is that he died a hero, diving in and successfully saving his girlfriend.) He will be greatly missed. 

This annual memorial scholarship is the sort of thing that can launch a young cartoonist's career...and at the very least, inspire some deserving cartoonist(s) to create worthwhile things. If you think that might be you, enter now! The deadline is almost here. (Feb. 12)