Sketching for St. Jude

NCS North Central Chapter members Kelly McNutt, Phil Juliano, and Cedric Hohnstadt.
NCS North Central Chapter members Kelly McNutt, Phil Juliano, and Cedric Hohnstadt.
Hundreds of people attended the St. Jude Walk/Run for childhood cancer. Sept. 24, 2016.
Hundreds of people attended the St. Jude Walk/Run for childhood cancer. Sept. 24, 2016.
Kelly McNutt draws with a young artist.
Kelly McNutt draws with a young artist.
Kelly McNutt and Phil Juliano share cartooning secrets with the next generation.
Kelly McNutt and Phil Juliano pass on some cartooning secrets to the next generation.
Yours Truly (left) and Kelly McNutt (right) getting in touch with our inner children.

The National Cartoonists Society, of which I am a member, partners with St. Jude by sending cartoonists to hospitals around the country to visit and draw with sick kids (more info here.) This past Saturday (Sept. 24) was the annual Minneapolis St. Jude Walk/Run for childhood cancer, held at the brand new US Bank Stadium. I was there along with two other local NCS members, animator Kelly McNutt and cartoonist Phil Juliano who draws the strip “Best In Show”. We spent the morning drawing with kids, answering their questions, and offering a few pointers. It was a lot of fun.

I mostly drew popular cartoon and video game characters, but since we were at the new home of the Vikings I also managed to doodle a few vikings of my own:

Color sketch by Cedric Hohnstadt of a cartoon viking holding a shield and sword. Copyright © 2016, Cedric Hohnstadt. All rights reserved.

Color sketch by Cedric Hohnstadt of a cartoon viking waving a purple flag. Copyright © 2016, Cedric Hohnstadt. All rights reserved.

Color sketch by illustrator Cedric Hohnstadt of a viking running with his sword. Copyright © 2016, Cedric Hohnstadt. All rights reserved.

St. Jude is a terrific organization that does great work, and patients are never charged for any of their services. If you want to help them in their fight against childhood cancer you can chip in a donation on their website. Even small gifts make a difference.


NCS Newsletter


As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a proud member of the National Cartoonists Society. It’s a terrific organization that includes some of the top professional cartoonists and humorous illustrators in the country among its many members.

The NCS has been around for decades and after all these years it seems they are finally running out of ideas for their monthly newsletter. They’ve had to resort to interviewing me for their cover story. Unfortunately I can’t post a link to the interview because it is a print-only publication and, to my knowledge, only available to members. If you make at least part of your living as a professional cartoonist you are welcome to join.

I’ve Been Nominated For A National Cartoonists Society Award


For several years I’ve been a proud member of the National Cartoonists Society. It’s a terrific organization that celebrates cartooning in all its forms, and its membership includes many of the giants in the industry.

Every year the NCS holds a black-tie dinner and gives out several Reuben Awards (named after cartoonist Rube Goldberg) to the top artists in various categories. If it’s possible to combine “prestige” with “funny drawings”, the Reuben awards banquet would be it. Think tuxedos and giant foam cowboy hats.

The NCS just announced the final nominees for 2013 and I’ve been selected in the Advertising Illustration category. Wow! This is a real honor and puts me in some terrific company. The other two nominees this year are Rich Powell and Sean Parkes. The winner will be announced on May 25, 2014 at the Reuben Awards Weekend in San Diego.

We are in the process of selling our house and buying a new one so whether or not I can attend will depend on the timing of our move, but I really hope I can make it. The Reubens is a terrific event and a rare opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the industry greats. Any time you get that many cartoonists together it’s also just plain fun.

While I’m on the subject, the NCS just launched a brand-new website. Check it out. You can also follow the NCS on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

New Original Comic Strip Art For My Studio

The Brillian Mind of Edison LeeFor several years I’ve enjoyed being a member of the National Cartoonists Society. Two or three times a year I travel across the Midwest to spend a couple of days hanging out with other members of my chapter. You can take this to the bank: Getting a few cartoonists together over drinks is never dull.

One of our members is John Hambrock. His strip, “The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee”, is relatively new (it debuted in 2006) and is syndicated by King Features. In 2009 the strip was nominated by the National Cartoonists Society for Best Comic Strip. John’s a terrific guy and I’ve enjoyed getting to know him.

Recently we swapped some cartoon-related items. For his part John sent me an original “Edison Lee” strip, and I definitely got the better part of the bargain. I’ve just framed it and very soon it will be hanging proudly in my studio. I couldn’t locate the final published strip online but if you click the photo you should be able to read the enlarged version. Hope it gives you a good chuckle.

If you still read a daily newspaper and if “The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee” doesn’t appear in yours, contact your local editor to request it. If you’d rather read your comics online you can follow “Edison Lee” by subscribing to King Features’ Daily Ink service. Or, you can read a collection of strips in book form by ordering “The Edison Files: Notes From The Lab”.

Upcoming Events for Twin Cities Cartoonists

This weekend there will be a lot of neat goings-on for Minnesota comic book and cartoon fans.



For starters, the North Central Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society will be holding it’s annual get-together here in Minneapolis. As part of the event, NCS president and local illustrator Tom Richmond has put together a special event for the public on Friday, October 14. Things kick off at 6:30pm when cartoonist Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine) will give a public lecture about his work. Then at 7:30pm there will be a panel discussion with Q&A featuring several professional cartoonists from around the Midwest. Both events will take place at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Auditorium 150.




Then on Saturday October 15, comic book creators and fans from all over the Midwest and beyond will be gathering at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for FallCon, Minnesota’s annual fall comic book convention. As usual I’ll have a table so stop by and say hi. The National Cartoonists Society will also have a table so you’ll have a rare opportunity to meet several professional cartoonists from around the region.


[youtube_sc url=QRfNBI4PVa4 width=450]


Finally, while you’re at FallCon MAD Magazine’s Tom Richmond will be selling copies of his brand new book The MAD Art of Caricature, hot off the presses. My copy hasn’t arrived in the mail yet but from everything I’ve seen it looks like it will be one very thorough, very helpful book. Tom’s been leaking snippets here and there on his blog, and you can tell from the above video that it’s no lightweight volume. There’s a zillion “how to draw” books out there, thankfully it looks like this one will rise well above the norm. Tom has a reputation for not cutting corners and this looks like a top-notch effort. If you can’t make it to FallCon you can order copies of the book here.

NCS Chapter Meeting in Omaha

This past weekend I drove all the way to Omaha for the semi-annual meeting of the North Central Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. In terms of square miles our chapter is by far the largest covering almost a third of the U.S. Our meeting locations rotate throughout the Midwest and almost always involve a long drive. Professional cartoonists are a really fun bunch to hang around so it makes for a refreshing mini-vacation.

NCS Gag Cartoon Judging 2011

In between eating, drinking, and talking shop we took time to judge the winner of the “gag cartoon” category of the 2011 Reuben Awards. The Reubens are the most prestigious honor in American cartooning and will be awarded at a black-tie gathering later this year in Boston. There were a lot of very funny entries this year. If you can make your fellow cartoonists laugh you know you are doing something right.

NCS Chapter Mtg-Omaha 2011
Left to right: Jeff Koterba, Cedric Hohnstadt, Paul Fell, Tom Kerr, Mike Edholm, John Hambrock

This year turnout was lower than usual. Maybe judging the Reuben awards on the same weekend as the Oscars amounted to just too much artistic competition for one weekend. Seriously, a few of the “regulars” faced circumstances beyond their control but we look forward to seeing everyone at our fall gathering—right here in Minneapolis!