Filipino-American Lynda Barry named Reuben’s Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year

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Lynda Barry Reuben Awardee
Filipino-American Lynda Barry is an acclaimed cartoonist, educator, playwright, and editor. NCS Photo.

Filipino-American Lynda Barry was named the Reuben Awardee for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, the highest honor that the cartooning profession bestows.

The acclaimed illustrator accepted the prestigious award through a video message during the 74th Annual National Cartoonists Society (NCS) Reuben Awards on September 12, 2020.

“You know, one of the most beautiful things about being human is that we’re born into a world full of characters,” she said in her acceptance speech.

“And in my case, I was born into a world full of comics…what I love is that whatever may be missing in your own life, you might be able to find it somewhere in comics,” Barry continued.

The Reuben Awardee shares how comic books helped her escape life’s struggles. She also thanked her students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her cartooning colleague “The Family Circus” creator Bil Keane.

“I think I might be the first recipient who can say ‘Matigas ang ulo ni Lynda, naku po.’ That’s Tagalog…I grew up with people from the Philippines,” she said.

Lynda Barry’s mother is of Irish and Filipino ancestry. She also grew up with a Filipino grandmother.

Many of Barry’s comics draw inspiration from her childhood in Seattle and being raised in a Filipino family. She is well-known for her work Ernie Pook’s Comeek and graphic novels “The Good Times Are Killing Me” and “One! Hundred! Demons!”

The cartooning superstar was already honored by the National Cartoonists Society’s Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 at the 71st annual Reuben Awards in Portland, Oregon. The honor required a unanimous vote from the Society’s Board of Directors.

Filipino artists who are known for their original and creative work are now offering their artworks for a cause to raise funds for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Jeepney Art fund drive was started to assist displaced drivers who ply the routes of the University of the Philippines Diliman amid the community quarantine.

Singer Mark Bautista’s paintings raised Php 410K for Angel Locsin’s Philippine mass testing fund.

WATCH this Reuben Award ceremony here and SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipino-American Lynda Barry for winning the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.