Thirty-year-old Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson has become the youngest person ever to win two Reuben Awards from the National Cartoonists Society.
The choice of Watterson as 1988's "Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year" was announced at a May 20 dinner in Toronto's Royal York Hotel.
Watterson, who is not an NCS member, didn't attend the ceremony. Universal Press Syndicate vice president Kathleen Andrews and vice president/editorial director Lee Salem accepted for the reclusive cartoonist, who first won the Reuben for 1986.
Watterson, a resident of the southwestern U.S., said on May 22: "I am very flattered and honored to have my work recognized by my colleagues."
The cartoonist started Calvin and Hobbes in 1985. It now appears in nearly 900 newspapers, and has also spawned several best-selling book collections.
The two other 1988 Reuben nominees were Garfield creator Jim Davis of United Feature Syndicate and The Spirit cartoonist Will Eisner, whose creation formerly ran in newspapers and now appears in comic books and graphic novels.
Watterson also received one of 11 NCS category awards announced just prior to the 43rd annual Reuben presentation. This was in the humor strip area, where the other nominees were B.C. creator Johnny Hart of Creators Syndicate and For Better Or For Worse creator Lynn Johnston of Universal.
The Far Side creator Gary Larson of Universal won in the syndicated panel category, where the other nominees were Berry's World creator Jim Berry of Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) and Bent Offerings creator Don Addis of Creators. Salem -- accepting the award for the also-publicity-shy Larson -- said he was sure the on-sabbatical creator would be "gratified" by the honor and that maybe it will help draw him back into the cartooning fold.