Pittsburgh based cartoonist Joe Wos is the recipient of this year’s Divisional Reuben Award for the Variety category for his work on the internationally syndicated feature MazeToons.
The National Cartoonists Society has presented the Reuben Awards for the past 7 decades.
Widely regarded as the highest honor for cartoonists the awards are voted on by the members of the society. This years were the first to be presented to the general public in an online festival format.
This was Joe’s first nomination and win for the prestigious award.
“This is something I have dreamt of since I was a little kid!” said Wos from his apartment/studio in Oakmont, PA. “To receive this award from not just my peers, but my heroes, is probably the greatest honor of my lifetime.”
Joe’s feature MazeToons is a hybrid of cartoon and puzzle with cartoon illustrations integrated into the solvable paths of the maze. It is syndicated worldwide by Creators Syndicate.
Joe is the author and illustrator of a best-selling series of maze books from BES books.
He is also a popular cartooning instructor online at howtotoon.com and is currently a teacher at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, PA.
Joe Wos has been a professional cartoonist since the age of 14. His career path over the past 30 years has taken as many twists and turns as one of his mazes, as he finds new and innovative ways to pursue his passion for the cartoon arts.
Some highlights include spending 25 years touring nationwide as a performer, illustrating stories live as he told them; founding and running a cartoon art museum in Pittsburgh; illustrating symphony performances live with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; and exhibiting his art in museums worldwide. Joe has also been the visiting resident cartoonist of the Charles M. Schulz Museum for the past 18 years.
With MazeToons — a unique hybrid illustration that is part cartoon and part puzzle — Joe has fulfilled a lifelong dream to appear in the funny pages.
Joe has been drawing mazes since the age of 7 and is regarded as a master maze maker. In 2012, he created the world’s largest hand-drawn maze. Measuring at 140 square feet, it features more than 100 illustrations. The maze garnered international attention with articles in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and media coverage throughout Europe. One of his mural-sized mazes is on permanent display at StarKist’s international headquarters.
With great delight, he has heard every variation of the phrase “A-maze-ing.”
About the NCS:
The National Cartoonists Society is the world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. It had its beginnings during World War II when groups of U.S. cartoonists got together to entertain the troops. They found that they enjoyed each other’s company and after the war decided to get together on a regular basis. Thus, in 1946, the NCS was born.
Today, the NCS membership roster includes over 500 of the world’s major cartoonists, working in many branches of the profession, including comic books, editorial cartoons, animation, webcomics and other online platforms, newspaper comic strips and panels, gag cartoons, greeting cards, advertising, magazine and book illustration and more.
Membership is limited to established professional cartoonists, with a few exceptions of outstanding persons in affiliated fields. The NCS is not a guild or union, although we have joined forces from time to time to fight for member’s rights, and we regularly use our talents to help worthwhile causes.