On May 17th the National Cartoonists Society will present Disney legend Floyd Norman with the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award at the 73rd Annual Reuben Awards in Huntington Beach, California.
The Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award is given by unanimous vote of the NCS Board of Directors for a lifetime of outstanding and accomplished work in the field of cartooning.
Floyd Norman is an animator, writer, comic strip and comic book artist, and a bonafide “Disney Legend.” Over the course of his stellar career, Norman has worked for a number of animation companies in addition to Walt Disney Animation Studios, including Hanna-Barbera Productions, Ruby-Spears, Film Roman and Pixar.
Floyd had his start as an assistant to Katy Keene comic book artist Bill Woggon. In 1956, he was employed as an “in-betweener” on Sleeping Beauty at The Walt Disney Company, becoming the first African-American artist to work at the studio on a long-term basis. He has since been instrumental in the creation of Disney classics including Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Mulan, Toy Story 2, and many more beloved films. In 2007, Floyd was inducted into the Disney Hall of Fame with the “Disney Legend Award.”
Norman has also published several books of cartoons inspired by his lifetime of experiences in the animation industry, Faster! Cheaper!: The Flip Side to the Art of Animation, How the Grinch Stole Disney, Suspended Animation: The Art Form That Refuses To Die, and several others.
Floyd is also the subject of the 2016 documentary Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, and in that same year was appointed to the education and outreach committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
The National Cartoonists Society is the world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. It was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the Allied troops. They found that they enjoyed each other’s company and decided to meet on a regular basis.
Today, the NCS membership roster includes over 500 of the world’s major cartoonists, working in many branches of the profession, including newspaper comic strips and panels, comic books and graphic novels, editorial cartoons, animation, gag cartoons, greeting cards, advertising, magazine and book illustration, online comics, and more.
Membership is limited to established professional cartoonists, with a few exceptions of outstanding persons in affiliated fields.
NCS president Bill Morrison said of Norman, “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Caniff award than Floyd Norman. His career that spans seven decades is bejewelled with accomplishments that have advanced the art of cartooning and opened doors for a multitude of talented and deserving animators, writers, and artists.”
Floyd Norman joins a roster of prior Caniff recipients that includes such notable cartoonists and illustrators as Frank Frazetta, Dale Messick, Joe Kubert, Morrie Turner, Lynda Barry, Will Eisner, Al Hirschfeld, Jack Davis, Jules Feiffer, Sandra Boynton, Jerry Robinson, and many more iconic artists.