2009 : Dave Coverly, “Speed Bump Creator”, Named Cartoonist of the Year

May 27, 2022 all-day

The upper echelon of popular cartoonists includes the likes of Rube Goldberg, Charles Schultz (“Peanuts”), Gary Trudeau (“Doonesbury”), Gary Larson (“The Far Side”), Scott Adams (“Dilbert”) and Matt Groening (“The Simpsons”).

Add one more.  Plainwell High School alumnus Dave Coverly, who graduated in 1982, has been named the winner of the prestigious and coveted Reuben Award Cartoonist of the Year for his syndicated cartoon “Speed Bump.”

The award, which was first presented in 1954 and is the result of secret balloting by members of the National Cartoonist Society, is considered the Oscar of the cartooning world.

It was presented at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles during the National Cartoonist Society‘s 63rd Annual Reuben Awards, held Friday through Sunday. May 22-24. The annual awards honor top artists and humorists in their fields, and it was Coverly who garnered the biggest piece of hardware.

Dave Coverly, the nationally syndicated cartoonist of “Speed Bump,” grew up in Plainwell. His former high shcool journalism teacher, Ken Zelnis, of Kalamazoo, has been an occasional muse in his artwork.

“Speed Bump,” which is distributed by Creators Syndicate, appears in more than 250 newspapers and on the Web. Coverly, who lives in Ann Arbor, has previously won Reuben Division Awards, but the new award is his first Rube Goldberg Statuette.

“Dave has joined the elite list that embodies the top of the profession,” said NCS President Jeff Keene (“The Family Circus”). He was among a wave of cartoonists and artists who were unanimous in their praise for Coverly as a professional and as a person.

“As a person and a cartoonist, Dave transcends awards. He embodies what the whole thing’s about,” said Vic Lee, who was nominated for panel cartoon “Pardon My Planet.”

Mike Ramirez, two-time Pulitzer winner for editorial cartooning, said: “Dave is one of the best, and there is no one more deserving. His excellence in the profession and as a person lends prestige to the whole business.”

“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams added: “It’s been long overdue. He totally deserves it.”

Source : Al Jones, “Speed Bump” creator and Plainwell High School grad Dave Coverly named cartoonist of the year”, MLive, May 27, 2009.

Sample Speed Bump Cartoons