Reuben Awards 2012 – Las Vegas

It was another amazing weekend in Las Vegas for the 2012 Reuben Awards, hosted by the National Cartoonists Society. The weekend included seminars by Jim Davis, Stan Goldberg, Mad Magazine folks (Sam Viviano, Nick Meglin, Sergio Aragones, Jack Davis, Ray Alma, Tom Richmond), and more! Not without tons of parties, including the black tie Awards Dinner, where Tom Richmond was named Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year along with other talented folks winning other division awards. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!


With Jim “Garfield” Davis


With Jim Davis


Jim “Garfield” Davis


Left to right, Maria Scrivan, Jeanne Schulz, and R.C. Harvey


With Tom Stemmle


With Bobby “Dirty Duck” London


With Roy Doty, and Mike “Mother Goose and Grimm” Peters


With Patrick “Mutts” McDonnell


Jeff “Dustin” Parker


With Tom Richmond (MAD Magazine) and his Reuben Award.


Going to be in NYC this coming weekend? Stop by the MOCCA Fest and check us out!

I’ll be making a special appearance to sign books and babies foreheads!

WHEN? Saturday, April 28th
WHERE? Find us at the “National Cartoonists Society” booth G-1 at the Lexington Armory (see website for directions)


New Review: 11/1/2011 on Spandexless Comic Site

That Monkey Tune, Michael A. Kandalaft

by Spandexless on Nov 1, 2011 • 4:30 pm 0 Comments

by Nick Chidgey

That Monkey Tune is a prime example of webcomics at their best, which is, ironically, when its being something else. Taking a cue from classic newspaper comic strips, That Monkey Tuneemploys a daily 3 panel gag strip format, with a larger Sunday strip, just like in the funny papers. In fact, the strip is syndicated in papers across the US as well as being published online.

While navigating the strip’s October archive,  its slick and simple presentation makes me almost forget that I’m not reading this on the New York Times website’s comics section. Too often when reading webcomics, it’s easy to be put off by bad website layout. That Monkey Tune spares us the headache.

The set-up is standard fare for a comic strip, following two talking monkeys living amongst humans, though the monkeys are like children in many ways. Despite this, the humans don’t seem to be any the wiser.

The deceptively sparse three-panel daily gag strip is widely considered  to be one of the hardest tasks to accomplish in sequential art, as the pacing and timing required will take its toll on even the best of cartoonists. Each strip must be structured to fit within the golden rule of comedy of “everything comes in threes.”

This strip displays an occasional snarky sense of humor, while still maintaining a certain innocence in its fun. And though not as witty (though still somewhat similar in tone) as something like Get Fuzzy, it certainly has its moments.

As for the art, its got a style of its own, yet still with a sense of familiarity, as if it belongs on the same shelf as Dilbert. And as much as I loathe the oft-abused word “cute,” which is usually used as a dismal, mildly annoying and crudely done drawing your five-year-old might have made at school today (apologies to all the mothers of the world), in this instance, “cute”, in the good, actual sense of the word is really the best way to describe my initial impression of That Monkey Tune. It is certainly a nice, fun way to start your morning at work with a good giggle or two.

TL; DR That Monkey Tune is a stellar example of the three panel comic strip. It works both as a webcomic and as a syndicated newspaper strip both because of its wit and its classic artistic style. Overall, it is “cute” in the best sense of the word. It will give your morning warm fuzzies.

Visit the Spandexless Comic Site:

Creator Michael Kandalaft is now an official member of the National Cartoonists Society


National Cartoonists Society Logo

That Monkey Tune creator Michael Kandalaft has been admitted into the National Cartoonists Society as an official member. The National Cartoonists Society is the highest, most esteemed professional cartooning organization, whose members have included Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson, Scott Adams, Richard Thompson and Jim Davis.

The organization’s stated primary purposes are “to advance the ideals and standards of professional cartooning in its many forms”, “to promote and foster a social, cultural and intellectual interchange among professional cartoonists of all types” and “to stimulate and encourage interest in and acceptance of the art of cartooning by aspiring cartoonists, students and the general public.”

For more information about the National Cartoonists Society, please visit their official website at

Would you like to read “That Monkey Tune” in your daily paper? Call or email your local editor today, they really do listen!

Are you an editor interested in running “That Monkey Tune” in your newspaper? Please contact Bill Kellogg at Ink Bottle Syndicate

It’s Official! THAT MONKEY TUNE gets syndicated!!!

THAT MONKEY TUNE has been picked up by Ink Bottle Syndicate and is now available for purchase by newspapers nationwide! INK BOTTLE SYNDICATE is a recently launched syndicate by Bill Kellogg, marketing director of TUNDRA – THE COMIC STRIP, which now appears in nearly 500 newspapers. THAT MONKEY TUNE is honored to be among a select group of other talent creators.

As Bill Kellogg states on the INK BOTTLE SYNDICATE website “Ink bottle’s goal is to be a little bit different from the typical syndicate; a little easier on newspapers that try our features and a little easier on the artists who create them.”

To read more about the news, visit the Daily Cartoonist story here.

If you are an editor, visit INK BOTTLE SYNDICATE to find out more about how you can purchase the feature.

Read the latest interview @ Comic Book Resources

Interview: Michael Kandalaft on That Monkey Tune

    Read the full interview below, or visit the original page here .

    That Monkey Tune is a charming gag-a-day webcomic with style reminiscent of 1930s newspaper strips and a gentle sense of humor. Michael Kandalaft has been drawing it daily for over three years, and he recently self-published Ready, Set, Go!, a collection of the third year’s worth of strips. The cheery, bright-colored cover of the book first caught my eye at New York Comic-Con, but since I didn’t manage to connect with Kandalaft there, I e-mailed him with some questions about inspiration and perspiration—what it takes to keep a webcomic going in the long run.

    Brigid: What was the inspiration for That Monkey Tune?

    Michael: That Monkey Tune was inspired by me and my brother growing up with our stuffed animals. We used to make drawings of everything going on in the house through the eyes of our stuffed monkeys, who were the precursors to the characters we now know as Elliot and Beagly.

    Brigid: The comic has a very retro look—their living room looks like Blondie’s, and they even have a telephone with a cord. But then in today’s comic, Umo has a snowblower. Are you consciously setting this in a particular period or just going with the look?

    Michael: I am neither setting it in a particular period or going with a look. To me, this is the world the monkeys live in, the idea of which germinated when I was a child, and as such, would likely be influenced by the older comics that I used to read. This is a special world in which one must suspend one’s disbelief, and I believe that having the time period be rendered irrelevant by both maintaining visual throwbacks and also be omitting hyper-current technology one cultivates a familiarity and timelessness in the readers mind.

    Brigid: Am I correct in reading the kids as being monkeys but the adults, Dadoo and Umo, as humans? If so, why did you decide on that configuration?

    Michael: As I mentioned previously, the inspiration comes from me and my brother being the models for the humans. The monkeys just always seemed like little kids, but also I suppose they are caught in time and are really in essence the same age that I was when I first started drawing them. The humans grew up, but the stuffed monkeys remained ageless.

    Brigid: Also, there don’t seem to be any regular female characters. Why is that?

    Michael: This is a question that has been asked often. Again, the characters are based on me and my brother, and stem from that frame of reference of us as children. Also we never had any sisters. There are, however, some peripheral female characters, most notably the blondes that Umo romantically pursues in false hopes.

    Brigid: This is a very kid-friendly webcomic. Are you doing anything specific to connect with children? Do you think that’s harder than finding an adult audience online?

    Michael: The comic is geared for everyone and for no one. The ideas just come to me, and are relayed through the characters. I think its important to have universal characters and universal settings that everyone can relate to. The ideas are not condensed and simplified for children specifically, but rather, as a function of effectively communicating the action and humor, which happens to end up being easier and more appealing to all ages.

    Brigid: Tell me a bit about the business side of That Monkey Tune. Do you make any money off it, and if so, how?

    Michael: The business aspect is something that many cartoonists and artists struggle with. Finding ones market and establishing a business model always seems to be elusive, and even established cartoonists aren’t quite sure what’s next.

    Brigid: Updating daily is pretty ambitious—a lot of webcomics creators have tried and failed. What’s your secret?

    Michael: Being successful at any endeavor requires incredible discipline. Whether it’s cartoons or anything else, one must have persistence, determination, and a positive attitude, which are quite a lot of things to handle combined with being responsible for the writing and drawing as well.

    Brigid: You just published a print edition of That Monkey Tune. Did you self-publish? How much of the comic is included in the book?

    Michael: The latest book, Ready, Set, Go which is available on Amazon is self-published and contains the entire third year of the comic strip, which were still being done in black and white. It’s incredible to see the evolution of the characters in just one year.

    Brigid: I missed you at New York Comic Con. Do you go to a lot of cons? What do you like (and dislike) about them?

    Michael: I went to the Boston, New York, and Chicago Comic Cons last year. I think they’re an incredible atmosphere full of talented artists and really exciting fans. One has to be up to the high energy environment, and as such, I have put further plans to attend others on hold for now.”

    Brigid: Are there any big changes coming in the future, for the comic or for you?

    Michael: That Monkey Tune now appears in print newspapers, which is very exciting. The comic is currently starting to appear across the nation in print which I believe makes sense for several reasons. The comic has a gentle warmth, universal characters, and a clear drawing style, all of which I believe make the comic ideal for being read by all types of newspaper readers. While being a new comic, it still has a familiar feel, and brings much needed laughter and uniqueness to the papers that have picked up the comic strip. If you would like to see That Monkey Tune in your local paper, please ask your editor, and hopefully they’ll listen!

    2010 NYCC

    That Monkey Tune is back from the NYCC! With over 80,000 comic fans, the New York ComiCon, which was held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City was by far the largest comic and anime attraction on the east coast. That Monkey Tune creator Michael A. Kandalaft was present to debut his newest publication “Ready, Set, Go!”

    Also available for purchase were limited edition NYCC exclusive buttons, keychains, and greeting cards, as well as free bookmarks! Thousands of fans, new and old, flocked to the table to check out the cute little monkeys in action. Sunday was kids day, and we also held a special Halloween raffle, where five lucky winners received limited edition screen printed t-shirts, along with other ghoulish delights!

    Didn’t make it to NYC this year, don’t worry! We’ll be attending tons of other comic cons in the following year, so check back often for updates!

    Below are pictures from the NYCC:

    The lovely Jennifer Foster (Official Booth Babe) of THAT MONKEY TUNE overlooks the booth featuring the debut of the latest book "Ready, Set, Go!" as well as some really bright overhead lights.


    Creator Michael A. Kandalaft speaks with fans about the characters and how THAT MONKEY TUNE can improve your self-confidence, attractiveness, and success in life.

    Crowds gather around for Sunday's Kid's Day Raffle in eager anticipation of winning limited edition t-shirts. Creator Michael Kandalaft was also on hand to take pictures with parents and shake hands with babies.

    Creator Michael Kandalaft can do more than draw. He can pick out names from a pumpkin and put this country back together. Vote Michael Kandalaft!

    Creator Michael Kandalaft poses with Sunday's Kid's Day Raffle WINNERS. The eager fans couldn't wait to don their new limited edition THAT MONKEY TUNE shirts, which is more than we can say for Michael, who is eagerly awaiting the release of the much anticipated "THAT MONKEY TUNE" velvet smoking jacket and ascot set. Keep waiting Michael.

    Didn’t get a chance to check out the latest book? You can also order it here from


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