Mrs. Potato Head putting on her face in the morning. A jack-in-the-box reading a book, Thinking Outside the Box. Getting laughs with marbles, balls, jump ropes, teddy bears and other toys has brought an honor to Rubes cartoonist Leigh Rubin.
Rubin, a coastal resident whose panel runs in more than 400 media outlets, including daily in The Bee, and who has made humorous live appearances a few times in Modesto, will be in the spotlight this month at the National Museum of Play and National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, N.Y.
Mr. Potato Head, Jack in the Box, LEGO bricks and other beloved toys playfully populate many of the nearly 80 hilarious, irreverent and quirky cartoons by nationally syndicated cartoonist Leigh Rubin on view at the Rubes Cartoon Display at the National Museum of Play, opening Oct. 12 and running through Jan. 5, 2014, according to a news release from the museum Wednesday.
The Rubes display is a prelude to Rubins special appearance at this years National Toy Hall of Fame induction at The Strong (home of the museum and hall of fame) on Nov. 7. During the ceremony, Rubin will reveal two new, original Rubes cartoons in honor of the 2013 toy hall inductees. The custom-created cartoons will become part of The Strongs permanent collection.
The finalists for induction this year are chess, bubbles, Clue, Fisher-Price Little People, little green army men, the Magic 8 Ball, My Little Pony, the Nerf ball, Pac-Man, the rubber duck, the scooter and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
My task is to create cartoons for the winning inductees once they have been announced, Rubin told The Bee via email from the World Dairy Expo (cows are a favorite Rubes subject) in Wisconsin on Wednesday. Naturally, I have been sworn to secrecy once I am informed who the winners are ... and if I was to spill the beans, they will take my toys away!
Rubin also will participate in the National Toy Hall of Fame weekend celebration Nov. 9-10, sharing insights into his visually quirky outlook on life at special presentations in the museum theater. As hes done at The Bee and at the Gallo Center for the Arts, Rubin will show his cartoons, talk about the creative process and where he finds inspiration, share humorous stories about the life of a cartoonist, and do a drawing demonstration.
Rubin began his cartooning career in 1978 by establishing his own greeting card company, Rubes Publications. His first cartoon collection, the popular Notable Quotes musical cartoons, was published in 1981. In 2009, Rubin celebrated the 25th anniversary of Rubes with the publication of The Wild and Twisted World of Rubes, a best-of collection, which contains 240 of his personal favorites selected from more than 9,500 cartoons. Originally self-syndicated, Rubes is now distributed worldwide by Creators Syndicate.
Each day, I put pencil to paper and go to work with the intention of creating something silly that will surprise the reader, Rubin said in the news release from The Strong. Like all jobs, some days are more challenging than others. Its only when people laugh that my work becomes play.
For more on The Strong, the National Museum of Play and the National Toy Hall of Fame, including Rubins appearance, visit www.thestrong.org.