Philadelphia artist and humorist Dave Blazek has won the prestigious National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award for Best Newspaper Panel Cartoon for the second year in a row. Blazek received the honor for his comic Loose Parts, which appears daily in The Inquirer and Daily News, and is syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. Blazek has been nominated for the award five times.

“I’m a particularly odd cartoonist in that I only learned to draw in my 40s. I didn’t set out to be a cartoonist,” Blazek, the former leader of The Inquirer’s MediaLab, said. “I wasn’t one of these kids who doodled on, you know, notebooks and stuff like that. I didn’t take any art classes. I graduated with a journalism degree from Penn State.”

The award was announced during the NCSFest awards on Sept. 12, which were held virtually this year due to the pandemic. The Reuben Award is deemed “The highest honor that the profession bestows,” and the NCS is the “largest and oldest cartooning organization in existence.” The award is decided on by hundreds of professionals in the field.

“When I say that it’s gratifying to be recognized by the other people at the NCS, it’s only because to some degree my path is so different than so many of theirs was,” Blazek said.