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Illustrator Wins Silver Medal At Newspaper Olympics!!

February 25, 2014

I had a nice note from Kim Vasseur recently. Kim’s the creative director at Worcester Magazine, an alternative newsweekly in Worcester, MA.

She told me that WM had won 14 awards at the annual competition sponsored by the New England Newspaper Press Association (NENPA). The awards came in the Weekly 2 category, which includes all weekly papers with a circulation of 6,000 or more.

Kim was too modest to say so, but I later learned the awards included a First Place for Overall Design & Presentation, Print– a huge tribute to Kim herself.

Story intro Worcester Magazine wins 14 awards at NENPA 2014 New England Newspaper Press Association

Kim had some good news for me as well. The one cover I did for Worcester Magazine
last year won Second Place in the Illustration category. The judges liked the way I used
the state of Massachusetts for some “elephant anatomy.”Worcester Magazine cover by Mark Armstrong showing Mitt Romney kicking Ron Paul off elephant in 2012 Massachusetts presidential primary dispute cover won second place for illustration at 2014 NENPA awards

The cover story was about a dispute within the Massachusetts state Republican party regarding delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention, which was held in Tampa, FL. I did a previous post on the cover, which contains more details about
the dispute.

Here’s a larger image. That’s Mitt Romney using Ron Paul for a football.

Worcester Magazine cover by Mark Armstrong showing Mitt Romney kicking Ron Paul off elephant in 2012 Massachusetts presidential primary dispute cover won second place for illustration at 2014 NENPA awards

The illustration contains a joke that’s easy to miss: Boston is the capitol of Massachusetts and its largest city, with a population of about 618,000 people. Worcester is the state’s second largest city, pop. 180,000.

However, since the illustration was for Worcester Magazine, I made Worcester the “big star,” and reduced Boston to a tiny speck.detail image from cover illustration for Worcester Magazine alternative newsweekly showing United States presidential candidate Mitt Romney kicking Ron Paul off the back of an elephant with map of Massachusetts and suitcase referencing delegates going to Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida

Always exciting to win– especially when you didn’t even know you were a contender! My sincere thanks to Kim and Worcester Magazine for making it possible.

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Everyone’s won some kind of prize, no matter how goofy– what was yours?

Do you think I’ll be pestered for autographs, now that I’m a big winner??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

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40 Comments leave one →
  1. Lily permalink
    February 25, 2014 1:21 PM

    Congratulations Mark! That’s a pretty fantastic achievement – I hope you’ll be displaying your winning medal proudly 😛

    Well done Mark and to Kim on these great wins! 🙂


    • February 25, 2014 2:13 PM

      Thank you so much, my dear Lily, you wonderfully kind person, you!

      I am displaying my medal. I’m wearing it around my neck. It’s on a silk cord, and has this shiny, reflective surface. I can hold it up and look at myself, blow myself a little kiss and say: “You are in-CRED-ible!!” I try not to do it too often– maybe just once every 5 minutes or so… : P

      Always delightful to see you, Lily– sincere thanks for all your kindness and support!! : )


  2. February 25, 2014 2:48 PM

    Woo hoo!!!!! Awesome fantastic super-duper crazy great news! I am SOOOO happy for you Mark! :0D


  3. February 25, 2014 4:03 PM

    Congratulations! Great!


    • February 26, 2014 12:22 PM

      Sincerely appreciated, Kendall– thank you! Thanks for stopping by, and I wish you continued success with your lovely paintings! : )


  4. February 25, 2014 5:34 PM

    Congrats, Mark!


  5. February 25, 2014 6:52 PM

    Very very well deserved, my dear friend. In fact you deserve much much more than this – lots and lots of awards… Start building a big room for storing them! 🙂
    My turn to send you a bouquet of the rarest Greek flowers! 🙂


    • February 26, 2014 12:38 PM

      My dear, dear Marina… I’m sitting here sighing and admiring your enormous virtual bouquet. It’s sitting on my virtual mahogany stand, filling the room with the most delightful virtual scent. I feel like I’m lying in a field of wildflowers on the Sporades or the Cyclades… : )

      And to think they were sent by the rarest Greek Flower of all… Gosh! What a great day I’m having!! Thank you, Marina!! : )


      • February 26, 2014 5:42 PM

        …here’s another virtual bouquet with the rarest of the rare: Strongylodon Marmacrobotrys – Rafflesia Mararnoldii – Silene Martomentosa – Franklinia Maralatamaha – Lotus Marberthelotii – Cosmos Maratrosanguineus – Kokai Marcookei – Cypripedium Marcalceolus – Epipogium Maraphyllum – Middlemist Marcamellia,


        • March 5, 2014 12:39 PM

          But– but– but– those are The Most Beautiful Flowers In The World!!

          Also: the hardest to spell!! I do hope they won’t be on the test!!

          Thank you, Dearest Marina! My heart is leaping for joy, and taking me with it. I’ve hit my head on the ceiling 13 times now, but gosh, it’s worth it!! Thank you, Fairest Flower On Mt. Olympus!! : )


  6. soul . to . earth permalink
    February 26, 2014 1:30 PM

    Congratulations! The Strong Arm in Illustration Award goes to……drumroll….Mark Armstrong! Your work and wit are worth their weight in gold; second to none. The elephant’s expression is too funny. Though I don’t envy the dude getting the boot up his arse, it made me laugh so much! 🙂


    • March 5, 2014 12:31 PM

      My dear Radhika!! Speaking of awards, the Strong Arm Big Muscle Award for being totally Rad goes to… you!! (who else??)

      Your comments are certainly worth their weight in gold. I should cash them in so I’d never hafta work again, but no, no, I can’t, they’re too precious to me… : )

      Yes, there’s something about someone getting the boot. As long as it’s not us, it’s funny every time! Thanks as always for your wonderful and effervescent support!! : )


  7. February 26, 2014 2:49 PM

    Mark! I’m not surprised at all that you got this wonderful award!. It’s really very clever the way you did that! A big elephant-sized congratulations! 😀


    • March 5, 2014 12:36 PM

      Blush, blush, blush!! My cheeks are so red, I’m apt to be mistaken for one of the Campbell Soup Kids!! Thanks for that lovely comment, Linda! Elephant-sized congrats?? Tusk, tusk– I’m not worthy!! Oh wait a minute– sure I am!! : P


  8. February 26, 2014 10:13 PM

    You really do know how to make a point and leave them laughing, Mark. Congrats to you, Kim and the Worcester Magazine. Worcester must be lovin’ their star status. 😆

    I did win some awards for my writing in radio and when I worked for a newspaper. It was a real thrill. Enjoy yours. It’s well deserved.


    • March 5, 2014 12:45 PM

      Thank you, my dear Judy!! My award is hardly in the same category as The Most Nimble Bullet Dodger Award, which you won multiple times while prowling the mean streets of Syracuse and Utica, NY!! Not to mention your Utica Club Award for crisp, bracing prose that bubbles over with excitement and good taste!!

      As soon as I win another couple of hundred awards, we can get together and have a show-and-tell… : )


  9. February 27, 2014 7:01 AM

    Congrats to you dear Mark!!! I’m so glad that I’ve a lot of hats. Now I can pull them all for you 🙂 I’m shure you’ll come up soon with more awesome awards – so I better start to teach myself crownmaking ♕ ♔ ♛


    • March 5, 2014 1:20 PM

      Thank you for that lovely and outrageous comment, my dear Tutti!! If only I had pigtails, they’d both be flapping in the air, giving a big thumbs-up!! You’re tipping all your hats to me?? But you have The World’s Biggest Collection of Beautiful And Unique Hand-Crafted Hats— tipping them all could take weeks!! I must have some bratwurst and other delicacies sent over to keep your strength up… : )

      Your comment has given me a big swelled head, so please make sure the crown will fit on, say, a large lumpy cabbage!! : P


  10. February 27, 2014 10:06 PM

    I remember the ‘previous post’ very well, and once again tell you how wonderful you are..! It is not surprising to hear of your well deserved award. 🙂

    Here’s hoping, Mark, that Worcester Magazine (Kim) and those in high places recognise your brilliance and seek you out for more intelligent, witty and knowledgeable additions to their paper’s content…

    By the way: Can I please have your autograph..? 😀


    • March 5, 2014 1:34 PM

      My dear, dear Carolyn– if you keep leaving me such wonderful comments, I shall have to pull up stakes and move to Australia, where surely Sweetness and Light abound… : )

      Tell you what: I’ll give you 10 of my autographs for one of yours– because I know a real celebrity when I see one… : )

      Thanks again for your kind words and for being the sweet person you are!


  11. February 28, 2014 7:42 AM

    Whoaaaaa! No way! Mark Armstrong won an award? It can’t be happening… Toothsome won’t allow this to happen… hmmmp!

    I am so happy for you my dear friend… So well deserved. Congratulation! mmmwahhh mmwahhhh mmmwahhhh!

    Toothsome is now crying out loud asking for your autograph 😀


    • March 5, 2014 1:44 PM

      Now, now, my dear Toothsome, you mustn’t begrudge me a single award. After all, you are a blogging and cartooning and dentist genius who has won thousands of awards– including the coveted Golden Drill for your amazing excavation skills, whether people actually have cavities or not!! : P

      I owe my award all to you, because I’ve studied hard as your cartooning apprentice, and I’ve learned so much– like not drawing with a new pencil that has never been sharpened. I used to waste a lot of time before you taught me that… : P

      Thank you for your kisses and congratulations. You certainly may have my autograph. I shall write it in toothpaste on your bathroom mirror– nothing but the best for you!! : )


      • March 12, 2014 6:02 AM

        And Toothsome is really honored to have you as one of her mentors 🙂

        as she also recently won an award too:



        • March 19, 2014 4:15 PM

          I’ve received many honors in my time. There’s, uh… and there’s, uh… well, you can’t really expect me to remember them all… : P

          But my greatest honor, of course, is assisting Toothsome, World’s Foremost Cartooning Dentist, in her award-winning work. I can only hope that someday, some of your great talent will rub off on me, along with the toothpaste… mmmmwahhhh! : )


  12. February 28, 2014 9:59 PM

    Congrats. for the award and spill over marketing. 🙂 Happy new year of the horse!


    • March 6, 2014 12:00 PM

      Many thanks, Jean, very sincerely appreciated! Is it really the Year of the Horse?? I keep hoping it will be the Year of the Bicycle… : )

      Hope you’ve got studded tires on your bike– it’s been a tough winter!! Thanks again! : )


      • March 15, 2014 5:55 PM

        It certainly has been tough -40 degrees C (temperatures become the same value for -40 degrees F) with wind chill..only 2 weekends ago.

        No studded tires yet. Funny, year of the bicycle. Dont’ say that to dedicated car drivers!


  13. March 1, 2014 11:50 AM

    Congratulations Mark! 🙂 My warmest regards to Kim too….. Now, I need your autograph! 🙂


    • March 6, 2014 12:06 PM

      Many thanks, my dear Seyi! Of course you may have my autograph! I’m putting it in a bottle and taking a taxi to the ocean right now! Look for it washing up in Bournemouth in, oh, say, 6 months!! : )


      • March 6, 2014 2:30 PM

        Oh Mark! I live in London, can’t travel to Bournemouth till summer! 🙂 🙂


        • March 6, 2014 9:28 PM

          OK, no problem, I’m throwing in another bottle, altering the angle slightly so it’s sure to come floating up the Thames– keep a sharp lookout, my dear Seyi!! : )


        • March 7, 2014 7:15 AM

          I will Mark! I will. 🙂


  14. March 8, 2014 4:20 PM

    I’m so happy to read this Mark and so apologetic about being so far behind in blog reading.


    • March 9, 2014 12:11 PM

      You can’t possibly be further behind that I am, TT. Besides, even if you didn’t get around to commenting for 10 years, it would still be the best thing to happen that day. Thanks so much for your friendship and support! : )


  15. March 17, 2014 9:52 PM

    I’m honored to be mentioned in Cavity Of The Day! Er, I’m sorry– Tooth Of The Day!! My gums feel healthier already– thank you!! : )



  1. Tooth Of The Day – allaboutlemon-All Around, In, And Out Of My Own Universe

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