Some of the biggest names in comic strips and cartooning were in town over the weekend for the National Cartoonists Society annual "Reuben Award," often referred to as the Academy Awards of cartooning. It was the first time the cartoonists gathered here. It was also the first time in the 40 years the awards have been presented that a woman, Lynn B. Johnston of Corbeil, Ontario, won the Reuben, for the strip "For Better or for Worse," which appears in The Washington Post.

The Reuben is named in honor of legendary Hearst Newspapers cartoonist Reuben (Rube) Goldberg, who was founding member of the Cartoonists Society and designed the award. He died Dec. 7, 1970, at age 87. Because the Reuben is judged and presented by cartoonists, many political cartoonists give it a value equal to or above that of the Pulitzer.

The winners of category awards were: best story, Dick Moores' "Gasoline Alley"; best syndicated panel, Gary Larson's "The Far Side"; best humor strip, Jim Davis' "Garfield"; best editorial cartoonist, Don Wright, The Miami News; best special feature, Mort Drucker, Mad Magazine satire; best magazine gags, Don Orehek, Playboy and Good Housekeeping; sports, Bill Gallo, New York Daily News; best comic book, Dick Ayers for "Ghostrider"; animation, Chuck Jones, the great Hollywood animator who created the Road Runner; and advertising and illustration, Arnold Ruth of Esquire magazine.

The Reuben Award dinner Saturday night at the National Press Club brought out, among the more than 300 attending, such well-known cartoonists at Charles M. Schulz of "Peanuts," Mort Walker of "Beetle Bailey," Bill Rechin of "Crock," Fred Lasswell of "Snuffy Smith" and political cartoonists Herblock and Pat Oliphant. End Notes

Writer, philosopher and feminist Simone de Beauvoir was buried this weekend in the same tomb as Jean-Paul Sartre, her companion of 50 years. The 78-year-old Beauvoir died last Monday, almost exactly six years after Sartre. American feminist Kate Millett was among the approximately 5,000 who accompanied the funeral cortege through the Left Bank Montparnasse district, where de Beauvoir had lived with Sartre. Hundreds of female voices softly sang, "Women slaves, stand up, stand up." At the graveside, filmmaker Claude Lanzmann quoted de Beauvoir's words on Sartre: "His death separates us, my death will not reunite us . . . But at the best, if people read me, they will think that I saw a lot of life" . . .

J.T. Kuhlman, who will run the newly renovated Willard Hotel, had a renewal of old Washington friendships last week at a dinner for him and his wife Dominique at the home of Constantine de Stackelberg. He is the son of former assistant chief of protocol Thane Kuhlman. Among the guests were Commandant of the Marine Corps Paul X. Kelley, former ambassador to Germany Arthur Burns and Marshall Coyne, owner of the Madison Hotel . . .

Royal Watch: Given the fear of increased terrorist activities, Queen Elizabeth's 60th birthday celebration today will be observed with increased military and police security. With no specific mention of Libya, a police spokesman said, "Events abroad have naturally prompted us to reassess our arrangements in respect of the state and royal occasions this week." Reporters' cars were carefully searched and uniformed police openly carried pistols at a small prayer service at the royal chapel at Windsor Castle yesterday. For today's festivities, frogmen and dog teams have checked the sewers around Windsor and plainclothes marksmen will be mingling with the castle crowds . . .

To add to Vice President George Bush's political problems, a report in Newsweek magazine says that Edward J. Rollins, who is considered the mastermind behind President Reagan's 1984 reelection, is considering leaving the job of informal political adviser to Bush. He will do that if the president's close friend Sen. Paul Laxalt decides to run . . .