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E&P postulates on who might be on Pulitzer list

I guess I’m not the only one ruminating on who might be up for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial cartooning this year. Joe Strupp of Editor and Publisher talked to a few of the jurors that will be in New York next week to evaluate the top journalism talent in the country. One thing they mention is the lack of a large scale story, like Katrina, to influence the decision.

On the topic of editorial cartooning he writes:

In editorial cartooning, Mike Thompson of the Detroit Free Press, a finalist last year, may be due. He is known for great color, humor and hard-hitting views. Recent winners who could repeat include Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal Constitution; Nick Anderson of the Houston Chronicle and Matt Davies of the Journal News in White Plains, N.Y.

Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau, who won more than 30 years ago in 1975, may emerge as a top winner this year. After being a finalist two of the past three years, he drew special attention this year with increased appearances of B.D., a character who lost a leg in Iraq.

While I think all of the above are certainly qualified, I do lean toward Garry Trudeau for his usage of B.D. to bring home the war. If not Garry, I’d like to see Mike Thompson win. He’s as good as any previous winner and think if not this year, it soon will come. I’ve heard talk that many cartoonists think Steve Sacks of the Star-Tribune is long over-due. I’ve written before that a repeat for Mike Luckovich is a long-shot. A Pulitzer repeat has only happened once and hasn’t happened since 1928.

Community Comments

#1 MJ
February/28/2007
@ 1:18 pm

I’d like to see Nick Anderson pick it up again. His recent toon “Face Time” is killarious.

#2 Publius
February/28/2007
@ 1:35 pm

I think it’s time for an unknown, “Cinderella” cartoonist to win the Pulitzer…just to mix it up a bit…

#3 Alan Gardner
February/28/2007
@ 3:06 pm

Here’s what an ol’ timer editorial cartoonist told me once. Getting a Pulitzer (or any award) has a self-interest component that the one receiving the award must also make the giver look good for offering it. For example, Mike Luckovich is a top-notch cartoonist so offering it to him makes the Pulitzer board look good for recognizing Mike’s talent. Giving it to a no-namer would make others question the board’s ability to recognize talent. For that reason, Cinderallas have a great uphill battle for national awards.

That said, it can happen. Back in 1998, the Pulitzer was awarded to Steve Breen – who wasn’t even on the juror’s finalist list. Unfortunately his award came under much criticism from other editorial cartoonists because he kind of came out of left field. Each year there is a certain level of criticism for the winner, but I remember that year the complainers were a bit louder than usual. I don’t mean to infer that Steve was a no-namer. He was syndicated at the time.

#4 Brian Fairrington
February/28/2007
@ 6:27 pm

I remember all the backlash against Steve when he won. I believed then and do now that he was as strong as anyone, just younger than the others. That year both Paul Conrad and Jeff MacNelly were finalists. By that time they had racked up six Pulitzers between them in the course of their 35 year careers….so perhaps the judges viewed it as too much. I think Steve has silenced his critics since then by consistently producing great work while Conrads has been reduced to several squiggly lines drawn with a sharpie.
The overall value and power that the Pulitzers holds continues to diminish with the demise of print journalism. I get angry when people surmise that our profession is dying. I would disagree completely. Our profession will merely evolve as everything moves on-line. Our profession is married to print journalism but as that dies so does the marriage. We’ll just have to look for a new bride on the internet…and that honeymoon will be a rough one for sure as we argue over who will pay for that shindig. All of this begs the question as to the survival of awards that are rooted in a system that is dying faster than we care to imagine….will the Pulitzers survive?

#5 Alan Gardner
February/28/2007
@ 7:31 pm

I think the Pulitzer will be around as long as the profession is around – it has too much prestige within the industry. I think it was last year that they opened up the criteria to include online work, so I’m sure it will evolve to the internet era just as editorial cartooning will.

I looked over the submission rules tonight and they do allow “online matrial” which I interpret *could* include animated editorial cartoons. I don’t know if any cartoonists submitted any animations as part of their 20 pieces this year, but it’s probably just a matter of time before someone does and it becomes a winning variable.

#6 Brian Fairrington
February/28/2007
@ 9:03 pm

“I think it was last year that they opened up the criteria to include online work”

They did but the way I understand it is still tied to newsprint in the fact that you stil have to have proof of publication and include tear sheets, which contradicts the notion of publishing online and is a catch 22.

#7 Dean Turnbloom
March/1/2007
@ 10:53 am

As a “no-name” editorial cartoonist, it’s my belief that the Pulitzer should and does stand for more than an old boy’s network. Certainly, most of the recipients will be those whose daily work in the profession has allowed them to hone their craft with precision. I do believe that the judges should certainly and will judge each cartoonist’s work on its merits and not give extra points to one merely because he is well-known. That is not to say that they are immune to some bias that naturally comes when any certain cartoonist’s work is highly touted in other arenas. I fervantly hope that the judges take note and steel themselves against such bias, but by the same token don’t go so far as to ignore the more established artists. I doubt that would ever be the case. This business is a tough nut to crack a Pulitzer nomination would go a long way to establishing an artist’s credentials.

#8 MJ
March/1/2007
@ 8:56 pm

Dean pretty much summed that up in a nutshell. Anyway on so called â??no-nameâ? editorial cartoonists (If you follow cartooning in general I think everyone is reconizable by each artists individual style. There aren’t any “no name” artists) how about nods to a few of my favorites.
That guy way up there ^
N. Anderson “Face Time” = funny
D. Turnbloom “Sobering Comparison” = funny
L. Turnbloom “Nuclear Warheads” = funny
G. Varvel “Roots of Evil” = funny
I guess you just have to enjoy cartoons to feel like there aren’t any “no names” I enjoy any and all cartoons.

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