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Michael Ramirez wins 2008 Pulitzer Prize (UPDATED)

Michael Ramirez Pulitzer Submission

In the category of Editorial Cartooning, the Pulitzer Board has announced this year’s winner to be Michael Ramirez of The Investor’s Business Daily. This is Michael’s second Pulitzer, the first being in 1994 while at the Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn).

Michael has had a very successful year so far. He was also awarded this year’s Fischetti Award, and was a finalist in this year’s National Headliners Award, The Scripps Howard Foundation’s annual National Journalism Award and has also been nominated for best editorial cartoonist in the National Cartoonists Society’s division award this year.

Michael is syndicated through Copley News Service to over 450 newspapers.

UPDATE #1: According to the AP, Michael won the “prize” for what the judges call “provocative cartoons.”

UPDATE #2: The other finalists have also been announced. They are Tom Batiuk, creator of Funky Winkerbean and Clay Bennett, formerly of The Christian Science Monitor.

UPDATE #3: You can see Michael’s portfolio online.

UPDATE #4: David Horsey, editorial cartoonist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was one of the jurors.

UPDATE #5: Dave Astor catches up with Michael and gets his take on the award.

UPDATE #6: A column from his own newspaper congratulating him on his win.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Thompson
April/7/2008
@ 1:31 pm

Congratulations to Mike Ramirez!

#2 Charles Brubaker
April/7/2008
@ 1:45 pm

Wow, awesome. Congrats, Michael! Well deserved!

#3 Jeff Darcy
April/7/2008
@ 2:39 pm

Congrats! This second one is long overdue

#4 Jack
April/7/2008
@ 9:25 pm

Michael Ramirez is without question the most insightful editorial cartoonist today. Congratulations, Michael !!!

#5 Jim Borgman
April/8/2008
@ 6:10 am

Congratulations Michael! Your work is fascinating and captivating. Enjoy the moment.

#6 Marco Milone
April/8/2008
@ 7:04 am

Congrats!

#7 Tom Speiss
April/8/2008
@ 8:51 am

Congratulations, Michael !!! You’ll need to add on another shelf for all these awards. Way to go!

#8 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
April/9/2008
@ 9:18 pm

Ramirez’s work is odious. I have the same opinion about his stuff as does his former colleague at the LA Times, the great Conrad.
Ramirez’ is an excellent artist…the problem is that his cartoons are not editorial, they are lies.

I have no idea why Jack Ohman, Chan Lowe, or John Cole have not been honored. Any of these three are more worthy than the corporate shill, Ramirez.

#9 Malc McGookin
April/9/2008
@ 10:34 pm

Ramirez’s work is genius. I don’t necessarily agree with his politics, as I don’t with Mike Lester’s, but his artwork is brilliant and he tells it as he sees it.

Corporate shill? Would you like to elucidate.

Like any editorialist, his work will only get out if his editor supports his view, or his right to state it, he’s no different in that to any commentator in newspaper history.

I’ve never purchased a Stevie Wonder or Mel Torme album, but I acknowledge their talent.

#10 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
April/10/2008
@ 2:05 pm

IBD is right-wing propaganda. O’Neil is one of the biggest paymasters for the Fascist takeover of our governement that has given all of us a manufactured, phony war that enriches the lords while draining resources from infrastructure and the commons. The extent of this unmitigated disaster will be felt for decades.
This is the nihilistic libertarianism that O’Neil and his ragsheet espouses.
Ramirez work, however well executed, supports this retrograde philosophy. The solace is that he is merely preaching to the choir of increasingly dwindling dead-enders.

Now, I fully realize that the editorial cartoonist oftens takes alot of license with satire and exageration. I do it myself. What I find more commonly with Mr. Ramirez’s is that they are meant to be funny, but are not. They are mean, nasty, cruel, and worse than deceptive. That is why I categorize them as lies. It is the same type of bullying, false humor that the more famous RW mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter use.
( P.S. : these are much more analogous than the unrelated strawmen of Stevie Wonder and Mel Torme ).

I reiterate my position. I would rather be in the company of seven times Pulitzer awardee Paul Conrad.

#11 Malc McGookin
April/10/2008
@ 4:31 pm

Comrade, you’re showing serious lack of humour yourself. So there are ugly, evil capitalists in the USA, who knew?

Mel Torme and Stevie Wonder are merely examples of superb talent that I wouldn’t cross the road to see, but which I nonetheless recognize.

Not only are Limbaugh and Coulter talentless, I wouldn’t pee on them if they were on fire.

#12 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
April/10/2008
@ 6:30 pm

“Not only are Limbaugh and Coulter talentless, I wouldnâ??t pee on them if they were on fire.”

Well, we can agree on that! HA!

See, I classify Ramirez as their fellow traveler. There are plenty of “conservative” cartoonists with which I disgree with, but I still respect their craft. Dick Locher among contemporaries tops the list. Jeff MacNelly was transcendent, even visionary. Going back in time, Vaughan Shoemaker filled a similar role.

Ramirez crosses the undefined line, for me. I know that not everyone will see it from my perspective. As you say, he tells it as he see’s it. I, then, have the right to say NO!…I see things differently, and you sir, are WRONG!

Ramirez is the modern Leni Reifenstahl of Fascist/American visuals.

#13 Fac T. Checker
April/11/2008
@ 5:31 am

Small point of fact: Paul Conrad has three Pulitzers (more than enough for any cartoonist, if you ask me). If there’s another Paul Conrad who’s won seven, I haven’t heard of him.

#14 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
April/11/2008
@ 6:11 am

Yes. 1964, 1971, 1984. It is seven Sigma Delta Chi awards for Conrad.
( Ramirez has two. )
Rollin Kirby, Herblock, and MacNelly have three Pulitzer’s also.

These honorifics have been highly suspect for some time…the politics of the selection process has been discussed at length here.
If it were a matter of sheer talent, Oliphant would have won every award for the last forty years. He has one Pulitzer.

The broader implications of this choice….that Ramirez is picked over other more worthy artists; that his publication is a backwater, journalistic joke:
all the more evidence that the media is fixed, a con job.
We don’t get real news in the newspaper anymore, except maybe the Sports and sometimes in the Obies. The rest are all lies. We have editorializing cheerleading masquerading as reporting; and we have opinion pages filled with tripe on a daily basis with prostitutes the like of Victor Hansen, Cal Thomas, Kathleen Parker, and the ridiclous Jonah Goldberg.
All part of the dumbing down agenda.

#15 Dean Wallace
April/15/2008
@ 2:09 pm

Re: “update 4” — if that was the list of the Pulitzer Prize judging committee, I am surprised that there were not more professional cartoonists on the panel.

No disrespect meant to the other panelists, but having just one top level cartoonist on the panel for the top prize in Editorial Cartooning seems to be just a little too low.

Rather than cutting editors out, may I suggest the panel be enlarged to include at least two more professional cartoonists?

When I ran my cartoon contests, I always made sure we had at least 5 professionals judging.

With Respect,
Dean Wallace
former Publisher of
Boston’s Editorial Cartoons

#16 Wiley Miller
April/15/2008
@ 4:05 pm

It’s pretty rare that the Pulitzer committee judging the editorial cartoon division even has one cartoonist as a judge. Better one than none, I suppose.

#17 Garey Mckee
April/15/2008
@ 4:26 pm

If the discussions here on TDC are any indicator, it would seem cartoonists have a tendency to diss each others work rather than support it. Perhaps that is why there aren’t more cartoonists on the judging comittee.

#18 Wiley Miller
April/15/2008
@ 5:47 pm

There may something to that, Garey. From what I understand, they stopped having any cartoonists as a judge since the Pulitzers had Paul Conrad on the board in the early 70’s. Then Paul, with his renowned titanic ego, proclaimed no one was worthy of the prize, so none was awarded. Editors being editors, just assumed that all cartoonists are like Paul Conrad. It was a couple of decades, I believe, until they finally started having a cartoonist in the judging mix on occasion. The best judge they’ve ever had, in my opinion, was Lucy Caswell, curator of the cartoon library at Ohio State. She is someone who, most importantly, knows what she’s looking when it comes to assessing cartoons, and, not being a cartoonist herself, is unbiased in the field. But the best aspect of her serving (I think it was for 3 years) was that she educated editors on what to look for in judging the quality and effectiveness of editorial cartoons. The lasting affect of her tenure is that the Pulitzer Committee is no more open to having a cartoonist on the judging panel.

But there is really no such thing as perfect awards system. They all have flaws, some more glaring than others. Such is life.

#19 Stacy Curtis
April/15/2008
@ 11:05 pm

Wasn’t David Horsey on the Pulitzer Committee this year?

#20 Rich Diesslin
April/16/2008
@ 1:10 am

Ditto what Charles said … “Wow, awesome. Congrats, Michael! Well deserved!”

#21 Wiley Miller
April/16/2008
@ 6:14 am

Yes, I did read that Dave Horsey was on the committee this year. I think they’ve had one cartoonist on the panel every year since Lucy Caswell educated them. Lucy is, and has been for a couple of decades, the best friend to cartoonists and the comics industry as a whole. We owe her a lot.

#22 dan reynolds
April/16/2008
@ 12:36 pm

I agree with Garey on THIS point….

Garey Mckee said on April 15th, 2008
“If the discussions here on TDC are any indicator, it would seem cartoonists have a tendency to diss each others work rather than support it. Perhaps that is why there arenâ??t more cartoonists on the judging comittee.”

Really. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed this, too? In fact, I’d even go as far as saying there is cartoonist FIELD bias. For example, many from the syndicated camp seem to have a bias that syndication is what cartooning is about be it newspaper strip or political flavored. I read A LOT of territorialism in many of these posts. Cartooning would suck if the only thing about it had to do with what’s in the newspaper or online or any ONE place.

From what I’m reading, there seems to be an awful lot of status positioning via the various awards that so many are so desparate in need of achieving. Someone please help me understand this. I don’t get it. I make a tremendous living in this field and I’ve never won an award in cartooning in my life (although there was that Camp Hollis softball toss in 1970 I won the blue ribbon for). Then again, I’ve never entered or nominated myself for one.

So, what gives with this award fixation? To me, it seems like a way of shoring up a belief in one’s success…a sort of castle in the sand, if you will. Then again, perhaps the REAL question is how does one DEFINE cartooning success? That is probably the real heart of the matter. However one DOES define it, I just don’t see how many “atta boy” awards have ANYTHING to do with it.

Your thoughts???

#23 Garey Mckee
April/16/2008
@ 2:03 pm

Dan, I agree with your..uh… agreement.

I will admit I have found myself at times here on TDC letting my knee jerk reactions get the best of me, and that really is wrong. I think that’s a danger of forums and blogs on the internet in general. There are many things I’ve said here that I absolutely stand by, but for any unfair reactions I really do apologize.

The bottom line is I’m happy for anyone that’s doing this job in the way they feel is right and having fun at it. I try to stay away from the threads on this blog that are, as Dan put it, territorial (IE that discussion about print vs web cartoonists and many like it).

I have learned alot about the mindset of professional cartoonists on this site.

#24 dan reynolds
April/16/2008
@ 2:46 pm

Garey,
I agree with your agreeing with my agreement…ad infinitum…
:)

Are there other cartoons found in areas other than syndication that are a consuming interest with cartoonist of this blogesphere?

Oh, and go Red Sox!

#25 lefitte
April/16/2008
@ 3:47 pm

redsox? I always thought this was a Devil Ray board.

#26 Eric Burke
April/16/2008
@ 5:08 pm

Sorry lefitte, we don’t cheer for perpetual losing teams here. This board has several members of Red Sox Nation here. Glad to see that Mr. Reynolds is a fellow Sox fan. I’ll be at Fenway Saturday night to watch the Sox whup the Rangers, from the box seats no less! WHOOOO!

I do have to admit that watching the D-Rays beat up the Yankees in spring training was fun! It’s the only time I actually cheered for the woeful D-Rays…

#27 Rich Diesslin
April/16/2008
@ 9:07 pm

Dan, I think syndication is one measure of success, but certainly not the only one. Those that are, were or will be syndicated can be proud of that. Another measure after that might be the number of papers that carry them. In a shrinking market I can understand some jockeying for position and defensiveness too. Why some folks go totally apesh*t on others is really what I don’t care for. The whole B.C. thread was a tribute to vanity.

Other measures of success are certainly valid! Just reading “Stay Tooned” I see many other measures of success from those earning anything in the cartooning and illustration markets – advertising, signs, inking, pencils, designs, greeting cards, merchandise. The level of success or measure of it seems really in the eyes of the beholder. If you are achieving what your are seeking to accomplish, that is success.

The awards at their best acknowledge the best in the craft and categories, and at their worst can be just a popularity contest or a “whose turn is it now” kind of thing. However, it’s like the lottery, you can’t win one if you aren’t entered, and also like the lottery, your odds of winning after entering are only slightly higher (than not).

And finally I just want to say that I agree with Garey. ;)

#28 Rick Stromoski
April/17/2008
@ 8:18 am

Go Pirates!

#29 lefitte
April/17/2008
@ 9:09 am

I’m boycotting the name switch to just Rays vs. Devil Rays or D-Rays.

Tampa Bay Rays? Really? How about Tampa Bay Earls or Tampa Bay Gregs?

The D-Rays nucleus is solid now. They’ve had so many 1st picks that they’re loaded. It’ll take a few more years but they’re gonna be good.

#30 Mike Lester
April/17/2008
@ 9:09 am

A “why can’t we (cartoonists) all just get along” posit w/ a paradoxical side of baseball. Competition and criticism give you better cartoons and baseball. I’ll give you an example:

I assume that the “Caucasian male wrestling w/ kid over an ear of corn” cartoon at the top of the post was done originally by M.Ramirez, but I’ve seen it -whether chicken or egg- 150 times in the past two weeks. That shouldn’t happen no matter the discipline and frankly, those are people with whom I don’t care to “get along”.

Finally, my impression is that after the award(s) took animation flak, they understandably went w/ old-school draftsmanship. And Mike is rendering son of a bitch. All due congrats.

#31 John Cole
April/17/2008
@ 2:20 pm

“I assume that the â??Caucasian male wrestling w/ kid over an ear of cornâ? cartoon at the top of the post was done originally by M.Ramirez, but Iâ??ve seen it -whether chicken or egg- 150 times in the past two weeks. That shouldnâ??t happen no matter the discipline and frankly, those are people with whom I donâ??t care to â??get alongâ?.

As opposed to cartoonists who tirelessly plow virginal metaphorical ground and come up with drawings of politicians dressed as Marie Antoinette?

%^)

“I kid because I love” — Krusty the Clown

#32 Mike Lester
April/18/2008
@ 7:34 am

“It is the wounded elk that leaps the highest.” -unknown

Mad love for you, JC.

#33 Harry
July/23/2008
@ 6:48 pm

Heers Algore again

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