Pulitzers should include separate category for animation

Mike Keefe is another cartoonist that is openly advocating that animated editorial cartoons should not be judged along side of print editorial cartoonists. In a comment posted on Daryl Cagle’s blog, Mike responds to earlier comments by Scott Stantis

I am a great fan of editorial cartoon animation and have tried my hand at it several times. (eg. a year’s work of weekly 30-second animations for a local NBC affiliate and two years worth of work for AOL.) And I may do it again. But comments regarding the Pulitzer Prize from Scott Stantis strike me as exactly on target. This is not to denigrate Walt’s fine work. I love his new stuff and endorsed his print cartoons as a Pulitzer juror in 1997. But there is some shape-shifting going on in our profession that requires redefinition. Not all cartoonists are afforded the time and resources to create animations. How can the print-only cartoonists compete with animators? It’s Marmaduke versus Dancing Penguins. My suggestion is that a separate category be established, in all cartoon competitions, for animated work versus print work. And then, among others, we will see some huzzahs going the way of Bill Mitchell, Mark Fiori and Don Asmussen. Long overdue.

I guess I’m still flip-flopping on this whole issue. I can certainly understand (and would probably argue) that animated cartoons deserve their own category. BUT, my sneaking suspicion is that this year – they received a goodly sum of attention because of their novelty. Next year they’ll play a much smaller part of the judging process and if another cartoon like Mike Luckovich’s WHY cartoon, or another big event like Katrina, 9-11 were to come along, then those portfolios would take the prize easily.

I think one instance does not a precedent make.

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