WaPo on Ward Sutton and the Emergence of Sequential Award Winners

Washington Post’s Michael Cavna profiles and interviews 2018 Herblock Prize winner Ward Sutton of The Boston Globe.

“I’ve spent my entire professional career as a freelancer — it is a fun and liberating way to work, and I’ve come to take the insecurities that come with it in stride at this point,” Sutton says. “It can be exciting to find new outlets for my cartoons.”

Yet, the Colorado-based cartoonist says, he still feels “somewhat old school in that my work that won me the Herblock was all for the Boston Globe, a venerable daily paper. Although I don’t have the ‘staff cartoonist’ job in the way, say, Herblock did with The Washington Post, I do have a solid paper that I create cartoons for exclusively that gives me incredible support.”

Cavna’s Comic Riffs column on Ward Sutton appeared in today’s Washington Post in anticipation of tonight’s ceremony.

Also from Michael Cavna is a very interesting article on the emergence of sequential comics as players in editorial cartooning awards.

Sequential comic artists have won the major awards in the past (and they are noted in the article), but it has been the single panel that dominates. That may be changing:

The past few years, however, have trained a hotter spotlight on the multi-panel political comic.

The Pulitzer Prizes have more recently honored as finalists such alt-weekly comics creators as Matt Bors, Jen Sorensen and Dan Perkins (a.k.a. Tom Tomorrow), as well as “Funky Winkerbean” comic-strip creator Tom Batiuk. And last month, for the first time ever, the Pulitzer Board awarded its editorial cartooning prize to a long-form narrative comic: “Welcome to the New World,” by the freelance team of writer Jake Halpern and artist Michael Sloan working for the New York Times.

Then last Friday, the RFK Awards announced that its cartoon-prize winner for work created last year was Ruben Bolling (a.k.a. Ken Fisher), the cartoonist behind the syndicated strip “Tom the Dancing Bug.”

And on Wednesday, the Herblock Prize ceremony at the Library of Congress will present this year’s honor to Boston Globe contributor Ward Sutton, whose winning portfolio consists mostly of multi-panel comics.

This Comic Riffs story by Michael Cavna, with quotes from Jake Halpern, Ruben Bolling, and Ward Sutton about sequential comics and editorial awards, also appeared in today’s Washington Post.

Ward Sutton does not see a wholesale switch to strips any time soon:

“In this age of memes and people wanting their information faster and faster, I wouldn’t count single-panel editorial cartoons out of the game.”