No One Takes 2021 Editorial Cartooning Pulitzer

When the Pulitzer Prize awards first happened in 1917 there was no category for Editorial Cartoons. That honor began in 1922, so this is the 99th year since the first Editorial Cartoon Prize was awarded to Rollin Kirby (though not every year since then saw a Prize awarded to a cartoonist).

The original terms for the Editorial Cartooning division read:

For a distinguished example of a cartoonist’s work published in an American newspaper during the year, the determining qualities being that the cartoon shall embody an idea made clearly apparent, shall show good drawing and striking pictorial effect, and shall be intended to be helpful to some commendable cause of public importance, due account being taken of the whole volume of the artist’s newspaper work during the year.


Finalists for this year’s Editorial Cartooning were:

Ken Fisher (Ruben Bolling) – Tom the Dancing Bug

Lalo Alcaraz

Marty Two Bulls, Sr.


For work published in 2020 this year’s 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning went to …

no one.

No prize was awarded for editorial cartooning this year!

11 thoughts on “No One Takes 2021 Editorial Cartooning Pulitzer

  1. Wow. I did not think the Pulitzer Committee would go out of their way prove my rant yesterday so correct.

    Thanks for the kick in the crotch, y’all!

  2. This is my first and last complaint about the Pulitzer and editorial cartooning contests in general. After this, I’ll go dormant again.

    Rather than expanding the field of editorial cartooning to include things like illustration, cooking, and tap dancing, the Pulitzer should look at the diminishing ranks of real editorial cartoonists who remain and give each one of us a Pulitzer at some time before the last of us die off. That would be about as meaningful as what’s been going on these past years.

    I make it a practice of not entering “contests”, especially those that require an entry fee. I doubt that any of us has a newspaper to pony up the cash, and with the business being in the state it’s in, few of us can afford to spring for those fees. If those contests are so keen on having us be part of them, then why do they insist on nickel and dimeing us to death?

    The awards I’ve received on the local level have been nice to receive, but after the nice warm feeling subsides, that’s it. Now, back to working in another cartoon for the sheer satisfaction of knowing that out there, somewhere, I have succeeded in pissing somebody off.

  3. No pulitzer prize for editorial cartooning….is just further proof that the profession of editorial cartooning is DEAD ….and newspapers are JOURNALISTICALLY BANKRUPT.

  4. Three worthy finalists, and no award?

    It makes no sense.

    But when you make the rules, you can change them on the fly.

    I commend the young woman who took the video of the George Floyd incident. It was taken by the mass media as an eye witness account of the news story. She received a special journalism citation from the Pulitzer Committee even though she was not a reporter but a citizen who helped journalists tell the story. But she did not “enter” the journalism award contest. There are many journalists and cartoonists who cannot enter because of the nomination restrictions. I hope this does not validate some media managers belief that there are plenty of citizens who give them content for free.

  5. Well everyone knows Columbia University is a small, poor college. The Pulitzer Prize people probably couldn’t afford the paperweights they hand out as awards, and needed to take the one from the editorial cartoonists to give to the winners in categories that were given TWO prizes this year.

    It’s the only reason that makes any sense.

  6. This is hilarious. It’s also pathetic and dishonest. In a field where you choose no winner why name the three biggest losers? Obviously the Pulitzers are hurting worse than editorial cartoonists if they’ve got to steal a $75 entry fee.

    But it’s the closest I’ve ever come to winning.

  7. So your telling me each of these Cartoonists entries have to pay a fee to not be selected and then to add insult, not one of the finalist is selected as WINNER?
    C’mon man, at least the Westminister Kennel Club Dog show can pick the “Best in Show”.

  8. This is a little off topic, but it’s odd that the Pulitzer’s own list of Editorial Cartoonist prizes (at D.D.’s second link, above) names the wrong cartoon for 1927.

    Either they’re wrong, or is. I know, misinformation can sometimes sneak into wikipedia, but it’s unlikely that the Pulitzer board would have given their award to Nelson Harding for the very same cartoon two years in a row.

  9. According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (a Pulitzer newspaper) of May 3, 1927 and May 8, 1928 Wikipedia’s order is correct.

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