2022 Association of Alternative Newsmedia Awards

On Friday July 22 the Association of Alternative Newsmedia announced the 2022 AAN awards at a reception held at the Medill School of Journalism in downtown Chicago.

Held every year since 1996, the AAN Awards recognize the best in alternative journalism and graphic design and are a unique chance for members of the alternative newsmedia  to compete directly against the work of their peers in cities across the continent. The contest promotes excellence by recognizing work that is well-written, incisively reported and effectively challenges established orthodoxies. These finalists truly represent the best of the best.

Here are the winner and finalists in the Cartoon category for work produced in 2021:

Publication: Seven Days
Title: Cartoons by Tim Newcomb
Credit: Tim Newcomb

Judge’s comment: “Newsy and relevant angle to geographic region and wider audience. One entry nudges boundaries for liberal audience. Not always preaching to choir. Nice move.”



Publication: Charleston City Paper
Title: Cartoons by Steve Stegelin
Credit: Steve Stegelin

Judge’s comment: “Gritty, honed to a sharp edge.”



Publication: Charleston City Paper
Title: Lowcountry, by Robert Ariail
Credit: Robert Ariail



Publication: Little Village
Title: Futile Wrath by Sam Locke Ward
Credit: Sam Locke Ward


Winner and finalists in the Illustration category for work produced in 2021:

Publication: Isthmus
Title: Howl
Credit: Claire “Snaggle Tooth” Warhus

Judge’s Comment: “The actual technical quality of this illustration is very impressive. The line work, the color shading, the anatomical depictions of the wolf’s head—high-quality technical skill…”



Publication: Seven Days
Title: Illustration by Sean Metcalf
Credit: Sean Metcalf

Judge’s Comment: “An illustration in this context should provide additional meaning to the story. Does it bring forward in a visual way, something abstract or emotional that allows the viewer to be a more engaged reader? The answer here is emphatically YES. A version of children at a candy store window, musing about what sweet they may obtain and taste but instead, it is cannabis? That should get every reader thinking about how anything is marketed to children or teens, or young adults and how that can impact their long-term health and well-being…”



Publication: Nashville Scene
Title: Best of Nashville
Credit: Lucie Rice

Judge’s Comment: “There were several Illustrations with the theme of “best of” but this one stood out. It was an absolute romp! It has the awesome quality of the viewer being able to take a second, third, fourth look and find something new every time. Using the center sign to illuminate the middle of the image and then getting moodier as it retreats was great…”



Publication: Washington City Paper
Title: Metr-Oh No
Credit: Justin Johnson, Nayion Perkins

Judge’s Comment: “Great illustration, brings meaning to the story. Love the old-school emoticon.”


Winners and finalists in all categories are listed here.