Kevin Siers: 2023 Charlottean of the Year

His layoff after 36 years as the Observer’s editorial cartoonist muted one of our strongest voices

[Ever] since the Observer hired the Minnesota native in 1987, [Kevin Siers] has irked readers at every point on the political spectrum, applying a cartoonist’s skewer to presidents, Charlotte City Council members, business leaders—potentially anyone in the public eye. That’s been the role of newspaper cartoonists since the 19th century, when Thomas Nast, “the Father of the American Cartoon,” took aim at “Boss” Tweed and Tammany Hall.

© Kevin Siers for Charlotte Magazine

This July, the company that owns the Observer decided it no longer had room for Siers and two other editorial cartoonists, Jack Ohman of The Sacramento Bee and Joel Pett of the Lexington Herald-Leader. All three had won Pulitzer Prizes.

Siers says the news of his layoff “came out of the blue.” St. Onge sent him a text message the morning of July 11, telling him to join a Zoom call at 2 p.m. “I got sort of a sick feeling in my stomach,” he says. Speaking from his home in Salisbury, Maryland, where he moved with his wife last year, Siers emphasizes that he holds no grudge against anyone at the Observer. But he believes cartoonists deliver something essential to communities—sharp-witted voices that challenge power and readers’ preconceptions.

Charlotte Magazine names editorial cartoonist Kevin Siers as a Charlottean of the Year/Media category and runs a nice profile letting fans (that’s us!) know what he’s doing after-staff (“still draws three cartoons per week for Cagle Cartoons“).

Charlotte Magazine Facebook previews Kevin’s cover illustration.

3 thoughts on “Kevin Siers: 2023 Charlottean of the Year

  1. Completely disgusting!

    Editorial cartoons are the life’s blood of political satire, and WHAT tells the truth more than satire in our world of corporatist pandering trash?

  2. In an era where those who would stifle public opinion are seemingly becoming more prevalent, editorial cartoonists are needed more than ever. Those talented individuals puncture the over-inflated, provide another view to the “my side is correct”, and (one hopes) changes minds previously set in concrete so that those minds might just consider another’s point of view. I “speak” as the daughter of a newspaperman (no longer with us) who understood the importance of a FREE press, including editorial cartoons.

  3. Cartoonists are a rare group. They can quickly convey a message so others who are in a rush, can understand the issue without having to read several sentences. Besides, too many people today either can’t or don’t want to read.
    Personally, l see this as another attempt to prevent the dissemination (censoring) of information to others. Hope l am incorrect.

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